I've been thinking a lot lately about the word control. I don't know about you, but I like to be in control. But while I like to think that I am in complete control of my life and what goes on around me, the truth is, there's really very little that I'm in complete control of.
Yes, we can exercise to stay healthy, eat right, send our kids to the best schools, and never miss a day of work, but does that guarantee that we'll never get sick, our kids will never get into trouble, and will never lose our job?
Sending my eldest off to boarding school has been a reminder of the fact that I 'm not in control of everything. The first day of school he sent me a message telling me school was awesome. I was relieved. The second day the message had changed to "today was hard."
As a mother I had a million questions, but I'm fifteen hundred or so miles away. So even if he told me everything that was wrong, I couldn't help him with his homework paper, fix any squabbles with friends, or remind the coach to go easy on him--all the things my motherly instincts wanted to do.
The truth is, I'm really not in control. And I never was. Our children grow up to become their own person. From a young age, they start making choices. Yes, we guide and teach them but we can't be in control of all of their decisions or even control some of the things that happen to them. Neither can we second guess everything we've already done in the past. (Yes, there's another tough one). We all know that life can be hard. I have friends with children facing chronic illnesses, job loss, marriage issues, but where does that leave you and I?
We each have today, this moment to be the best friend, mother, spouse, we can be. To learn from our mistakes, to deal with the situations we face, to change what we can, accept what we can't change, and realize that we have a Heavenly whose bigger than all of our issues and problems and who knows exactly what we are going through.
Jesus had some amazing advice in Matthew 6, because he knew life wouldn't always go as we planned.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?"
I'll leave you with some photos from Scott and Gabe's trip to boarding school. And by the way, Gabe's last message to me this morning was that he got and A+ on his first English paper. Now there's something to make an out-of-control mom smile.