I am a planner, a perfectionist, and occasionally a controller! I know these are not all great traits, but most of the time, I mean well. However, when I try to take charge of everything, it only leads to frustration and despair because…NEWS FLASH…I can’t control everything and everyone!
When my girls were little, I remember one of many mornings that started out perfect and then suddenly took a nose dive. I stayed up late the night before to lay out the girls’ clothes for church, catch up on laundry, and clean as much of the house as possible before I went to bed because, for some reason, I always wanted my house to be spotless even if we weren’t going to be home the next day. My additional plans were to get up early the next morning, cook breakfast, get everyone ready, leave on time, and of course we were all going to be in a perfect mood when we got to church. Do you see what I mean by being a planner and controller?! But just as we were heading out the door (and with barely enough time to get there), my one-year-old spits up all over her brand new outfit…the one she looked so adorable in. Sadly, we had to change clothes and be late for church! Looking back, I can see that my perspectives were out of whack and I was getting upset over things that really didn’t matter in the long run. I needed to learn how to fit a day like that into the bigger picture of life.
One of the hardest things for moms to accept is not being able to control every situation and feeling like a failure when things didn’t go the way we planned! But, in all honesty, we need to learn how to be more flexible because sometimes we create a lot of extra stress for ourselves and our families when we insist on having things our own way. If we can learn to take a deep breath and give God the reigns, we will begin to feel more peace. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a clean house. We don’t want to be tripping over things all the time or have filth turning into foul odors in our kitchens and bathrooms. However, sometimes we overdo it and insist on having a spotless house….one that makes everyone feel like they can’t relax or touch anything. Instead, our homes should be welcoming and comforting. They should also feel like a safe haven for our families and a peaceful place for us to relax when we get home in the evenings. Besides, we’re not going to be judged by God for how tidy and neat our homes were while we were raising our families, or for how cute we dressed our children for church. The most important thing is to keep our eyes on God because He will define our purpose and direct our paths. When we’re tempted to focus on material things, we need to redirect our thinking and invest in eternal things that will not pass away. We should strive to leave a legacy for our children and lead them to God.
When you overhear your children saying their prayers at night and thanking God for mommy and daddy, you’ll realize the time you invest with them is much more important than the time you spend cleaning the house. The sweeping and mopping can wait.
Meditate on the following verses and ask God to help you focus your energy on the things that really matter.
- “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
- “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
- “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)