Let it Go! 7 Things You Might Be Holding On To

MarvaeHabits19 Comments


Routines are something I naturally gravitate towards. They just feel right. My favorite routine is my morning routine that includes time with God, planning my day, and some kind of exercise.

A routine may not sound very exciting – doing the same thing day in and day out. Sometimes it is flat – free of profound moments. Then suddenly, God shows up in that predictable space with a powerful life changing insight. Nothing routine about that!

For me, routine is about being disciplined. It is about regularly creating that space for God to speak to me and trusting that He is still acting on my behalf even when He is quiet. It is a chance for me to reconnect with what’s most important and begin my day with the right mindset.

Not all routines are daily. Some routines are weekly, like fellowshipping with other believers, or monthly, when I plan and set goals for my businesses.

One routine I have had for the last several years is to choose One Word to focus on, guide, and inspire me for the year. It is always fascinating to me how the word is selected for one reason, but as the year goes on God expands my understanding of my One Word for the year.

This year, my One Word has been “release.” It hangs on my office wall next to my desk with the tagline “Let go of what you can’t change or what isn’t helpful.” In my mind, this word was about saying good-bye to things, decluttering both tangible things and mindsets – loss.

Recently God barged into my routine to reveal a new take on the word release. It isn’t just letting go and leaving a void. No, it is about letting go to make space for the new, better opportunities that He has for me. If I hang on tightly to the old, grabbing hold of the new will be impossible. I can’t have a new lease on life without first giving up what I have now. That’s re-lease!

Letting go can be scary. To surrender is to leave the familiar, behind and embrace the unknown. There is loss, pain, and void. It requires trusting God to fill that void with a new opportunity far better than what I let go of.

Too often my gaze has remained on whatever I let go of. As long as my focus lingers in that direction, I will miss what God has for me. The new opportunity will not look like I expect it to. Often it is not even something I would have picked. My eyes need to be open to the possibilities.

Releasing is not just about learning to let go, it is about learning to embrace the new.

What might you need to release?

1. Material things

Perhaps you have been holding on to stuff; reminders of loved ones or happy times even though they are things that are really just cluttering your space. Or maybe you have let papers accumulate and the thought of sorting through them seems overwhelming. Whatever it is for you, start small. Identify what the things mean to you. Do they need to be put away, donated or tossed?

2. Busyness

Does your schedule have you racing from one thing to the next with very little time to pause, reflect, and refresh? Perhaps you need to let go of some of the things you are doing.

3. Responsibilities

When it comes to investing in your current responsibilities, are your commitments realistic? Is it possible that you have spread yourself so thin that you are not actually thriving in any of the things you have committed to doing? Or are a few responsibilities getting the bulk of your attention while others get neglected? With fewer commitments you have the more energy and focus to devote to them. What needs to go in this season?

4. Mindsets

How you think about things has a profound effect on your life, work, relationships, goals, and more. When negative feelings like dread, fear, or anxiety pop up, it is a clue that it is time for a mindset to go so you can embrace a new way of thinking. Mindsets are sneaky. They step in and guide things without you even knowing it. Without regularly tuning in to how you are feeling, you will miss the subtle influence it is having on your life.

5. Relationships

Relationships are one of my top five values. The people in my life are important to me. In spite of the desire of my heart to want to be connected to everyone, the reality is I have a limited capacity to do so. That means I need to be selective about who I chose to give my time to. While I am to lovingly interact with everyone, not everyone needs to have a place in my life.

6. Expectations

When you expect life to be a certain way it blinds you to all the many other possibilities. When you expect people to operate in a particular way you will be disappointed and hurt.

7. Plans

Without planning, it is difficult to reach goals and get things done. A key part of being an excellent planner is the ability to flex, adjust, and easily create a new plan. Planning is good! Having rigid plans that you are unwilling to adjust – not so good!

In order to focus the energy and time in your life right now, and maximize your effort, what do you need to release so you have the space for the new and better opportunities God might have in mind for you?

19 Comments on “Let it Go! 7 Things You Might Be Holding On To”

  1. Thank you for the thoughtful post. I have learned to release so much since my cancer diagnosis put what’s really important in sharp relief, but I still hold on to too much and to more than I need. Appreciate your words of encouragement.


    1. Going through experiences like cancer have a way of making what’s important much more clear! Trusting you are able to identify and release the things that still need to go Sharon.

  2. Love this post! This is something that I have to work on every day. Right now I’m letting go of having to do everything just right. It’s tough. Your words are very encouraging. Thanks.

    1. Wanting to do everything just right, or perfect, can be very challenging Carol and even harder to actually accomplish! Making mistakes and living to tell about it and understanding that people prefer real people not perfect people has helped me. So glad you were encouraged.

  3. Indeed, God asks us to release all of these things. Trust in what he is, and knowing that no matter what, it will be all right.
    So many things are out of our control. It is in the surrender where we find our strength, his hand guiding us.
    Over the last year I have been terrible to my partner. Thank God that she still found it in her heart to love me, despite all I tried to do to make myself forget.
    Today we are stronger for it. Praise God.

    1. Thanks for sharing Jason. Sounds like it has been quite a year. It is so true… and you alluded to it… we really only “think” we have a hold on things. Just about everything is outside of our control except perhaps how we respond to things. Releasing them is perhaps finally admitting that. 🙂

  4. These are all great things to release! Unfortunately, I keep being led to release my idea of routine. It’s hard for me, but I’m winging it and God is right there helping me. I don’t know where he’s taking me, but the selfish, know-it-all part of me hopes He finishes teaching me a lesson soon so I can have a routine back. Sounds like I still have lots of growing to do first! 😉 Thanks for this article and reminder.

    1. God has a knack for asking us to let go of the things we hold most dear – even things like routines. Sounds like where ever He is taking you He wants you to be dependent on Him. 🙂

    1. Savor… such a sweet word! Sounds like we are on parallel adventures Jenny. Nothing better than time with family! It all goes so quickly.

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