Let It Go, by Chris Williams (Giveaway)

Let It Go, by Chris Williams (Giveaway)
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I saw this picture yesterday on Facebook and thought it beautifully simple and profound. What Mr. Rogers has to say is plain truth. Amid tragedy, and terrible circumstances there are always good, kind people there to pick up the pieces…lending a helping hand and providing a stable shoulder to cry on. It is amazing to watch, isn’t it? There are definitely still so many “helpers”.

In light of the Boston Marathon Bombing, I felt it best to save the recipe I had prepared for today’s post and share a little something else instead.

Let It Go by Chris Williams

This is a book I read last week.

“Let It Go” is about a man (Chris Williams) who lives here  in my city. Seven years ago his pregnant wife and two children were killed in a car accident by a drunk teenage driver. From the very night of the accident he chose to forgive the boy who was responsible for taking the life of his family members. I have been fascinated by this story from the time I heard reports of it here in the local news. How could any human being have the strength to forgive so quickly, and freely! It was a surprise to me, as I would imagine it to be to most people.

In the book Chris gives detailed explanation. He testifies of Christ and the blessings of forgiveness. While his road has not been easy, his choice to forgive has made the challenges of loss much easier to bear. Instead of embracing anger, hate or revenge he let go of those natural feelings and has taken hold of love, kindness…forgiveness.

I mention (and recommend) this book to you all today simply because, the world can be such a terrible place. There are plenty of  reasons to be angry.  Seeing innocent people become victim to senseless terrorism is so frustrating!  Most of us shake our heads with the words “why” rolling over and over in our minds. I haven’t ever been able to come up with a sufficient answer to that question. Have you? I don’t know why these things happen. What I do know is, I want to be one of the “helpers”.  I want to choose love and kindness. I hope to follow Chris Williams example of  charity.

You can watch a video on the Mormon Channel called “My Burden Was Made Light” about Chris and his family. Click here, or on the picture above to see it.

I would love to give a copy of “Let It Go” to two of you dear readers. To enter just leave me a comment below telling me something good! It can be an act of kindness you have witnessed. It can be something sweet your child did or said. It can be something good you would like to do for someone else. What ever you choose. 🙂 The giveaway will be open through Sunday night (April 21st). Winner will be announced Monday morning (April 22).

My family and I are praying for those of you effected by the terrible Boston Marathon Bombing. May you feel the love of God supporting you during this difficult time.



Post a comment!

50 Comments

  1. 1
    Angie Miller
    April 17, 2013 at 5:20 am

    My Sunday school class collected 6 soccer balls and mailed them to my cousin’s family in Texas where they are collecting 260 soccer balls to send to a school in Ethiopia that teaches children from age 3 to 3rd grade. Smiles will be priceless!!

  2. 2
    Judy Wolf
    April 17, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Your blog brought me such peace this morning. First with the Mr. Rogers quote and then Chris Williams. Thank you for this.

  3. 3
    April 17, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I, too, appreciate the “helpers” that Mr. Rogers reminds us to look for in the face of tragedy. This weekend, my community will have a supper to raise funds for the Quilts of Valor, a program that makes quilts for those in the military. I am not a seamstress at all. I much prefer my time in the kitchen. But I admire when people use their God-given abilities to make a difference for others – whether that’s taking a meal to a grieving family or sending a quilt overseas and giving a little reminder of home to those who keep us free. I’d love to read the book. Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. 4
    Stella
    April 17, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I too am having to learn to “Let it Go” after my mother was killed while trying to leave my step father.. the man I called Dad. He has never asked my forgiveness nor does he want to see me but in order for me to move on I have to let go. Thank you Jamie.. I find great comfort in the kitchen and yours is my favorite food blog, I’ve been a follower for years and have my daughters looking to your blog when they are searching for something to make for their families as well. YOU are my good thing 🙂

  5. 5
    Stella
    April 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

    btw… we made your cream cheese stuffed strawberries for my daughters bridal shower Sunday.. Oh my gosh.. they were the hit of the party.. everyone that asks for the recipe I gave them your website. Awesomeness!!

  6. 6
    Hillary Hatch
    April 17, 2013 at 6:43 am

    My husband (voluntarily) getting up with the kids this morning. Thank you for this!

  7. 7
    Sherri Nate
    April 17, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I am having the pleasure of helping out a friend who’s husband was in a car accident. It has been such a pleasure to help someone else. I also love that it is teaching my children to help others.

