What Are You Holding Onto, and Why?

Culinary Connoisseurs, here’s something for your Pinterest Board.

Brussel Sprouts a la Frozen. Simply scrub off the ice. Simmer them in boiling water. Lather with a stick of butter.

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Doesn’t the thought make your mouth water? Me too! Unfortunately, before I could cook them, my husband—who hates Brussel Sprouts—happened to see the expiration date on the package: Oct 14, 2009.

“No way!” I grabbed my magnifying lens and examined the package. “It expires Oct 2014, on the ninth day.

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Considering it was June 2015, and I was NOT in the mood to have my stomach pumped, I reluctantly tossed the Brussel Sprouts into the garbage. Soon I was on a mission to excavate the other expired food from the depths of my freezer.

Sadly, my freezer had become a frozen coffin for food.Still hopeful, I waved a squished object at my husband. “Is this is any good?”

“What is it?”

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“An ice cream sandwich.”

He rolled his eyes, and opted for a PBJ sandwich. “Blog about your expired food.”

I handed him two slices of bread after I double-checked them for green mold. “But what’s the message?”

“Learning to let go.”

His tone of voice implied that I might be in danger of reaching my expiration date. However, if “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, my husband would have let me go after the first week of marriage.

Who knew he didn’t like cold hot dogs for dinner?

Only to say, Husband’s comment about letting go reminded me of a recent conversation with a friend. We’d been talking about our grown children moving on, and how this season of motherhood had changed in a bittersweet way!

We agreed. “It’s hard to let go.”

However, learning to let go encompasses more than watching someone we care about move away, or die. It’s more than leaving a familiar job, or downsizing to a retirement community.

Sometimes we refuse to let go of the very things that are holding us down.

  • Abusive marriages
  • Bad influences
  • Unhealthy personal habits
  • Grudges and unforgiveness
  • Material possessions
  • Living in the past
  • Emotional baggage like old audio tapes in our head that accuse us of being:

Ugly. Stupid. Unworthy. Friendless. (Fill in the blank).”

Letting go of expired, frozen Brussel Sprouts might be funny (unless you’re starving), but I’m curious. And convicted!

What am I holding onto, and why? 

Perhaps it’s time to seek the Lord, and ask Him!

“There’s a right time to hold on and another to let go.” (Ecclesiastes 3:6 Message)

You Can Go Now

I wrote this in 2014. School just began and all the feelings I wrote in the blog come flooding back. I’m still learning to let go of the people I love.

ON the first day of school, student laughter drifts across the street like melody to my ears. And along with their glee, three grown children unknowingly pluck my heart strings from afar.

How long does it last…this forlorn desire to rewind time? Or must I remain tethered to the memory of my children the way they were?

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My mind’s eye sees them standing on our front porch. They’re dressed in new outfits, their backpacks filled with freshly-sharpened pencils, colored markers, and wide-ruled paper.

 I fumble with my camera while they moan, “Hurry up, Mom! We don’t want to be late!”

Within two weeks, I’ll have to shoo them out the door, “Hurry up, you’ll be late!”

While my voice vibrates like a helicopter…helicopter mom

ü  “Do you have your homework?”

ü  “Did you remember your lunch?”

ü  “Don’t forget to hand in your permission slip.”

20131012_170430Last evening, for old time’s sake, I sat at the playground and remembered my youngest child’s first day of kindergarten.

Grasping his hand, we weaved through timid children and zealous parents until we found his cubbyhole. It  was marked by a laminated sign decorated with a red apple and his name written in bold print.

Then he sat down with his classmates at one of the round tables. I squatted beside his dwarf-sized chair, hoping to provide moral support while we waited for the bell to ring.

Only, he had enough confidence for the both of us.

“You can go now.”

I did not expect my son to cling to my skirts like crazy glue. After all, he had older siblings on campus and was eager to join their ranks.

And yet, his matter-of-fact tone threw me off guard.

I left the room like a Butler dismissed from service.

Lord, why is it so hard to let go?

 

Thirteen years later, I’m still learning to let go.

Recently, we flew across the nation and left our son at college.

I postponed my torrent of tears by remaining agenda-oriented. However, Sunday morning ushered in the dread of saying goodbye.

Sitting at church, between my husband and son, I pressed that moment into my heart like rose petals in a book.

 Thank you, Lord, for my family. Thank you for Your goodness.

Other moments, including my son’s first day of kindergarten, flooded my memory bank. Only this time, it was the Lord who said,

“Karen, YOU CAN GO NOW!”

I blinked back tears while God spoke as though He were talking in my ear. “Are you willing to trust Me with your child?

My head nodded though my heart balked until I remembered,

The Lord loves my children more than I do.

And if that’s true, I can let go and go now because God will never leave nor forsake them….even in this circumstance.

 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)