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Letting Go of the Security Blanket

What have been some of your turning points? When did you experience a moment and you knew life was changing?  Even in the very middle of these events you recognize the significance.

We have had one of these turning points this week.  The end of an era is upon us.  Our baby girl is growing up.  We knew it was bound to happen it just seemed like a giant step toward “grown-up.”

Elizabeth Jane just announced to me that she had really gotten too old for her blanket.

For a few years I have been expecting this time to come.  Honestly, as of late, I had started to think she may not ever want to get rid of it.  Every time I would wash it I would think that soft pink blanket would come out of the machine in pieces.

Mary Taylor was 10 when Elizabeth Jane was born.  I made the blanket for Mary Taylor and she kept it on the foot of her bed.  Mary Taylor wanted the new baby to have her blanket.  There is really no telling how much time Elizabeth Jane has spent with the blanket.  As a baby we swaddled her in it.  As a toddler she drug it a thousand miles.  It was a bit like a princess with a long, soft, pink train flowing behind her everywhere she went. The last few years it has lived in her bed or with her as she was waking up.

Every single night she has slept with that blanket.

When she announced to me the time had come her mind was completely made up.  Some dear friends just had a baby girl and I wondered if she was thinking about giving it to their baby.  She was not even considering it.

She said, “Mom, I have really gotten too old for the blanket.  I want you to take it and put it up in my baby box in your closet.”

End of subject.  No tears.  Not one more thought.

So I washed it for the last time and placed it on top of our dresser.  Isn’t that funny.  I did not want to put it up in the closet just yet.  Just a few more looks.  I may rub it myself a few more times.  It is a little hard to type with these tears in my eyes.

At the very same time that I am sad, I am also really impressed with this sassy young lady.  Elizabeth Jane had thought this through.  She realized she was growing up and  was OK with it.

She is truly brave.

I wonder about the areas I need to be brave like she is.  Are there places in my life were I have held on to something that I really need to let go of?

What am I finding my security in (short of the Lord)?

  • a full or moderately full bank account
  • a great doctor’s appointment
  • knowing the cabinet is full of groceries (or stockpiles)
  • being a certain weight on the scale
  • having the “right” people around or on my friend list
  • a big pretty house

This list could go on and on.  One person’s security may be totally different than another person’s.  What pushes my insecurity button may not be an issue for you at all.

Do not misunderstand.  It is not that these things are inherently bad.  In fact they can all be good things.  Caring about finances is wise.  Feeding our families is important.  Taking care of our health is smart.  Having friends and a home are precious.  It is when these things become our personal “security blanket” that we have to check our hearts.

Maybe like Elizabeth Jane, it is time to take a long honest look.  She knew she did not need that blanket anymore.  She knew there really was not security there.

So I am going to hug the blanket close, and put it in closet in the baby box.  While I am there (it is one of the few quiet places around here) I am going to take a honest look at what I find security in.  I am hoping that I find that I place my security in God, who truly is our only source of real security.

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How to Live an Overcoming Life

 

What obstacles do you face today?  Some of them may seem insurmountable.  Do you feel totally inadequate for the problems that you are facing?

I have an encouraging word for you.

Since the time my oldest sister was in the play “The Miracle Worker” I have been fascinated with the life of Helen Keller.  As I was reading a child’s library book about her life with our youngest daughter, a brand new aspect of Helen’s life came into focus.  Her life exemplified something that arrested my attention.

Her voice had been stolen through sickness.  Literally.

She had NO voice.

To learn to speak she held one hand on another person’s mouth to learn to lip read.  She would feel the vibrations of their voice combined with the movement of their mouth.  Anne Sullivan, Helen’s teacher, would spell the words being spoken to Helen, in her other hand.  Eventually, Helen would touch her own lips and imitate what she felt from the speaking person’s mouth.  She learned to speak. She was so determined to push past her obstacles that she would not stop.

Absolutely amazing.  But that is not all!

She worked to have a voice…and she used it.

Helen Keller used her voice (she had worked so hard for) to make a difference.  In the book, Helen’s Big World, it says, “Many people did not like her ideas.  To Helen, words brought freedom.  She would not be silent.”

I cried.  I am crying now.  She did not care what others thought about her voice.  Helen said what the world needed to hear.  She cared enough about the world that she dared to speak.  She was determined to make a difference.  .

Helen became a world traveler. She met all kinds of people.  Despite her inability to see and hear,  the cries of the hurting still reached her.   Helen Keller had every “right” on this earth to do nothing.

She could have played the impossibility card.

But she refused to remain locked in her isolation.

Helen rose above the obstacles.

To Helen, learning was a privilege.   She spent every waking moment trying to educate herself so that she could connect with the world.  Once she was able to communicate she became a world changer.

Helen herself said, “I love my country.  But my love for America is not blind.  Perhaps I am more conscious of her faults because I love her so deeply.”  She spoke against the war and child labor.  She spoke for worker’s unions, the right for women to vote and civil rights.  She spoke on behalf of people with disabilities and on behalf of children.

Grumbling and complaining about her hard life was not an option.  She did not vomit in anger, she spoke with love and conviction.   She diligently worked toward solutions.

I feel empowered!  If Helen Keller jumped the hurdles created by being blind and mute, who am I to be silent?

I have a voice and I see the challenges.

I hear the cries of injustice.

You have a voice as well.  Maybe you do not feel like you do.  Has your voice been stolen?  Did you learn that you should be seen and not heard?  In all honestly, have you felt like no one would want to hear what you have to say?

Just think about Helen Keller.  She could have used every one of these excuses and more.  But she did not excuse herself, she qualified herself.  Helen refused to let other people’s opinions impact her actions.

You and I can decide to make a difference.  Let’s throw off the limitations that have bound us and “run the race with endurance that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1)  If the road seems too long, stop and consider the ridiculously challenging obstacles Helen had to face when she was learning to speak.  She was not just an amazingly gifted woman, she was determined.  She did not give up.  When you think you can not take another step,  step one more time.  Step once more.  Just keep the goal in mind and keep stepping.

We “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” us.  (Phil. 4:13)  We have within us all that we need, even though we sometimes have a hard time believing it.  No matter how big our challenges are Jesus is the great leveler.  Got a wall, He can scale it.  Standing at a valley, He can span the divide. If we look at the challenges and compare them to ourselves we may pale in comparison.  But look at them in light of Jesus and no obstacle can even come close.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not saying this is easy.  We need endurance.  Helen Keller did not learn to communicate in a few days or weeks.  And if you asked her I am certain she would have said it was an arduous endeavor. But with each step she took she stepped out of her isolation and into the life of a world changer.

Coming out of the darkness and into the light is absolutely worth it.