The Next Five Minutes…

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

~ Matthew 6:34

The_Next_Five_MinutesI can’t breathe. A pounding fills my ears. Taking another single step requires a momentous effort. Truth be told, I don’t know if I can do this. Life has overwhelmed me; I am drowning in a sea of heartache and worry. Just the thought of tomorrow causes panic.

As a Christian, we are reminded God is control of our tomorrows and we need worry for nothing. But what if tomorrow seems like an eternity away? It is today’s struggles overcoming our resolve to trust in the Lord and His strength. We aren’t worried about what is coming down the road. What’s standing in front of us is mean, ugly, and ready to devour.

My sweet friend, I’ve been there. In those moments I’ve cried out to the Lord, asking for His wisdom and strength. I’ve questioned my ability to conquer the challenge before me and come through to the other side. The Lord’s response was an unexpected one, “My child. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about later today. Just pray, and focus on the next five minutes.”

The Lord knows me well. He knows my desire to see the bigger picture. He understands my weakness of seeking control; my foolish belief that if I could behold what’s coming down the road, and how long the battle will rage on, I would better endure the struggle I am facing. Thus He blinds me to these things, knowing greater comfort comes in trusting Him. He asks me to trust Him in the now.

The next five minutes are all that need hold my focus. For the next five minutes I am asked to breathe, pray, and be faithful. Five minutes. Not my tomorrow; not even the hours which fill my today. Just the next five minutes. I only need to hold for the next five.

When my five minutes have passed? “Again,” the Lord reminds me. “Be faithful in the next five minutes.” Before long, five minutes have turned into an hour; which has turned into ten. The day passes, and another begins.

In those five minutes, the Lord speaks to my heart; calming my fears and reminding me of Who is in control. I cannot change my tomorrow. I cannot change what is beyond my realm of influence. But, my God can. God is not asking me to face my giants alone. He is merely asking me to be faithful, no matter where He takes me. Filled with understanding, He does not ask me to look at all my days to come, and trust. He knows my limits. He asks me to trust Him now. In the here and now. In the next five minutes. And, should the Lord decide my journey is at an end… My reward will be trusting and waking in His presence.

For five minutes I can hold. For five minutes seems so small. I need only to trust and obey.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 4:6-7

Your Turn!: Are you in the midst of a struggle, how can we pray for you?

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March Parenting Weekends – Mom, Trust Me; I Can Do It

March Parenting WeekendsJoin us in sharing March Parenting Weekends! Come read, be encouraged, and share your thoughts relating to all things parent. Today’s topic: Mom, Trust Me; I Can Do It

I could just kick myself for allowing my children more responsibility then what they are ready for. I forget that there are certain skills they must learn before moving to bigger things.

I made the mistake of allowing my kids to have too many toys at once and way too much space to play in.

After five years of parenting I decided that I want my floor, couch, coffee table, kitchen and basement free from kid’s clutter.

I just had it on one tiresome day. And we all know what those days feel like, don’t we?

I had to make some changes.

No more kids allowed or toys in basement. I boxed up 80% of all their things and put it in storage.

My six year old and five year old beg me to let them play downstairs.   Angry eyes stare me down when I don’t let them.

I tell them that when they show me that they can pick up their toys in their room and put them where they belong, we will talk about having a play room in the basement.

My kids rooms are disasters, nothing is in its place, toys under bed, and clothes stuffed under dressers.

A matter of fact, my six year old son is mad at me, because I will not let him make a tent in our kitchen. He can make a tent in his room, but he has no place to set up chairs.

Continue to read at Community Moms.

Parenting can be a bit rough at times. With a little encouragement, we can all become better parents to the glory of God!

Heartbroken

A Certain SadnessI read a post yesterday that broke my heart. The young girl was speaking out about her homeschooling experience and her plot on life.

(Normally I would post a link to her blog, but I cannot, in good conscience, do so with this post. The language that she was using was astounding.)

In short, this young person was complaining about her online schooling. Her family has recently relocated and her parents have opted to use a virtual academy. The virtual academy is not to her liking and she is struggling with learning. She is apparently very dissatisfied with her lack of social outlet and is very much frustrated with, what she views as, her mother’s lack of understanding and follow through.

So what was wrong with the post exactly? Perhaps the girl is justified in her frustration. Perhaps the virtual academy really isn’t working. Perhaps she does need to meet some new friends and get involved in something outside of the home. Those are all valid reasons to be upset and they should be addressed.

No, my problem was the attitude behind the post. The mother was called every name in the book (no kidding!) and was accused of being a liar. The young girl, very obviously, had more going on than a lack of enthusiasm for her curriculum.Looking Outside

It all seems to boil down to one thing… lack of relationship.

If her parents spoke with her about their choices and helped her understand, would she still feel this way? If she was free to speak with her parents, vent her frustrations and explain her needs, would she still feel this way? Do her parents have a history of not telling the truth or not following through with their promises?

I suppose it also got me thinking. Do my kids trust me? Am I true to my word? Do I fully explain why we do what we do and allow them to vent their frustrations, as long as they are respectful? Do we respect each other and have a good relationship?

My heart breaks for this young girl who is obviously in need of attention and help. I hope that her parents start to hear her, before it is too late and they have lost their daughter completely.

I pray that as my children grow older, they will never feel the way this girl does. I pray that our children’s needs are always met, that they can count on us no matter what, and that they feel comfortable in sharing their feelings.

What advice would you give this girl?

First we trust….

Today, we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon swimming at a friend’s house. We packed up our stuff, grabbed some watermelon, and headed out for some fun.

When the kids were ready to jump in the pool, I noticed that my son was very hesitant to get in. My friend assured him that the pool was only deep enough to cover the lower half of his body, but still he insisted on taking his time. After a few minutes, he asked if he could use his floaties. I assured him they weren’t needed but when it appeared he wasn’t going to get in the water without them, on they went. Once he got in the water (accidentally slipping in), he realized that what we had said was indeed true! I asked if he wanted to take off the floaties now that he realized he was safe, but on they stayed. My son is still learning a hard lesson, to trust and then to try.

On the way home, it got me thinking… aren’t we like that sometimes? The Lord will guide in a particular direction, even one we might very much enjoy, and we hesitate. We test the waters to see if we really want to get in. We look for outside help to keep us safe, even when we are told there is no danger. We put our faith in temporal things, when our Father is there and has protected us from harm. When we finally step in, we realize that there was never any real danger; we were safe from the beginning. Yet, even though we are safe, we still want to cling to that little thing that makes us feel secure. 

I wonder if God ever sighs, wondering when we will trust. Does it hurt when we question our safety and His ability to protect us? Does He calmly, gently, and perhaps sadly, shake his head; hoping we will learn to believe all He says?

Today was indeed a fun day, but it also taught me a lesson. I must learn to trust God and act on what I am being told. I must trust and then try.