  8. 8
    Heather N
    April 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

    So 2 months ago a friend posted to her fb page that her and her sister were on the phone when all of a sudden her sister said she had to go,her roof had just came off! So she just simply asked if we could pray for her because her insurance didn’t cover wind damage, over half of her roof had come off, so I suggested that if we all could pitch in anything we could afford to give or felt God told us to give than maybe it would be at least a start to getting it fixed, I prayed and felt god told me to send $300, my husband was out of town and was not able to ask him, but I continually prayed and I felt this is what God told me to do, so got a card and cash and sent it anonymously…

  9. 9
    Kristen
    April 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I love to see daffodils and tulips poking through the snow. It’s a reminder that life cycles. Things change, and if we push through and hang on we will get the sunshine we are waiting for. You are a classy lady Jamie. Thank you for sharing this story.

  10. 10
    Kim
    April 17, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I just love the snuggles I get from my three beautiful children in the mornings. It is the best way to start each and every day. The days that time gets pushed to the side are not nearly as rewarding as the days when we take the time to snuggle in the morning. Love my family!

  11. 11
    Sherie
    April 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

    My In-Laws has helped this person come from addiction to drugs to not only over coming it but being a wonderful citizen. Because she has no family, Ours has “adopted her and her kids as part of our family. It’s been amazing to see this process!

  12. 12
    April 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I am always looking for the good. I think it’s too easy to see the bad and if we focus a little more on the helpers and a little less on the criminals then maybe we’ll see less about what’s bad in a tragedy and more about the miracle that is people (strangers, even) coming together and opening their hearts. My eight-year-old stepdaughter prides herself on being a good friend to everyone, and to reminding her friends that her circle of friendship extends to everyone, even the special needs kids. She doesn’t view these children as being any different (as she shouldn’t) and makes sure to include everyone when it’s time to play or have a birthday party. She asked if we could participate in an Autism Speaks run because she would like the parents of autistic children to have more money so they can (in her words) have helpers and special things at home to help. There is a girl in a wheelchair in her class as well and my stepdaughter eagerly participates in school fundraisers so they can have an all-abilities playground because right now at recess, she wheels the girl around so they can all play together but it would be more fun if the girl could be on the playscape as well. It makes my heart swell to see this kind of care for others and love for all in an eight-year-old.

  13. 13
    Sarah J
    April 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Listening to my kids play together in the other room while I fold laundry is one thing that instantly brightens my day (even if it only last 10 minutes)

  14. 14
    Natalie
    April 17, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Three weeks ago we were walking those same streets in Boston. We were there for the World championships of Irish dance. One of our dancer’s mom paid for one of our hotel nights. That was a really kind gesture.

  15. 15
    Meg
    April 17, 2013 at 7:56 am

    No matter how bad my day is, I know that my dog will always bring a smile to my face with her unconditional love.

  16. 16
    Amy
    April 17, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I would love to read that book. It’s been on my library lists, I just haven’t put it on hold yet. I see good, simple things all the time. It doesn’t have to be a big thing at all – but I love it when someone lets me know I did a good job at something. Just this week I got a couple of uplifting emails praising something that I did. It just brightened my day and I am still smiling thinking about them. I like to do the same thing, especially for the youth. We recently saw a middle school play and I sent thank you notes to all the kids I knew it. I hope it brightened their day to get one as much as it made my day to write them.

  17. 17
    Elina
    April 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    When my little 4 yr old says his heart feels better because of a song or something that brings comfort to him and I can see him experiencing the spirit working in him.

  18. 18
    Kathy in Baltimore
    April 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Knowing that every day is a blessing since me and mine are here to enjoy it.

  19. 19
    Theresa
    April 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

    We pray in the Our Father “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” We will be forgiven to the extent that we forgive others. This author seems to know the lesson well. Blessings to him and peace to the souls of his family.

  20. 20
    Kymber
    April 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

    My son told me last night how much he really appreciated me. He went on to tell me things about how I have been there for him as he has grown up…things I didn’t realize were “that important” at the time. To hear him tell me he loves me and appreciates all I have done/do for him was like the icing on the cake to know I’ve raised a great child.

  21. 21
    Kaylynn
    April 17, 2013 at 8:36 am

    The thing that brings such joy to me today is the look on my 5 year old son’s face when he get’s his letter’s “right”. I am so thankful for good teachers who touch our children’s lives in way we cannot.

  22. 22
    April 17, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Such a lovely post! My good news is that I’m going to California tomorrow, Palm Springs, where it’s 90 degrees. I’ve given up on Spring in Utah. It’s COLD outside!

  23. 23
    Linda Erickson
    April 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

    The good thing about this week is my cute niece and nephew who were watching the Boston marathon, were not hurt and made it home safe! So thankful!

  24. 24
    Tammy
    April 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Forgiveness is such a powerful thing. Hearing Chris Williams in person talk about his experience is inspiring. We all need to follow an example like his when faced with indescribable pain caused by another person’s thoughtless words or actions. If we look for the good in this world, there is lots to see. I love witnessing or being a part of random acts of kindness around me & seeing what small & simple things can do to make a difference in someone’s life.

