EVENTUALLY YOU MUST “LET GO”

You Must Let Go

I am fearful of heights. In January Jon and I attended a retreat with several teachers from our church (Austin Stone Community Church). Part of the day on Saturday was spent doing group team building exercises on a ropes course.

What happens when you have a group of teacher/leaders together? You quickly learned if you want to succeed as a group that having to many chiefs creates chaos and confusion. Also good communication is important for success. The last task was optional and my personal challenge (as I fear heights). I was quickly hoisted toward the top of a pole about 40 feet up by those on the ground. I held in my hand a rope that determined when I would fall. I held onto this rope tightly with both hands as a begged to be let down for several minutes. Why was I terrified even though 10 people had done this before me with enthusiasm? Did I mention that they were all much younger and many without children? It’s crazy what fear does to our minds. Remember earlier I mentioned that this was about team building. As I was whining for them to let me down they were encouraging and cheering me on. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 Left to myself I would not have let go of the rope but being spurred on by the others I eventually had to let go. I will not lie as it was crazy free falling like that but by the second swing WOW! it was exhilarating and then even peaceful swinging around. However, once was enough for me.

This made me think about the many things people hold tightly onto (relationships, money, job security, children, etc.) As a parent of three girls (19, 17, and almost 7) thankfully many years ago Jon and I came to understand that our children were temporary gifts from God. They did not belong to us rather were on loan to us from God and we would eventually have to let them go.

The more you trust and pray for God’s involvement in your child’s life, the less possessive and reluctant you will be to release them into His hands. For me I have had to let go on many fronts already and am still learning to let go of seeing my child as an extension of myself; Let go of the desire to control her; Let go of my expectations for my children; Let go of rescuing them from failure; Let go of my need to be appreciated (this is the hardest for me); Thankfully letting go is a gradual process and we are given many opportunities to practice from their first baby steps, going off to Kindergarten, getting their drivers license, graduating from high school, going to Africa for 6 months, college, etc… I know I can let go because they belong to Him and that gives me great peace. Below is a poem I came across in “Give Them Wings” by Carol Kuykendall. May you be encouraged.

Letting Go: A Relinquishment Foundational to Our Faith

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off,it’s the realization that I can’t control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another; I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny but accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more.

— Anonymous

Training verses Teaching there is a difference

Since December I have felt the “gentle nudging” of God that it was time to put aside my own agenda and begin to invest more deeply into the life of Cayley, our precious 6 year old.  Yes, I used the words gentle nudging because these last 10 days I believe God has been daily showing me that it is His will for us to be training Cayley.  After all, I began the home schooling journey in 1996 (after saying never, not me) with Caryn and Courtney which ended in May 2007.  They are both in college and the results have been very positive so far!  I just didn’t feel like I enlisted for 20+ years 🙂

When I first felt the nudging I reasoned with God that it’s good to finish what you begin so I thought I would finish out Cayley’s 1st grade year at Veritas as we have really enjoyed her teacher and classmates.  However, Cayley has struggled with the course work and I with following the academic rigors that rub up against many of my personal convictions such as: 

1) The best learning happens through an informal “relational process”

2) During the elementary years education has been more about training than teaching as parents are called to train up their children.  This looks different as training has to do with the heart issues (character, discipleship, maturity, etc.) which will greatly impact all future teaching.

3) Also I don’t feel the need to rush learning as I know that all children will eventually grasp necessary concepts but keeping their confidence and spirit in tact in the process is important to me. 

 4) God has already put within our children the drive to learn, question, discover, and explore.  They do not learn because I show them how to make sense of things … they make sense of things because they were created to learn.  What a joy it is to see them excited about learning.

George Simmel said “He is educated who knows how to find out what he doesn’t know.”  Thus I set out to show my girls how to learn and the joys of learning.  Thus this week will end and begin a new phase of learning for me as home education was God’s way of growing and maturing me in so many ways. 

Let the journey begin!

Do Not Complain About Anything- not even lice.

One of my favorite books is “Calm My Anxious Heart.” I appreciate how the author Linda Dillow, guides the reader to a better understanding of contentment and worry free living. These past five years God has had me on a training course of learning to be content in all areas of my life. He has also given me many opportunities to practice contentment. Linda Dillow says that contentment begins with an eternal perspective and shares Ella Spees’ prescription for contentment:

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not ever the weather (this lady lived among the pygmies in Africa where the heat was often above 100+ degrees)
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with another’s.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that [tomorrow] is God’s not ours.

As you can see from my title this weeks lesson in contentment came in the form of lice. They were first discovered Tuesday on Cayley and then I found several of the nasty bugs on me and another family member, YUCK!!! Now how am I not to complain about lice as this is round two for us in three months? I hope you never have to experience lice. Until Cayley entered a school setting we never had this experience.

I thought I would share a few thoughts about lice. First, an observation is that people do not like talking about lice and rarely will share that they have had it. This makes matters worse for others. In fact both times it was not until I called Cayley’s teacher that I learned another student had lice in her class. Guess the school thought it was an isolated situation and no need to alarm others. Also you can get lice from movie theater seat, airplane seat, just about anywhere so you will never really know where the source is. Second, once you have had the lice experience there are certain things you will remember. 1) Confusion on how to treat yourself or children with the various treatments. We opted for the prescription Olvide which was like soaking your head in a nasty alcohol solution then trying to sleep 🙂 I’m surprised I didn’t wake up with a hang over. I did however have huge bags under my eyes. 2) Confusion over what you are actually looking for. I researched many websites to try and understand what lice were and how ones gets them. Sadly I can’t say I learned much. 3) Exhaustion from cleaning house. I kid you not we washed 12 loads of clothes at the local Laundromat on Wednesday (all the blankets, sheets, pillows, etc…). Treated dress up clothes, stuffed animals, and toys. We have vacuumed the entire house 3 times since Tuesday.

How have I found contentment amidst lice. We still had to battle the lice but Christ was able and willing to provide the strength I need to be content. He infuses contentment into my life through His Word by dwelling on truth (Phil. 4:11-13). My focus was more on the positives vs. negatives of the situation (a blessing list) Courtney and Caley brought much humor to the situation. Courtney was a real blessing. We have connected as we sit and comb through each others heads 2 times a day which can be very relaxing. Reminds me of the documentaries I watched on TV about gorillas preening each other. Maybe this situation is what I needed to give me the peace about bringing Caley home to home educate her myself as our school day on Thursday was sweet and insightful.

Father do not let this lice experience be wasted. Use it to teach me how to be content. I will trust you to be my Blessed Controller and I surrender my life to you.

Below are few helpful links to better understand lice.

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/lice/headlice030.shtml

http://www.headlice.org/faq/lousology.htm

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/common/lice.html

pediatrician recommended: http://www.nuvoforheadlice.com/method_explained.htm   Non toxic – It is just putting Cetaphil cleanser on your head.