Photo credit: Emily :)
Let's start here:
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Bible commands us to 'not be anxious about anything,' but to pray to God for help.
That should be simple right? Except we all know it's not.
Life is hard, joyous most days, but hard.
I'd like to tackle the things I see Moms worrying about the most, one by one.
Moms worry about not doing enough for their children.
My computer's dictionary has two definitions for worry as a verb.
worry |ˈwərē|verb (worries, worrying, worried)1 [ no obj. ] give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles: he worried about his soldier sons in the war | [ with clause ] : I began to worry whether I had done the right thing.• [ with obj. ] cause to feel anxiety or concern: there was no need to worry her | I've been worrying myself sick over my mother.• [ with obj. ] cause annoyance to: the noise never really stops, but it doesn't worry me.2 [ with obj. ] (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth: I found my dog contentedly worrying a bone.
Either of them could often be used to describe Moms today. That should NOT be who we are or what we do. The first definition describes allowing our minds to dwell on difficulties. Life can be extremely difficult, but dwelling on our difficulties does not improve our situation (or our attitude!)
God is in control of our lives. If you are a Christian, you need to trust that God knows each of your days and each of your needs. Those verses in Philippians remind us that He is 'at hand' (near) and we can always, repeatedly, tell Him our concerns.
Moms are emotional, that's what makes us such great Moms! But, when you let emotions focus you on the wrong things, you worry. (I know, I've been there!)
So today's dot to STOP focusing on is how much we do for our kids. I see this as a particularly difficult prospect for two kinds of Moms: homeschooling Mom and working Moms.
Moms who work outside the home can often let feelings of guilt overcome their knowledge that God is working through them. They worry about how to balance all of life's demands. Let me tell you a secret: ONLY GOD can balance all of your life's demands! That is why He is 'at hand.' God is handling your every need (& a lot of your wants) and you do Him a disservice if you think you can better handle this world than He can. So choose carefully how you respond each morning and each night to your life's demands. Choose to give it all over to God through prayer and then trust Him to guide your choices. If you feel like you're not hearing His will, you might want to evaluate how much time you're spending in His word.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
So, do you need help? Pray, read. Just like Matthew tells us "Ask, seek, knock."
The second group of Moms I see struggling with how much they should be doing for their kids are homeschooling Moms. Hear this: if your child can read, and you've taught them how to learn (read for comprehension, look things up in a dictionary or encyclopedia) then you've got the basics covered for education.
What you might be missing is joy! Are you sharing your faith with your children? Are they seeing a Mom who finds joy when she reads her Bible or sings hymns? Do your children see a Mom that enjoys fellowship? If any of these things are missing, it's probably because you're too busy worrying about which science book or handwriting curriculum to use next year. Maybe you're so focused on worrying about college that you forget your kids are still under 10.
How do I know this? I've been there, done that. I see Moms at the exhibit hall at homeschool conventions looking overwhelmed and talking about "not doing enough." Are you loving your children? Are you loving your husband? Are you providing educational materials and experiences (even if they don't look like everybody else's)?! Then you are doing enough. Don't fall into the trap of focusing on the dot (worrying) about needing a particular curriculum/ planner/ manipulatives, etc. to be able to teach your children at home (or in the car, at the park, or at Grandma's house.) There are a lot of great resources out there to help you teach your children, BUT you don't need to use every one of them!
Worry in a homeschool Mom often looks like that second definition above - the one where the dog gnaws at or drags a bone. You are NOT a dog, you are a child of the King, a Mom who is called to love your husband and children, and to share Christ's love with those around you! Don't just act like it, be THAT MOM! God is able to supply all your needs. I have seen Him time and time and time again bringing just the thing we needed at just the right time. God is not late.
The opposite of worry is trust.
Can you join me in asking God to help you trust HIM for each day? Do not be anxious, give it all over to Him, He is able. He is able. HE IS ABLE! Christ Jesus wants to guard your heart and mind. You cannot be in better hands. The hands that created the world are holding & molding you!
I'll be praying for you to find peace, comfort and joy in His presence, and direction in His Word.