  25. 25
    Kristine Gardner
    April 17, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I was the recipient of numerous “helpers” almost exactly one year ago. I was thrown from a horse on a routine ride around the neighborhood and ended up in the hospital with a broken back and smashed thumb. My sister-in-law, my children, and the ladies in our church were the keys to my miraculous recovery. I will always be grateful to all of them.

  26. 26
    Cindy
    April 17, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Jamie, thank you for sharing this. It is wonderful. We all need to have that attitude and focus on the positive. It was great reading all the good things that people do. I loved meeting you at the symphony one Saturday night. Thanks for brightening the world.

  27. 27
    Katie
    April 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I love positivity, forgiveness, and kindness. My little Alyssa is 3 years old and always smiling. She has severe food allergies and can’t eat many of the things we do. One day she was naming all the things she couldn’t have (in a sad voice) and then her face lit up and she exclaimed “BUT I can have strawberries!!”. Kids are my inspiration. They are so quick to forgive, they share their love, and they are genuinely excited about life!

  28. 28
    Liz
    April 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I have heard this story and it is inspiring to me. Reminds me to be quick to forgive. I would love to read the book!

  29. 29
    Cheryl Newton
    April 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

    My boys are a little older (11 & 13) than the kids across the street (1, 3, 5, 8). Nevertheless, there’s a mutual admiration society going on between them, that’s for sure. My boys were at these neighbors’ house yesterday, jumping on the trampoline. The 3YO girl was shivering in the cold, so my boys wrapped her up in their jackets! At times like that I think I must be doing something right.

  30. 30
    Katrina
    April 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Once in awhile I will see one of my girls do an act of kindness to each other and it makes me feel good as a mother. Perhaps I have taught them something! It may be as simple as getting a needed blanket or stuffed animal for their sister. If one of them is feeling sad or hurt sometimes I will glance over and see them putting their arms around each other. So sweet! They are ages 7, 4, and 3 so that is why I say “sometimes!” It does give me hope for the future that they are already learning about caring and compassion!

  31. 31
    Jan N
    April 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Let It Go is the next book everyone needs to be reading. We all need to look about us and forgive more easily.

  32. 32
    redheadgrrl
    April 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

    First – thank you, Jamie, not only for being “one of the helpers” by encouraging positivity in our crazy world, but also for sharing your talent of creating delicious food that my family LOVES. My Handsome and kiddos gobble up your recipes on a regular basis.

    Second – I would love to read Chris’s book. I have heard his story several times and I look to him as someone I want to be like when I grow up. I kind of envy him in a way; I myself am on a seemingly endless journey with someone who keeps creating new opportunities for me to learn how to forgive and I long for the peace that Chris seems to have arrived at. Someday, it will be mine too.

    Third – I have found on my journey that my burden is always lighter when I look for ways that I can help someone else. It is not hard to find someone who has it harder than you if you just look around, and it can be something small and simple that makes a difference for someone else. I work as a nurse and recently, I was reminded of that fact when one of my patients thanked me for smiling and having a positive attitude when I greeted her. She told me I was the first person who had shown kindness to her that day (sadly, it was 2 in the afternoon and she had been to several other appointments already!)

  33. 33
    Melissa Spencer
    April 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I would love a copy of this book. I showed the video to my YW class. It is so special. It really brought tears to my eyes. I always try to put myself in others situation and ask “how would I have acted?” I don’t know if I could do what he did. He is truly and inspiration.

  34. 34
    Shelley
    April 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Just this weekend one of my daughters classmates was killed in a farm accident. I know that doesn’t sound like something good, but we come from a very small community and so everyone knew this boy. To watch the way this community and especially the students in his class have pulled together to help each other has been amazing. Kids are amazing at the way they love each other and want to take care of each other. We as adults should act more like them.

  35. 35
    Jenisa
    April 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I got a hug from a coworker this morning. It made my day.

  36. 36
    Jessie
    April 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

    This was the perfect post for today. It really lightened my mood.

  37. 37
    Julia
    April 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Something that is changing me right now is preparing to go on a short term missions trip to Haiti in a week. What has shocked me is how many people are helping by donating supplies. It is overwhelming the kindness and generosity they show! This is the good thing 🙂 that is going on in the midst of the tragedy of the Boston Marathon Bombing….. :'(

  38. 38
    Janette
    April 17, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Since my kids were a young age, whenever we passed an accident, police car, fire truck, etc, they were taught to offer a quick prayer of assistance “God help them, Amen”. Now as they are in their teenage years it’s comforting to me as a mom to still hear them speak those words automatically, knowing their hearts are being shared with those in need.

