Thursday, September 8, 2011

Inspired to Let Go

You know, we could look up some inspiration ideas from the internet. Would you like for me to see what I can find? Oh, and there's some really great books we can get. They might help you.

No, that's okay, she replied,  I really like to come up with my own designs.

She rattled on in Hobby Lobby about all of her ideas...using this sort of fabric for the pins and beads for the centers and a design she had in mind for dangly, beaded, three-strand earrings. 

I thought to myself how those ideas just wouldn't work at all, how the fabric would need to be double-sided for the flower pins and the three-strand earrings would be too hard to make and probably look tacky. 

But I bit my tongue, as I have learned to do often. 

Good thing I did. As it turned out, I was wrong. The three-strand idea was genius and I would wear those earrings any day.

That girl, she trusts her instincts more than I trust mine and I sort of envy that about her. 

It was yet another reminder to just let go and marvel at the ways God has uniquely designed all of us. Sometimes letting go allows us to see His handiwork, His workmanship, in a way we never could if control ruled the day. 

My micro-managing, perfectionist tendencies can run roughshod over my kids and their budding creativity. I never imagined it would be so hard at times to just stay quiet and let them be, to figure things out for themselves. {As long as there are no blow-torches or chainsaws involved.} 

To let trial and error and ideas galore weave their way into jewelry-making and fabric flowers, legos and watercolors, cake-baking and sentence style.  

I remind myself constantly that control kills creativity and rules can squash the spirit. Learning to be an artist in residence takes a lot of practice for this slow-to-learn mama.   

We need room to breathe, time to percolate, and freedom to discover.

Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm not doing "it" right. I want to find the perfect, most efficient, most expertly-advised method of doing whatever "it" may be. But really, I just need to lighten up, to accept that getting it wrong can simply be another way to learn. 

In fact, getting it wrong is often the way I learn best. In wanting to spare them the "getting it wrong part," I sometimes deprive them of their most valuable lessons. 

And while this is sometimes about their jewelry-making and cookie-baking, it's more challenging when I apply it to the really consequential stuff like navigating relationships and cultivating virtues like honesty and responsibility.

I long for my home to be a place of grace. A place where there is freedom to fail. A place where we know that messing up is inevitable and that His mercies are new every day. A place where we, only by Grace, can share those new mercies with one another. 

That kind of place doesn't come naturally to me but I'm learning that it's the only way to really live. The alternative is just an anxious, un-fun, uptight, fearful, and judgmental place to live. 

As summer fades and fall invites newness and inspiration, I'm inspired to say less, to observe more, to let go and just create from the inside out. 

May new mercies, fresh hope, and timely inspiration find you as well. 


I love talking about grace so much that I'm going to talk about it in my next post too. I can't wait to share a book review with you: Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman. This book has been so powerful in my life and I'm giddy just thinking about this opportunity to write about it. In case you're wondering, yes, I am giving away a copy. Stay tuned...


  1. Oh. My. If I don't win a copy of that book, something tells me that I'm going to have to buy a copy. ;-)

    Thanks so much for sharing. I HEART your blog!

  2. I am (sadly) reminded of those "special" historical paper dolls we bought for you on one of our vacations. I kept putting off the "just right time" to sit with you and cut them out (because it had to done be "just so"). We never did get to it, did we, honey? Glad you are not waiting for a "perfection" moment. It does not come; but other truly special moments are waiting everywhere, if we just let them happen.


  3. Scooper, I love it when you talk like this. :)

    Grace is my favorite thing, you know? I've started writing my "English teacher" posts again, and your post here made me think about these. The rules of English grammar aren't intended to squash creativity--just the opposite: they're intended to provide an easy framework within which a writer has freedom! God forgive us whenever we become too rigid. Fill us with grace, God.

  4. I'm so excited about the upcoming give away. I want the goodness from that book for myself. :)

  5. I am always working on this, trying so hard not to be a controlling mom and to just let go. I'm trying to get better at asking why on earth I'm saying no to them anyway, my kids need that freedom to explore and yes, mess up in the process. I do too. Sometimes I think my mistakes have been my biggest teachers.

  6. Scooper,
    I am so thankful for you and your courage to post your thoughts publicly. Thank you for the reminder that He does give us grace and for this I am eternally grateful,(also one of the reasons I read Richella's blog -- as a reminder of His grace).
    Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart with all of us once again, friend.
    He loves you!
    Hugs all around,

  7. Read your blog this morning and then this one

    good stuff.

  8. Control kills creativity...I must write this down and recite it every day!

  9. I am so dying for a trip to the apple orchard. Although this has nothing at all to do with your post it just made me crave apples and you and Lisa and the gang.
    Thanks for giving me a piece of The Scooper in SC.

  10. (fingers crossed i can figure this out)....thanks for encouraging a struggling controller who likes to "share" her opinion with others, especially in my home. "depriving the getting it wrong", wow, that is tough, but thought provoking....thanks!(and hoping that your date night was quite refreshing for you)


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