Letting Go….

Hi, my name is Nancy and my superpower is worrying and overthinking. Everything. Or at least it was. With the new year I have decided to let go of my superpowers for a bit. Or at least try to. If you’ve read my posts before, then you know I over plan and over think and over worry. Is that really a thing? I think it can be. I think there is nothing wrong with a bit of concern, but when we take it too far and what ever we are concerned with takes up all our thoughts, well yup you got it!, over worry.

So, while I might not admit to making a New Year’s resolution, I usually do; I just don’t tell anyone, so that way if I fail, no one has to know. Pretty good plan, huh? Well, this year it isn’t so much what I am adding to my resolve, like exercise, but what I’m leaving behind. I’ve decided to leave the past, right where it should be, the past. Everything that went wrong and everywhere I fell short, or others fell short. I’m just going to not bring it up in my mind. This year is a new chance for falling short, both mine and others.

When we hold onto those past short comings we label people and ourselves in such rigid ways, that we end up only seeing ourselves and others in that way. So we enter a new year expecting the worst from ourselves and others. We limit them and us and restrict any growth.

I really don’t like labels. People can move forward and grow. We are all capable and with God’s help we will continue to grow in our faith walk and in life in general. No one would expect a kindergartner to do Algebra and neither would they stay at the kindergarten level. They will grow and learn. Adults can grow too. We learn from the past and give ourselves the grace to move forward despite making past mistakes. We should offer this grace to others as well. Putting the past behind and moving forward is not just a cliche, but is a part of living.

But what about worry? Are you going to mention that again? Yes. Yes, I am. I am still a work in progress in this area and a verse came to mind this morning as I thought about what to write. It’s from Matthew: Here’s Jesus’ words on the subject of worrying: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?(6:25-27, NIV).

Many of you might be familiar with this passage, but I think the best part is found further on in the reading of chapter 6 from verse 34;  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble” (ESV).

Ahh, see there’s my biggest nemesis! Being anxious and worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. Today is enough for today. And this is also where letting go of the past comes in. I think much of what we base our worry and anxiety on is from our past. If something went wrong before, surely it will go wrong in the same way tomorrow, right? Well, no. Yesterday’s mistakes were so yesterday, tomorrow’s mistakes will be tomorrow’s, we need to be concerned about today. And when we focus on that, the part about not worrying about our stuff, as mentioned in verses 24-27 about food and clothes comes in to play. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Think about today. And oh yeah don’t worry about today. God’s got this. That might be a unofficial version of the text, but I think that is what it is saying. Just something to think about. God Bless -Nancy

Live It

“Let it go, let it go….”   How many times have you heard that line from a famous Disney movie? Let’s be honest here, how many times have you sung those words? Now that I have that song stuck in your head, let me go on.

It’s just one of many phrases that I’m sure you have heard before. Just let it go, or it doesn’t really matter, or you gotta pick your battles- usually advice from older wiser parents, and the classic whatever is good for them is good for them and whatever is good for me is good for me, it just doesn’t matter. But, what if it does matter? This morning as I got up, I thought about whether what I did mattered. Like does it matter if  I write my paper for class. Does it matter what I believe? Does it matter what I do? And I believe I have an answer. Yes, it does. We need to start living life like we mean it. Intentionally. We have been bombarded with so many cliches and phrases to just let it go, don’t worry about it, let them do their thing, that I think we have applied it to our lives too much. I know I have.

We do need to care about things. The things that matter in our lives. Like social justice and what we believe. We need to be change makers and not just complacent Christians who take whatever is given to us to believe by others. We need to know for ourselves what we believe. We should change what needs changing and when we can’t make changes, we should speak up about the problems, to the ones in authority who can make changes. We should not be settlers.

I have realized that recently, I have been settling, and just letting things go too much and what has been robbed from me is my passion. And that is what challenged me this morning. Was I really living my life like I meant it? Am I being intentional? Being intentional is important as it can change lives and change history. Being passionate and caring about others and in what I believe matters.

Recently, thanks to my Aunt Betty, I learned about a distant relative of mine who lived in England in the 1600’s. She was locked up in a tower for speaking out against the church of England. She wasn’t beheaded, but I applaud her for her courage to not just let it go. She and several of my other relatives, boarded small wooden boats and left home, family and the life they knew to risk going to a place where they could raise their children with religious freedom. How many of us would do that today? But… It changed history. The people on that boat became the foundation of the United States. They must have believed in something better, and lived their lives like they meant it. No holding back, no settling, no compromising and just letting it go. I am thankful for their decision as I sit here now in a country where I can still worship freely.

Let me leave you with this verse from Ephesians 5:15- 17;”Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (NIV).   This whole chapter, chapter 5 of Ephesians, has much to say about intentional living as Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was an interesting place, full of commerce, and tourist sites, including one of the seven wonders of the world, a temple to a 50 foot goddess. The Christians there could have gone with the flow, but they too had to make a choice to live like they meant it and be intentional or just settle. It was Paul who courageously set the model for them to follow as he caused riots and destroyed their marketing of goddess replicas for the tourists.

     So, my challenge for myself is to live like I mean it. I need to stand up and speak up more about what matters, because it DOES matter. May that be your challenge as well. -God Bless Nancy