“Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today” (Matthew 6:25-34, CEV).
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? “Don’t worry.” Yet, it’s hard to do, especially for parents. Good parents are focused on equipping their child for the future, aren’t they?
I have found with the flip of the calendar that my expectations can quickly trip me up. Like anyone else, I want a fresh beginning to the New Year, but some of the baggage of the old year fails to stay in the past. I have had years where a crummy IEP carries into the second part of the school year. Challenges we have had with health problems haven’t been solved by year-end. Classroom bullies have remained a daily distress. 2017
How do parents create positive change with circumstances like these? Real concerns seem bound to trap us in darkness that we would prefer to be resolved. 2017
I found two ways to flip my focus when I wondered in angst, “Will This Year REALLY Be Different?” These simple strategies transformed me even if the difficulties my children endured didn’t change.
First, I had to realize that I couldn’t control the future, even the immediate future. In her book, Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry, Amy Simpson reminds readers that the only One who holds tomorrow is God. We can address nothing but the present moment. Coming to terms with this truth helped me tremendously in not getting ahead of myself. I could instead ask myself, What does God want me to do about this situation right now? Learning lessons from the present situation became much easier for me. That enabled me to impart the same wisdom to my struggling child. For instance, I could craft prayers to pray with my child before school that would remind her how to handle bullying. I could help my son break down each difficult step of administering his own intravenous medication.
Another habit that has helped me tremendously over the years has been keeping a gratitude journal. It may sound cliché or overstated, but measuring each day’s blessings changes us. Making a point to chronicle three gifts from the day before I lay my head on the pillow has been a worthwhile endeavor. I have an accountability partner as well. That has helped me to stick with keeping my journal when it would have been easy to slack off.
Measuring each little win by listing it in my gratitude journal helped me to see how far we had come. Reflecting on how we had overcome obstacles in tiny pieces each day made God’s faithfulness real. I suddenly didn’t have to be overwhelmed by what the future holds because it is His and He is trustworthy. I had proven it to myself in writing.
If you are beginning this year wondering if it will be any different than the previous one, these two simple tips can transform your worry. Remember, only God holds each new tomorrow. Grow that trust muscle by writing down each day’s blessings in a journal. Before you know it, you will find yourself even more grateful, realizing how far the Lord has brought you and your challenged child.
What are your expectations for 2017? Are you concerned about changes you would like to take place?
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry by Amy Simpson http://amysimpsononline.com/books/
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp http://annvoskamp.com/one-thousand-gifts-book/
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The HeartCORe Single Parent Conference will inspire and encourage you to be the best mom or dad you can be during these challenging times. Be blessed by the messages given by single parent experts, Misty Honnold (Single Mom KC) and Matt Haviland (A Father’s Walk Single Dad Ministry). Culturally relevant material presented by Lori Wildenberg and Becky Danielson, co-founders 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, will arm you with the current cutting edge information for families.