Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of Letting Go

To my left is a box packed full of vintage sprinklers and picture frames. Behind me? Mixing bowls and milk glass coffee mugs. My fingers were black as pitch just a few moments ago, wearing the stain of last week's news.

One week from tomorrow, we will walk out of this house for the very last time. I could tell you all of the emotions bubbling up, but I don't have time to type them out. Also? You probably already know the list. You've probably lived it.

When I decided to take part in this 31 Days challenge I thought it was perfect. I'd write for 31 days about the process of letting go and then at the end, we'd move out of the house and into Chapter Two. The hardest stuff would be over, at the end.

Well, things change, including closing dates. Sometimes change slinks up around your ankles and it takes a while to notice it down there, being so quiet and polite. Other times, times like this, it runs toward you pell-mell and barks right in your face.

I had convinced myself that this was good. We would enjoy the gorgeous month of October in this home. We would pretend that every day was its own, that it wasn't some part of a collective farewell. Then, when all the color piled up brown at our feet, we would be ready. It seemed like a perfect metaphorical ending, and I do like a nice metaphor.

Now it's different and I'm telling myself, "You know, it's best to not linger here." Because if there's one thing I'm learning about letting go, it's that you might as well jump on board. There's a purpose lurking in the letting go.

Sometimes we're so ready to let go that it's not really even a choice. Sometimes it's a helium balloon release and there's so much joy and so much unexpected beauty. We crane our necks to watch an old dream float off in a sky of color and nostalgia and we're smiling, because the new dream has already taken us by the hand. Other times the letting go feels a bit more nauseating and a lot more uncertain. Sometimes we know it's necessary, sometimes we are tempted to believe that the world around us is mostly cruel.

But when we know the One who ordained the seasons and the wingspan of a singular burnished oak; who invented the sugar and the salt and the perfect sphere of a hardy cherry tomato; who knew how comforted we would be by things like wool and tea and the light in our babies' eyes; when we know Him, we know that all of his schemes, even the seemingly nutso ones, are for our gain. And when we know that, when we really believe it, our fingers start to loosen their grip and we reach out to touch the very edges of freedom. That's what letting go is, after all, it's freedom.


To see lots of other 31 Days themes, go here.


  1. i know all about letting go...and hanging on. it's not easy, it's painful on every level. praying for you friend.

  2. i hear you. i need this, 31 days of letting go, too.
    praying for you, darling girl! xo

  3. so very true. we are in the exact same boat...we're letting go of our home too. It's the first place that was truly "ours"'s where we became a family...and the only home our girls have ever known. so i feel your pain. at the moment...we don't know where we are going...which is scary...but our lord does...and what he has planned will be perfect. :) praying for you!


  4. Oh how I know how you are feeling! The process, whether planned or unknown, is always an amazing journey of faith and perservance! I am thankful you are all holding onto one another, and leaving this home a bigger, richer in so many ways, healthy family! God has blessed you indeed, and He won't stop in the future! You are in my prayers friend!!!

  5. Faith is a wonderful gift. I'm praying for you and wishing I could help you pack!

  6. ***But when we know the One who ordained the seasons and the wingspan of a singular burnished oak; who invented the sugar and the salt and the perfect sphere of a hardy cherry tomato; who knows how comforted we would be by things like wool and tea and the light in our babies' eyes; when we know Him, we know that all of his schemes, even the seemingly nutso ones, are for our gain. And when we know that, when we really believe it, our fingers start to loosen their grip and we reach out to touch the very edges of freedom. That's what letting go is, after all, it's freedom.***

    Tears are streaming and my heart and prayers are going out to you and your family. God is with you ALL the way and your next place is going to be another HAVEN for you in this life.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  7. letting go right along with you, my friend...deeeeep sigh....

  8. You're letting go of this old place and meeting Him in your new place. I love your words and the emotions they elicit. Mostly I love your heart.

  9. You, Dear Girl, make me smile.
    Praying for you and anticipating each post that you pen.
    :) Jodi

  10. Praying for you and yours. Keep us in yours...moving the folks into assisted living the end of the week. Lots of emotions. Lots of leaning on the one who is in control.

  11. Beautiful. So glad I found your blog through the 31 Days links. I'll be sticking around to read more. :)

  12. That last paragraph is killer.

    Hey, I'm pretty sure you've had some crazy-looking hair at some point. Can you do me a favor? Dig out a wacky photo that proves it and get the Hair Scare n Share party started at my place!

    But I'll love you even if you don't.

    And, now, a prayer:

    Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Shannan and her great-big faith. You have filled her to bursting-at-the-seams with big ideas and big talent and big love, and I thank You, Lord, for all of it. I thank You for this new leg of the journey, and I know You're in it, and I know You're about to do exciting things with this family. Thank You. I pray a hedge of protection over the Martins. I pray that each of them will grow closer to You through this move and all that's to come. I pray, especially, for Calvin, Ruby, and Silas: that they will learn something big of You during this time, something so big that it will be pivotal in their choosing Your Son as Savior. I thank You for having a plan for Shannan and her family. I thank You for loving each of us bigger than we can fathom. We love You so much and can't thank You enough for loving us. In Your name I pray, Amen.

