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I watch her clasp her chubby hands tightly around every baby doll she can grab. She hugs them close and kisses their little heads. She loads them into her baby stroller and toddles around the house pushing that stroller like it’s a race car.

But if you were to try to take one of her babies from her, her grasp would close tightly around it, and she’d squeeze it tightly into her chest.

She’s just a baby grasping onto what she can in the world, knowing that there are things that she loves that she wants to keep close.

My babies keep teaching me things. I try to pull them close and keep them from the harsh and painful world because it seems like that’s what a mama should do. I pull them tightly into my chest because I want to keep them close.

I keep trying to hold on tight to everything else too…my words, my work, my man, all of it. I want to grasp it all inside my fist, tight and secure so I couldn’t possibly lose any of it even if I tried just like my baby girl holds onto her baby dolls.

I’ve struggled with what my word would be for the year. I originally thought that it should be fight. Fight was the word that I chose as my mantra when I decided to have preventative surgery last month. And it was a fight, a really good fight. But now, I can feel my grip tightening on everything around me. I want to control it all. I want to fix it all. I want to do it all. And the Lord keeps reminding me I don’t have to hold it all.  I’m trying so desperately to keep my fist wrapped around things that are not even mine to begin with.

I think my word has to be two-fold this year. Fight and surrender. Fight the evil one. Fight for the good and hard things. But don’t forget to surrender the rest. Surrender all those things that I keep trying to control so desperately back to the Lord.  It’s my way of agreeing with God that I’ll fight for the good and surrender the best. I’ll fight for my time and my health and my relationships, but in the same moment in which I pull all those important things close to my chest to claim them as mine, I will release my grasp and open my palms to the Lord in surrender.

This year, it’s both….a fight and a surrender.

What about you? What are you fighting for this year? And what are you surrendering?