Friday, April 25, 2014

Making Room For Joy By Letting Go

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"   ... Isaiah 43:18


During Naomi's farm year with us, I remember knowing this would be our final time of living with our daughter, for she'd begun considering Nashville. So I told myself to treasure those 12 months, but not grip them around the neck as something I must always have in order to be happy.

Oh, the letting go I did that year! The releasing of not only my daughter, but of our farm and the whole out-in-the-boonies lifestyle and related long-held dreams. I slowly allowed myself to realize that--although our land and home and lifestyle appeared incredible--my happiness wasn't reliant upon owning those acres. In fact, once I began releasing them, I'd stare at the swaying trees, sweeping meadows and huge white barn and think, "Eh. So what?" Suddenly I couldn't absorb their beauty.

I guess I'm remembering those times because during Naomi's return this week, I'm watching her totally release her Buffalo life. She speaks of how much better Nashville's weather is and how, as she visits old friends here, their different Life Paths bog down conversations. Nashville holds way more opportunities for her music career and finding similarly-minded friends, plus, it now holds her new boyfriend whom she misses. Usually during her visits she drags herself in the door around 2:00 am, but this time, she's always in bed by 9:00. 

She says Buffalo feels different now, like a stranger.

And you know? I'm glad for her. I'm thankful she loves where she lives, even though it's a 12-hour drive away from her parents. Even though I loved every single second of Naomi's and my annual visit to Salvation Army and watching her burst excitedly through the backdoor with bags of organic treats and groceries for ol' mom and dad.

Even though it's a true treat to have such kindness shown to us--even so--I'm thrilled that she's happy where God has placed her.

Tom and I try never to hint to Naomi that we wish she'd move back here or make her feel guilty because she left. Why would we? God has Naomi in Nashville and to wish her back would be like wishing her out of His will. Like saying God's plan is a poor design, not good enough and only means loss for Tom and me. We would be in error and letting uncontrolled emotions careen us down bad roads. 

Anytime we want what God does not want for us, we will remain unhappy. Trying to control and grip what God has removed from us, leads to scary, serotonin-sucking places.

God has a special life planned for Naomi in Nashville and He's got a unique plan for Tom and me in Buffalo. And it's all good. Why? Because God is good and enough. Enough to keep any heart dedicated to Him brimming over with joy and great contentment--as long as acceptance remains heavy in the mix.


"And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl."   ... from Deuteronomy 28


“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.” 
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven


Pat said...

What a heartfelt post, written with such a deep love.
My immediate family has always been nearby, and the thought that they may not be one day has made me sad - prematurely. Why do I worry about what has not happened? Silly me.
I will embrace today...for His plan is the perfect plan.

Dolores said...

Wow! Very timely post Debra, as my daughter and her boyfriend are considering moving south. If they really go I will be reading this post daily. LOL

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Naomi does keep contact pretty well with you...that certainly helps with the adjustment. In this day, we have so many QUICK ways to keep contact. You are fortunate that she is that close. One way or another some of ours are a continent away. But we are keeping busy and enjoying our life. We only get this one little life...cannot let it slip away with unhappiness.
Elizabeth in WA

Robin in New Jersey said...

Are those pictures of your daughter? She is lovely!

Pam said...

Such a sweet post. There's just nothing more precious than family!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Yes! And I am very lucky because one of my daughters will be moving back near us all because she has gotten a job at the same university where her father was also a professor....I'm not allowed to say this with her name yet, but the contract will be signed today and I'm bursting with excitment....

Naomi is so beautiful and so talented and gifted. And I think you are all very close to one another. When there is love, even if there are miles between you it is as if you are in the same room...That's part of a Thai poem our exchange student from Thailand taught me more than 50 years ago. (The rest of it is that if there is no love, even if you are in the same room it is as if there are mountains and oceans between you.)