• Linsey Wildey

Finding the Strength to Embrace What Is

Last fall I was looking forward to having a window of time where I was going to be at home ALL BY MYSELF. As an introverted mom who had to graciously shared a roof with other family members 24/7 for the year (plus) of COVID, I was beyond giddy thinking about sitting in some quiet not having to respond to anyone’s needs.


The morning of, my son woke up and said, “Mom, I have a sore throat.” Immediately I lobbed a barrage of questions: “What do you mean you have a sore throat?“When did it start?” “How bad is it?”


In the back of my mind I knew any answer he would give would not change the fact that because of COVID school protocols he would not be going to “in person” school that day.


In the silence between us, the hope of having some time to myself popped like a balloon.


As I walked away disappointed and thinking about how I needed to rearrange my day, I thought to myself:


If there is one spiritual practice that keeps presenting itself to us in this

season it is letting go and embracing what is.


This “path of descent” as some authors call it, was the framework of Christ’s life and is a model for us that nurtures greater trust and attachment to God.


In light of this, consider the following spiritual practices patterned after Jesus’s greatest surrender moment in the Garden of Gethsemane to help you and your kids (if applicable) let go and embrace the what is of today.


Name What Is

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow….Matthew 26:38a


Scan your head: What are you thinking about in this moment?

Scan your heart: What are you feeling in this moment?

Scan your body: How does it feel? (notice where it is revved up, restricted, or relaxed)




As you consider these prompts, what stands out to you? Any conversation you need/want to have with God?


With Your Kids (if applicable):

  • Put a feelings chart on the refrigerator and use it to help you and your littles notice and name the emotions that come up during the day.


  • Make or buy some simple emoji stickers. Print out or draw a picture like the one above and have your child(ren) place a sticker on their head, heart, and body to name how those parts are feeling.


Be With What Is

Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed...Matthew 26:38b


It is one thing to name what is and an entirely different thing to be with what is. Being with involves validation, presence, and compassion.

  • How can you validate your own experience and emotions today? If it is hard to do this on your own, reaching out to a safe empathetic other might be helpful!


With Your Kids (if applicable):

  • Consider being with your children in their sadness in a way that would bring them comfort, calm and peace:

  • Listen to them

  • Hug them in silence

  • Validate their sadness with a statement like: “I can tell that really made you sad”

  • Ask them what would bring them comfort i.e. a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, watching a show together, etc.

  • _________________________


  • Consider being with your children in their frustration or anger by doing any of the following with them:

  • Rip up paper

  • Punch pillows

  • Stomp bubble wrap

  • Throw something appropriate

  • Yell, “I am soooo mad!”

  • ____________________


Let Go of What Isn’t

Yet not as I will, but as you will….Matthew 26:39


Once you have named and been with what is, take some time to “let go” of those sensations, emotions, hopes, and expectations.


God, I let go of my ____________________. Open me to what could be today.


With Your Kids (if applicable):


  • Breath and Bubbles: Grab some bubbles and go outside to “let go” of things with each exhale and pop of a bubble.


  • Hoberman’s Sphere: Use this as a visual tool to inhale deeply as it expands and exhale “letting go” as it contracts.


Prayer of Blessing

As you consider Christ’s pattern of letting go in everyday ways, may you experience greater trust in God, an increased openness in your soul, and a generosity of Spirit that others experience as the resurrected life in you. Amen.


*This piece first appeared in The MOPS Magazine Winter 2021; www.mops.org



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