The stakes were high, and I was a novice. Choosing my firstborn’s school put my beloved son at the mercy of my meager mom skills, and I was desperate to get this right. I couldn’t sleep. Fear had me wrapped in knots. I was afraid of events that hadn’t happened, yet they were haunting me like ghosts.
I was afraid my son would:
- not be academically challenged
- not be emotionally safe
- face peer pressure he wasn’t ready for
- leave “the bubble” and see darkness in the world
- not leave “the bubble” and have no impact on the darkness
- leave “the bubble” too soon or too early
- have needs that would change after I chose a school
- have brothers and sisters whose needs would be different from his
Being a mom is a serious endeavor. The development of an entire human being is placed in our care. Studies say their little brains are wet cement and will bear hardened imprints of our choices. This weight hangs on our shoulders every day as we wipe noses and mix macaroni and cheese. The fears can be crushing.
Mom fears multiply and fester when left in the darkness of our own thoughts. Intense love for our kids can cloud our usually sound judgment. We may even aware of our brain fog, which gives us another worry to add to the list!
My dad taught me to make a decision chart when faced with a conundrum, so I did. I listed families I knew whose young adult children I admired and respected. I expected to find a common school choice among them. But it was a split decision: homeschool, private, and public were all well represented. My only source left was the moms themselves. I started asking questions of people who had been there, and the cloud of confusion began to lift. Proverbs from the Bible proved true.
I knew I was engaged in a war for the hearts of my children and seeking a bold victory. The guidance of wise counselors dispelled my fears. It also heightened my chances of success. One piece of advice from a mom who had been around the block a few times changed everything. She put a finger on the issue that was keeping me so stirred up inside.
She pointed at my heart and said, “Lori, you’re trying to control too much right now. You need to make this year’s decision for this child right now. No more, no less. Every year you should be seeking God about the next year’s school choice for each child. Your job is to be assessing their needs, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance, and flowing with his answers. For each kid, each year. Thinking you can make a long-term decision today for all your children is pride. It seduces you into thinking you don’t need to depend on the Holy Spirit every day to do this mom job right.”
Those words freed me. They relieved the pressure I was putting on myself to do God’s job—to see the future and make decisions based on it. My job is to be observant and know my kids better than anyone else. My job is to see the places they need to grow and find opportunities to slough off rough edges. My job is to stand back and let them learn lessons, step in when the pressure gets too great, and to know the difference between the two. My job is to listen to the Holy Spirit as he speaks to me about my children. My job is to pray God will work in their heart in ways I can’t see or touch. My job is to do all this daily; it can’t be a one-and-done scenario.
Let this truth free you of your mom worries today. You are called to be a mom to your children today, for today’s challenges alone. You can be who you need to be for them today because God has promised to give you today’s grace and insight. Worrying about tomorrow is a fool’s errand guaranteed to lose you precious sleep. God has a plan, and he knows what he’s doing in your child’s life. He has tomorrow’s grace and insight all ready for the morning. For now, he wants you to lay down your head in peace, trusting him and knowing you gave your all today.
Lori Florida’s life is all about her people. She’s convinced that being Mrs. to one and Mommy to eight will be her most significant way to serve Jesus. She wants to use her life to cheer on and coach the women coming behind her. Lori blogs at loriflorida.com.
Photograph © Dawid Sobolewski, used with permission