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Mom's Journal

Worry Warts: What to do when yours begin to show

The rain fell in fat drops on my windshield. Great. Baseball practice would be cancelled, and I was at least 30 minutes away. Ethan would be drenched. I turned at the corner and sped down what has always been a shortcut?until today. Brake lights greeted me, causing more frustration.

I fussed and fumed to the air?and to God?about how much I wanted to be a good mother and how good mothers are always on time to pick up their children and good mothers never leave their children stranded in the rain where other mothers can see them abandoned and waiting. Turning at yet another neighborhood street, I found I'd entered a cul-de-sac and had no choice but to U-turn and nose myself back into the line of traffic. I'm such a lousy mother, Ethan will probably be abducted. Or catch pneumonia.

For the remaining two miles of my trek I was miserable. My heart pounded. My palms itched. My head throbbed. I was a complete worry wart.

As I sped into the school parking lot, I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of Ethan, or of another baseball parent. I dreaded seeing the coach in his car with Ethan, waiting for me and concluding that with a mother like me, Ethan must be a brat and didn't deserve to play the next game. But as I pulled up to the parking lot, I noticed that the streets were dry in this section of Denver. The coach was nowhere in sight. Other mothers were waiting as well.

A full 20 minutes after practice was supposed to be over, Ethan headed to the car and happily plopped down beside me.

" ? Do not worry about your life ? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

Jesus' words from Matthew 6:25-26 echoed through my mind as I pulled from the parking lot. I had worried for nothing. God had been the umbrella over my son and had placed him beside me in a warm car. I was still a good mother both for him and in front of the others who sat in their running cars. Since the coach was late, he had no idea how close I'd cut it.

How much of our lives do we spend fretting over what never happens? Lots. And the rest of the time we worry over what we can't control anyway. Jesus makes a sane point?one worriers should take to heart. If he takes care of sparrows who aren't able to take care of themselves, he'll take care of us. If we let him.

Elisa Morgan, M.Div., is president of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International. Her most recent book is Meditations for Mothers (Zondervan). Elisa lives in Colorado with her husband, Evan, and their two children. For information about a mops group in your area, call (800) 929-1287.

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