From Psalm 91:
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone
This verse is seriously good news for mothers. Especially ones with active children.
One of the things I am giving up for Lent is being anxious about my children and their safety.
Because my oldest was born during my abusive first marriage, I fretted constantly. I was anxious. I couldn’t sleep. I checked on her half a dozen times every night. I frequently slept on the floor by her crib, figuring that if her father went to harm her, he would trip over me.
So my son does have a tendency to forget the rules about things like climbing (it’s not the fact of climbing, so of his location choices are sketchy) or parking lots (WAIT for Mama, THEN move a millimeter). And I have busted the three year old more than once recently with a bead in her mouth (we finished teething HOW long ago, fruit bat?).
Why all the fretting?
Some of it is that I’ve realized I fixate on the big stuff – a stranger creeping in (getting past our large pit bull mix) and stealing one of them, or teenagers driving like evil dorks in a parking lot) because I don’t like the little stuff (the konked heads, the minor falls, the bangs and bruises) so if I guess I’m training by thinking about awful things so those little things don’t seem like such a big deal.
But it’s a silly waste of limited Mama mental resources. And…it’s not my job.
So I’ve realized this anxiety is kind of a bad habit, like the Diet Coke and the extra cookies. It’s a crutch, when I should be focusing on other things. I lean on it. It’s comfortable somehow to worry about the same thing over and over. It’s easier to fret over something I’m used to fretting about, rather than tackle anything new.
But what am I missing while I do that? I’m not sure – so this Lent, I’m going to shut it down (as best as I can, of course). I’m going to pray for more peace, to trust those angels that I know hover by my children all the time, to relax and know that God has plans for all of them.
I need to turn my Mama energy towards other things: praying for my husband and his sarcasm that hurts me and the kids. Praying for my tendency to lose my patience with colleagues who argue at meetings. Praying for all the women in the church who are dealing with the huge variety of challenges life throws at women.
I will leave the hovering to the angels. They have a different perspective, and I know exactly where they get their orders. My kids are in good hands.