We were standing in the kitchen, navigating our usual evening chaos. My husband and I attempted to give each other our 60 second recap of our day over the dinner timer, loud voices, and toys launching across the room next door. I grabbed a seat on the countertop which is where many conversations happen in our home. I took a deep breath and thought to myself how so much of this season has been about relinquishing my grip on control and inviting uncertainty in. It feels like sweet surrender, I thought. I looked up at my husband as he put down the dishes he was holding and turned to me, “It’s like sweet surrender”, he said. “Are you kidding?”, I replied. “That’s exactly what I was just thinking and I have no idea where it came from!” Reason number 999 that we’re soulmates!
I love a good plan sprinkled with some margin for spontaneity. I have a deep appreciation for the sacredness of time, especially as a former corporate mom who thrives on introvertedness and silence. But, in the last few years as our babies have turned into toddlers and second graders coupled with the unpredictability of the world, I’m learning that time isn’t necessarily “mine”.
I can make the plan, prep the meal, organize my schedule, and have the best of intentions. Yet, somehow, the majority of the time, my order of control seems to vanish. A need comes up, a kid gets sick, something breaks, and my schedule falls apart. The quiet time doesn’t happen, the exercise goes undone another day in a row, and I find myself frustrated, flustered, and quite frankly, a little annoyed.
What I’m learning, however, is there’s something beautiful about “sweet surrender”. When we pursue our plans with great intentions and they don’t turn out, something happens when we let go. There’s something about releasing the grip that turns uncertainty into opportunity. Opportunity to think differently, build resilience, and allow ourselves to be in that exact moment just as it is, not as we wanted it to be.
There’s something about releasing the grip that turns uncertainty into opportunity.
About 15 years ago, I read something in a book that has stuck with me. It said that almost always, when we find ourselves upset, it’s because something didn’t go our way. When I find myself biting my tongue as I repeat something for the ninety-ninth time at home or sighing because today was the day I was finally going to start that thing I’ve been wanting to start, I’m reminded that my response is packed with this grip on “my way”. And living in a state of response to my own plan is not a good plan.
It’s good to plan, to schedule our days, and keep life semi-organized, but what I’m learning is that sometimes it’s okay to let go and surrender our plan to what the day might have for us. To respond out of sweet surrender and not out of anger, disappointment, or inconvenience.
When our world is centered on our own way, how can we invite others in and ever truly make them feel welcomed? How can we show up for the moments that need us? Not a distracted, frustrated version of us, but the fully present, awake to that moment us.
So, I’m going to keep planning, scheduling, being who I’m “wired” to be, and doing the things I both need and want to do, or at least try. But when it all unfolds differently, I’m going to take my greatest lesson I’ve learned this last year and posture my heart in a place of sweet surrender, releasing my plan for HIS plan.
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