Wow, letting go can be hard, don’t you think? The situation in my life on a daily basis right now is seen in this photo of my baby grandson at nap time. We both have a problem letting go. He wants to hang on to me—he actually clutches my shirt in his tiny fingers as he’s falling asleep. And I love hanging on to him, too. Holding an armful of sleeping baby is a fine, fine feeling. My maternal instinct and experience tell me, though, that it would be best for him to fall asleep in his crib, independent of me. Our typical routine is that I put him in his crib when it’s time to sleep, and he screams bloody murder until I pick him up. These actions may be repeated twice or thrice in a single naptime until we have a successful transfer from Grammy to mattress. I remember this being much easier with my babies, for some reason.
My family is also having to face the ultimate letting go of one of our own, my sister, who passed over to the other side in October, much sooner than we think she should have. Pancreatic cancer. Her obituary accurately stated that she “reluctantly died;” letting go was hard for her, too, which makes her grace and humor through the eight months of her illness all the more amazing and precious. Rest in the peace, love, and joy of God, Precious. That was her nickname among us sisters—Precious.
One more letting go that I am doing is letting go of this blog—and of hustling for speaking engagements—and of actively marketing my Sunday by Sundayseries. Letting go of these tasks, which I genuinely enjoy, is more of a putting them down for a time to pick up something else: the writing of my next novel. Now, and for 2013, at least, I will be single-minded of purpose, focused in my writing enterprises on this next book. Jon Hassler, a fine writer of small town church fiction with whom I had a brief correspondence before his death, said that when he was writing a book he watched no TV, read no newspapers, and had little social life. I thought that seemed extreme on first hearing but have come to accept the wisdom and the reality of it, varying in degrees for each author, I suppose. After several months of little progress with my current project, I know that I’ve been trying to hang on to too much. “What freedom and relief eventually come as we let go, knowing that God will never let go…” (Cathie Powell, The Anchorage, Greenville SC)
Meanwhile, I plan to post occasional updates on the book in progress at www.sundaybysunday.com Please stop by!