When holding on means we have to let go <3

Oh my…it seems my deer story resonated with you all and for that I am high fiving Jesus, because I struggled with actually publishing it. 

I had, you guessed it, anxiety that you all would think I was insane for finding humor in that story…but you get me and for that, I am so grateful <3

I have one more little story of God showing me the futility of worry and then I promise…Thursday and Friday will be devoted to how God offers us hope and freedom from the vortex of angst. 

I know I have written a post about this at some point in the past, but its worth sharing again because it fits so well with our theme. 

Our mall, like so many others, has a central stage type area. It is a venue for school organizations and dance studios to put on exhibitions.

Picture a carpeted mini-amphitheater that descends down toward a pool of water separating the audience from the performers. 

When our children were little, it was a favorite place for them as they would toddle down the stairs and throw coins in the water. 

After they were grown, I didn’t have much reason to stop there but one day I needed to check some phone messages and so I sat for a while on the top step. 

A young mom came along and I watched as she followed her child down and handed pennies to be tossed in. 

I smiled nostalgically and wistfully pined for those days when life was easier.

Back then, I could kiss skinned knees and whip up a favorite meal, say bedtime prayers and tuck them in safe and sound and life was good. 

Now they were off facing unknown-to-me battles and adventures.

Their hearts got hurt in ways I couldn’t ease away with my love and in that season, I was overwhelmed with the process of transitioning into the role of adult-children-parenting. 

And then in the middle of my rose colored glasses reminiscing, God spoke to me in that candid and slightly firm way He has and flashed a real life visual of me as a young mom in that same setting.

After racing down those carpeted steps behind my charges, I stood grasping the back of a jacket or the shoulder straps of a pair of overalls with a white knuckle grip and giving shrill instructions to be careful and get back and don’t lean so far over when you throw that penny for crying out loud!

 That body of water between us and the stage was swirling like the white water rapids coming off a mountain in Colorado and at any moment I knew our precious child was going to be sucked in. 

I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head reminding me a child can drown in a teaspoon of water and I would breathe a sigh of relief when our coins were gone and we could start the climb back out of this nightmare death trap. 

You think I exaggerate, but you think wrong. 

As the mother of adult children, I recognized the truth that the penny-throwing had never really been a fun thing for me because I feared our kids would fall in. 

I got up and walked down to the bottom of the stairs and looked at the water to see it in its reality and said to my more grown up self…good grief…it is like 4 inches deep. 

The worst thing that could have happened is they got wet. 

I went back and sat down and tried to grasp how I could have had such a distorted perspective that was clearly uncalled for and God whispered how perhaps I needed to apply this to my new role. 

Grasping the back of their grown up selves was destroying me. 

It was sucking the life out of my soul, interfering with the relationship changes God was wanting to bring about and it would not keep them safe and dry not matter how much I shouted warnings and grappled to maintain control.

I needed to let go of the worry and the anxiety of the what-if’s.

They might fall in…but they also might find out that they don’t have to.

They might learn their lessons the hard way and they might have the time of their lives at the edge of what looked so scary to me.

They might just find out that God sets wondrous and wide open boundaries if we learn to trust Him. 

But it needed to be their story…their falls…their standing firms… their sorrows…their joys.

Let go of your grip on them Laura, I heard Him say…I’ve got them…I always have… I always will <3

Oh Deer….

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you are keeping warm – spring is coming…I promise!

I am sharing another thought that cropped up in my mind as I am mulling over this sermon series from our church.

(Side note…here is the link if you want to listen to the series https://www.firstdecatur.org/messages/anxious-for-nothing/)

As I mentioned yesterday, I have strong tendencies to worry and can elevate a small thing into scenarios that are Oscar worthy as my mind spins and adds to the worse possible outcome of a situation. 

One memory of an anxiety attack that just screams about the futility of me worrying as I orchestrate how things are going to happen still stands out in vivid detail in my head and thankfully makes me laugh at the absurdity of my angst-habit.

Our Sarah was actively involved in all things musical throughout her schooling and so every year we made the trek to Charleston for some competition thing.

We usually made it a family trip but this particular year Russ must have been with John for a game and I drove Sarah down by myself. 

