My strategy for finishing a puzzle is a three-pronged approach: I find the corners, build the frame, and fill in the middle until it’s done. My daughter on the other hand has an entirely different game plan. She searches excitedly for her favorite colors, tries to jam ill-fitting pieces together, and then saunters off in pouty surrender when things go imperfectly. Big feels tend to run high in our family, so her response usually doesn’t take me by surprise. While I can’t blame her for acting her age, I’m trying to teach her about the gift of surrender.
Motherhood tends to shove our best and worst qualities right up in our face, conveniently mirrored back to us in the dewy eyes of our littles. My girl may have lost her cool over a puzzle, but I too melt down over my own shortcomings. I have those days where despite my best efforts, everything just seems to slip through my fingers. Sometimes the unraveling starts small and by the time noon rolls around my eye is already twitching. In those moments I just want to dig in my purse, find the white flag, and start waving it in honor of how much I’ve already somehow managed to break the day. These are the thin places where I find myself on my knees begging God to fill in the gaps of my heart.
I used to think of surrendering as a form of defeat. I carried a “show must go on” mentality, and while I still struggle with that, it’s not the kind of legacy I want to leave for my children. As I watch them rush to me with their larger than life emotions, I’m reminded of the same way I pour out my unbridled hurts to a Savior who never makes me feel small!
The gift of surrender is that it’s less about what you are letting go of and more about what you are stepping into. It’s a chance to live freely with the knowledge of how deeply loved you already are! As a mama, I can’t imagine a greater lesson and the amazing opportunity that I get to reflect it in the way that I parent. I get to show my children that I care about their heartache whether I am walking them through the pain of losing a loved one, or something as discouragingly simple as a sticker that just won’t stick anymore.
As I wrestle with the changeable circumstances of my day, I rest in the unchangeable character of God. I fold mountains of laundry, slay imaginary dragons, kiss boo-boos, and help my kids unwrap the precious gift of surrender. Who knows – maybe we will even finish a puzzle sans tears one of these days?
Asha Grinnell is a lover of adventure, family dance parties and spending time by the sea. She is married to the man of her dreams and a mama to two little darlings who keep her on her knees and her toes.