The A-B-Cs of letting go…

The lull before the storm. The quiet cup of coffee before the hustle and bustle. Today’s is Nicole’s baby shower. I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal in the last few evenings, and now, this morning only a few more tasks remain on the to do list. Stephanie and Time will arrive in about two hours to begin the decorations and finish the food. I’m both looking forward to and dreading their arrival at the same time. Why?

I’m looking forward to their arrival for two reasons. First, Stephanie is my best friend and I love her dearly. I am excited for her to be her because I love spending time with her. I am also looking forward to her being here soon because I really need help to get this house in order. But, I’m also dreading their arrival. What if my house is not clean when they get here? What if I haven’t finished all the tasks that I was supposed to complete on my own? What if I’m running late and I look a mess? What if the girls are misbehaving?

These are often the questions and worries that plague my mind when we have guests over. I love having guests, don’t get me wrong. I love being hospitable, cooking for others, and offering a nice cup of coffee. However, I can’t help but let my insecurities surface during these preparatory times. These are the A-B-C moments we talk about in marriage and family therapy. I have some sort of irrational thought about a guests arrival–they won’t like my house and that means they won’t like me…or something ridiculous like that. Maybe even–they will see that I didn’t finish everything before their arrival and they will figure out that I’m lazy and unorganized. These irrational thoughts lead to the excessive worry which fules me to move more rapidly, be short with my children and husband, and ultimately be totally exhausted after they depart for the evening (or weekend for our out of towers).

So…what do I need to do? I need to let go. I mean, isn’t that what this life is all about. Letting go. I need to do my best to care for my home, relying on the strength from the Lord and the assistance of my husband and children. If everything get’s done, great! If not, it is not the end of the world. Again, I must continue to remind myself that no one has a perfect home. Even in the midst of dirty clothes, dusty shelves, dirty dishes, and un-frosted cupcakes, we are a home with love for the Lord and love for one another. Sadly, there are many other homes with perfectly clean clothes, dishes, and shelves; with perfectly frosted and decorated cupcakes, and yet no love. These are the rational thoughts that I must allow to sink into my mind during these times of quiet before the storm.

Lord God, help me to let go of my irrational thinking and to embrace a mind that is surrendered to you. GIve me the strength to let go of fear and worries, casting all my cares upon you. Lord, I know that you care for me, that you love me, and that you, my Creator, have made me exactly the way I am and for a purpose. Help me to embrace you as my King, and me as a child of the King. Even if someone hates my home, or thinks I’m lazy, help me to remember that it does not matter. For always, it is more important that they see your love in me rather than a tidy and pinterest-ly decorated home.

And on this day Lord, a day of celebration with dear friends, help me to let go of superficial worries–spilled juice, crumbs on the floor, messy frosted cupcakes, papers out of place on my desk–and help me to embrace and love my dear friends. Yes, my friends. People who love me regardless of the state of my home. Amen. Amen. Amen.

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