Letting Go: a seasonal purge

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If you’ve been here with me for very long, you’ve probably noticed the way I describe life in seasons.

Right now, Travis is in the throes of PhD study, in the we’ll-get-through-this, but-I-love-learning sort of place, and we’re just hoping for spring sunshine along the way.

And me? I’m right here, when I’m not snuggled up for story time with the boys or baking graham crackers in the kitchen.

This season is a challenging one, and I’m thankful, honestly. We’re being stretched and molded, and it hurts a little, and it’s good for our present and future selves.

I like to mark seasons by their characteristics, so I can name them as they become embedded in us.

2009-2010 was the season when we learned what the justice of God meant, the impact it had on our souls and the shape it gave our marriage before children.

And 2011-2013 was about waiting. It was about asking for open doors and trusting them to swing wide or stay locked, and it was what we needed then.

But today, I’m being shaped by this writing space, and by my relationship with my boys, by my attempts at homesteading in a 2-bedroom apartment. And I’m recognizing that it’s even more than that.

A few weeks ago, I sat with a little community of friends and we asked ourselves who we want to be in the future- 5 years from now, 10 years, or maybe just tomorrow.

Because whatever season we’re in now, it shapes and molds us, God’s hands re-configuring something somewhere deep.

I hope and pray I’m still writing in 5 years, but if I’m not, this space isn’t for nothing.

What I shared that night with my friends is the desire to live simpler and quieter, to know myself and my family, and to be fully alive.

Maybe I should label this season a “purge,” as I consider letting go of a lot of things to claim peace for myself and my family.

I’m filling up a bag or two every few weeks, items I’d label “non-necessities” that we take to Goodwill for someone else to use.

Right now, I need to be able to tell myself that we’re well beyond taken care of, so that a few years from now I can still say the same thing and mean it.

We’re dreaming a little smaller– smaller spaces, closer living, fruitful gardens, well-intentioned time shared around experiences instead of objects.

It’s a purge of unneeded things to make way for each other, to make space for more of God in His ever faithful and quiet voice.

Tsh Oxenreider has a book called Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, and she describes the season I’m in as if she’s sitting in the room with me and we’re sipping lattes like old friends.

And I say, “Tsh, I just need this right now. I can feel God pulling this out of me, and I must respond, for my own happiness and the life of my family.”

And Tsh nods and says, “Yes, let’s respond together.”

And we continue to walk steady, and when we fall, we ask for a new tomorrow, because we know we’re loved and held.

Goethe says,

“The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”

Sometimes, we need the deep clean to tell us who we want to be, and it’s a slow and steady chipping away.

And sometimes we’re just thrust into the season for change, and we didn’t even see it coming.

But 5 years from now, I need to see the woman I was, to see how she said yes and I will to the deep beckoning of God’s constant and kind relationship.

At the coffee shop the other day, there was a ladybug on the windowsill. And she was just going, just moving and being, and it was that simple.

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Each season, each step of the journey, each curve of adventure’s path, we just continue to walk and trust and hope.

And we remember, He always makes us better.

And so we say Lead on, and He shepherds us into the next waiting space, where we find peace in His abundance, peace in letting go.

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