I am a controller. That is, I like to be in control. When I had my first baby, I wanted the house to be totally babyproofed. Mostly so I could relax. Seven years and five kids later, my house is still fairly babyproof. It is definitely easier to stay home with these crazy monkeys than to go out into the world where I actually have to watch them.
I was thinking about this as I sat outside with my four year old, two year old and one year old. My one year old was putting everything she could get her hands on into her mouth and climbing precariously onto a scooter. I thought about how much has changed in seven years that I could even allow my daughter to sit there covered in dirt, hair standing on end as a result of running her greasy hands through it. I have eased up a bit, and it is a good thing. I can get so wrapped up making sure my kids look perfect everytime we are out or making sure the house looks perfect anytime someone stops by or catching my kids before they hurt themselves. At some point, I have put my trust in God to care for my kids better than I could ever hope to.
For me, sending my oldest off to public school for kindergarten last year was relinquishing a bit of the control. I’m not saying everyone should send their kids to public school, but my husband and I prayed and decided that this was the right choice for us right now. We now have a first grader and kindergartener in school. Some days I have an overwhelming sense of fear, and I face those days with constant prayer throughout the school day. I am starting to realize that I can’t protect my kids from everything. Bad things could happen no matter where we go. I have to spend time daily in the Word and in prayer and line up my will with God’s.
So, all that to say staying in the babyproof zone does make a mom’s life easier, but I want my kids to have experiences outside of what is comfortable to me. I want them to appreciate the beauty in nature and people that God created. I want them to see diversity and contrast. I want to shelter them from everything bad, but I can’t. God can use some of the negative things that they will inevitably experience to shape their young little lives.
You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Psalm 91:1-4 (The Message)