  13. Your family is in my prayers and thoughts as you move forward with this big change.

    On another note - hope you had a great garage sale. We ended up staying local today and having a family day here at home. I'd have love to been there, but a day at home seemed more in order.

  14. Your photos are stunning. I am loving the bowl of cherries.

    And your topic is timely and beautiful and I love that is your real life and you are taking us along.

    I'm dying to know, are you moving from the farm? Will you still be "Flower Patch Farm Girl?"

    I hope so. I love it here.

  15. So beautifully put. Praying for you.

  16. Completely understand this one....we don't "plan" around here anymore. God has a way of taking what we had planned out and changing the route. We made our second cross-country move with ten days notice. All you can do in those moments is let go. Let go of what you once thought you knew. Let go of what you thought you would be doing. Let go of what you had planned, and grab His hand. Grab tight, and never let go.

    Prayers for all of you. Wish I was closer and could help you pack. I've moved eight times in four years and can pack in my sleep.

    Hugs and blessings.

  17. You have a really beautiful writer's voice. Good luck with letting go. I'll be following along.

  18. Oh so beautiful!!
    Letting go, and letting God :)

    Deborah xoxoxo

  19. Praying for you as you have all sorts of change staring you in the face. Letting go isn't always easy, is it? Actually, I think it's never easy.

  20. Beautifully put. Thank you. Praying for you and your family. We were in your shoes with our house just a few months ago and now we're saying goodbye to a car that we love (Mustang just doesn't work well with a growing family and heavy snowfall).

  21. Wow, that last para! So much of being a Christian boils down to loosening our little vice-like grip on things does't it?

    I will be praying for energy for you, heaps of it because moving burns through the batteries I remember. And I'm coming out all maternal-like here and want to check you remember to eat super well and make yourself go to bed early and really really bossy stuff like that because it makes a difference!!! I guess what i'm saying is don't forget to look after yourself this month because you and your lovely family are going to need you well and full of energy. Bossyboots from Blighty, that's me! Hoping for lovely times amid the busyness. Bxx

  22. Oh the hope there is in letting go when we know the One whose plans are for our good. Still, it usually turns out to be a little harder than I think it will be.

  23. Beautifully stated.

    "We can not direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails"

    Wishing you the BEST of luck!



  24. Shannan, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during this chaotic week ahead! How exciting that you are heading into a new chapter of your life!!

  25. loving it, Shannan. It's happening quickly, like it did for ripping the band-aid from the skin instead of taking it off slowly...

    Call if you need to talk...

  26. Our old house saw a reconciled marriage, 4 babies, laughter, and tears. Today is our first day in our new house. I was full of emotions leaving, yet putting my hope in God who has already written my next chapter. Love reading your thoughts because I can very much relate.

  27. Tears!


    I'm new here and wanted to tell you how beautiful your blog is. I love all the incredible pictures of your beautiful life!

  28. You 31 Dayer, You.

    Ok, I've typed this a few times today, but I am so impressed with all doing this series. It's a big time committment, but you know what? I bet a big time of growth too.

    Can't wait to read your words.

  29. Three years ago yesterday, I let go of my father. At the time I was grief stricken with pain, not wanting to accept the change, even though I trusted that it was Gods will.

    This year I reached a new plateau of letting go. This year I said, "Happy Birthday" to my father instead of "I miss you.". After all, Oct 1st marks the birth of his new life in Heaven. I can't begrudge him for leaving this world for one so much better!

    It's great to let go of the pain and to celebrate instead!

  30. I will be thinking of you every day for the next 31 days.

  31. crying as I read your true words.
    letting go of one plan to grab hold of another is hard and amazing all at the same time.

    God is asking us to trust him more and more and more and more.
    He proves himself over and over and over again..he is so trustworthy.

    praying for you guys as you let go and move into the next chapter of your beautiful story.

  32. Our prayers are with you. Your journey sounds so interesting! I look forward to reading more about the changes in your life.

  33. That last paragraph had me tearing up. Praying for you!

  34. is your home going into foreclosure??

  35. I could use some letting go too!! Thanks for sharing.

  36. Beautiful writing. I love to read your words. I swear, I can hear a southern accent in them, it lends a musical quality to your writing. It truly relaxes me just to read.

    Thanks for sharing!

  37. oh girl, I am at the same cross roads, we have some bigs changes lingering for us in the future, some good some not so great, if we can't help I will soon know what it means to let go as well...have I accpeted it, nope, not fully, but in the end it is what God wants for us that we need to surrender to...missed you! T