Curse you Frozen for never allowing me to say any conjugation of “let” and “go” without wanting to belt Elsa’s song at the top of my lungs. I even envision my soul spiraling in frozen fractals all around…
I’ve told my voice students MANY many many times that when they’re singing they should let go of their worries! Let go of that tension in their throat! Open up and just…LET IT GO! We end up singing while spinning around like ballerinas–throwing our hands up in the air and lifting our face toward the sky in triumph. It’s quite a scene. There is a camera in my room and I am SO tempted to go back and watch the footage.
Being a mommy requires a lot of letting go. Letting go of plans. Letting go of a clean house. Letting go of ideas you had before birth about lounging in beautiful pj’s, sipping hot tea and snuggling your newborn. Yeah, if that was you, well, good. It wasn’t me. I was pale for two weeks from sleep deprivation and had an identity crisis for the first four months. Kind of still am having one…but God is good and is loving me through it ;).
I don’t have issues letting go of material things. I like new things. We moved like a dozen times as I was growing up. I never felt attached to a house or a car. We never had pets so I’ve never had to let go of one of those. I’ve only had to “let go” of one close family member, my sweet Memaw who finally won her battle with Alzheimer’s and went home with Jesus two Septembers ago. That wasn’t easy, but many people have had to let go of more loved ones that I have. I liked changing schools. I did it three times in elementary school and once in high school.
I’ve always liked change, in that regard. I never hold on too tightly to those types of things. But my dreams? Oh yes. They are who I am. My dreams are my identity. They are the desires of my heart and my purpose. They are the current within my soul keeping me focused. Wondering what path is next for me is what pulls me close to the Lord. I care so much about where I’m headed.
Are any of you mamas that way? I think some women dream of having children and just being a mom but that wasn’t necessarily me. I’ve always wanted children and a family. Family is important to me. But I didn’t realize how selfless I would have to be to make it work.
Olson came into our lives a little under two years ago and I’ve been learning to let go of so much. It nearly suffocated me at times to feel so trapped in my own house. What was my purpose now? Loving a baby? That can’t be as influential as singing! That can’t change lives like ministry! That isn’t as exciting as travelling and performing! Life was always OUTside the house for me. It was always in action and in being around lots of people. I craved adventure and stimulation!
Even though I planned dates with other mommies, read lots of blogs and books, and did everything I could to still feel connected, I was still so alone at home. Part of it is that I’m an extrovert and I found it hard to be home alone and still be productive. I felt like I walked around in circles all day.
Haha, that’s a funny visual.
I have mentioned in multiple posts that I have a stellar community of people around me. They have loved me so well and kept my head on straight, affirming me and encouraging me.
“Being a mommy is hard.”
“Be patient with yourself.”
“Loving your baby is your job.”
“Just try to enjoy it; time flies.”
These women were like my own personal army, waving banners and shouting battle cries from the sidelines. They were just wearing yoga pants and top knots instead of boots and helmets.
So I started to offer up, in bits and pieces, the things that I was clinging to. Needing attention. Needing to be noticed. Needing to be center stage. Letting go of what I thought was giving me purpose in life, and opening my eyes to the freedom that letting go offered. My sweet mother-in-law sends me magazines and articles on motherhood that she’ll think I enjoy. One of them is Hello Darling, a Mother of Preschooler’s magazine. In it I read an interview with a mom named Jennie Allen. She talks about feeling stuck as a mom, searching for significance in others. She writes,
“Was there more? What was I missing? The answer was: 1) Yes, there is more, and 2) No, I was not missing it. There was more within the life that I was already living as a woman, wife and mother.”
When we let go of our preconceived ideas of what our life should or could look like, we’re really opening up and making space for new plans. I’ve heard pastors talk about how when we try to carry luggage from our past into our future, we don’t have room in our hands for the new things God has for us. We have to leave those things behind sometimes.
Letting go of something is really opening up your hands to receive something different. And I’m realizing it doesn’t mean that you’ll never pick back up what you put down. It’s like in life you travel in various ways. Sometimes you’re in a car, sometimes you’re in a plane, and sometimes you have to be in a bus. I can’t carry everything I’ve ever wanted and loved everywhere I go in life. Right now I can’t take everything with me. I have to love my baby and my husband and focus on what’s in front of me.
But when I get to my next destination I can maybe pick back up a few things. Not better things or more important things, just different things. But the view is really good right now. And although I’m still learning to let go, it’s getting easier. I’m seeing my hands fill up with even better things than I thought. That’s God for you.
Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than yours.'”