Real Life Mama: Don’t stress, pray

Every night I pull out Maylie and Reagan’s planner, confirm they finished their homework and initial it. Then I go to the bottom of their next day and write a short little note. It is usually not more than a few words – just enough to remind them they are loved, that I am proud of them or to pray through any obstacles they may come across.

Most of the time, I think the girls love the notes – except when Reagan’s teacher uses her assignment book as the class example and puts it on the screen for everyone to see her love notes from her mom. But she is in third grade, so I don’t think they are too rough on her yet. Regardless, I still think she likes my notes – or at least hasn’t asked me to stop yet – which is good, because I am pretty sure my heart will break if (or when) she does.

Sometimes, I wonder if they even read them at all, or if I am just writing them because they make me feel like I am reaching out to them. Other than the teacher presenting them from time to time, I don’t really get much feedback on them. Are they just there now as something normal? Do they help them get through the day? Would they even notice if I stopped writing them?

One night this week, Reagan and I were packing our lunches together. As I was preparing to leave a sticky note in her lunchbox as well (yes, I know – a lot of notes ha), she told me that she wanted to write me a note for my lunch. With strict instructions to wait until the following day to read it, she scribbled out some words on a purple sticky note, tucked it in my lunchbox and zipped it up.

Now, this little girl of mine has written me a handful of notes over the years – usually with a few misspelled words where I have to decipher the message – it usually is along the lines of “have a great day” and “I love you.” But there was something in her delivery that night made me feel like this one would be special, and, although I wanted to sneak it out and read it that night, I respected her wishes.

With the hustle and bustle of the morning, her note slipped my mind until I got to my desk at work the next day. Not wanting to wait until actual lunch time (hey, I did at least wait until the next day), I pulled out my lunch box and retrieved the little purple slip that she had slid in there the night before.

With tears in my eyes, I read and felt each and every word of her short little note:

I love you so much

don’t stress

Pray – (heart) Roo

My sweet girl! This note – these words from my 8-year-old – were so powerful to me. So simple yet filled with so much love, care and knowledge. She told me of her love for me, showed me that I was seen in my state of stress and reminded me of the most important thing that I can do: Pray.

For a little background, I have had a specific adult prayer – though vague – that I have been requesting every night as we pray. And, while I feel like I am doing a decent job of sheltering my babies from my concerns and leaving them in God’s hands, I think my repeated requests have revealed that Mommy is still working on relying on God fully (by pulling my prayer back and worrying).

You guys, as a mom I want to be doing all the things that I can so that my kids know how much they are loved, seen and cared for by me. But above all, I want them to know that, though I may not always be right by their side, God is. I want them to understand Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

And nothing in this world could illustrate her knowledge better than her summary of, “Don’t stress. Pray.” Not only did she show me she gets it, she was right on time with delivering it to me when I needed it. Feeling God work through my daughter – and seeing my daughter understand it, flooded my heart with gratefulness.

She may not write me a note every day – it may be months before she does again. But I can tell you this, that note is taped up on my desk at work as a daily reminder that, not only that I am loved, but that I also need to put my trust in God every single day – just like my baby girl does.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.