Last year my son was a senior and I needed some focused attention toward launching him well, so I settled on this RELEASE target, hoping to bypass a potential “momma meltdown” as our first son left home for college.
During a busy spring semester, we forged through each senior activity and marched toward our celebration of his graduation. Then we careened toward the milestone of his college move-in day.
Throughout this season, my son and I did this awkward little push-pull dance of me nudging him to stay on track and him side-stepping around me with his own confident stride. Slowly, the Lord allowed me to recognize the small ways I needed to let go so that he could propel forward into his new world.
I learned that when exploring your #wordfortheyear, it’s helpful to consider all of its various meanings and usages. You may discover some you didn’t anticipate!
Somewhere along in March when I was knee-deep in the final editing phases before submitting the Bible Quilt® journal to our printer, it dawned on me that this, too, was a RELEASE. It was a culmination of two years of integrating this journaling technique into my personal devotions and then developing it into a workshop format with my sister-in-law to share it with other women.
Transforming the journal into a publication allowed us to release it to a wider circle. By holding it loosely in our hands, other women were empowered to share the #biblequiltjournal with their friends, sisters, and church families. Simply through this heart-to-heart sharing, the Bible Quilt journal has trickled its way into 28 states and we’re blessed by each story we hear!
It’s true that the Lord’s purpose for our lives is on a scale drastically larger than our own. Although we can attempt to narrow our focus and plod along in our devotional time to pursue a particular theme for the year, God orchestrates the details in His own intricate way.
I thought I had this whole #wordfortheyear perspective unfolding nicely, then I had a significant realization that the Lord had been preparing my heart for something dramatically different all along.
Last summer my mother was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and she passed away within 6 months. The big RELEASE for the year was actually letting go of my precious Mom – – – my prayer warrior and constant encourager.
During the last month of her life, I slipped out for neighborhood walks as much as I could and prayed tearfully over this final “release.” Some days I would pray for God to help me release my childhood Mom – the one who took my brother and me to the zoo; the nurturing Mom who made me gooey grilled cheese and steamy chicken noodle soup when I was sick; the adventurous one who ate my questionable concoctions from my Easy-Bake oven.
On other walks I’d pray to God for help releasing the mother of my teenaged and college self – – the one who struggled as a single mother and was emotionally tapped out, but allowed me to carve out my own path even though it was so very different from hers.
Some days I’d barely make it out for a walk due to the relentless pressures of caring for Mom’s increasing needs while trying to maintain my own household. I’d pray with gratitude that I was able to provide for her and surrendered to put her needs first as she had done for us kids for so many years.
These were some of the hardest days, releasing her from the role as a my maternal advocate and letting go of her future presence in my life as a cherished confidante and friend.
We are still very fresh in our grief and I’ve released to the point of feeling untethered, but I’m trusting God with the timing of Mom’s homecoming and His continued Presence in each of our lives as we lean into His grace and mercy for comfort.
Meanwhile, I’m tucking into my new #wordfortheyear with renewed intention and, hopefully, a touch of Mom’s grit!
For those of you joining us in Bible Quilting, I added a #wordfortheyear template into our shop to help further your own personal journey.
Have a blessed 2019, friends!