5 Ways to Avoid Being a Helicopter Parent (part 3)- Takeaways from Helicopter Mom by Bethany L. Douglas

Okay, so here we are. Blog three is comin’ at ya in this series based on Helicopter Mom about fighting fear for our kids and being fearless in our lives and parenting. If you happen to miss the first two blogs, check the first out here and number 2 here.

Thus far we’ve acknowledged that there is, indeed, an actual problem of fear in our lives, and we’ve started dissecting out some of the reasons that this fear is so pervasive. Last week’s blog focused on what we focus on… the kinds of fear-mongering shows, books, movies, music, etc. that we put into our minds. These kinds of images and ideas take our focus off of the One who deserves it most. The fear drives us to worry instead of the cross, it focuses our attention and minds on things of this world, not on things of the Almighty.

So we have a renewed focus. Check.

Now it’s time for some redecorating. And I do mean we’re changing the very scenery of our souls…. we need to clean out the idols we’ve erected all around us.

Medical Mayhem

We live in a society that flourishes with knowledge and with intellect. We have at our

fingertips the vast data of all scientific studies and medical breakthroughs; article upon article

about history, religion, science, politics, and economics. We have access to more knowledge than

has ever been accessible in the history of man about subjects that are only still newly discovered.

There is so. much. knowledge.

As parents, we obsess about the best food, the smartest doctor, the safest car seats,

immunizations, the most eco-friendly wood to use on the playhouse, whether or not the udders of

the cow were shaved when they produced that organic, raw, partially soy almond milk you just bought

<actually I conversation overhead at a mom’s group the other day- I kid you not!>. We

read books, skim articles, become members of mom chat rooms, watch YouTube videos, pour

over parenting books, take out subscriptions to magazines, join Facebook pages, and attend

seminars. We get a special plaque from WebMD quarterly as a most-valued costumer.

<Kidding, those don’t exist! At least I don’t think they do>, All to attain more knowledge; to

gird ourselves with the safest, the healthiest, the best. And then we can back up our craziness

with 1400 articles from Google and our Mommy-and-Me blog that will all prove us right…

because we can! You get my drift? We are both blessed with such knowledge and absolutely

cursed by it. Because the cold, hard fact is we think we know best.

Knowledge is fine. In fact knowledge is great! Don’t get me wrong. I’m just putting forth

the idea that man’s wisdom will always be imperfect. Thus we need to look at it for what it is.

MAN’S WISDOM. I have no issue with researching stuff. I have no issue with making sure

we’re giving our children the most appropriate upbringing. But consider the source! Unless the

source of your decision making is Christ you are in dangerous territory my friend- and very

foolish territory to boot. If you spend more than 5 minutes researching “sore toe” in WebMD,

guaranteed you’ll eventually find out it’s probably Ebola. I promise it’s not!

We live constantly bombarded by tales of woe and tribulation because of this or that. Faulty

knowledge, man’s knowledge, knowledge we too often stake our claim on. Antibiotics or

probiotics, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, dairy is good/dairy is bad,

paleo/vegan/Adkins/SouthBeach, to oil or not to oil, there’s glass in the juice boxes, there’s fecal

matter in the water, there’s a fly in the ointment, etc. etc. etc. The news no longer delivers news,

now we’re hard-pressed to hear any story about something happy. It’s all bad, all the time. Some

of it is real, some of it is faulty. How often do we take it all at face value though? Can I get an

amen? No wonder we lose sleep at night! The world around us is a scary place!

We have failed to protect our brains and now they are contaminated with filth from our

eyes (see blog 2 of this series) and false-gods from our knowledge. Again we’ve internalized an attack

from the Enemy that has been allowed grow and fester into unrealistic fear and at the same time

prideful knowledge. In most cases, as is cancer to the body, it has grown insidiously in our

minds. I would even argue it’s metastisized to our hearts. We too often place trust and faith in the

man’s knowledge. We’ve conditioned ourselves to run to that knowledge first- to take comfort in

that website first, to check our magazine articles first. It has a place of honor in our lives, and

thereby the lives of our children. And like the Israelites waiting on Moses in the desert, when

God tarried in showing up to them, they turned to something more “concrete”- man’s inventions,

man’s reasoning. My sisters… we are guilty of the very same thing. Hear me out, man’s

knowledge is fine but fallible. Our calling as Believers is to a higher knowledge- a more pure,

infallible way of thinking. (excerpt from Helicopter Mom ch. 5)

Dear friends- we have put idols on our thrones. Idols of knowledge, of learning, of (man’s) wisdom. We run too quickly too often to that which is not of God to fix our woes. And then wonder why the answers don’t stick…

So what to do? I would suggest a re-prioritizing of fear-mitigation. Instead of going to that webpage, that chat group, that book… seek FIRST God’s wisdom, pray FIRST about your worries, read FIRST about it in your Bible. This is not rocket-science people! Don’t oil first, pray first. Don’t google first, open your Word first.

