In an attempt to make the most of the limited time we have with our kids (it’s flying by faster every year!), we’ve instituted a few…
Random Advice That Changed My Parenting
During the blur of my first pregnancy, I received a simple piece of advice that I never forgot. I only have a guess as to who told it to me (like I said, it was all a blur). I am not even sure if I needed this wisdom with my first child. But when I had my second child 15 months later, I needed it!
Your expectations are undoubtedly high at this point. What parenting tip could possibly have been that good? Surprisingly, it wasn’t deep, and it may not even appear especially biblical (at first glance). But, if you find yourself with a couple or more children under the age of 3 or 4, I think you will find it is just what you need to hear too. Perhaps mothers with children of all ages can glean from these wise words that came from the unknown mother in my memory.
Are you ready for it?
This woman simply said, “Just do it.” I don’t remember much else she said, but I remember those three words. I remember her talking about the reality that lots of little ones meant lots of demands. Thus I have learned to translate those three words as: Don’t think about what you need to do (or the hundreds of things you need to do), don’t complain about what you need to do, don’t get overwhelmed — Just get up, and do whatever it is you need to do.
Maybe that doesn’t hit home for you immediately….
But picture yourself tired and spent after a long day (or worse, a long night), and your baby starts crying. You know at that moment there is something you need to do. You could complain in your heart that you never get to sit down for more than 5 minutes, or you can just choose to not think about it, and get up and do what you need to do.
Or picture yourself meeting one need after another at meal time. The children are impatient and demanding. The house is a mess, and you just want to crawl in a hole. You could begin to develop a bad attitude or become discouraged at all there is to do. OR, you can just do what needs to be done. One task at a time. Don’t think about it, just do it.
The time I reflect on this advice the most is going up my stairs. For one need or another, I find myself going up and down my stairs a couple dozen times a day. When I’m especially exhausted, each step can feel like a chore. This is when I must tell myself, “don’t dwell on the difficulty of these moments (or of each step) – just do what needs to be done!”
But Is This Even Biblical?
Though “just do it” doesn’t correlate with any particular Bible verse, it is surely biblical. At least in the way we should apply it. The idea is: God has placed you in the situation you are in, and with his help you can do all that is placed before you. Furthermore, you can do it without disobeying commands such as “Do all things without grumbling” (Phil. 2:14), or “Do not be anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6). God can help you get through these moments well. In fact, you can do it all “to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
What it comes down to is realizing there is no benefit to dwelling on how difficult things currently are. We need to remind ourselves that it is sinful to get anxious or complain. Which often means our only option is to just get up and get going on whatever it is we know we need to do.
What makes this advice good is the fact that we know God is ready to help us be godly moms. When we just get going, he can help us keep going. For when you are weak, that is when he gives you his strength (2 Cor. 12:9).
Simple, Biblical… & Effective!
Perhaps there is deeper truth and advice you prefer to dwell on. But It is surprising how far the simple advice “just do it” will get you. It comes down to recognizing you have a job that will be quite difficult at times, but you can do what it takes with a good attitude.
Try it out sometime – as you walk up your stairs, as you hear that crying child, as the tasks become daunting. Stop your mind from dwelling on what you don’t want to do, and instead just tell yourself “it’s time to just do it.” And then just do it, whatever it is.