Tag Archives: Autumn

Letting ‘Should’ Go…

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     Much of my life has been spent tethered to the words ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t.’

     In a previous post, I said, “Autumn is a great time for letting go…” Today, as I was thinking obsessively about all I ‘should’ be accomplishing this week, wondering how in the world I was going to make everything happen, the thought occurred, “Wow, Sue, remember, autumn is a great time to practice ‘letting go…”

     One of the tasks I have been ‘should-ing’ about is today’s blog post. I loved the topic I was working on, but making it all come together in a coherent manner wasn’t happening.

     So…I decided I’d let the post go for now and instead send this lovely photo. These beautifully colored trees lining a section of our church’s parking lot, will, before we know it, start ‘letting go’ of their brilliantly colored foliage.

     A favorite passage of scripture—one I know I’ve quoted before—is Hebrews 12:1

     …let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (MEV)

     I can hear the argument going on in some of your heads right now. Some ‘shoulds,’ you may be thinking, are nudges to motivate us to begin doing what we know is best and right to do.

     I agree.

     Other ‘shoulds,’ however, are self or other-imposed weights entangling us and keeping us from running the race God has designed us to run. We must decide which is the case.

     If you, like me, have been struggling with a long list of ‘shoulds,’ I hope these words are as encouraging to you as they have been to me.

     As I do regularly, in closing, I’m praying for you and asking God to bless your journey. I love and appreciate you!

Sue Reeve

Autumn – A Great Time for Letting Go…

     Just prior to this autumn season, I started working through two different books. The first is a devotional book[1] in which the author, Peter Scazzaro, uses an ancient spiritual practice called the Daily Office. The participant sets aside two short periods of time (The Office) each day for: “Silence and Stillness, Scripture, Devotional, Question to Consider, and Prayer.” I am finding this practice to be extremely soul nurturing.

     Secondly, I’ll be facilitating a life group at our church using the book Boundaries[2]. I’ve been introduced to the concept of boundaries many times. Through the years, I have committed to developing healthier personal boundaries, but I am finding the comprehensive overview and awareness of the “personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not…” helpful on many levels.

     Both books align with my 2017 personal journey of ‘soul care.’

     Developing emotionally healthy relationships, life-giving, God-honoring personal boundaries, and caring for one’s ‘soul’ will all require letting go of something to enable us to pick up and grasp something that’s better. As the fallen and falling leaves in this lovely photo illustrate, “Autumn is a wonderful time to let go of…”


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     Using photos Ron took the first day of autumn, as well as some insights/quotes from the two books I mentioned, here are some behaviors I want to be more aware of “letting go…”

     I will let go of reactive boundaries.

     “Proactive people show you what they love, what they want, what they purpose, and what they stand for…very different from those who are known by what they hate, what they don’t like, what they stand against, and what they will not do…proactive people do not demand rights, they live them.”[3]

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     I will let go of petty resentments.

     Quote from Henri Nouwen concerning the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal son: “I recognize the elder son in me. Often I catch myself complaining about little rejections, little impolitenesses, little negligences. Time and again I discover within me that murmuring, whining, grumbling, lamenting, and griping…[4]

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I will let go of temptation to try to control anyone other than myself.

“God designed a world where we all live “within” ourselves; that is, we inhabit our own souls, and we are responsible for the things that make up “us.”…We are not, …responsible for other people. Nowhere are we commanded to have “other-control,” although we spend a lot of time and energy trying to get it![5]

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I will let go of my tendency to minimize, avoid, deny or ‘stuff’ anger.

     “Anger is a friend. It was created by God for a purpose: to tell us that there’s a problem that needs to be confronted.”

     “One of the first signs that you’re beginning to develop boundaries is a sense of resentment, frustration, or anger at the subtle and not-so-subtle violations in your life…your anger can alert you…[6]

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In closing, I pray your autumn will include insights about ‘letting go…’

Sue Reeve

  1. Peter Scazzaro—Emotionally Healthy Relationships Day by Day… A 40-Day Journey to Deeply Change Your Relationships, Zondervan, 2017.
  2. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries…When to say Yes How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Zondervan, 1992.
  3. Boundaries, Chapter 5, Ten Laws of Boundaries, p. 98.
  4. Day by Day, Week l/Day 2, quoted from Henri J. M. Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son, New York: Doubleday, 1992.
  5. Boundaries, Chapter 2, What Does a Boundary Look Like?, p. 33
  6. Boundaries, Chapter 4, How Boundaries are Developed, p. 72 and Chapter 15, How to Measure Success with Boundaries, p. 277

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Embracing Stillness in Autumn…

     Autumn is my favorite season. Even though I’m always a little sad to say, “good-bye” to summer, today, I welcome this new season, and want to say…

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     This year the Autumn equinox coincided with my husband’s birthday.

     One of our birthday activities was a morning walk at the Japanese Gardens in Spokane, Washington. I’m always impressed with the beauty of the garden. This walk seemed extra special—not only because it was a picture-perfect day, and I love taking walks with my husband, but because lately I’ve been trying to quiet my spirit more, focusing on the spiritual discipline of silence (not easy for me!).

     Here are some of Ron’s special photos, including some Scriptural thoughts about becoming still and listening to the “still, small voice” of God’s Spirit.

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If these brief thoughts about quietness resonate with you, won’t you please join me in embracing and practicing the spiritual discipline of silence…

I’m praying for you…

Sue Reeve