This past weekend at my church, our Pastor offered a sermon on worry. I could really relate because I grew up in a worrisome home.
Full of anxiety, my Nanny would always remind me of the scary stuff I had to watch out for in life: strangers, pedophiles waiting in parked cars on my walk to school, staying up too late, getting hurt outside, drowning in the pool, driving in the car…. the list went on and on.
While in my other ear, my dad would not allow me to do things which could result in a bad experience, or worse: harm. For instance, I could not drive a small car. When I was sixteen I wanted a Corvette (okay, champagne taste on a beer budget I was told)…so I settled on a white Toyota MR2. Nope, he vetoed that and wound up giving me his Ford F150 to drive to school instead because the car I wanted was too small and I could get killed in it.
I could not do this, or that, go here, or there, all because ‘God-forbid, something could happen to me’. I realize they cared, but honestly…
As I grew older, I inherited that habit of worry. So much that while I was dating my children’s dad back in 1994, he gave me a worry stone as a gift.
Interestingly enough, I can say I have never been afraid to try new things (probably felt stifled), but it has actually been just over the last two years that I have been able to drop the stress of daily life and what-if’s, and relax more.
Much of it has been prayer, some of it is this year’s My One Word: “Relax”, and some is just refusing to live in fear- and choosing instead to focus on ways to enjoy life (and the moment).
I am happy to extend this faith to my children. Life can bring us much to fret about, it’s our job to let go of it and enjoy the moment-and teach them to do the same.
A football (and New Orleans Saints) fan, I’ve been reading ‘Coming Back Stronger’. It’s an auto-biography about Drew Brees. I picked it up because I admire his leadership and wanted to learn more about my team. (Okay, haters, I have/do support the Browns and always pray for the team to do well, and make good choices, I just enjoy the Saints and Drew Brees more- can you blame me?)
Anyhow-in his book I found this quote comforting and inspiring:
With all there is in life to worry about, only concern yourself with the stuff you can control. Let go of the rest and let it fall into (or out of) place. Your kids need you to be in the present, and they need to lead less stressful lives themselves so that they can cope with all the stuff already being thrown at them.
If you want to listen to the sermon on worry, click here, it should be online soon.
(…insert eyeball and other appropriate words here…)