  39. 39
    kristi
    April 17, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I’m so thankful no matter what life brings us, we have a loving Heavenly Father we can take all our cares an concerns to! Such a comfort! An if we are faithful to HIM, we have the hope of Heaven with Jesus. No pain, no tears, no sin an sadness. Let’s all be faithful so we can experience that together some day!

  40. 40
    Lynn
    April 17, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Hearing about tragedy reminds you not to “sweat the small stuff”…to hold family close and to spend quality time with them. As my mom always says “some good comes from everything”. I would love to read this to be able to “let go” – given my current situation with gaining custody of my step daughter has been a challenge since day one and I know there are areas that I need to work on and “let go”….

  41. 41
    Lynn
    April 17, 2013 at 11:18 am

    What a beautiful and inspiring post!

    I witnessed just last month my father making a beautiful handmade casket out of wood for his unborn great granddaughter. My mother lined it with the most beautiful white fabric and lace. I am always in awe of the things my parents do for their posterity. Even if it is such a hard and heart breaking thing. My niece and her husband had their little girl just a couple of weeks ago. And they LOVED the gift of time and love given to this precious little sweet still- born one. I want to always try and be like my mom and dad.

  42. 42
    Denise
    April 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Oh How I loved your post today ! As I wipe the tears from my eyes, and think about a RS lesson I’m preparing for on Sunday, about character–I am reminded about the many invisible as well as visible ‘angels’ that are around us. A friend, whose husband has Alzheimers, saw a young woman with a mini van full of kids and a shopping cart full of groceries in the parking lot. He insisted his wife turn his car around so he could jump out and help her unload the cart. At first, she was somewhat surprised, but then, so grateful for this unexpected stranger helping her unload and then take a moment to sing a little song to the children as she took the cart back. Smiles all around!

  43. 43
    Denise
    April 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’ve not read the book but I have heard of Chris Williams’ story. I’d seen the Mr. Rogers quote before too. But today it makes me think. It makes me wonder. In the face of tragedy, would I be a helper? Could I forgive? I think we must practice by helping in small ways and forgiving small transgressions each day. In that way, when the very hard to forgive situation or the big opportunity to help comes along we will know what to do. It will be second nature and a part of who we are. So today I will focus on forgiving the guy who cuts me off in traffic and helping the stranger in the grocery line or whatever opportunity God puts in my path. Then I will do it again tomorrow.

  44. 44
    Jamie
    April 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I love that even in the wake of something so horrible that there are news stories all over the place of people helping those in Boston without even thinking twice. It’s comforting to know that there are good people in the world!

  45. 45
    Annie
    April 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Hello Jamie, I am thankful my nephew made it through the sandy hook
    Tragedy. He was right across the hall…..we thank God every day for his safe return, and keep the unfortunate families in our hearts and prayers. The let it go book is an inspiration to us all. This man is very special.

  46. 46
    Holly
    April 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

    My 6 year old little girl told my husband and I that for her birthday she wanted everyone to bring a gift not for her but for us to gather and take the the childrens hospital for the families and kids that don’t get to go home every night.

  47. 47
    Jennifer
    April 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    A few months ago I had someone pay it forward to me – I was stepping out of my car when this guy called out to me and started to walk over. At first I was a little weary, but as he got close he handed me something and said “have a nice day”. When I looked down he had handed me a Hess gift card for $10, with a pay it forward note inside. I have to admit, I have yet to pay it forward and I NEED TO!!! But it really, truly made my day! 🙂
    I also heard from my friend, who lives in Boston, that she stopped at a Starbucks yesterday on her way to work. A woman from Sandy Hook had called and paid for $100 worth of coffee for the first customers to arrive. She said that when the tragedy happened in her town, someone was nice enough to do the same thing there, and she wanted to reach out to Boston in it’s time of tragedy – there are truly some remarkably kind people in this world!

  48. 48
    Vicki D.
    April 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Miracles do happen in the face of tragedy. We will see them if we open our eyes to Christ.

  49. 49
    April 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

    last week, in a phone conversation with my 24 year old daughter, she said how in the future when she has her first child, she wants me to come be with her for 1-2 months (we live on opposite sides of the country)…that filled my heart. i plan on
    “being” there whenever my daughters have their babies, but i had been thinking how can i help and not be an intrusion…and here she was saying she wants me RIGHTTHERE for a long time. and how she wished we lived closer because she wants me being grandma close. that made me feel like i’ve done a few things right as her momma. that’s about the biggest kindness my daughter can give me.

  50. 50
    Jane K.
    April 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I follow your blog because I cook lunch everyday for a small software company and I am constantly using your recipes! One of the guys here had won a gift card for picking the winner of the Master’s Golf tournament – – and he bought ME lunch at Whole Foods! In 4 1/2 years of cooking lunch that’s the first time someone got lunch for me … it was so sweet it made my day! I love your blog and your post today was just what so many needed this week … thank you!

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