Finding Rest for the Unrestful Mind

The “what ifs” of raising a child can drive any mom to a near breaking point. What if he falls when he’s learning to ride a bike? What if she doesn’t know her ABCs when she goes to kindergarten? What if other moms judge me for the way I handle a public tantrum? What if this mild illness turns into something serious?

Little red dots gave us a night in the ER when my daughter was three-months-old. Little red dots have given us three shoe-in appointments at the pediatrician. Little red dots have also given me days of worry, nights of unrest, and weeks of anxiety.

These little red dots are called petechiae.

It’s a rash that doesn’t blanch, which means that when it’s press on, it doesn’t go away. It can be a symptom of very scary things like meningitis, blood disorders, and even leukemia. This is why doctors want to evaluate the situation immediately (especially if present with a fever) and often order a blood panel. It can also occur from benign causes such as viral infections, tourniquet effect, or for no apparent reason, just to name a few. This rash presents a source scale from leukemia to “just because.” Talk about worry for a momma!

My one-year-old daughter has had a petechial rash on four separate occasions in less than a year. They’ve all appeared 1-2 weeks after a fever and upper-respiratory infection (cold). I praise God that we’ve only ever received positive results from the number of tests taken to figure out the source. We’ve been told that it’s just one of those “things she gets.” It’s the “just because” reason. I’m thankful for that benign reason out of the number of other scary things it could be, but it leaves my anxious mind in a state of unrest.

My mind often goes to the “what ifs.” What if they’re not doing the right test? What if it comes back? What if it’s one of the scary things next time?

I recently read a story of a mom taking care of an infant with kidney disease who also had two older kids and a husband to love and care for. She said her calm presence through it all came from the words God spoke to her as she thanked Him for the daily bread. If you’re from the South, especially the buckle of the Bible Belt, you’ve heard the part of Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 which says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This mother rooted her faith in the truths and blessings of each day. She understood that she couldn’t control tomorrow, but could only be grateful for the daily supply of grace God gives us.

Today, I know that I have a healthy, thriving baby. I cannot control or predict what will come tomorrow, and fear of that unknown will only steal the joys of today.

Whether it’s a rash, chronic illness, cognitive disorder, or developmental delay, negatively worrying about what life will look like in the future depletes our spirit of peace. Sometimes we think that planning and controlling our family makes us feel like a better mom, but in contrast, being present, ever grateful, and rooted in truth allows us to be the best version of ourselves as mothers.

Momma, join me today in changing our anxious and fearful “what ifs” to mindful moments of gratitude and thanksgiving. Join me today in cherishing the new words, first steps, sweet kisses, and belly-jiggling giggles. Join me today in partaking in the daily bread, our daily surplus of grace, for this grace is the only stable thing in this crazy season called motherhood.

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