The Key to Change is Surrender



“The key to change is surrender”

I have been pondering this phrase for a few days. When I read it, the words jumped out and imprinted themselves on my mind. I suppose I will be reminding myself of this phrase quite often. I have been known to be one who doesn’t change easily. I am a little hard-headed. Not necessarily a bad quality, it has served me well in tough times. .

I read those words in John C. Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. They are the direct quote of a gentleman named, Dave Anderson.  He was referring to overcoming his addiction to alcohol. First, let me recommend this book to anyone who feels stuck or has too many crazy voices in their head telling them they are some form of failure, not good enough or constantly replaying every time you made a mistake. I call it being stuck because you just haven’t gotten back up yet.

We all need to “change” something: a bad habit, a relationship, an addiction, attitudes etc. But, part of changing is admitting there is a problem. While we don’t need to become “new” people, we can become renewed or improved in certain areas. Remember, we have the seeds of greatness within us, but we may have some weeds choking out growth of those seeds. Pull the weeds. For example, What if your weed is procrastination? How does procrastination affect your ability to be the best you possible? Procrastination can create stress, chaos and turmoil for you and those involved. Procrastination can foster tardiness, it could affect the outcomes for others, and may deplete the confidence of others in your ability to be reliable. You might not identify it as “a big deal” because you like to fly by the seat of your pants. Great for you, but not everybody else. Therefore, relationships suffer. To overcome– you would have to “surrender” to the idea that procrastination is affecting you and those around you…. then the real kicker is you’d have to be open to means of improvement and committed to implementation.

If surrender is the key– it is also only a step in the process. It is a series of things that bring about long-term change. In my field, we have a system of activities that when implemented drive ongoing success. You’ll often hear us joke around and say, “Submit to the system!” It is so hard for us to do– surrender and  submit. Often times, we have to move our own ego out of the way, because it is prohibiting our growth and renewal. We think of surrendering as giving up power- but in reality, if embraced, it can lead to greater power.

How is that possible? Surrendering GROWS you! Remember, we are in the process of weeding out old habits, addictions, and negative behavior that are inhibiting our greatness. By surrendering, you are open to growth. You will challenge yourself to become more and to overcome. By submitting, you are agreeing to a series of ideas or activities that will drive the outcome you desire– and your seeds of greatness will have room to grow.

I do not see this as a “giving up” surrender. I see it as a very powerful, look-at-the-person-in-the-mirror, personal revelation surrender. Or better yet…a release. Releasing the old way to make room for the new way. Releasing the anchor so you can soar. Surrendering to achieve and empower yourself.

Surrender and repeat: I can be better! am valuable! I have great gifts to share! I will always strive to be the best version of myself!

Gross! Warning, Read at Your Own Risk.


I have a confession to make… I am a germ-a-phobic. It is true. Many, many things completely gross me out on a daily basis. At any given point in time during the day you will here me exclaim:

“Yuck!”

“Gross!”

“Aaaagh, that is disgusting!”

My friends have always made fun of me because I am the girl with the can of Lysol.  I wipe the grocery carts. I am OCD about washing hands and “touching” things. I clean door knobs and I won’t eat at establishments that have dirty windows or unclean bathrooms. Yep, I am a lot of fun! I don’t know how I ever agreed to the whole “dog” thing. She is just a giant germ. She licks her butt, eats things I don’t want to know about, runs in dirt and then jumps on my bed.  She rolls in dead fish. Gross. Positively thinking,  maybe she has helped to condition me further and deal with my “germy” issues.

It has gotten worse in many ways and improved in others. I inherited this condition from my mom… she is actually worse than I am. Then I had kids  and have had many high moments of total gross out! I believe that you are conditioned as a parent. God knows your kids are going to be disgusting , so why not start you out in baby poo and spit-up.  Believe it or not, this didn’t really bother me as bad as one would think. Maybe it was because I had baby goggles on and believed that even their poo was precious. However, as they got older that kind of went away. It was notable that as their food intake changed, so did their stink! Oh, and then I was lucky enough on occasion to put my finger in it– or worse yet, their diaper leaked and oh glory, poo drippings everywhere! This almost always happens in a public place and while the child is in their Sunday best.

