As my almost-4-year-old’s birthday approaches at the end of the week, I’m flooded with emotions and anxieties. First, this is the first year we aren’t planning a party for him. We are just celebrating him within our family. Two, he’s turning into such a little man, and my momma heart squeezes tightly in my chest as I think about what that means for him.
The world is not a friendly place. Full of hatred and temptations, and I am expected to not only prepare him for survival in it, but also keeping his faith in spite of the pushback the world will give him. That’s a lot of pressure. Pressure that I have allowed to consume my spirit this week.
So how is a a mom supposed to:
Protect her kids from the world, but let them play with new friends.
Keep their faith strong, but allow them to have a life
Keep them alive, but also let them make mistakes and get hurt
Feed them balanced meals, but let them go trick-or-treating
There’s so much pressure in being a mom and raising Christian kids!
Last night, I’d let my anxiety reach a peak. I was laying in bed, dwelling on just the mere possibilities of struggles my kids may have. I could feel my back becoming tighter and tighter the longer I let my mind dwell. My breathing started to pick up. My head began to pound from the tension in my neck.
I finally took a deep breath and just started praying. Praying that the Lord would take away my anxiety for my kids and their futures. My fears that may truly turn into nothing. My stress over whether or not I’m messing them all up. As I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, my back began to loosen. My stomach stopped turning. I heard the Lord speak to me.
“Your kids are not your kids. They are mine.”
I realized that I’ve been holding onto my children with a clutched fist, not wanting real life to impede on the oasis I’ve built for them in our home. But the truth is, not matter how much I cloak, no matter how hard I hold, the world will seep in.
Yesterday morning, Emerson pointed to a pile of stuff on the kitchen table and asked “Is that my crap?”
My mouth. Fell. Open. I couldn’t believe the word “crap” had actually come out of his little mouth! Now, I realize that “crap” isn’t actually a curse word, but it is a crass word, and my husband and I do not make a habit out of using crass words, especially not around our kids. So where did he pick it up from? The world gets in.
The Lord didn’t give me my children so that I can stress over their futures during the night. He gave me my children because my husband and I are the only ones who are suited to prepare them for the future He has planned for them. Let that seep in.
So when you catch yourself comparing your mothering style to the mom next door, remember that the Lord’s plans for her kids, is not the same plan He has for yours. And only you can prepare them for that plan.
When you are up in the middle of the night, stressing about what temptations the world is going to throw at your kids, or whether or not they’ll have friends when they get to elementary school, remember that their future is for the Lord to worry about.
Your job is to remain close to the Father, and allow His influence to come through in your raising of your kids. The world gets in sometimes, but when you’re close to the Lord, those things of the world cannot stay. They are redirected right out the door, and back to where they came from.