We had the Tahoe and somehow when the whole event was over and we were ready to leave the parking lot, I decided to just pull forward since the car in front of us had backed out and with all the cars leaving at the same time, it seemed safer to do so.

Except for the fact that I had forgotten there was a concrete curb separating the two slots. 

As the Tahoe clumsily traversed the block, I cringed and Sarah gasped and there was nothing to do but continue forward and get the back wheels over it and then stew my way out of the city and on to the highway. 

I fretted about what I would have done to the tires…the alignment…any metal underneath that I may have scraped…how could I be so stupid…how could I respond to Russ’s question as to what the heck was I thinking…if worry was knit stitches, I had a good sized afghan going as we made our dreaded way toward home. 

However all of my worry and anxiety and fear of damage incurred was abruptly interrupted as Sarah called out “Deer!” and I saw Bambi’s mother stare through the windshield into my eyes and then a gentle poof and we began to lose momentum and an odd smell filled the inside of the car. 

I pulled over and we got out to observe that we no longer had a front to the Tahoe. 

The grill was gone, the headlight on Sarah’s side vanished, the innards were exposed and steam ascended as various liquids dripped…and we began the process of calling dad to see what our next step should be. 

As we sat in the dark marveling that we had just killed a deer and wrecked our car and her violin was still sitting nice and safe on the seat behind us and we had experienced not even a jerk from the impact, Sarah said…well…at least we don’t have to worry about that little alignment issue. 

Oh  my gosh. 

I still laugh. 

Sure it was a nasty deal to the car but thankfully we were safe. 

And come on. 

You have to see the humor in the irony of how futile all my worry was in the long run of that day. 

And Jesus said…don’t worry about tomorrow…tomorrow will have it’s own worries…or in my paraphrase…don’t worry about driving over the curb and wrecking the alignment because tomorrow may bring an encounter with a large mammal and you will lose the whole front of your SUV….

His grace is sufficient.

Sufficient when we jump a curb and sufficient when we hit a deer. 

When worry becomes a magic charm….


Are you working today or is President’s Day a holiday in your world?

We are kind of both today.

It is a holiday but Russ had to go in for a while to do some things so I am semi-holiday mode and semi-regular day mode which means I am still in my pj’s but have started the Monday laundry chores.

We are in the second week of a short series called “Be Anxious for Nothing” at our church and I am taking it to heart so at least for a few days…and maybe the whole week…we are going to visit this a little bit.

I come from a long line of worriers who wish they weren’t.

My mom used to send a weekly letter…typed margin to margin…front and back…in quadruplicate…to my sister, my aunt and her husband, my uncle and his wife, and to my family.

It updated us on all the details of every day the past week including food eaten, appointments kept and places and friends seen. 

I am not kidding. 

Every. Week.

At the top she often penned a handwritten note with an encouraging verse or quote that basically said to let go and let God handle things…but the letter was filled with anxiety and worry. 

Typed line after typed line. 

Bless her heart.

And yet, so often I have done the same. 

As I have been working through the material for this week’s study, I faced the question and concept that was shared in the sermon this past Sunday.

Based on an article in Psychology Today, our pastor explored the theory that we somehow along the way in our lives begin to assign to worry the capacity to actually keep us from the thing we are worrying about. 

I am certain there are some easy-breezy folks out there that shake their head at the insanity of such an idea ..but I am one who nodded her head because it resonates deep within me. 

I can pinpoint in the development of my own perspective on navigating life that around the age of ten, I started to notice something. 

I was in fourth grade and living in a smallish town in Kentucky. 

Neighborhoods were linked together with fairly safe roads for a kid to ride her bike and as I began to be given more freedom to head off on my own for an afternoon of play, I found that some days my mom was not at all concerned where I was and other days she would need me for something and would begin calling for me to come home. 

Besides the capacity to worry, we Ploch/Lochner descendants are blessed with voices that carry a country mile so if I was out of ear shot….I was too far from home. 

If she had tried to rally me and I didn’t respond, the result was that she was full of angst when I returned.

I had “worried her sick” and the consequences produced a large amount of guilt in me as all maladies for the next several hours or days could be attributed to my being out and about and not letting her know where I was.

