Why Worry

“The Lord is my light & my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” Psalm 27:1 #amimessingupmykids

Oh, motherhood…I heard my husband’s sweet, sweet granny say one time ‘from the womb to the tomb’. She was talking about a mother’s worry. I wasn’t a mother at the time so I understood what she was saying, I didn’t understand the full meaning. Boy, do I get it now.

My worry seems to center around one little person who I have found myself responsible for shaping. That’s terrifying. And he’s only 4 (Lord, help me)! I definitely worry am I ‘doing it right’? If I sit down and think about it, it gets overwhelming quickly. I just want him healthy & happy. I want to make sure I’m shaping him to be the person God intends for him to be, and I’m so afraid I’ll fall short.

Life seems to take on a whole new meaning when children enter the picture. As I’ve made some life adjustments over the past couple of years, I don’t know that I necessarily ‘worry’ quite like I used to. Which is strange because in some areas I really should probably worry more. I don’t though and most of the time things seem to work out in their own way.

It’s amazing how life moves forward no matter what the circumstance. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss it. I honestly believe the best present we can give our children is being present. It’s so easy to get sucked into the busy-ness of life and the worries that easily accompany it. It’s natural to worry and I think worrying (in a healthy way) keeps us alert to life and things we may need to think about carefully or be aware of. Where I think worrying goes wrong is when we dwell. Dwelling on something makes it consuming. Consuming means it’s taking up time in our lives. And something taking up time in our lives means we’re missing out on other things.

Four years ago, I was headed for a worried life of missing out. I am my father’s daughter, through & through. I was a workaholic in the making. Sacrificing family needs for work needs. I worried about all the wrong things. I thought success meant working hard and being overly dedicated to work. I dwelled on most things work related. When my dad passed suddenly in 2010 a piece of me died with him. At first, I thought it was the good part of me that died. Being a daddy’s girl, I was devastated.

I found myself doing some serious thinking over the next two years. Where there is a lot more that goes into the story of leaving my job, the point is that I did. I love being my own boss having flexibility to spend time with my son. We go on adventures and meet with friends and experience things learning about life together. We have found what really works for me and my family.

When I look back now I realize a piece of me did die with my dad, but now I believe it’s a piece he wanted to take with him, a piece he wanted me to give to God- the worried workaholic. I’m still my father’s daughter, just minus that part. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of motherhood worries and I’ll try not to dwell (and I get it- that’s easier said than done- he is only 4!). But for now, I’m going to enjoy this shoeless Tuesday picnic at the park on an unusually cool July summer day with the most amazing little 4 year old I know.

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This is All I Have to Give

‘This is All I Have to Give’…My kid loves a park. He loves the outdoors. He loves to explore. Recently he has discovered tree climbing. It is definitely one of my favorite pastimes. I loved to see how high I could climb in the tallest tree I could find. Something about conquering a climb and the reward of the view at the top. It was like a new perspective. It was freeing. Things looked and felt different from above, even to my child eyes and soul.

As a mom, tree climbing does not feel quite as freeing. It’s more like a clench in the gut, a tight knot of worry about broken limbs (the bone kind). I want to tell him no. Do not climb. It’s not safe. Let’s just go slide or swing. But I did it when I was little and I loved it. I’m constantly afraid I’ll rob him of his childhood or he’ll be the kid constantly sitting on the sidelines if I tell him not to do things.

So I watch. I’m curious as it is to see how he accomplishes his tree climbing. It’s not always easy and many times up seems to be easier than down. I’m there if he needs me, but I don’t push my advice or suggestions on him. I just watch and wait. It doesn’t take him long to realize he’s in some tricky positions. His confidence becomes shaky, but he stays determined with his cute little tongue hanging on the side of his mouth helping him concentrate (I’m certain he’ll bite the tip off one day). As he figures out the best ways to maneuver back down his arm gets hung up at the very end and he starts calling for help. Of course I’m there and he knows he can always call for me.

With both feet planted firmly on the ground, full confidence returns and he’s ready to try it again. He’s focused on the fun and the experience and the learning. He sees a task he wants to master. I have no doubt with persistence and patience he will master the art of tree climbing (and I will just have to continue to pray for no broken limbs).

Our verse for ‪#‎amimessingupmykids‬ this week is: “My mouth is filled with your praise declaring your splendor all day long.” Psalm 71:8. There was a small lesson in my son’s tree climbing (can’t we all relate to the bottom right picture?). 😉 We will climb, we will get in tricky situations, our confidence will become shaky, we will get hung up, and we will have those moments where it feels like ‘this is all I have to give’. But He is always there. He is watching. He is waiting. He wants us to call out to him.

This week’s lesson mentions something that made me stir – giving God our praise even in our weak moments. That’s not easy to do and usually not the natural response to our distress. Like my son, it’s that determination. It’s knowing who our feet are firmly planted in. It’s remembering who God made us to be like. And even in those moments when we feel ‘this is all I have to give’ it’s having faith knowing that’s not all He has to give. Turn to Him, praise Him, give it all to Him declaring His splendor all day long.

*new to the blogging world…vertical picture doesn’t display correctly all the time. feel free to view full image version here as well: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bourne-Abell/258943994221736?ref=hl

Being a Mom is Tough

‘Being a Mom is Tough’…I’m participating in a bible study this summer about being a mom asking that pivotal question #amimessingupmykids? We were given the verse Psalm 23:3 as our verse to pray this week: “He restores my strength (soul). He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.”

I love how my summers always seem to bring me back to the book of Psalm. I spent last July-August doing a neat study reading the whole book of Psalm. It’s mostly a book of prayer & praise. Probably the BEST way to describe parenting- prayer one minute & praise the next! It’s a constant wave of emotions.

Yesterday I dared to venture for a day trip to the beach and the morning started out rough (prayer) as my little darling doesn’t like to have his sleep interrupted (but if he awakens on his own he’s practically emulating rays of sun out of that cute li’l tooshie). This created a 2 hour car ride with a 4 year old mouth from a place I’m really interested in knowing nothing about. And it continued for about the first hour or so once on the beach. NOTHING pleased him. The constant waves of “No’s!” and “I don’t like this!” and “The water is too cold!” and “I don’t like these toys!” and “This is not what I want to eat!” made me feel like the grains of sand having to roll with the punches of the massive waves. A constant parade of back & forth, pulled in & sucked out. And it seemed fitting that the waves were rather large yesterday morning- biggest I have seen in quite sometime. It wasn’t even 10am and I was ready to pack up and tackle a torturous 2 hour car ride back home.

I found myself silently praying “He restores. He restores.” over and over. I was bound and determined not to let this 4 year old darling of mine continue to be the waves controlling my emotions. SO? I buried him. I really did! But the beach way 🙂 I stayed quiet not to say anything I’d quickly regret, got a shovel out and started digging. He quickly stopped his whining and watched me becoming more and more curious, “What are you doing?” I didn’t respond right away. Once my hole was big enough I looked at him and said, “Hop in.” His eyes got excited, I mean dirt + boy = heaven. He happily obliged and squealed with delight as I started covering him up. He was now giggling and I was smiling. It felt like us again and back in tune with the ebbs & flows of each other.

The waves died down both outwardly & inwardly. The rest of the day moved along with such ease & fun (praise). And I found myself resting on His promise and my prayer “He restores”.

Our opinions become fixed at the point where we stop thinking. ~Ernest Renan