This is a huge accomplishment for me. Because honestly, one of my greatest fears starting out as a homeschool mom was that my children would never learn to read if I had anything to do with it.
Staying constant when things get mundane is not my strong suit. And teaching kids to read can be pretty mundane. So let's just say that listening to a kid sounding out c-a-t and t-h-e and h-a-t for the millionth time isn't my favorite.
I enjoy making fresh batches of play dough, observing kids working on math in blanket forts, and reading to them about the plight of the gospel around the world with a yummy cup of coffee in hand and the Dallas String Quartet playing softly in the background.
But the good news is that I have three readers. Three wonderful kids who love to read.
And then there's the bad news. I still have to teach five more kids to read. I just rolled my eyes and shook my head in disbelief at the screen when I typed that out. It's just so unbelievable. The only method I've used to teach my kids to read is the "wing it" method. It's akin to the "do the best you can in this season of life" method. Now, it might be tempting for you to throw out your favorite curriculum for teaching kids to read as a suggestion. Don't. I probably own it already, and should therefore start a lending library. You see, it's not a materials problem. It's a me problem.
But there's an even bigger problem at play here. It's the jumping out of today, and worrying about the future problem.
Sometimes situations in life come up, and we aren't sure how to handle them. We wish the Bible gave us more specific instructions on certain topics. For instance, when you're trying to figure out if you should move to Hawaii or Italy for that job transfer, you wish the ten commandments had included, "Thou shalt not ever reside in Hawaii." It'd make it so easy.
Even though most of the specific decisions we have to make aren't always answered in the Bible, there are some very specific instructions for how to behave and where to park our minds. And fretting about the future is not one of those places. Jesus makes it pretty clear when He spoke of it on the mountainside during the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 6:33-3433 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So instead of worrying about all that may go wrong in all of our tomorrows, we should seek His kingdom here in today. What are we to do with today? Isn't there such relief in that thought? One day. We can do one day. He's given us everything we need for today.
Joy and trust cannot coincide with worry and fear. But that's what we try to do. We try to cram it all together as if it's supposed to work that way. We think, "I can still be joyful and trust God while at the same time make myself sick with anxiety thinking about all of the hard stuff in my life and how it's going to affect my future."
If we learn to leave worry and fear out of the mix as we move into a new day without projecting it onto a day in the future, we'll be able to experience joy and trust God with our lives in a new way. And then we'll do the same for the next day, and the next.