My sweet friend, Sarah, came over for coffee last week. Years ago she and three of her college friends came to my place on Sunday nights for conversation, prayer, and a book study. We dished about drama, boys, far-off dreams, and far-away places.
Now Sarah is a wife and a mama. These days we dish about marriage and other topics that are slightly more grown-up. Last week we chatted about facebook and blogs and how easy it is to spend time reading about the lives of others instead of just living our own.
We talked about the pros and cons of all the great mommy blogs out there and then Sarah said something very wise: Maybe I should just be the mom.
I became a mom before facebook and blogs. But as I mentioned yesterday, I spent countless hours reading books and looking up stuff on the internet. I probably spent more time seeking wisdom on how to mother her than I spent simply being the mother.
I was fearful and anxious and tired. I was also desperate for the wisdom of older, wiser women who could point me in the right direction.
That’s a good thing, a Biblical thing. I am eternally grateful for the encouragement and teaching I have received from those who have gone before me. God has used them to sustain me during difficult days and to point me to truth when I was an anxious wreck. He is still using them in my life and I’m so grateful.
But I’ve realized that I can become dependent on the sufficiency of others’ wisdom to the exclusion of God’s sufficiency in my own life.
Five years ago I simply could not make a decision about school for Blondie. We’d had a wonderful year of Kindergarten at public school. Why in the world would I mess with what was working?
But something in my heart kept tugging me towards home. I’d gone from working full-time to staying home full-time during that year. I was curious to know what living and learning at home together might be like.
But I was terrified. I was afraid it would be disastrous for both of us.
August rolled around and I still had not made a decision. It consumed me. Once again, I spent countless hours researching and list-making and talking to other mothers who were teaching their kids at home. My husband and I had prayed but still felt no clarity.
One Sunday afternoon I ran into a woman who had encouraged and mentored me over the previous year. I told her I was absolutely paralyzed from making a decision about school. Instead of telling me what to do or sharing her own opinion, she simply said, Well what is God’s Word saying to you about this?
I didn’t know what to make of that question. Was she implying that there was some secret verse in the Bible I had never come across? Did the Bible actually say, Thou shalt homeschool?
Of course not. She simply asked if I had let God’s Word speak to me on this particular issue.
I had not.
But you better believe I went home and began praying over Scripture as I sought wisdom for this particular decision. Two days later I had my answer. It came to me in Psalm 25 which has nothing to do with school. But this passage spoke to my specific fears and concerns. I wept with relief and thankfulness.
The sufficiency of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit became very real to me that day.
I wish I could say that I always start there when I have a decision to make or need wisdom for a specific parenting situation. I don’t. But I’m learning to.
James 1:5 reminds me to seek the Father’s wisdom in all things: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
He is so very generous with his wisdom and I am so very lacking. But the more I ask, the more I receive. It’s such a sacred and beautiful exchange.
And it’s just another example of how upside-down and inside-out His ways are. As I mother these children, I actually become more like a child in my dependence on the Father.