"When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but she has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don't think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small."
Ok, so I just stumbled upon this awesome blog and in it the Casey wrote about how she worries about how her children would be cared for if she was gone. I think this is a natural fear for any woman. She included this quote at the end of her blog, and it sang to me. I am not going to get super preachy on you. Sometimes I go to church, sometimes I dont. How I feel about God is a vibrant, colorful conversation that we can have over coffee someday. But--open hands--open hands...I needed those words, today.
Now, let me be really honest. Not only do I have this fear, I have many fears. Too many fears. Chad has to constantly remind me how fruitless my worry is. It doesn't keep me from worrying if we will ever be out of debt, if Austen is okay, if he is happy, if I weigh too much, if the floors are clean enough...on and on. After Austen was born my anxiety became unbearable. I couldn't watch thenes because I would literally bawl as I pictured myself trying to protect m sweet, new baby from the evils of the world. It was overwhelming. Being responsible for another person suddenly made me feel incapable of even going to the grocery store. It was bad.
Since that time, I have worked hard to gain perspective. I think being a stay at home makes this especially difficult. Austen is my all-day, everyday concern. I have begun to learn that having other interests can really go a long way to ease the pressure of feeling like I have to be one step ahead of the next disaster. However, sometimes I still find myself back to my old ways.
When I read the quote above, I really got it. Open hands. Ther harder I try to hold, control and perfect the things around me...the worse I feel. Holding the things that matter most with open hands means trusting god...and myself. It means believing that I can do a good job at my marriage, my parenting, my blog...whatever. And when I fall short, it is okay. Because I am not measured by the things I hold in my hands. Trying to define my life by material things or other people is a recipe for failure and I know that. It just happens so quickly. You get married, have a baby (or vice versa) and suddenly it becomes an obsession...how do I keep everyone happy, give them what they need and want, and never let them down.
The things I hold so close, particularly my sweet baby and my dear husband, are not enjoyed fully when I am worrying over them. My worry is felt by those around me and creates a cycle of anxiety. It something I need to harness. To stop. Part of that means replacing the time I spend thinking of them and worrying about petty things with writing, becoming better. That is so so scary. I know I need to write. And not two paragraph blog posts. I need to allow myself to turn off the "mommy" hat and be who I have always been. I'm not sure why this is so terrifying. Its like it if i take the time to be who I always was, I will neglect who I am now. I will drop the ball.
I have to learn balance. I have to learn release, and about the positive side of change and the unknown. I need to give myself permission to stop worrying and start really living. For Austen and Chads sake, I shouldn't just be the worrier of things. I think I feel like by doing that I am showing them love. However, I am asking them to never ever bring to light my fears--and that is an unfair expectation, particularly on a child. The only way to stop it is to have open hands. To relinquish control and spend my time growing, writing, becoming...instead of rocking in a chair of worry.
Open hands. I will try. Everyday. To let go. Let will be, be. To have open hands.