Hanging In, Hanging Out, and Hanging On

Dearest Reader, 

My Soul Sister asked me recently how I’m doing in this season. I answered her with the lyrics of a song. “I’m hanging in, hanging out, and hanging on.”

You would need to know my background to understand how I came to know such a twangy country song. Not to date myself, (though my gray hair does), the song is decades old. I grew up with a country singing, guitar twanging, alcoholic father. Sober or drunk, his voice as smooth as honey.

As I’m writing this, twenty-four days have come and gone since the President declared a national emergency. Each day adds another layer or five. The number of COVID19 cases rise, loss of lives, more restrictions, longer lines, and a heightened sense of fear and scarcity.

I find myself hanging in, hanging out, and hanging on.

As our world shifts by the moment, every change takes us farther away from any semblance of life before COVID19. Familiarity and routines, upended. Pairing down. Pruning. Removing the dross and taking down our idols.

Perhaps that’s the reason that lies beneath the surface.

Our idols of busyness, self-importance, self-sufficiency, and control. The idol of being more, doing more, having more. The root of our idols, pride. That pinches a bit, doesn’t it? I’m right there with you.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites experienced similar cycles.

Familiarity and routines, upended, because of pride.

They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. 

…I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their holy places.” Ezekiel 7:19&24b 

We’ve taken our belongings and accomplishments and turned them into holy places. 

Stripping our souls bare of life with what we believe to be a full and good life. Holy is not defined by who we are, what we accomplish, or how much we have. None of these things will deliver us or save us. Only our holy God.

Holiness is to be holy as God is holy. It’s a willingness to take up our cross and follow Jesus. A decrease of self and increase of God.

 “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1Peter 1:15

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

God is holy, therefore, we are to be holy. This is the slow process of sanctification, the setting apart of self for God.

“His Word is truth, and it alone can sanctify you-set you apart for victory.”

Kay Arthur, As Silver Refined

His Word is truth, in it, we hope, on it, we rely upon, with it there is victory.


Let me know how you are coping in this season by commenting below or sending a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,


*The song, Hanging In was written by Steve Bogard, Rick Giles. Performed by Tanya Tucker. And produced by Jerry Crutchfield

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word