As I enter into what I think of as my own personal Mommy Boot Camp, the adventure that is having three kids under three when you know nothing about kids to begin with, I think of two bits of wisdom I learned over this past year that have been a tremendous help to me and have brought a lot of peace to my life. I thought I’d share in case anyone is interested:
1. Don’t worry about the future
The first piece of advice that really changed my life was the idea of carefully discerning what is really worth worrying about. I originally wrote about this here. Thanks to a brilliant homily by my priest, I realized that I often spend more time worrying about how bad something is going to be than I do actually being in the bad situation — if it even comes to pass at all.
With practice, I’ve been able to catch myself when I start stressing out about future events. I resolve to do whatever I can do to improve the situation, and then I let it go. I take it to prayer, put my trust in God that it will play out according to his will, and pray that I’ll have the grace to handle whatever happens in the most Christ-like way possible. (I should note that I do not do this perfectly every time, and I do still worry unnecessarily, but I’m much better than I used to be!)
2. God’s will is this moment, right now
In order to be able to let go of worry, I first had to learn to trust in God, to truly be able to say “thy will be done”. To do that, I had to learn a thing or two about God’s will. I got so much wonderful advice in this department from the book He Leadeth Me, which I wrote about here. I believe that it was no accident that I came across that book earlier this year, since the insights I gained from it were much-needed preparation for the road to come.
Before reading that book, when I sought to discern God’s will for my life my thought process was something like, “Is it God’s will that I write a bestselling book or that I receive status and acclaim through my field of work?” My pridefulness led me to overlook that fact that maybe God’s will for me is something much more humble: to simply, lovingly accomplish the tasks and challenges that are set in front of me each day; to not fixate on whether the future holds grandeur and glory for me; to not burn mental energy on how tough this or that situation is going to be; but to wipe the runny noses and load the dishwasher and clean up the spilled milk — with love. If God wants me to do more, he’ll lead me to it.
Thinking about this has made me wonder what advice other people have found to be life-changing. So I ask you guys: what is some of the best advice you’ve ever heard? It could be anything from housekeeping tips to discipline tricks to spiritual guidance — just some bit of wisdom, about matters big or small, that you were actually able to put into practice in your life. I’d love to hear what others have to say.
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