The Day I Set It All Down

Set it all down
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Arrows flamed across the prairie in record numbers as 2015 galloped toward its end. But there came a day when I set it all down.

~ Dad ~

My dad grew sick. His body gave way on October 31, but not his spirit. Jesus now hosts him safely in Heaven. Thank God.

I still miss him immensely. Maybe you have someone you miss, too?

Here’s a group hug and two grief read recommendations for you: here and here.

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~ The Wreck ~

The new teen driver of the house wrecked his truck–twice–within three weeks of Dad’s death.

Don’t ask.

Folks are (thankfully) okay except the 16-year-old whose freedom has been wrecked as well.

Said son now rides to school in the party van with me at the wheel. Secretly, I’m happy as a clam he’s back in my ride, although not for the reason why. I love talking with the kid.

Not-so-secretly, said son is tapping his toes in eager anticipation. His “get out of jail free card” awaits as the truck regathers its composure, fender by fender, bolt by bolt.

~ Thief! ~

Shortly after, a thief whisked away items near and dear to a close family member. In the bright of day, cutting through the middle of our mourning, they devoured the calm mustered after death’s mess. The stolen goods have yet to be recovered. They can never steal the memories attached, however.

Hope isn’t in earthly things because, well, a thief will steal…and he or she did. But God is faithful.

~ Site Down ~

Like an unhappy three-year-old, my blog threw a tantrum in the midst of everything. It sat in “timeout” for a spell while I focused on family. Who has time for website issues while your dad is dying, right? I refused to open it until, once again, it agreed to play nice. It’s slowly learning the lesson.

~ Poor Choices ~

And What were you thinking, child? became the headliner of the day…

for several days…

for several children…

in several situations…deeper and more serious, too.

But I won’t go into those here because they are far too fresh at this time.

Poor choices birthed grief. That’s all.

Arrows flew.

But every one was extinguished.

In the heart. Internally. All. That’s what a dab o’Jesus will do.

Faith douses fire. Arrows cease to sear their pain. The Lord Almighty proves a shield. Share on X

For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory.
    He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.

PS 84:11 WEB

Our God is faithful. Share on X

But we must grasp our gear, gathering our shield of faith.

“[A]bove all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one.”

Eph. 6:16 WEB

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Were the situations easy to walk through? No. In fact, a few remain unresolved. But peace reigns.

Are you facing similar situations? Set ’em down – at the Cross.

Grasp your gear.

Can our heap of trouble grow higher or worsen? Do we linger a little too long at the list of “awfuls”? Does trouble trip us? Set the troubles down.

Grasp your gear.

After Dad’s death I trudged through anger’s bog. “They” tell me its normal in the wake of death.

But there’s caution.

Anger, when our life swirls around its axis, arouses something ugly. When pain’s accusation points to God, not the flaming arrows, our faith tumbles. Life begins to crumble. And the shield rests on the ground, no grasp in sight.

Maybe you understand? Perhaps you’re tightly wrapped with anger, but not the Cross?

Grasp your gear.

Fear and frustration scattered my focus. Fiery darts flew. Oh how easy to build issues bigger than life, bigger than God Himself.

Whoa is me. Look at all this turmoil. Life’s been awful. See my list of awfuls?

But what good sits there? Good is found only in God. Set the list down.

Grasp your gear, dear friend. Gather your shield of faith for life's fiery darts. (Eph. 6:16) Share on X

Faith douses the anger, fear too. ALL the fiery darts can be extinguished. Just do your part. Set “it” all down.

Grasp your gear.

The “day” I set it down wasn’t simply one day. It is every day – today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

Little choices, big ones too, that come day-by-day are battle ops for me and you. They are our opportunity to grasp the gear, to pick up the shield of faith and douse the enemy’s fiery arrows.

And most importantly ~ to bring God the glory with the beauty of our lives.

It’s a new year overflowing with opportunity. Are you and your faith ready?  

*Take a peek. Bible Gateway hosts this Bible verse and many other versions as well. The depth of its tool bag is tremendous. As a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I’ll be linking all of 2016’s noted scriptures to Bible Gateway.
Bible study on fear cover--light shining on the words Fear What?
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  1. Praying that we all set it down at His feet. What wisdom in your words, Kristi, that it’s a day-by-day choice to lay it down and pick up our shield of faith. Thank you, friend, for your vulnerability and openness that will help others on their road to healing. Thank you also for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

  2. wonderful blog (I have a teen going for his license this month)..worried mom here..give it to God! Life is so full of stuff, trials, and messy happenings, but the love of God reigns, straightening our paths. I always love this, too…don’t give the devil much attention and he’ll flee. Put our sights on God. So glad I visited today from #testimonytuesday!

    1. Hi Kathy. I’m breathing deeply with you about that new, teen driver. I’m sure he/she will do great, but I just prayed for you as added ammunition. 😉 And yes, sights on God.

