We’re raising children in a world of influencers and opinion-sharers. We can’t change our kids’ hearts or control what they do, but we can show them the beauty and hope of the gospel.
“I’m pretty good at imagining possible outcomes. If I could clock overtime for the number of hours I’ve laid awake at night thinking through plans, hopes, & concerns for the coming days, I’d be an incredibly wealthy woman! The waste of it, however, is tremendous.
It doesn’t matter how prepared I am. Something can always go wrong. It doesn’t matter how worried I am. A solution may come in the morning. It doesn’t matter how afraid I am. The bad news may never materialize. It doesn’t matter how excited I am. Plans can change in a heartbeat.
James warns his readers about wasting too much of today’s energy & opportunity on schemes to control the future. He writes, ‘Come now you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such & such a town & spend a year there & trade & make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.’
As moms, we experience these shifts in plans all the time. Your plans to achieve a master’s degree are derailed when the pregnancy test shows a plus sign. You’re about to head out the door when a diaper explosion rocks the baby carrier. The birthday party guests are due to arrive any minute when your toddler spikes a high fever & pulls at both ears. All the kids are having great fun until your child breaks an arm.
We can imagine, plan, & scheme all we want to; nevertheless, tomorrow’s interruptions & delays will often override the best-laid plans.
...Even though it’s okay to think ahead & make plans, our worry shouldn’t outpace today’s circumstances. Jesus doesn’t encourage us by taking away our troubles. He doesn’t smooth out life’s journey so that we never experience any inconveniences or fears or struggles.
He reminds us that he already knows what’s around the corner: more trouble. Until this life ends, trouble will always spring up to greet us. We can’t control the struggles we will encounter, but we can rest in the one who carries us through the messes of life.
Our great King promises to walk with us and to help us.”
‘Mom, I was calling for you very quietly. It was hard to wait, so I prayed.’
Are the endless repetitions of prayers and practicing and talking really registering with her? Many times we’ve prayed with her to ask Jesus to help her obey, be kind, calm down. In this one instance, she took the initiative to do this on her own.
And my daughter’s childlike faith encouraged my own heart as well. It caused me to ask myself, ‘When I get frustrated or angry or impatient, do I invite him to help me and do I believe he will? Do I believe that when things are hard, he really does love to help me?’
Jesus told his disciples he would send the Holy Spirit to be their “Helper.” Jesus knows life is difficult, and he doesn’t intend for us to do it alone. The Holy Spirit can be present with, minister to, and help every believer as they have need.
In the flurry of life, we often go about our own ways, thinking we’re doing things for Jesus when really he wants to do things with us. It’s his pleasure and desire to counsel, advise, and walk with us step-by-step, even in the things that feel mundane or insignificant.
This is a precious, treasured reminder that the seeds we sow in our children matter, and Jesus desires to help us in every moment.
So this morning, I sat with my journal and listed all the things bearing down on me. The anxiety didn’t fully disappear, but there’s comfort knowing Jesus is with me in it.
This whole experience feels full circle.
We model the practice of seeking Jesus and asking him for his help to our little ones, over and over again. Then, when they do it on their own, we’re encouraged and our faith takes the example to heart. When we model relationship with Jesus for our little ones, there is truly power, for them and for us.
He is our helper, he is near, and he desires to walk with us every step of the way, every moment of the day.
How can a busy mom find rest for herself? It’s ultimately through cultivating a place of rest that can never be taken away and isn’t restricted to one day of the week. It’s a place of rest in the heart, rooted in a particular person...
We learn rest from the one who is rest. When we heap the heavy mothering burdens of the day or week on our shoulders he tells us this: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...
The burdens we put on ourselves as moms can be crushing, but Jesus tells us to come and learn from him (sit at his feet, like Mary).
What are we learning from him? To be gentle and lowly in heart. This is how we find rest in him. When we stop thinking everything is up to us and dependant on our success as moms. His yoke is easy and light for us, because he’s put everything on his shoulders. Our rest is found in putting our burdens on the one who was meant to carry them for us.