I have a very hard time not being in control. I am one of those people who has a routine so that I can know what is coming next. One p.m. in our house always means nap time or quiet time for the older ones—always. The kids all know it, and it is so engraved in our day-to-day activities that at one p.m. we stop whatever we are doing and rest for a while. It is so much a fact of life that the kiddos no longer even put up a fuss. Even if my day is falling apart at the seams, I know that I will have at least that one little break in the middle of the day. Since I was young, having a schedule provided me with a sense of peace and security each day. It has been a huge struggle for me since having kids because, let’s face it, there is nothing predictable about little children. Any minute a happily swinging child in the backyard could fly off and break a bone, someone could step in an ant pile, or the internet could give out and Daniel Tiger will not come to play. It will not be “a beautiful day in the afternoon” after all. With little kids there is no way to anticipate or plan for everything; you must learn to go with the flow—not my strongest gift.
In moments when my perfectly planned day comes crashing down, I fairly often find myself begging God to fix everything around me—heal the child with the stomach flu, let my dinner cook just right, help the baby’s teeth to break through painlessly. I have learned, though, that in times like this control freaks like myself need to alter the prayer a little bit. Instead of, “God, please come flying in with your ‘magic wand’ and make everything perfect,” I now turn the prayer to, “Lord, give me the grace to deal with all this as you deal with me every day. Help me to love my spouse and my children with the same love that you show to me.”
Even if my day does not go perfectly, like a Pinterest mom’s surely does, these occasions provide another opportunity that God has given me to grow in holiness and to work on placing my trust more in him and not in myself or in my fluctuating schedule.