Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Power of Letting Go


I received this in the mail this week....along with a special note from my Mom.


I had mentioned to her how much I loved this nativity that she painted years ago and how I was hoping to find one similar to it, because it reminds me of my children.

So she gave it to me.


Notice how the figures are children dressed up for a Christmas pageant!  So sweet.


I know that my mom spent a lot of time making these, and my dad cut the wood out for her.  So there's a piece of themselves in this nativity.  That and the memory of seeing it displayed in the home that I grew up in makes it special to me.


In her note to me, my mom talked about the act of letting go of the things that we collect in this life...in preparation to one day leave it all behind in order to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven.


As she talked about learning to let go of "things," I realized that she was talking about leaving actual "stuff" behind, but my heart thought instead about how it is necessary for us to leave more than just "things" behind in preparation to meet our Maker.  We must leave behind hurts, worries, grudges, and misgivings as well in preparation to return to our Heavenly Home.


Neither one is easy to do.

In our family growing up, we didn't have a ton of things...but what we did have, we cherished.  We cherished our home...the same modest home that I was born and raised in, the same home that I left for college from...and even returned to after college for a few weeks.

We cherished the old but beautiful piano that over-ran the living room.  We cherished the kitchen table that was never elegant, but always welcoming.  We cherished these things because of the people who either made them, gifted them, or used them in our family.  

I remember the stories that my grandparents and parents told about the people in our family who were associated with these items.  And I cherish those stories too.



As children we are taught to hold onto things.  We hold on to our mothers, our special soft blankets, our toys.  We are instructed to retain information such as language, fine motor skills, and nuance.  

And yet the most important nuance for us to cultivate in this life is the art of knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of...a skill that children seem to know instinctively, but as adults, we must learn again and again.


Thankfully, there is someone patient and all-knowing enough to walk us through this process of leaving things behind, in a world where, as my Dad says, "Men are born to die." 

He is our Savior, Jesus Christ, the one who came to earth knowing better than anyone that he was born to die and live again...He is the reason why we celebrate during this season of wonder and the real and true hope of all men.


During Christmas-time, we often focus on giving to others, but with this gift from my Mother, I am reminded of the one gift that we can receive from no one else but the Savior, and that is the power to let things go and leave them permanently behind.

What do you have the power to let go of this Christmas season?

19 comments:

  1. That was really sweet. What a cute little nativity! I'm finding I have to let go of just about everything this Christmas. I'm having a baby anytime from next week until New Year's and I just got called to be the Primary President in our ward. I'm so overwhelmed and tired. I'm realizing what is most important is to just be there with my family even though I won't get the presents made that I wanted, or do the little traditional things I'd hoped to do. I'm giving up even the merest glimmer of a "picture perfect" Christmas and plan on being satisfied with some simple family time enjoying a new baby in our own home.

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    1. Good for you, Holly. Sounds like you know just what to hold onto and what to let go..I'm excited for you!

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  2. Beautiful post, as always. On a semi-related but likely blasphemous side-note, I wonder if they have a Star Wars nativity scene. I'd buy it!

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    1. Here ya go! http://theswca.com/images-fanma/nativity.html

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    2. Or this one...http://geektyrant.com/storage/2011-post-images/starwarsnativity3.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1323054224785

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  3. That hopefully the tonsillectomy surgery I had today will bring us closer to having new life in our home. I am letting go of being super stubborn and to let others help me as I get better. I am letting go JUSt A LITTLe of my stubbornness that Heavenly Father does have a plan and that I don't know it well enough yet. I am thankful for the comfort that the Holy Ghost will bring.

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  4. What a treasure!

    I'd like to let go of some of my Christmas decorations as well...but my kids aren't really wanting them yet. I hope, someday, they will take a few and love them as you do your mom's.

    =)

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  5. wonderful sermon and what a lovely gift...

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  6. My mantle is now horribly bare naked but am so glad your piano top is filled. And that the set is still whole...hahahaha. Not sure what else I will let go of this Christmas. Promised 2 other nativities to 2 other siblings but that will be at some future time. and I still weep about that. We mortals are just so strange! I need to let go of the idea that homes are living, breathing, talking things and that 809 isn't mad at me for selling it to people who didn't love her! Really I'd like to let go of about 100 pounds...like that's gonna happen!

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  7. I think, after looking at Autumn look at these pieces and setting them up, that this set belongs to her when you are ready to pass it along.

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  8. What a beautiful gift from your mother and a wonderful tradition to continue with your family. This year I am going to let go of the expectation that everything has to be perfect so that I can cherish the time with my children without feeling disappointed that it didn't go the way I wanted it to. Thank you for always making me think about trying to become better! Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  9. Beautiful post and what a beautiful nativity! People just don't make stuff like that anymore. It's really sad.

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  10. A very lovely thought provoking post. What a treasure you now have with the gift your mother sent you. I loved all of your pictures especially the one with you little one.
    I am going to ponder upon your question. What can I let go of.
    Blessings to you and keep on enjoying the sounds and feelings of Christmas.

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  11. Beautiful post and I love the meaning behind the nativity. I think I've learned to let go of alot of things temporally, hoping to learn to let go of all things so I can humbly receive all things the Lord is ready to give my open heart - especially JOY. http://seekingzion.blogspot.com/2012/11/humbly-receive.html

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  12. This post brought me to tears. It is oh so easy to get attached to "things" that we will not bring with us to the next life. Your post triggered some thoughts for me that I turned into a post of my own. Just thought I'd share in case you're interested. http://pursuinghealthyliving.blogspot.com/2012/12/what-did-jesus-do-with-wisemens-gifts.html

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  13. Would it be possible to trace around this beautiful nativity & post it? Along with close up pictures of the pieces? My husband & daughter would love to make this for our grandchildren.

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    1. I will try to get to that and let you know when I do...send me your email address...

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