Ignoring Next Steps


Don't focus so much on your children's next milestones that you neglect being present with them.

Have you noticed that motherhood is all about figuring out the next steps? When our children are born, we look with anticipation for each milestone. When they are toddlers, we bite our nails (or count the days) until they head off to school. Then it’s waiting  for the next grade, the driver’s license, graduation . .

All of that focus on what’s coming next keeps us from paying close attention to what is happening today. Apparently, this wasn’t only a mom problem, as Jesus instructed His disciples to ask for daily bread “each day.” I assume the redundancy is there for a reason. In case you missed it, the redundancy is on purpose.

Why do we need “daily bread” each day? Because we are tempted to focus our prayers too far down the line. This seems to be especially true of our prayers for our children. “Jesus, grow them into adults who serve You. Keep their spouse pure; give them purpose; don’t ever let them put me in a nursing home . . .”

There is nothing wrong with these prayers, I suppose, but Jesus encourages us to pray in the time frame where God is moving—right this moment. What do your children need today? Pray only about their immediate needs today. You can pray about tomorrow’s needs tomorrow, and the needs in the next decade when it gets here. For now, ask Jesus to work to satisfy your daily needs, well . . . daily.

Action Step: Feed the birds.

Grab a loaf of bread and your kids, and go find a flock of birds. Don’t have an agenda. Don’t rush. Don’t check email, Facebook, or Pinterest . . . and put the iPhone down! For as long as you are able, be present in the moment without worrying about the past or future. Make a mental note of how it feels to be in the moment, and strive to recapture that feeling as you pray.

A Mom’s Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am thankful that I can count on You to meet my needs in the future just like You have met them in the past. Show me what the needs of my family are today, and help me trust You to meet my daily needs each day.

“Give us each day our daily bread.” —Luke 11:3 ESV

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