I realized something recently. I want my kids to fit my mold for their lives. Often times, I act as if their ultimate outcome depends 99 percent upon me—my guidance, my decisions for them, my will for their future, my picture of who they should become. Oh don’t worry, I leave a small percentage in there for God’s will. (Patting myself on the back…)
The thing is, I am that mom disguised as a mom who “wants God’s will” for her children’s lives…BUT…
“I have to figure out where we are going to send our oldest to kindergarten in a year. Should we do public school? Well, the schools here are supposed to be great. Okay, year-round or traditional schedule? But, wait, what if they are exposed to things I don’t like? Okay, maybe I’ll check into private schools. That will provide them with a better education, right? Hmm…not sure if we can afford to send more than one child. I guess I’ll have to find a good job. But my resume looks pretty bad after four years of staying at home with my children…and counting. Okay, maybe a homeschool co-op. (Google local homeschool co-op groups. Click on first one listed.) Ugh! Why did they put such a weird looking family on the cover picture? (Scroll down.) Okay, they look pretty normal.”
If you are dealing with the “school decision” with your first child like I am (add to that being an overly emotional pregnant lady), you probably understand this neurotic thought process.
Then my thoughts shift. “Honey, I read an article about children experimenting with each others’ bodies…normal body exploration they say. What the heck?! How can we be proactive in teaching our children about their bodies and also protect them from harmful exposure to things they are not ready for? I want to prolong their innocence. Okay, no sleepovers. No shutting doors during play dates. And we have to really trust the families of our kids’ friends. And kids on social media? Uh-No. Never. Not happening. Maybe we should move to a cave.”
“Oh no. My two-year-old is shaking her ‘booty’ laughing hysterically. I’M A FAILURE!”
I turn my fears and anxieties into prayer. (Hmm, what a thought, right?)
“Lord! I’m terrified of raising my children and making the wrong decisions for their lives. What do I do? I need your guidance. I feel desperate, Lord!”
“Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.” Psalm 37:8
Fret: “to be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.”
“But, Lord, I’m worrying about good things, right? I just want what is best for the children you have given me. I don’t want to mess up!”
“We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord was never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not ‘out’ to realize His own ideas; He was ‘out’ to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.
“Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all ‘supposing’ on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.” Oswald Chambers
Alright, Alright, Oswald, I hear you! (Side note: this devotional is kicking my tail and shaping my character this year. You should check it out.)
Okay, Lord, I’m listening.
“Lord, I acknowledge I am far too often worried about getting ‘my way’ in my children’s lives. I too often forget that you are the One who dreamed them up and created them in the first place. You knit them together, not me. You formed them in my womb. Your purpose and plan for them is greater than I can fathom. Your mold is far greater than my mold for them. Lord, if I have to trip over my own fleshly control and desires for my kids to lay them at your feet in surrender, I am determined to do it. I’m determined to rest in you. I’ll strive to parent my children in a way that would honor and please you, protect and guide them, and release them into the world as men and women seeking after Your heart above all else. But I know my greatest contribution to their lives is in daily offering them back to you. Daily surrendering my own will. Daily praying for your will in their lives. Daily resting in your sovereignty. Help me to cease striving, enjoy the right now moments as a gift, treasure the little years in my heart, and not spend my time fretting over the tomorrows. Forgive me for bolstering up this ‘stupid soul’ of mine in puffy arrogance. I’m not the one who ‘works all things together for the good’ of my children. That’s not within my power or my job description. I trust you, Lord. I choose to trust. ‘Have thine own way…’”
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