In the Letting Go

In the Letting Go

*Published at (in)courage, May 20, 2017
I looked out the kitchen window and noticed how big the little oak tree had grown. It suddenly towered over the house, as if it had always been stretching its arms up that high. It had grown tall, like my son. It was a gift in honor of his birth, and it had been growing for nearly 16 years.

The little oak had been played under and climbed in, its branches shading our children as their little legs pumped the swings on the wooden play set that was built for them by their dad and grandfather. Those swings were long gone now, and I couldn’t even find the two dips in the ground where their precious little feet had pushed the dirt high in the air as they giggled and played and swung to their hearts’ content.

I sighed as I wondered where all the time had gone. It seemed just a few days ago that my toddler son was riding up and down the porch on his scooter, the little plastic tires clunking away on the wooden floorboards. It sounded like a distant rumble of thunder as I listened from the kitchen.

His older sister’s quiet ways echoed to me from a past that seemed so recent. She had filled her days with drawing and reading and painting outside on the easel. The days of play dough and peanut butter sandwiches had turned into a rush of classwork, recitals, scout trips, and college applications in just the blink of an eye. My heart felt wistful and sad.

Life was moving me into a new season. Today the letting go was hard and seemed to grow bigger.

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6 Things to Remember When You Feel Overwhelmed in Your Prayer Life

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in your prayer life? I think a lot of us do, but it's easy to get discouraged and feel alone. It's very true that prayer can be overwhelming, but it's also true that there are things we can do about it. Click to read more.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in your prayer life? I think a lot of us do, but it’s easy to get discouraged and feel alone. It’s very true that prayer can be overwhelming, but it’s also true that there are things we can do about it.

Perhaps you can relate to these thoughts about prayer which have come from my own life and from conversations I’ve had with other people.

*I have a family, a job, and other commitments. It’s hard to find extra time to pray and read the Bible.
*It’s hard to concentrate and I can’t focus when I try to pray.
*I don’t know what to say or how to go about praying the right way.
*There are so many needs. I don’t know how to pray over them all.
*I feel guilty if I spend any time praying for my own needs. Other prayer needs are more important and need all of my attention.
*It’s really hard to let go and let God have control. It involves so much waiting that sometimes I run ahead of God.

Do any of these statements describe something you have struggled with? If so, you are not alone.

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When Being Still is Uncomfortable, A Different Perspective

When Being Still is Uncomfortable, A Different Perspective

I sat there on my back porch. It was quiet and soft and misty on a peaceful morning in the country. But I was so uncomfortable. I was fidgety and distracted, thinking of all the things I needed to do that day. I couldn’t believe I was having such a hard time being still after all this time.

I had made a commitment this particular week. Each day I was going to work on consistently spending a few minutes in complete stillness and quiet, away from all distractions, just being with God. Although I was consistently studying His word and praying, I found that being completely still before Him was very difficult for me. If you struggle with stillness, too, click to read more. We’ll talk about busyness, being still, and renewal of the mind.

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