I’m not saying that knowledge from the world isn’t helpful, I am saying let God bring it to you as you seek Him through your fears. Put Him in His proper place…. FIRST in our lives! Take the idols that we seek for and acknowledge too much… down. Don’t use God as a back-up in case everything and everyone else doesn’t work.

He’s not a “when all else fails” kinda guy. He’s a “I will never fail” kinda God.

Give man’s knowledge it’s due (which let’s be honest, is very little…) and start giving some real weight to what God would say, what He would instruct, how He would lead. Forget what the internet says, what your best friend says, what the family member says… find out FIRST what God would say.

Here are some questions to consider-

What or who reigns heavy in your decision-making?

When you worry about something for your children, what most effectively calms your fears- advice, books, WebMD, other moms, God?

What CAUSES you more anxiety?

We need another day of confession about this. Ask for forgiveness for placing idols ahead of God. Ask for help in keeping Him at the center of your life, asking Him for wisdom and guidance, looking to Him for calming of your fears. Look to nothing else sister!

You’ve stopped the distractions so you can look at the right area. Now put the right Person in the right place.

But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:

Fear God. Do what He tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or bad.

Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 MSG

You’ve got this! See ya back here next week!

But regarding

anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and

constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:

Fear God. Do what He tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do

out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or bad.

Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 MSG

I Have a God-Complex ~ A guest post by Keagan Hayden

I'm not proud of it, but last week, I had the realization that I have a God-complex.

Last Thursday, my husband and I were baking for an event we were having at church.  The music was blaring through the house, and somewhere in the midst of that I could distinguish the ringtone of my phone.  It was my mom.  She asked me where I was, and it was a sharper, more immediate tone than normal.  I told her we were at home.  The next words out of her mouth were, "You need to go to our house.  The garage is on fire."  I don't even remember hanging up.  I just remember telling my husband we needed to go.

We ran out the door.  Houseshoes and all.  As we pulled out of the driveway, I prayed.  Out loud.  For 8 blocks.  Then, we ran up on a police vehicle blocking off the street.  While I couldn't see smoke or the garage, that's never a very encouraging sign to me.  We parked, and I ran half a block to my parents' house in my houseshoes (which is not an easy thing to do).  As I approached, I noticed that while there were three firetrucks and two police vehicles, they were all kind of standing around, no flames were shooting up toward the sky, and the garage door was open.  After I got to talk to someone who told me it was all under control, I had the realization that even when I got there, there was nothing I could do.

I had no fire training.  I couldn't stop the fire with my hands.  I couldn't talk the fire department into doing a better job.  All I could do was stand by and watch.  Then, I thought I should call my mom and tell her everything was ok.

As stood in the middle of the street looking at the devastation that could have been I realize how good God is, and my eyes welled up with tears.  In that moment, I realized how I so often want to save the day.  In my very core, I feel like it's my job to protect my friends, my husband, and my parents. All 5' 1" of me goes storming hell with a water a pistol, unprepared to fight the battle.

That's hard for me to write.  I am always prepared.  I make lists.  I mentally prepare for situations.  I take charge.  I am strong.  I don't give up.  I have grit.  Yet somehow, every time I think it's my job to protect, I meet my end.  I truly experience something beyond my capabilities.

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I can't fight a fire without training.

I can't mend a friendship when I don't even know half the parties involved.

I can't save my friends going through divorces when one of them doesn't want to try.

I can't change people's hearts.

I can't truly save or protect heal.

I was never meant to be to someone that only God can be.  He is Provider, Protector, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Lover of our Souls.  He melts hearts of stone. He performs miracles that seem impossible to this scientifically explained away world.  He saves us from the pit and makes a way when there seems to be none.  He alone is worthy of our praise, and yet I am so quick to forget.  I forget I am just an instrument, a vessel God chooses to use for his glory, and I try to be him.

God can fathom the infinite.  God sees the whole picture.

I can only fathom the finite.  I only see a pixel at a time.

I have a God-complex.  But I'm working on it.  He alone is worthy of glory and honor and praise, and as far as it is for me to continuously remember that, I stood in the middle of the street last Thursday knowing, "Worthy is the Lamb."

keagan.pngAn Amarillo native, Keagan grew up teaching and preaching at her Barbies and baby dolls. She graduated from Randall High School in 2009, and moved up the street to West Texas A&M University to pursue a degree in Communication Studies. She met her precious husband Levi, and after graduating from college, they both taught high school. Keagan taught Speech & Debate for two years, and then the Lord began to call her away to become a Christian communicator and teacher of the Word to more than just Barbies and baby dolls. Keagan and Levi now live in Canyon with their two puppies. Please check out her blog here! I am super excited about this post because it directly addresses much of what Helicopter Mom is about... what perfect timing! Thanks sister! ~B