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  • Writer's pictureDeena

Free to Be

Hello friends! It's January 1st! A brand-spankin' new year full of possibilities...

and laundry.

I am enjoying catching all of the recaps friends and family are sharing on social media. Some have even chronicled each month's highlights giving us a glimpse into how their year unfolded.

I thought of doing this myself and then thought piles of laundry might be redundant.

I jest, but only slightly.

At this moment I have one in tears because we are only allowing them to keep SIX shirts.

And I won't divulge whom this is, but it just may be my third boy.

This year in many ways has been an undoing of things perceived and an embracing of things that are new realities for me.

Is that vague enough for you friends?

I can sum-it-up like this:

On Sunday morning a good friend and I were talking about how our outreach to each of our neighbors turned-out this Christmas.

She told me about a man on her street that her family makes a point to carol to each year. This particular year she told me that it was quite interesting to listen to the conversation between him and her oldest son.

This neighbor spent many years as a surgeon, which of course, would interest any one. I cannot even imagine all of the stories this man would have in his back pocket to share with anyone willing to listen.

And in true parental horror, son number one asked this 80 something surgeon if he had any regrets; any guilt or sorrow over a surgery that went wrong.

As she spoke I cringed from my head to my toes until she told me what happened next.

She said her neighbor smiled and quick-as-a-wink proclaimed that he did not have ANY regrets in the smallest kind, and told her son, "I am not God."

Sunday school was beginning and our conversation was put on hold, leaving that phrase hanging in the air: "I am not God."

And I listened to the lesson and mulled around this realization from a man who of his own admittance has no real relationship with the Lord of the universe.

No relationship, no saving peace and knowledge of His promises, yet stands solid without fear of the past because he knows that God is in control of all things.

No sooner did the bell ring ending Sunday School and we were chatting again, just awe-struck at this testing of our own spirit. We left each other with much to think about.

Maybe you are in a place today that has caused you much mental anguish.

It IS the first day of the new year after all.

Surely you have joined three book clubs, begun a wellness journal and bought a new time-management class with a bonus meal planning ebook....... right??

I mean how can you begin this year victorious if you haven't sworn-off sugar for at least the next six months?

It's so true it's almost not funny.

I Corinthians 10:23 comes to mind when thinking about ALL.THE.THINGS.

"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."

Your friend has found a killer self-help book-


Three ladies tell you that this meal plan has saved them hours of family time-


Not having sugar or wheat or grains or even meat has kept them fit-as-a-fiddle-


A friend shares with you her 21 day fix-her-whole-endocrine-system-plan-



Just remember that though all things may be lawful, helpful and okay, that doesn't mean that they are expedient- convenient or helpful for YOU in the season you are presently in.

If you feel like you've already lost the war pouring sugar into your chocolate cream of wheat, please listen-up.

Remember in Luke when Martha was fixing Jesus the meal-of-all-meals from the new "Magnolia Table" cookbook and Mary just wanted to sit and listen to what the Lord was saying?

I HAVE to imagine that even as Martha was letting the words fall out of her mouth, condemning Mary she had to know that she had just made a huge blunder.

Can't you imagine it? Just like many of us Moms do?

Long ago and far away, after someone made three new dresses for my oldest girl and she ripped a hole in one the first time she wore it, I let out a phrase that lives on in infamy here at our house.

She put on dress number 2 and I told her that if she "Ripped that dress I would rip her."

There you have it. Martha in action.

I can even imagine the scrunched-up face she must have had, just like I have right now reliving what I said to my daughter!

And Jesus breaks up the whole mess and tells Mary,

"But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42

ONE thing is needful.

Dinner is great.

Asparagas and Fontina Quiche is fab.

But what is needful for YOU friend?

What is needful is to stop second-guessing last year's ideas, parental decisions and marital bliss and cop-a-squat next to the Lord.

Yes, "cop-a-squat," is a thing.

Remember these verses?

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:13-14

Each of us are given a high calling.

We are created with a purpose.

Mary chose the better part because she remembered that her whole life revolved around pleasing the Lord, and what better way to please him than to sit at his feet and learn more about him?

I cannot urge you enough to get on the Youversion Bible app and find you a system that works for YOU to get God's word into your heart.

If you are a Bible "listener" and less of a reader as yours truly is, no worries.

Begin the year with a washing of the word to free you from any dirt or discouragement left under your fingernails from last year.

What is most amazing to me about that surgeon I mentioned earlier is that though he has NO relationship to settle his heart and give him settled peace that passes all his earthly understanding, he still can grasp that nothing truly is in his control.

He told my friend that he increased his skill and increased his ability to be useful, but that was all he could do.

God was in charge of even that.

How often we fret and worry about what was as well as what will be. With one leaving soon for college this is a real spiritual battle for me friends.

Maybe you too?

My friend spoke of the freedom that came over her when this neighbor reminded her that God is in control.

And it gave me freedom too, and so I pass this freedom on to you.

There is freedom in knowing that God only requires us to do what he commands us.

There is freedom in remembering that God has given us the spouse he has for a reason, the children he has for a reason, the ministry he has for a reason, the work he has for a reason, and we are not big enough, knowledgable enough or powerful enough to make sure everything turns out just so.

This surgeon prepared his mind and his hands to work and then let God do the rest.

Are you just taking this in yet?

The freedom in letting God be God in your life,

your marriage,

your home,

your home schooling,

your finances,

your child rearing??

When someone asks you what your plan for this year is, what YOUR New Year's Resolution is, friend, take them to this passage and sit here a while with me.

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:10-14

Dinner can wait and for SURE exercise can wait.

Let's head into the new year preparing our hearts, our mind and our hands for the work and leave the rest up to the one who is in charge.

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