Mega Gross Out #1

One of the coolest baby gross outs was not even about me it had to do with my sister, affectionately called, Auntie. She adores my children. She cannot do vomit. Kids vomit. I had already been broken in by this time… nothing could get to my stomach of steel. Auntie, not so much. She was tough, don’t get me wrong. She could do poo, boogers, super snot and spit-up. Amazingly gifted in her Auntie role, she had not yet encountered the full force of puke. Her and my mother agreed to babysit for us one night… and things went bad, real bad.  One of the wee ones got a belly ache and spewed all over the couch… and between the couch cushions… and on any available surface. According to the testimonies of the parties at hand, there was a lot of screaming… and not from the puker. Grams (my mother) was trying to keep it together while Auntie held her nose and was trying not to dry heave and simultaneously announcing, “I cannot do this!” My mother later concluded that my sister was not much help.   Observation: Mom later donated my husband and I the couch. Interesting….

Mega Gross Out #2

Nothing to do with babies at all. In fact, this was pre-marriage. I was on vacation (if you want to call it that) with my best friend and experienced one of the nastiest things ever! It still makes my stomach turn when I think about it. I don’t believe she has ever quit laughing and uses it as “party conversation” (thanks!).

The scenario:

We were in the armpit of Texas, Del Rio. (seriously, who goes here on a vacation? Oh, yeah two really stupid twenty something girls who have no money!) We were trying hard to make things fun. Typically, we have no problem with that because wherever we are, laughter, friends and parties usually follow. But, again, we were in Del Rio :/  So, someone gave us the directions to the best restaurant in town. Alright, we are in business. “Best restaurant” needs to be used loosely. This was no 5 star dining establishment. We got our food and were thinking things were going okay and then it happened, the hair. In my food. SUPER GROSS OUT! Oh, but it wasn’t just any old hair, it was a 12 foot long strand of hair that was already partially swallowed (I am heaving as I write).  I pulled it out, and pulled some more and it never ended. I could feel the hair on the back of my throat as I pulled it out of my mouth!! Barf-o-rama. My friend laughed for hours…oh wait, she is still laughing NOW!! And, did they even refund my money? NO!

Mega Gross Out #3

This does involve my children. This happened just the other day in fact and I know that I am not alone in this experience. We were at our favorite local, chaotic, child’s place of eating and playing, you know where they have an indoor playground that all the kids can wipe their greasy fingers, snotty noses and dirty feet on everything. Yeah, that place. A germ-a-phobe’s worst nightmare!  While watching all of these kids through the zoo glass and witnessing the small feet on the glass then followed by the child that opens their mouth and presses their face against the glass and licks it!I secretly thought, “oh, thank goodness that is not my child, ” and, “maybe I should have brought a can of Lysol.”  But wait! There goes my daughter, up, down, on the floor, on the glass and bammo her hand goes right in to her mouth (to wiggle a tooth). In slow motion I scream, “Noooooo!” as I leap across 6 tables, fly through the air, bang on the monkey glass and yell, “GET YOUR FINGERS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!”  We went home and burned our clothing and bathed.

I Ponder: You know, now that I think about it, what are the children’s point of view? Really, all they see is a bunch of crazed mom’s looking in at them and banging on the glass yelling things they can’t hear? Which side is the wild life really on?

Mega Gross Out # 4 (and severe hyperventilation)

My daughter licked the bottom of her shoe. That’s it. I said it. My son told her to do it. “Lick the bottom of your shoe, ” he says. “Ok.” Then she takes a big tongue swipe along the bottom side of her flip flop while looking at him like, “There! You big, super-dummy brother.” I think I stopped breathing for a moment during this episode of super-gross. Fortunately, my husband was driving the car when this happened and I was a passenger because in an event like this, I may even black out. Yes, it is that serious. I remember looking at her and then looking at the Purell. Fortunately, I regained my senses and we promptly had a discussion about no shoe-licking.  Still, to this day, both my children will bring their shoes to their mouths and act like they are going to lick it. They like the reaction.

Other great gross out events:
  • When my son vomited on me.
  • When my friend puked on my shoes.
  • When a friend cleaned up an over flowed toilet with my good towels.
  • When my child brought a dead bird into my house.
  • Public campground bathrooms. Enough said.
  • The roach that ran across the dining room at a Whataburger.
  • The dog’s intestinal parasites…gross, just gross.
  • Ugh, when the dog rolled in port-a-potty ooze.

Ah the memories…. aren’t you glad you read this? Such quality here.

What was your biggest gross out event?

Have a great day!

~Stacey