Releasing and Letting Go

Over the weekend, my eight-year-old son (whom we call Monkey) was helping me clean the house. He lifted up a doily off of the end table, held it up to the light and proclaimed it looked like a rabbit. I affirmed his declaration and cautioned him to be careful because the doily was my grandmother’s. Monkey gave me a quizzical look, put the doily back on the table and continued dusting the next item.

I associate many items in my home with their original owner. The green afghan is not mine but my mother-in-law’s since she’s the one who made it. I feel the same way about the black and white afghan my sister-in-law made. It’s Doris’ afghan. The doily’s are Grandma’s, the nightstand is Mom and Dad’s, the cake stand is from the unnamed person who hosted the garage sale where I purchased it. I don’t know why I ascribe ownership this way  but I do with almost everything.

Everything except my kids.

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I’ve been told over and over my children belong to God, but it’s easy to believe and live as they are completely and totally mine.

I carried them for 9 months.

I gave birth to them.

I potty trained them.

I drive them to school.

I take them to clothes shopping.

I took them to the doctor and held them on my lap when they were sick.

You get the idea. (I don’t want to negate my husband’s role. He was every bit as present in our sons lives as I am). I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended or understood that these three hooligans belong to God; at least not on a heart level until recently. Our oldest is turning 18 next month. He’ll be legally an adult. He’s in the car so much going out with friends, to school, and to work. College and scholarship applications are on the horizon. He’ll have to register for Selective Service.

I’m scared.

Soon it will be time to release him to the world and as much as I’m looking forward to the days of just the hubby and I alone in our house, I don’t want to start letting go. It feels safer to have my boys here with us. Nothing gives me more comfort than to know each brown haired boy is in their own bed every night. But I can’t keep them here forever. They have to start forging their own path.

 

I can’t protect them. I can’t prevent bad things from happening and I can’t stop them  from making bad, or contrary, decisions. I can’t stop hurt from entering their lives.

I hope I’ve done right by my son, and by God. I hope I did the best parenting job I was capable of doing.

It’s time to trust God and my son.

So…how do I do that?

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Out of the Mouths of Morons (A Shocking Discovery of What I Actually Believe About God)

I don’t feel like we’re suffering. Something must be wrong.

Those are the words that came flying out of my mouth when my husband came home with everything he purchased to start doing some home improvements. He assured me that he did not use our credit card, our checkbook balance could handle the heft of the purchase and even though I’m not bringing in any income yet…we’re fine.

And then those words came flying out of my mouth.

And then I saw that all too familiar look on my husband’s face that says “Are you crazy?”

Yes, honey. I really think I might be.

I haven’t brought in a steady income in two months, our standard of living has not changed and my husband says we’re fine. He’s either lying to me or our math is wrong.

He’s not lying and our math is accurate.

We have made some significant changes around here since I left my job. No more daycare expenses. Reduced our grocery spending by half and we are not eating out. Those changes pretty much sum up my old paychecks.

But somehow I equated that making changes that would be good, even great, for our family must equate that we are going to…must…suffer for it. God answered a two-year long prayer and I’m concerned that we’re not “paying” for it.

It’s moments like this, when the rubber meets the road, where I come face to face to what I REALLY believe about God.

I falsely believe that if God answered my prayer about staying home with my family, I’d have to pay for it by suffering in some way, shape or form.

(facepalm)

Thankfully there are Bible verses that combat my false beliefs. I just need to take the time to look for them and learn what’s true about God.

Like these verses from Luke  11:

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

God knows how to give a gift and He gives them without conditions, strings attached, or a price tag. He does it all out of love.

All I need to do is accept.