What a two-year old taught me about letting go at Christmas

What a two-year old taught me about letting go at Christmas December 24, 2014

Her eyes were wide with delight. “Again,” she said. “Again.”

Amazed at her language and reasoning skills, I pushed the button for the 12th consecutive repeat of the song from Frozen.

Her head bobbed at the tune while watching the animated princess. And then the chorus came. “Let it go. Let it go.”

My heart melted, wishing she was mine. Wishing she could sing that song every day for the rest of my life.

Simple joy.

Letting go of strife

Back home, two-thousand miles away from this little girl the everyday burdens of life bear down.

Not one car is broken, but two. How many hundreds of dollars will that be? It seems like every visit to the shop starts at $300 and just goes up from there. There are other financial burdens that weigh on my midnight hour, the uncertainties dance in my brain.

And I’m facing the reality that I have arthritis in one of my hips. The idea of limited mobility frightens me. I treasure my trails and fishing and daily walks. Will that have to change? And the bigger question. Am I actually old enough to have these kinds of issues?

The kids are all grown now. They are older and on their own for the most part. They each have lives and some have their own families. The ideal in my brain of generations of families woven together is suddenly not so tidy. Divorce and dysfunction have affected all of us at one point.

The lines are not neatly drawn.

My grown children don’t share the same faith fervency, swallowed by ambivalence and the gods of the age. I am constantly dogged by the jarring facts of disbelief and I wonder if I contributed in any way.

My own relationships with family and friends often stutter like an out-of-tune auto. I over think my words and deeds, replaying the scenes in a stop and start freeze – frame. The broken relationships outnumber the healthy. Where did I go wrong?

Is there peace to be found? Can I let it go?

 The Bells of Christmas Day

The poem is 150 years old, a reflection of a nation torn by Civil War. The bells ring out, telling a  story that goes back two millennia.

 I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Longfellow wrote the song, his own son paralyzed from a bullet taken in the Civil War. His wife had previously died from a fire. And still, he found peace. The story behind the song is a must read.

Between this simple poem and a little girl singing out of innocence, I have two lyrics on my heart this day.

“Let it Go” and “Peace on Earth”

This is my message song. How about you?

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  • Judy Reeve

    David you touch my heart. My father died in March, I totaled my car in May, and then quite unexpectedly my beloved husband also died in July. But my 2 year old granddaughter’s joy and innocence (who also says Again! and Again!) is getting me through this Christmas.

    You may be right about over thinking your words and deeds. You’ve been faithful and steadfast as best you can so let it go and trust. Indeed, “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

    • Judy, my friend, I didnt know.And I’m so sad over your loss. All of those years seem to come down to days and hours when they are gone. Love and hugs to you these days. Yes, “let it go.” That’s why Jesus came, so we could give it all to him.

  • Another resonant post, David – I wonder about health issues (usually not my own, though they do creep in there), and about the health of my family, both that of origin and the one I helped launch into the world. I have to confess, though, that I haven’t seen Frozen (the movie), and while I’ve heard the song and like the message, the few clips and the trailer didn’t pique my interest enough to want to add it to the collection – perhaps if and when it hits Netflix.

    Have a wonder-full Christmas, my friend.

  • Wishing you peace on earth as you journey on. Christmas blessings and thank you for all that you share with us.

  • I relate to both the worries and also the mantras of let it go and peace on earth. Yes. Thank you, David. Merry Christmas!

  • David, you always have a way of pointing us in the direction of joy through life’s tough situations. Thanking God today for you and your words, and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  • A beautiful post, David. Love the lessons we can learn from little ones and the way they live life. Merry Christmas to you!

  • “Divorce and dysfunction have affected all of us at one point. The lines are not neatly drawn.”

    It’s definitely a reality that differs from our original vision. However, I’ve discovered an unexpected beauty in the blurred lines…in opening hearts to step-childrens parents, step-parents, and half-siblings. Yes, it’s a big confusing mess in some ways…but for those indwelt by the Holy Spirit it is a beautiful loving mess.

    Thank you for both the thought-provoking post and the reminder of one of my favorite Christmas hymns…”I Heard the Bells”.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!

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