My oldest two kids are getting to the age where they have gained some small freedoms. A chance to play in the yard without an adult, the ability to sift through the art supplies and create unsupervised.
Since they are still relatively young there is one caveat to their freedom, permission.
When you’re a kid (and sometimes an adult) asking permission is a bit annoying. There is always the possibility that someone will say “no” instead of “yes”.
But, right on the other side of the permission asking, is freedom. The ability to engage and enjoy that “thing” that you want to do.
Sometimes, we live in fear of the “no” and chose to forfeit whatever freedom lies behind it. Sometimes, we sacrificially don’t ask for the freedom when we know withholding could benefit our personal growth or the life of others.
As my kids have been maneuvering the world of permission and freedom I’ve been thinking about my own steps of asking, avoiding and withholding.
As a risk taker I haven’t avoided asking for permission. I’m generally okay with the no. As a mom and a person who genuinely wants to love people I’ve often withheld my request for permission in the interest of someone else’s needs. I haven’t felt that I’ve lost anything or missed out. On the contrary I haven’t even considered loss of freedom in my life.
This week though, I discovered something. Somewhere between asking permission and withholding requests, I’ve stopped seeking freedom all together.
I’ve become complacent. Somewhere I have decided that whatever is in front of me is all I have.
Practically, this applies to the small everyday things. I’ve stopped finding joy in my every day activities. I am able to stay home with my kids, I run a business that I love and I’ve got a wonderfully supportive husband and group of friends, yet I have felt trapped and disheartened.
In the last month, as my heart has softened in many ways for many reasons, I see that being trapped has been a choice. I’ve taken my freedom and put it in shackles. I’ve diminished grace and stomped out joy out of sheer ignorance and maybe a little bit of laziness.
Asking permission takes effort. It also involves risk. It’s worth it, even for the everyday things.
Grace is found in this ability to see our blind spots and try again.
Here’s to giving myself permission to live.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
Linking up with A Field of Wildflowers #SmallWonders.