So I would begin to worry and check back in to see if she had called for me…and she never had. 

All was well.

She had been sewing or cleaning or doing whatever she did while I was traipsing around the neighborhood and I could go back out and be free for awhile. 

Except I wasn’t free. 

Because just like the report in that magazine, I began to connect that my worrying was somehow the magic charm that kept her from being upset with me. 

If I was carefree and having fun exploring the creek with a friend, that was the time I didn’t hear her calling…but if I fretted and kept a low-level guilt on the back burner while I played…that seemed to be the ticket. 

And it became a life-long pattern.

Worry – and everything will be fine.

Don’t worry – and face the consequences which are usually quite heavy.

I am not blaming my mom for this.

I probably would have been wiser to learn the discipline of time management and making sure I was working within her expectations for checking in, but instead I made a magic charm out of “worry.”

In an odd way, worry became my little g-god….and it’s been a hard habit to break. 

But praise my Big-G God…He is always in the business of helping me grow up. 

How about you? 

Is there any way that God may be trying to get you to see that you have allowed a little-g god like fear, dread or worry to replace Him on the throne of your heart? 

It is time to grow up and obey God when He says….

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Philippians 4:6 The Message

A heart of gratitude <3


Good morning!

I have been using this week on the blog to write about ways I want to love better by following Christ better  <3

I am one of those people who loves Valentine’s Day just because it’s fun to watch little kids bring home boxes from school full of little paper cards and sweet treats. 

It’s a day where you can simply show some love to friends and family in whatever small way you like and all the pink and red brighten up where the cold of winter has started to wear us down a little. 

I had some ideas to wrap up the week, but here I sit and all I have is just a funny story from last weekend…so all deep thoughts of love aside…enjoy a slice of our life <3

Last Saturday Graham received a $5 off certificate to Meatheads for passing the ball well at his basketball game. 

We had planned to take everyone out anyway to grab a bite so to Meatheads we went. 

$60 later and with our tummy’s full of meat and fries…our laps full of crumbs…our faces full of ketchup and our hearts full of love, we piled in cars to head back to the house where daddy would be just getting home from work and we could wave our bye byes and head home. 

Graham opted to ride with us and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I did what I always did when our own kiddos were little and I made it a point to say “Thank you Papi for the delicious dinner.”

Graham quickly caught the tide and chimed in with his own thank you.

This kid though.

He knows how to be funny and my my…I do love funny.


After a sincere thank you, and with perfect comic timing and an accurate impersonation of me..

 he added…

“And we should all be saying, ‘Thank you, Graham, for earning a free dinner so we could all go out and eat.’”

We laughed with him, but as I mulled that over in my head I did have to think how like me. 

God does all these incredibly kind and amazing things in my life and I do one little tiny good thing and think how the world owes me for my graciousness…I am cracking up here, but seriously….

Don’t we do that?

Ride along on God’s abundant grace and mercy and hold up a $5 off coupon as we feast at His overflowing table of love? 

Oh from the mouths of babes.

Let’s all stop a minute today and just thank God for all that He has done for us. 

Let me help you…this is from the Valley of Vision; a book of prayers credited only to “the Puritans”…

“I thank thee for personal mercies, a measure of health, preservation of body, comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food and clothing, continuance of mental powers, my family, their mutual help and support, the delights of domestic harmony and peace, the seats now filled that might have been vacant, my country, church, Bible, faith.”

As I read that list, I think how rarely I stop and thank God for many of those things.

Let’s put our coupons down and express our gratitude to God. 

I hope you have a blessed weekend. 

You are loved <3

Happy Valentine’s Day <3


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Busy day here as I am spending the morning with two little sweethearts. 

The two brothers tumbled out the door with bags of Valentines to deliver and party treats and it is a grand day for sure. 

And in a perfect world, I would have gotten this typed yesterday…but as we know…far from perfect is where we live.

So we are going candid and I am sharing another thing about love.

Love covers.

In Genesis 3 Love covered sin and shame and a couple who were deeply regretting playing at being God.

It clothed them and set up boundaries that would give them the ten billionth and then some chances we have all partaken in. 

On Calvary God covered Himself in all our sin and all sin and then He covered us. 


Happy Valentine, beloved <3