A few weeks ago, my four year old wanted to send some balloons up to my brother in heaven for his birthday. She tried to convince my mom to buy enough balloons so she could go up and see him like in the movie Up. We just bought a few and let them go. It is very freeing to let things go. Once you release a balloon, the wind sweeps it up. There is no snatching it back into your hands. It's quite a visual piece of poetry. We can try to grasp at and control many things, but the release in inevitable.
As I was thinking about the process of letting go of my brother, I started thinking about the encouragement challenge I have been doing for my husband. I have had to let go of a lot of things in marriage. Mostly, as a woman we must release control. It is hard. Society teaches us to succeed and run our house like a machine. Real life is messy. When he fails, you fail. I don't like to fail. God has taught me a lot about myself in that. God is gracious to me and tenderly leads me to the beautiful place of humility.
I realized a great thing in the last few days. As I have been writing notes of encouragement and searching out scripture to edify, I have been changing. When I refuse to engage the critical thoughts that the enemy plants in my head, I think on what is pure and lovely. I think on that which edifies. I would tell you that I have one of the best marriages I know of. My husband and I are really considerate and tender toward each other. I have already noticed a difference in him though. He laughs more. He pursues more creative ventures. He is living more wildly in the Spirit. Perhaps, this was all a lesson for me to learn. To criticize, even mildly, is to play the devil's advocate. To encourage rends your heart and makes YOU more like Christ. Gratitude is a discipline we must practice. Release control. Let go of who you want your man to be and love him how you promised you always would.
Happy birthday to Laomai Petra Cherry.