3 Ways I Stopped Worrying As A Mom

By Sabrina Schlesinger

I have ALWAYS had a vivid imagination! I have the ability to see things in full technicolor before they ever happen.....or most of the time, never happen. :)

As a visionary and creative person, this is a great strength! But on the flip side, this has led to a lifelong battle with worry and anxiety, which only intensified when I started having kids.

I don't know if and when this will no longer be an issue I have to take on....because as long as I have kids, and people I love in this life, I think there will always be a part of me that struggles with this, but I have found a few things that have helped me immensely, and of course, I want to share them with you, especially when it comes to parenting.

1. I must guard my thoughts.

My husband has said this often..."You may not be able to stop the birds from landing on your head, but you can stop them from building a nest there!"

What he is saying is, there are going to be hundreds, if not thousands of thoughts that fly into our brains every day. We may not be able to control the onslaught of worrysome thoughts that come our way, especially if you watch the news for any length of time, but we can control what we dwell on and stew in. 

I have had to make a huge effort to NOT make decisions for my kids based out of fear. And believe me...I want to...all of the time! I am constantly checking myself to see what my motive is behind my "no". If it is fear-based, then I readjust. This isn't just fear of them getting physically hurt or dying, but also fears of them making mistakes that I can't fix, getting into trouble, or teased and getting their feelings hurt. I have an amazing husband who really helps me keep this area in check. 

The Bible has a great scripture that helps me. In Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) it says, 

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” 

Meditate means to regurgitate and chew on over and over again. When I choose to dwell on these things, worry flies out the window!

2. I must be convinced that God is the BEST Father!

In order for me to cease from worry, I have to trust! And in order for me to trust, I have to be convinced that you are trustworthy. 

This doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. I wish I could promise that. Being a Christian doesn't guarantee us a pain-free life either. Jesus speaks to this in John 16:33 (NLT) when He said, 

“...Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

There is something profound that happens inside of us when we are convinced that God is the best Father, who only wants good things for His children. It brings a trust so deep that it releases our worry, fear and anxiety, and brings a peace that surpasses all of our understanding. Our circumstances may not change, the storms may still rage on, but in the midst of the storm we have a good Father who has His grip on us. He comforts us when we are broken and scared, He strengthens us when we are weak, and He heals us when we are wounded. 

I would much rather go through life knowing I have a good Father in Heaven standing alongside of me then braving the storms of life on my own.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

3. I must remember God loves my kids more than me!

Here is the biggy for me! This is the toughest pill to swallow and yet the one that brings me the MOST freedom when it comes to my kids.

He loves them....more than me! Period! They are actually His kids...not mine. I am stewarding these little souls while I have them here on earth, for as long, or as little 😔 as that may be. My greatest role is to love them, and introduce them to the love of their Heavenly Father. What an honor!!!! And at the same time....Holy Cow, how scary is that! 

Knowing these children are His and not mine allows me to loosen the white-knuckle grip I can have on them. This doesn't mean that I don't do everything I need too to protect them and provide for them, but it does mean that I don't have to live in fear and worry of what may or may not happen to them because ultimately...they aren't mine. 

When I have this mindset, it makes me grateful for every moment I get to be their mom on this earth. It allows me to cherish the seasons of life with them, knowing that if God allows them to be brought home to Him before I want, I can know I did my part in caring, teaching, instructing, and loving His beloved child. 

Even as I write this, it makes me tear up. Because I know life can't give me any guaranteees...as many of you have experienced. I used to let that thought terrify me, but now I let that thought motivate me to make the most out of the time I do have with my kids. 

-----------------------

I was not created to carry worry and anxiety, and when I do, my body reminds me of that. Panic attacks, headaches, and ulcers are just a few ways our bodies communicates to us that we were not created to carry such things. But we have Someone who is! 

“Leave all your worries with Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭GNB‬‬

Leave them with Jesus daily. It may be an every minute hand off at the start, especially if you are anything like me...a chronic worrier. But as you get in the habit of taking your worries to Him, you will begin to worry less!

So cheers to a worry-free life my friends! Let's live in this freedom together.

Love + Blessings,
Sabrina

 

Comment

Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina