I So Want To Micromanage My Kids

The other morning I was going around to bedrooms, turning off all the lights kids had left on because mornings are just a mad rush to get to school. When I got to one of my son’s rooms, I saw several papers next to his bed, and I did what you know we ALL do, I sat down and looked through them.

What I read was remarkable. His dreams, his heartaches, his concern towards friends who are hurting. And a goal to “not make mom mad” (super).

As I read his words, I felt so much encouragement and a whole bunch of gratitude. But also this: an overwhelming awareness of my need to chill out. just a bit.

Man, I want to micromanage my kids. I have three in middle school, one in elementary, and it is everything I can do not to hover and have an opinion about every last thing.

How do we give our kids room to breathe? Room to make their own decisions, to possibly make a bad choice, or to even fail?

My son’s writings were threaded with messages that he is in fact listening to my so-called words of wisdom, which is great, but in the meantime how much stress and fear and anxiety do I keep stuffed in me like a pressure cooker? Stress about their daily choices, fear of the future, and anxiety about everybody just doing it right. Good grief, I cannot stay there much longer, because it’s not good for me, for them, or for anyone else, and it is absolutely not sustainable for the long run. 

God keeps bringing me back to this, “be still, and know that I am God”.

Be still.
Physically, mentally, emotionally. Be still.

And know.
Like, let it settle down into me. Sink deep into my soul. Believe it, understand it. Know it.

That I am God.
He is God, I am not. He is capable, and faithful, and more powerful than anything I can humanly understand. He has got this. Because He is God.

He loves my children more than I do, He is pursuing them with a love that is fierce, relentless and faithful. 

Girlfriends, I know you OF COURSE want to be the BEST MOM for your kids. You are ABSOLUTELY working like crazy to make the right decisions, in every way. You are seeking wise counsel. You’re on your knees praying for them. You’re holding onto Jesus with all your might.

But, if you’re like me, you sense that some of this craziness maaaaaay hint of one word: control. I mean, don’t we want to grab onto those issues in our kids’ lives and wrangle them all flat to the ground? Overcome them, claim them dead, sweep them up and move onto the next thing?

For me, there’s a fine line here, between claiming God’s got this vs. quietly seeking to control it. And I can call this out most honestly in myself when I admit that my stress level is surpassing my peace.

  • When I’m consumed with trying to figure it all out.
  • When I’m constantly distracted by frustration.
  • When my thoughts are filled up with all the what ifs.
  • When I am working overtime to arrange conversations and situations.

I can live here for days. Anyone else? My mind can do work trying to make it all fit together. But eventually, and maybe you’d agree… it’s exhausting. 

Peace is a GIFT from Jesus. Peace that goes beyond what my mind can understand. A gift that is free and totally 100% always available. But when I forget that, when I pass on it, and instead lock onto fear and anxiety, I am quenching and defeating the Spirit’s holy ability to move in my life, and in the life of my children

Lord, help me.

Girls, I do not have all this figured out. At all. I am learning though that not only do I need to pray for my kids, but I need to pray for myself.

  • For more wisdom during conversations with them
  • For more discernment on when to say something, and when to say nothing at all
  • For a deep appreciation of how God made each of my children
  • For an honest openness to Holy Spirit led conviction in the area of control
  • For a fresh work of trust in God, that when they make a mistake, He has got this
  • For a surrender to God’s work in my life, and in the lives of my kids

So today, for me, and for maybe you too…as we read our kids notes, their faces and their hearts…

Let us be still.

Let us pray more than we worry.

And goodness, let us be transform from the inside out, and KNOW to our souls that He is God alone.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


  1. Kim Ellingson on February 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    YES! to all of this!

  2. Linda on February 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Amen! And, as your kids get older, it never goes away, the problems change, the anxiety for them is always there, and you JUST KEEP PRAYING for them and yourself! God is in control!!!

  3. Meredith Hurd on February 7, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Such a great reminder!! Control is a hard thing to let go of.

  4. Melissa Magerfleisch on February 7, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Julie, thank you for your words of wisdom. They really spoke to my soul and mom heart. I have been struggling with one of my sons and I will continue to pray over your thoughts for peace. I especially loved when you said to not say anything. I speak far too much.
    Much love,

  5. Michelle Thomas on February 7, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Preach it, Sister! I pray for peace that passes my understanding so much!!! Just keep praying those munchkins through every stage and keep praying into adulthood!

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