A Mother’s Heart

Recently I have been thinking about a mother’s heart. Not her physical heart, but that part of a woman that makes her Mom.

When a woman finds out she is going to be a mother, at least for me, it changes her outlook on everything. Things are weighed with safety, and logic. We are bound to the life within us and it is part of who we are and who we become.

When my daughters were young I worried incessantly. Was I doing the right things? Was I taking care of them correctly? Was I attentive enough? I continued to feed, change, bathe, clothe and hover as much as I could. The result? My girls became girls.

When my daughters reached the age of being girls, I worried incessantly. Did they have enough nice toys? Did they have a healthy meal? Did they have enough social interaction? I continued to watch their diet, their social lives, their wardrobe and I hovered close by. The result? They became teenagers.

As teens I worried incessantly. Were they safe at school and during social activities? Were they making right food choices when I wasn’t there? Were they comfortable in their clothes and skin? Were they happy? I continued to monitor and hovered from a distance (or so I thought). The result? They became adults.

As adults, I worried incessantly. Did they have enough? Were they happy? Were they safe? I watched from afar and tried not to hover. The results? They became wonderful women with husbands and families.

Now, their family is growing up. I see them doing some of the same things I did. I smile and try to reassure them.

But, now, my mother’s heart questions myself. Did I do right? Did I make a good example? Did I do it right?

I know all women think similar thoughts. For those of us with children, we realize they were gifted to us for a season and questions linger when we think of the season where we had influence on our children. A mother worries. It’s our nature. We want to nurture, but we need to learn when it is not our job to nurture all the time, it is time for spouses to take that place.

I think the hardest part of parenting now, for me, is to not push myself on them. My girls have families and commitments and duties that I am not part of. I think of them daily. I pray for them daily. And yes, I worry daily. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (NLT)

I love this scripture, yet, I wonder, did I direct them correctly? With those thoughts I once more pray for them and yes, I worry, are they happy? Do they have enough? Are they okay? Did they laugh today?

Be Anxious for Nothing

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

I remember when my girls were little. There would be times in their lives where they would come to me worried about something. We would talk it through, I would pray with them and it would seem to be settled. This scene would be repeated until the event they were worried about would pass.

How often do we do this as adults? We fret and stew over things. My husband always says to me, “worry is like an ugly dog, it looks worse when it is coming than when it goes”. He is so right. Worry has a way of contorting everything.

Worry and anxiety are pretty close together when it comes to words. The Bible tells us to be anxious for nothing. It seems like a simple thing, doesn’t it?

Once more, today, I am anxious for this season of my life to be past. I am tired of not being able to do everything I normally do. I found myself yelling at Dale for a very simple thing today. I allowed myself to be anxious. He, as usual, met my ire with calm. How he does that, I don’t know. But, this I do know, Dale reflected Jesus to me. In my anxiety and worry over things, I received a calm and peaceful answer.

I know the Lord would do the same thing. It’s okay, there is a time and purpose for this all. Lord, for my anxiousness and for those who are reading who are anxious, fill us with Your calm, with Your peace and let it sink in that nothing escapes Your attention or care.

” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Errands

It’s been a rainy week. Yard work has taken a back seat as the ground is wet and slippery and that does not bode well for Dale to be moving around on. Instead, this morning we went to Costco.

Before leaving the house this morning, I was online, on facebook to be exact. I read a post from a friend that talked about how we will need to adapt to things that will happen. Gas prices will continue to climb, so having multiple vehicles will be a luxury. Eating out will be a treat, not a necessity, and we will revisit old recipes to make things go further. It wasn’t a doomsday read, but more of a ‘hey, remember this?’ kind of read. It prompted some deep thoughts in me as we rode to costco.

Since rain looked imminent, we filled up our tank first. Never a great thing to do anymore, but one of those necessary evils. I watched from the front seat as Dale put gas into the car. The price rose quickly and it seemed like the gallon mark was broken, it slowly passed. When he finished, I commented that the gas total was more than our monthly grocery bill when we first married. Granted, that was a long time ago, but for what we spent at the pump, I could have gotten six weeks of groceries back then.

Lately I have been remembering prices and how we spent money growing up, how our daughters spent money and how money is spent today. Growing up, there were lean times and a few times of enough. Our daughters always had enough and some times of plenty. Today, if we look at our surroundings and the events in the world we think we are heading into very lean times with hopefully, enough.

I can watch the news and begin to feel panic and dread start to well up in me. Let’s face it, we don’t watch news to be lifted up and encouraged. I have to remind myself of the Lord. Psalm 37:25 is a good reminder for me. “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (NLT) The Word of God promises that we will be taken care of. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He knows what is going to happen. Times may be rough in days to come. We may have to change how we live, how often we go out and about. We may not have snacks overflowing our cupboards or pantry. We may have to learn how to make meals stretch. But, this I do know. God will and does supply all our needs. Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)

So, as errands are finished and things put away I will declare that I will not worry about what’s next. I learned long ago not to dwell on future things. I usually have two things I think of in these situations. One is scripture (of course), “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt. 6:34 (NKJV) and the other is something I adopted during one of Dale’s deployments,

Everyone needs a good Scarlet O’Hara moment, I know I have had plenty. I even have that gesture of putting my hand on my forehead as she did. Try it sometime, it does help. Also add a ‘fiddle de dee’ just for good measure, believe me, you will smile.