Let it Go: MidLifeJoy Challege #2

Sing along with me mommas, "Let it go! Let it go!"   You know you want to!  Okay maybe you actually don't want to let it go, and that's the reason for this month's MidLifeJoy Challenge.  What is the "it" I am referring to?  This month's challenge is to let go of the things the Lord has not given you influence over.  One of life's greatest joy stealers is when we put our emotional energy into trying to influence people, and or, situations that the Lord has not given us influence over.   I like the way my boss Jeremy puts it, he says,  "Play in your own sandbox."  By that he means, do the job you have been given to do, and don't go getting all involved in someone else's job.  It's a great analogy, isn't it. So many times we act like perpetual children wishing for the toys in someone else's sandbox, ignoring, or being dissatisfied with all the toys we already have.  

This is the sandbox the Lord has given me in this season of my life.

  • I am Sarah and Emily's mom
  • I oversee our church's family ministries 
  • I am solely responsible for The Celebrated Family ministry
  • I run my own Young Living business 
That's it folks, and frankly it's plenty!  Even though there is plenty to do in my sandbox, my natural inclination is to try to look at what is going on in everyone else's sandboxes too.  I can so easily get all emotionally involved in situations I have been given no control over. 
  • That decision at my girl's school that I don't agree with. 
  • The neighbor who parks 3 cars on the street every day. 
  • The co-worker who could do his job so much better if he just did it my way. 
I can expend all sorts of energy on things that I have zero control over.  Zero.  I can't fix any of these situations because the Lord has not given me influence to speak into them in a way that will effect change. 
  • I have no voice at my girl's school
  • The neighbor is breaking no HOA or city rules.
  • The co-worker is a peer not a employee. 
I can make one of two choices.  I can waste my energy on situations I can not effect, or I can Let It Go, and put all that energy and time into making sure I am the best possible steward of what the Lord has given me influence over.   The Lord will never expand our influence just because we try to wrestle it into our hands through our own efforts.  Jesus clearly taught that those who are good stewards of what the Lord has given them will be given more to steward over. (Matthew 25: 14-30) Jesus also showed the disappoint He feels when we fuss and worry about things that are not that important. (Luke 10:38-42)  Oh Martha, just let it go!

This month's challenge is to prayerfully ask God to show you where you need to let go.  What areas of your life, that you do not have influence over, are you allowing to suck your energy, passion, mental space, and time away from what God HAS given you influence over. If we waste our limited resources of time and energy fussing about someone else's sandbox, what will we have left to take care of our own?  We won't have enough, and that starts a vicious cycle of of dissatisfaction, helplessness, anger, overwhelmedness (pretend that's a word), and exhaustion.  A cycle that is the very opposite of living a life of JOY! 

Sarah made this image - isn't is great!
One practical way I have implemented this is at my girl's school.  I have spent years being dissatisfied with my girl's school.  There is a lot I would like to change, but nobody is frankly interested in hearing or implementing any of my ideas.  Last spring Pete issued me a "pee or get off the pot" ultimatum.  Either find a better school, or stop complaining.  I took the later, because there are no perfect schools.  This year I have taken a "year of silence" from the school.  I don't attend meetings.  I don't get upset about things I'd like to change.  I just LET IT GO!  Instead I have focused my energy on letting my girl's teachers and coaches know I appreciate them - which I really do!  I have had a great year! The one time I allowed myself to be talked into breaking my year of silence, no good came from my input, and I was hurt in the process.  Just another reminder from God to me - to LET IT GO- and to focus my energy and time on things He has asked me to influence.  

I still have a long way to go on this challenge.  The Lord seems to weekly point out situations that I need to let go. What areas of your life is God calling you to let go?  I would love to be praying for you.