  3. Kristi, Kristi, Kristi,
    I love this post! I am learning to set it all down and pick up the shield. Especially because the arrows seem non-stop at times. We can have both peace and confidence when we grab our gear and prepare ourselves in God’s word. I am so blessed by your writing and your openness to share. Thank you for that. I needed this word…especially today. blessings to you and yours my friend!

    1. Horace! It’s so good to “see” you again. The arrows do seem nonstop at times, don’t they? I’m ever grateful God is on duty 24/7, handling every single one of them as we allow. So glad you stopped by.

  4. Kristi, I truly am so sorry for the loss of your father. I can only imagine the hole within you that still aches.

    You’ve lived what you’re sharing here, and it makes the words jump out with truth. I’m not dealing with the big, bad awfuls right now. Even so, I need to set my frustrations, disappointments, uncertainties down at the cross, and pick up the shield. Thanks for the reminder.

    And may the God of peace fill you with all joy in believing, that you may be filled with peace by the power of the Holy Spirit (slight paraphrase of Rom 15:13). Saying a prayer for you now.

    I stopped by from #RaRaLinkup. 🙂 And so glad I did.

  5. Those arrows!! Isn’t amazing how the longer we walk with the Lord the more we realize there is no sense in trying to extinguish them alone. The enemy wields them with such force, but God is greater and in Him, victory is ours. Great strength and encouragement in your words, friend. xo

  6. Okay, girly….and you were saying I was sharing how God’s goodness shines through tough circumstances? You have had one heck of a ride these past few months, and yet here you are, full of faith and encouraging others with your beautiful words. Your story is one of faith in action…and even in reaction! Love this post, Kristi. Thanks for sharing your heart. Glad we connected on #IntentionalTuesday.

  7. Hi Kristi,
    I’m your neighbor at Holley’s link-up today. What a season of challenges and grief you’ve walked through but what encouraging words you share with us, as you get back up and keep walking! Praying with you that God showers you with goodness and love as only he can do and that you’ll find 2016 full of fresh surprises that speak to your soul!

  8. Hi Kristi. I am glad I’m your neighbor at Holley’s. I’m so sorry about the loss of your dad. May God give you strength for each day to deal with the grief and the missing ache. Thank you for the encouragement to put on the shield of faith and lay our troubles down.

  9. You’ve had so much going on, Kristi. What a good reminder for me your words are just to set my burdens down. Down at the foot of the cross. When we set those burdens down, we’re FREE to take up the shield of faith. Blessings to you as you continue walking forward and holding up your shield. (It was so great to talk today!)

    1. Oh, Betsy! Your encouragement during those two months was immeasurable. I thank God for you. (And what a joy to finally see each other “in person”.)

  10. I’m not familiar with either of those books, but I sure do appreciate you recommending good ones. They are so needed when grief hits us and we want to know what to expect or what it looked for others. Especially when we’re new to grief. Glad much of this is behind you and that you can see God’s hand steady every arrow. Blessings to you friend!

  11. Wow Kristi, what a year you’ve had. Your words here so closely connect with my one word for the year – RELEASE. When ‘growth opportunities’ come my way, I have a tendency to hang on and try to fix everything. Learning to lay it all down, my friend. But like you said here, I can’t just lay it down. I also need to pick up my shield:) Thank you for the encouragement!

    1. Release. Love it. No fixer-uppers here, just loads of faith. Go get ’em, girl. 2016 is going to be a great year.

  12. Kristi, I’m your neighbor at Suzie’s today. How powerfully your words stuck me this morning. You see, God has me lingering this year. And not over my blog. Over the people in my life.

    My dad has a biopsy tomorrow. At 90, his body is getting frail. And he’s the one who was always – ALWAYS – strong, fit and able to do anything. Wow. Your words hit home. Hugs my precious friend. Susan

  13. Kristi … it’s so good to see you again. I’m so sorry for the year that has passed, filled with so much upheaval. I can so resonate with you because we have experienced much of the same.

    Grasp your gear. Yes, yes. He has given us all that we need for life and godliness. Even and especially in the most difficult times. Thank you for sharing …

  14. Oh honey, this is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing from such a raw place, still fresh with pain. I love this, “The “day” I set it down wasn’t simply one day. It is every day – today, yesterday, and tomorrow.” Oh my goodness, YES!

    Praying as you grieve, as you lead, as you follow. Blessings, sweet friend! #livefreeThursday

  15. Girl, you had an armload didn’t you? I am blessed by your heart for God. I was also blessed to get to sit across from you at lunch during the holidays. Love you friend.

  16. I’m sorry to hear all these things that happened. When it rains, it pours, huh? But God is still faithful. And He delivers us. Thank you because of your optimism and faith, you have encouraged us to do the same no matter what.