And here’s one thing that’s stopping us from being readily available to our children: worry.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:25-34
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can spend more time planning to be a mom than actually being a mom. Here’s what I mean: I’ll spend endless hours on Pinterest planning crafts, educational activities and healthy recipes. Then I’ll jump onto Amazon and spend days comparing prices and reading reviews for children’s items that I may or may not end up purchasing. Then I’ll scroll through Facebook and get sucked into yet another harrowing article about the countless ways my toddler could die.
We live in one of the most interesting times to be a parent: we have, quite literally, ENDLESS amounts of information at our fingertips as well as access to unlimited resources for our children.
It seems like the questions and worries that consume my mind these days are non-stop: If I take my kids to the daycare at the gym, will they contract hand, foot and mouth disease? [This happened – and we got through it!] What’s the best way to discipline my toddler when he throws himself on the floor and screams? Do I provide enough educational activities for my son? Does he watch too much Paw Patrol? If he doesn’t take a nap right at 1pm, will it throw off the rest of his sleep schedule for the entire week? Should I let my 6 month old “cry it out” or will he remember and resent me forever? Should I take a nap or do the five hundred loads of laundry piling up to the ceiling? Should I…? If I do this, will it…?
How overwhelming! I’m exhausted just writing this.
This cycle of planning, fear, research, more planning, nail biting and so on can keep me from being really present with my sons. There are days I spend more time thinking about mothering them than actually mothering them.
God promises to take care of the details – food, clothing, shelter – so that we can live our lives at peace with Him and each other.
Our children don’t NEED the latest and greatest that this world has to offer – ultimately, what they need is our presence. Our peaceful, wholehearted presence. Let’s not allow worry to steal us from our children. And, practically speaking, like the scripture says: we can’t even add one hour to our lives by worrying!
Here’s a reality check: I could spend endless amount of time worrying about my child’s health and wellbeing, their successes and accomplishments, their education and development, and it could not be enough. They could still get sick, drop out of school, or be developmentally delayed. …or they could be fine!
But by worrying and obsessing over these things, we’re choosing to put those priorities over a God who is powerful and mighty. A God who knows exactly what our children need. A God who listens to our prayers.
This week, I want to choose to trust that God cares for my children even more than I do. I want to choose to trust that He is powerful, that He is sovereign over their lives, and that He knows what is best for them – even more than I do. I gain nothing by worrying and obsessing over the details of their lives, and in fact, it harms my children. I’m going to choose what is better: to pray and to be present with my children.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
Praise God that we can pray to Him about all of the cares that burden our hearts! And that He is powerful to provide. Praise Him that He gives us peace, even when life is uncertain, and that that peace is miraculous – literally beyond comprehension. God is good.
Mamas, I hope you’ll join me this week in tuning out the chaos of this world and putting our trust in God, who will take care of our children’s every need. Let tomorrow worry about itself.
What’s one thing that you find yourself constantly worrying about – and how are you going to combat that this week in order to be more present for your family?
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