Decision making is just part of parenting. Actually, it’s just part of life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. We all need wisdom to make decisions day to day. The question is: where do we find it? What do we do when we don’t know what to do?
I’ll be honest. Right now, we are facing quite a few big decisions. The kind of decisions that wake you up at night and leave you searching Pinterest for something simple, something you don’t have to think too much about.
Like sugar cookies. I’ve been pinning sugar cookies. At 3 a.m. A lot.
Because I can decide I like this cookie, not that one. That’s easy.
How to redesign my home to make room for my elderly inlaws? Not so much.
Then, there’s homeschooling. We’ve been doing it for the last five years, and we might just keep right on. We also may make a change, and so instead of researching and ordering curriculum like we usually do this time of year, we’re visiting schools and talking to our kids about the possibilities available to us.
All of this while I still wake up every day and decide what to cook for breakfast, what we’ll eat for lunch and what I’ll make for dinner and who should do the dishes and what the twins should wear and when to take one kid to the doctor and whether another should spend the night at a friend’s.
You know, all of the decision making moms do on a daily basis.
Some evenings, I want to scream, “Do not ask me any more questions! I’m done for the day!”
Ask Mom. She knows.
But we can’t do that, can we, moms? We are the designated knowers of all things, right? I mean, how many times have your kids walked right past your husband to ask you a question he could easily answer? Why do they do that? Because they think moms know all the answers. Answers to questions like:
- “Where are my socks?”
- “Is he allergic to nuts?”
- “When is camp?”
- “What’s her phone number?”
- “Where’s the wifi password?”
- “Is my shirt at the cleaners?”
And those are just the “when’s” and “where’s”. Though the questions can be tiring, we usually do know the answers to them. The “can I’s” and “may I’s” can be a bit harder to deal with, however.
- “Can I have another cookie?”
- “May I go to the concert?”
- “Can I have a cell phone?”
- “May I watch this show?”
- “Can I see that movie?”
But the hardest questions of all just might be the ones that start with the word “why.”
- “Why can’t I have that?”
- “Why can’t we go there?”
- “Why did she do that?”
- “Why did God let this happen?”
- “Why am I….”
You can fill in that blank with any number of things that lay heavy on hearts, both yours and those of your kids.
And, the truth is that no matter how often our kids look to us for answers, we don’t always have them.
Sometimes, we simply don’t know what to do.
What Should We Do When We Don’t Know What to Do?
That’s hard for me because I’ve always been a lot like Davy Crockett, a “Be sure you’re right then go ahead” kind of girl. I’ve never been good at waiting for answers, and Davy himself would probably argue that I don’t always wait to be sure I’m right. Truth be told, sometimes I look while I leap, rather than before.
On the other hand, when it comes to decision making, my husband tends to be more cautious, waiting for confirmation before he takes the next step.
Right now, we’re both waiting.
Maybe you are, too? Perhaps you need direction about a decision you’re facing and wondering where you’ll get it.
I know the feeling, and I want to share with you some things that help me as I wait. They’re the things I pray as I try to be patient.
Fix Our Eyes on Jesus
First, we need to get honest about the situation. It’s simply too big for us, you know? The first thing to pray is the same prayer Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:12.
He said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
You see, we don’t know what to do, but God does. In fact, I believe that in every situation, he’s already at work. He already has the answers and is working them out. We just don’t know it yet.
So we fix our eyes on him, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” and recognize that in all of our uncertainty he is stretching our faith, not to strain it but to strengthen it.
After all, “you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4)
God isn’t just working in the situation. He’s working in you, too.When you face trials, remember: God isn't just working in the situation. He's working in you, too. Click To Tweet
Then ask for help.
Ask God to Give You Wisdom for Decision Making
James goes on to say, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
Do you hear that? “It will be given to you.” That’s a promise, one to which we can cling. God does not desire to see us stumbling from one decision to the next. He has promised to give us wisdom and guide us as we use it.
In Psalm 32:8, he says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
Knowing that he loves us and has promised to guide us, we can pray the words of David, who said, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
After all, that same Psalm says, “Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the way they should choose.”
Ask the Lord to instruct you, to show you the way.
Pray the words of Psalm 143:8, which says, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
Rely on God’s Love
When I first felt God leading me to serve on the mission field, I told the Lord that I wanted to obey but didn’t know how. I asked him to make each step of the way very clear, to show me specific answers so that I would not choose the wrong way.
Y’all, he did.
Because he is good and loving, and here’s the thing: as much as we want to get things right, he wants to see us get them right all the more.
And, he never said we have to do that alone.
In fact, his word makes it clear that we’re not supposed to.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
To help us, God sent his Spirit. Jesus said, “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
We also have his word.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that they servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Pray and ask God to speak to you through his Spirit and his word, to equip you for the things you face each day, to give you wisdom for decision making.
I am trusting that he will speak to us and lead us step by step. After all, that’s what shepherds do, right? (Related – The Good Shepherd) With that in mind, the following verse is my prayer, both for my family and for you:
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
I would love to hear how you seek wisdom for decision making. What advice would you give someone who’s facing tough questions or tips for a mom who’s facing ALL THE QUESTIONS?
One of my favorite sanity-saving tips for having to make fewer mom decisions daily is a weekly menu plan. Planning ahead is a life saver for me! When someone asks, “What’s for lunch?”, I actually know the answer. I’d love to share a free printable with you to help you plan ahead this week! There’s space for each meal, each day, as well as room for your grocery list. Just fill out the form below, and I’ll send the FREE PRINTABLE your way!
I hope you’ll participate in this week’s Encouraging Word Wednesday Link Party! Just leave a link or two below to your recent encouraging, faith-filled posts and be sure to visit another blogger and leave them an encouraging word!