Two weeks ago, Hope’s instructor Lyndsey asked her if she were going to give up anything for Lent. Hope replied, “I don’t think I’m going to give anything up this year because there’s nothing I want to give up.” What a classic “Hope” statement! Hope likes her “stuff.” She likes everything in its place and organized. She likes knowing the plan and following it. I guess you could say she’s a lot like her mother…she likes control.
Speaking of control…you’ve read previously about my concerns over her wardrobe choices and makeup application. Well, recently, my concerns grew as we planned to meet Hope and her brothers at her grandmother Janie’s husband’s funeral. You know me…I told her exactly what dress and shoes to wear so as to minimize any surprises of letting Hope “wing” it. Janie had asked Hope to sit with her at the funeral. Her husband had loved Hope so much, and Hope’s presence was hopefully going to bring Janie some comfort during the service.
Well, Hope arrived at the family house right on time with her brother Davis. She was dressed in the proper attire, but I had a difficult time getting past the hair and makeup. She was very proud of the half ponytail she had put together and the full face of makeup she had painted on. Why couldn’t I just let go and let her walk into church with an orange glow, a pink lipstick ring around her mouth, and a bunched up ponytail??? Fortunately, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “You look beautiful!” And then I immediately asked her if she minded if I just made a few minor adjustments with her hair. She didn’t mind. Whew!
As far as the orange glow…on the way to the church, I kept rubbing her face, hoping to wipe off some of the makeup. I just couldn’t let it go. And the pink mouth—I wiped around her mouth trying to remove what resembled a pink kool-aid mustache.
Hope sat with Janie at the funeral, providing much comfort. Afterwards, she told Janie, “You made it, and I helped you get through it!” And she did. And she would have provided comfort even with an orange face, a pink mouth and an imperfect hairstyle.
Letting go is hard for me….there are many things, besides Hope, that I keep a tight grip on. I like my “stuff” too. Most of my “stuff” is burdensome , heavy and not meant to be carried by me. God wants us to loosen that grip and give Him our “stuff.” I’m referring to “stuff” like unhealthy thoughts, control, resentment, anxiety, fear, and pride—just to name a few.
Recently, a good friend shared an article with me called “40 Things to Give Up For Lent: The List” by Phil Ressler. Examples on the list are: fear of failure, your comfort zone, feelings of unworthiness, impatience, people pleasing, worry, comparison and guilt. These are things that can truly impact your life and relationship with Christ if you are willing to give them up–and, not just for Lent, but for the rest of your life. You can sign up to receive a devotion every day with one new “thing” to give up for the next 40 days. I encourage you to do so. Lent is about reminding us how much we are loved, remembering the sacrifice made for us, and then living in joy and peace because of it. Is your “stuff” robbing you of the joy and peace that only God can give?
What “stuff” can you let go of this year? https://www.greaterthings.today/40-things-to-give-up-for-lent-the-list/