The Great Gift of Giving Up 6 crumbled paper

The Great Gift of Giving Up

The greatest gift I think I have ever received was the gift of giving up.

I recall, we had hit a roadblock.

Not our first, and certainly not our last.

Moreover, it does not matter what. Kids, money, work, school, medical, foster care… whatever.

Today, my husband Justin and I sat before a stack of notes, doodles, hopes, plans, what if’s and if only’s and realized, there was nothing humanly possible to fix what we wanted to be settled.

Justin dropped his pencil and rubbed his head.

I sighed.

We would each start to speak, and the other would eagerly perk up and wait for the other to say something brilliant….

Wait for it…



Indeed, we had not come up with a quick fix to our predicament before this moment.  However, before we utterly stalled out, we, at least, were working together on a solution. At least, we were in the planning stage. At least, we were doing something.

My mind flashed to our four-year-old Sam. Earlier in the afternoon, he needed to go potty. He had been up since 4 am.  Sam had terrorized our household with his fatigued and wicked toddler tyranny.  And he was grumpy, unreasonable, and on a mission to get his way – the path of least resistance and most convenience.  Of course, he decided he wanted to go potty in my bathroom, and he was not about to give in.  At this juncture in his reign of malice, I was in the bathtub, and there are three other bathrooms in the house.  However, he wanted to do it his way. He was not going to budge.

He stood his ground, he wasn’t giving up, well, kind of.

I would not open the door for him, and I covered my ears and chanted to Calgon.  Once I had stopped arguing with him through the door, he was left with a couple of choices. Use another bathroom or pass out where he waited – succumbing to exhaustion.


Too tired to fight.

Low on resources.

Out of ideas.

He slept.

And now, as Justin and I sat in silence, too tired to fight for a solution…

Low on resources.

Out of ideas.

I made a suggestion.

“I have an idea,” I said.

“Thank goodness!” Justin exclaimed.

“Let’s give up.”

Silence, with the trademark Amerine smirk.

“Great.” He jeered.

“No,”  I said.  “Let’s not do anything.”

Justin listened.  My grand plan requires nothing.  We verbally give this issue over to God and wash our hands of it.

Justin quietly pondered and then said, “Well, why not?”

The truth is, we aren’t brave or brilliant, we have no other options and so – we slept.

No more thinking.  And no more worrying.  No more toiling and troubling.  So we slept well, all things considered.  Those things being a non-sleeping 4-year-old, a teen out past curfew, and a 5-month-old baby.

We slept.

It is not our problem.  There is nothing else to be done.  Furthermore, there is a huge load lifted from us.  There’s the old saying, “When all else fails pray.” However, why is it a last resort instead of our first?  When the ease of letting it go is so much more pleasant than the grief up unto the point of surrender.

When there is nothing left to be done, nothing left to work out, nothing more our human brains can perfect, God is patiently waiting, the best part of giving up.

Now, as I get ready for a second night of not thinking about it, not worrying, planning, scheming or reevaluating, I picture Him. He has picked up Justin’s pencil.  And, He stacks our notes.  This God is not critical.  He does not tell us, “I told you so.”  I picture Him straightening up our abandoned efforts on the dining room table – we have not returned to them since we handed them joyfully over to His capable hands. He seems unbothered, and unconcerned.  I can see a slight smile on his face like He cannot wait.

He cannot wait to reveal His way.  He had been anxiously waiting for us to let go.

We do not understand the magnitude of the surrender.  However, soon we will.  Soon, He will unfold His ideas and His solution.  I see Him take a seat at the head of the table, and He jots down a note or two.  As I wander past Him to lock the front door, which seems very silly as the Savior of the World sits so near the door, I ask Him, “Need anything?”

He looks up from our notes.  The ideas, the hopes, and dreams, they are not wasted on Him.

He smiles a familiar smile, and nods, “Nope, I got this. Sleep.”

And that is exactly what I plan to do.

Well… under my current circumstances.

i wish I MAY

Cast your burdens upon the Lord… Psalm 55:22

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

Check out this new podcast on Surprised by Charm: Gift Giving!


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  1. Theresa on February 1, 2016 at 6:53 am

    I needed this today! Thank you!

  2. ThatOrganicMom on February 1, 2016 at 7:10 am

    This is a beautiful post. Saving it on my FAITH board. Keep writing woman

  3. Tammy on February 1, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Shannon Paige on February 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Sorry you are going through hard times- but your writing here is very beautiful and relatable! Sometimes it is better to just let go and let God

    • jami_amerine on February 1, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you Shannon. I appreciate you commenting. He is good. It is well. Bless you friend.

  5. Colleen on February 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    This is really beautiful. There is so much to worry over and sometimes so much uncertainty on the horizon, and it just keeps coming and can be so wearying. This is such a beautiful reminder to hand it over.
    “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich

    • jami_amerine on February 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Bless you

  6. Julie Hensley on February 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I really needed this today as a gentle reminder and nudge to not worry but pray. 3 hrs of sleep for me last night due to worry. God bless you!

    • jami_amerine on February 2, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Oh no. Praying God’s peace over you in Jesus name! I hope you get a solid 8 hours with no thinking!

  7. Don’t google it… – Sacred Ground Sticky Floors on February 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

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