Tag Archive | letting go

Repeat After Me: 5 Things To Keep Reminding Myself

little_heartsWhen my eldest was born, I found a quote that I wrote in his baby book: Having a child is like having a piece of your heart walking around outside your body. And boy does it hurt. I have good kids. They haven’t rebelled, they get good grades, they are respectful to us and others, we have a good relationship with them all. But it still hurts to see my almost-an-adult son make decisions contrary to our advice simply because he likes to beat his own head against a wall in order to find out that, hey, that actually does hurt.

So, I have to keep reminding myself of a few things:

1. My son is not me. He will not make the decisions I would make. He will not follow the path I would follow, nor will he follow the path I want him to take. And I have to be alright with that, or it will tear us apart.

2. Don’t worry! I keep telling my son I’m not worrying exactly, I’m just concerned. Semantics, that’s all that is. I have this totally unfounded fear that he’s going to do something to derail his future. He tells me to trust him. I have in the past, so why is it so much harder to do now that he’s got one foot out the door?

3. Keep your hands to yourself. Whatever I do, I need to let him become the man God has made him to be. I stopped making his lunch years ago, I need to stop trying to manipulate things in his life now. He will resent me for it. He is not a baby anymore.

4. Be thankful for the time you get. These days, my son is gone more than he’s here. He has a new girlfriend. He has a job. He still has classes both at his high school and at the nearby college. And I miss him, frankly. We knew this time was going to come, and I thought I was maybe a little bit prepared, but I wasn’t. I’m not. But it will be worse when he actually moves out, possibly out of state, at the very least out of the house. I need to treat this as a year of preparation for the real thing.

Wah.

5. God is in control. No matter what decisions my son makes, God is ultimately in control of his life. If he misses deadlines for college applications, or isn’t successful in being appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, or even decides not to go to college, his life will not be “ruined.” It might not look like we hoped it would look, but God is firmly, ultimately, sovereignly in control.

I keep having to remind myself of these things, and what I said here about how I should be parenting him. Letting go of a piece of my heart isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. It’s the right thing to do.

 

illustration from theroadtocrazy.blogspot.com

It’s Hard To Pant With A Lizard In Your Mouth

lab and lizardMy friends Guy and Judy have a black lab named Ember. One of Ember’s favorite pastimes is chasing lizards. Luckily for her, lizards abound in her Florida backyard.

Recently, Guy went to take Ember for a walk. Nothing unusual there. Also not unusual was the fact that Ember had captured a lizard. What was unusual is that, even with the draw of the walk—which is one of any lab’s favorite activities—Ember would not let loose of that lizard.

So, unfazed, Guy snapped on the leash and headed out the door with Ember—and her lizard captive in her mouth.

Now, this is Florida, in late April, early May. Ember, as her name might suggest, is coal black. Black dogs + Florida heat = a great need to pant. This is how dogs cool themselves off (when a lake or pool isn’t handy to jump into). But Ember resolutely refused to give up her lizard, thus making heat-diffusing panting impossible.

Finally, unable to bear it anymore, Ember expelled the lizard with a rush so that she could pant away the affects of the heat in her body. It seems she was willing to undergo heat stroke in order to hold onto her hard-won prize.

Aren’t we like that sometimes?

Maybe we’ve been offended or hurt by someone. We hold onto that like a lab with a lizard, unwilling to let it go, even when panting—forgiving and letting it go—could release the heat inside.

Let it go. More lizards will come along, that’s a guarantee.

 

 

photo from beaumontenterprise.com