About the Author

Brenda Koinis is a writer, teacher and long-time Texan. She loves discovering new books, new recipes and new ways to make her grandchildren laugh. In person and through her writing, Brenda shares what she’s learned about stewardship, compassion and unwavering trust in the promises of Jesus.

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  1. Brenda, you have given me a gift today! This year is shaping up to be full of adventure–very good things–and yet out of my comfort zone and riddled with the unknown. Even though I know God has prepared the way for me, I’ve still been harboring a white-knuckle mentality about it all, never even thinking that I can ride with my hands up in the air. Up they go, Brenda! I’m going to be thinking about this post for a long time!

    • I’ve found that the “out of my comfort zone” days are the ones when, if I throw my hands up, I see God’s grace in the greatest measure. May you find that true all year! Brenda

  2. Brenda,
    Over my lifetime, I think one of the biggest lessons God has been teaching me is to not try to control everything with a white knuckle grip, but to let go – trusting that He has everything (including me) under control. Actually a roller coaster is a good analogy for riding with God. We don’t “drive” the coaster. We don’t determine the dips and turns. Our “job” if you will is to trust the system, God’s system, and as much as we can, put our hands up and enjoy the ride. To answer your question, I don’t know what adventures I’m going on with God this year. I haven’t a clue. For the past several years I had plans in my calendar only to have them erased by injuries and surgeries, so I guess you could say, “I’m keeping the calendar wide open.” I filled things in with pencil which allows for God to change those plans. I can make my plans, but it is the Lord who determines my steps. Great reminders here this am!! Kudos for “Tower of Terror” sweet mom 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I’ve had those sort of “all plans are off” years, too. Now I try to write as many of my plans in pencil as possible, staying aware that we never know what God has in store. Thanks so much for your encouraging comments! Brenda

  3. Wow! That analogy is spot on. Thank you! It took me quite a few trips to Disney before I would venture onto some of the bigger rides….and it is WAY more fun with your hands up, letting yourself feel the joy! Disney is one of my happy places so I’m hoping your words stick with me during the roller coaster of life

    • Your comment is a great analogy in itself. It takes a few tries before we let go of our grip on lots of things in life, doesn’t it? (And I love Disney, too!) Brenda

  4. Ha ha ha! Good for y’all riding roller coasters! I’m sorry I admit I despise them!! I’m more of the slower carousel type of woman
    Although the last time I rode the beautiful carousel here in Raleigh it was speeding around and around so much that I had to keep my eyes on my little granddaughters feet! Life is speeding by you can say and I don’t white knuckle it most days when I put Jesus at the helm… I can trust the ride!\0/ hands up sisters:)

  5. It is a reassuring truth you share with us today, and a solid reason to enjoy our life more with God in control. Thank you for the valuable reminder, I needed it.
    Love, Lynn

  6. “Some One” is trying to tell me something! I receive these emails daily, but things have been crazy at work and I’ve been working overtime…so many of the posts have been deleted so that my Inbox doesn’t get overwhelming. This one didn’t get deleted, it was read. Interesting that I’m also currently reading (for the first time) “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” and very quickly recognized that I relate strongly to the main character “Much Afraid”. At nearly 58 years old, I think it’s time to put control, and my trust, where it belongs instead of holding on with white knuckles.

    • Ah, Ellen! I was that “Much Afraid” person for such a long time. God used his Holy Word and the writings of a wise woman named Hannah to free me and show me how to ride with my hands up. Praying right now that he’ll do the same for you! Brenda

    • Ellen,

      Yes. Put your trust in God. He will take that fear away. Raise your hands high in the air & say God take control of my life. Lead me where you will. Let go & let God have the reins. He will take you on the journey He has planned out for you!

      Blessings 🙂

  7. How many times does Scripture talk about raising our hands in praise and worship to God? We can and should have our hand up high!!! Thank you for this wonderful analogy. I love it. ❤️❤️

    I thought what Sadie put at the end of her comment was so cute! \0/ Hands up, sisters! ☺️

  8. Brenda,

    I’m not a roller coaster fan at all. Don’t like heights or dips & curves. Over the past few years God has been teaching me patience & perseverance. He has grown my faith immensely with the trials I’ve encountered. Not sure what God has planned for me this year. It has started out interesting with a separation notice from a part-time job. For once I wasn’t upset. I knew full well that God has better plans for me than that. I guess you could say I raised my hands high in air & said let’s go God. Sure I have tough moments in my days, but not for long. God needs to be in the driver’s seat of everyone’s life. He is the engineer taking us on this journey. We just need to listen, obey & go along for the wild ride complete with speed, heights & plenty of dips. Thanks for a great analogy.

    Happy 2019!~ Blessings 🙂

  9. This is wonderful, Brenda! I’m a bar-gripper too with white knuckles and tense muscles. I can just hear God whispering, “Ride with your hands up” and I get it too. I need to stop being fearful about so many things and trust the One who created this ride. Thank you!! I’m going to keep going forward with my hands up! Blessings to you!

    • As long as we keep listening to His whispers and trusting him, we’ll defeat that fear that the enemy tries to throw at us each day! Blessings right back to you! Brenda

  10. GREAT metaphor, Brenda! With you I want to smile, trust, relax, and ride with my hands up! (Love those verbs, too. ‘Going to print them on a Post-it for my desk!)

  11. Brenda, I love this!!

    As an avid Disney FANATIC, I can say I’ve sat front row on the Tower of Terror multiple times. But each time I ride it differently. Sometimes I’m freaking out and I won’t let go of the bar. Other times my hands fly up in the air (*and grab my neighbor’s hand who is also braving it…* don’t worry, I usually know them 😉 )

    But I completely agree, it’s more fun when we let go and enjoy the ride. Thank you for this fun and inspiring metaphor. Your words were perfect.

    Riding right along with you,
    Becky 🙂

  12. Brenda,
    Our marriage and life-journey together have been (and continues to be!) so fun, rewarding and impactful. Thank you for keeping God first in our lives together!

  13. Way to go Steve! I’m also blessed (now) with a God fearing husband!
    How thoughtful and intentional you are to respond with love and affirmations to your sweet wife
    Blessed weekend to you both \0/