Friday, February 28, 2014

Words from a Professional Worrier

I made a big phone call today. Like, huge. As much as I've sort of looked forward to the opportunity, I've also been dreading it.

I called to register my boys for kindergarten.
When we first received the paperwork in the mail last month, Andy picked it up and said, "What? We didn't sign up for this!" Of course, he was kidding. But I had those same thoughts. Our boys? Are they really old enough? Are they ready? Did we teach them what they need to know? Will they be alright without me standing over their shoulder?

You'd think we were sending them away to Switzerland for boarding school. You can see the back of the elementary school from our front porch.

I've been home with them every single day of their lives. I've invested my blood, sweat and tears into these two dimple-faced and carefree boys. Literally They're the reason I resigned my job as a sixth-grade teacher. Why I devote my time to my Mothers of Preschoolers group, story time at the library and ask for memberships to the zoo and science museum for Christmas. Why the majority of books I read nowadays are either Dr. Seuss or about helping my kids through transitions. Why I started blogging four years ago.

Sending them to kindergarten acknowledges that they are ready to start applying what they've learned. Puts them into a bigger sea of influence. Open water. And that feels a little scary.

But the events that have unfolded over the past few weeks made this much more emotional than normal.

Kingergarten? Will Ben be around to even enjoy his first year? Is it even worth enrolling him? Should I keep the boys together or should we separate them? Perhaps I ought to reconsider homeschooling. But just for him or Jack, too? How might it affect his classmates if something were to happen in the middle of the school year?

Moms, please tell me your thoughts escalate this quickly, too. Over the years, I've gotten really good at jumping to conclusions. I'm pretty much an expert.

But after a wonderful movie night with my family tonight and seeing the simple joy of my son being able to take a bath with his siblings... it just feels silly to worry about all of those questions. When has God not provided for us? As my mom always said, "God is never late, He is rarely early, but He is always on time." Always.

God has provided wisdom when we needed answers. He's provided insight when there was confusion. Simply because we've asked. Funny, how fuzzy our memories get when we have new circumstances ahead of us.

My mind brought me to this passage in Matthew chapter six tonight:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I especially appreciated being reminded of the simple fact that our lives cannot be extended simply by worrying. Honestly, it accomplishes nothing. Only makes you... worry. And the fact that I really don't need to figure everything out for the next ten years... that's kind of helpful. Because I can barely decide how to spend our day tomorrow much less tackling the entire next year!

I will not inspire world peace. At least not tonight. Or solve world hunger. I won't discover a cure for cancer or even be able to find anything in my basement (which, trust me, would be a miracle.) It's just not going to happen.

For tonight, I'm going to go to sleep. Lord willing, I'm going to wake up in the morning and enjoy watching Ben eat breakfast at home for the first time in five days. And the biggest decision of his day will be deciding whether to eat Raisin Bran or Honey Bunches of Oats.

God is much better at handling the huge, cosmic questions. For me, I think I'll just stick with the whole "one day at a time" thing.

And for right now, I've got two little boys who are very excited about starting kindergarten in the fall. The very same school I began attending more than twenty-five years ago.


  1. Your strength simply amazes me. Continued prayers for you and your family from San Diego.

  2. I Agree with Ann..your amazing..Good things Happen to Good People..Miracles will come to you..Stay Positive..My Prayers are with You and Your Family..I look forward to seeing Pictures of Bens Kindergarten Graduation, High School &College Graduation..Pics of his Wedding and so on...You inspire me..God Bless..

  3. I'm not a Mom, but my two cents are that kindergarten is another dose of normal the family needs, and Ben and Jack will benefit from the support of a classroom of friends.

  4. Signing up for separate classes may be a gentle way to prepare Jack for the possibility that God will have separate callings for he and Ben... Have the boys ever talked about doing different things when they grow up?

  5. Was the school able to give you any advice when you called?

  6. Im a mom of a 2&4 yr and I try to think about what I would do if I was u and I cant hold my tears back. You are a strong woman and. I think you will do what is right. I feel like I would want to be there in every joy or hardship they share but have them also experience everything that other kids do to but be there while they are doing it. So I think I would lean toward homeschooling if I had that skill. And feel like I would regret sending themto school if anything happened. And to b honest u never know what type of class they would be in. My daughter and some learning disabilities and her special ed teacher said it will be best to change daycare or have her go into a intermediate classroom because she was getting bullied. My heart broke when I heard this and there isn't even anything wrong with her beside she is extremely happy and hard time communicating with others. And I know with home schooling u still get that play time with other kids. Sorry if this didnt help u but its just my thoughts. Praying for your family.

  7. Mindy, do whatever that little voice inside you is's Him..listen to it...there is NO wrong choice here. And you know what else? You're allowed to change your mind, as many times you want. Remember, there is no wrong choice. <3

  8. Our family has been praying for your dear little family. Your thinking on Matthew's passage was exactly where my thoughts were going to lead you, but you Lord already gently reminded you of them. Ask your Lord to show you what to do...He will lead. Also, did you think to ask your young men their thoughts..they might help you the school might have a policy. I home educate; although, I am also a certified teacher. That is a choice you and your husband need to bring before the Lord...He will help you to know what fits your family (Prov 3:5/6) and He will give you a peace over which path to take. Give those little ones an extra kiss from the Allen clan in NJ...They are well loved and cared for in your Heavenly Father's arms.

  9. The above was sent by Hannah's mom...Karen (can't figure how to change this!)..Ahh Technology..

  10. A mom's advice? Send them to school, keep the normalcy, move will not regret it.

    My son was diagnosed with leukemia while in the last month of second grade. It was a long three years, but we tried our best to keep things as normal as possible. Sure, there were those 'extended' hospital stays, and I stayed overnight with him. He was never left at the hospital alone, as so many children were.

    We have been praying for Ben and your family. I believe it was all the prayers for our son that pulled him through. God Bless you all <3

  11. To answer your question whether other moms' thought escalate to the WCS (worst case scenario) in 1.2 seconds flat--- the answer is yes, yes they do. Jumping to conclusions should be a Moms Olympics Event. Fears and worry come in waves at the most innocuous times. You and your family are on my mind so much, and I am praying for you and your husband and Ben and his brother (and little sister). I hope you can feel God's support as we lift you up. Remember, yea thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

  12. Mindy,
    As I wipe away my tears, I can't believe how much your family reminds me of mine. My twin 4 year old boys and my younger child. We are currently in the same kindergarten boat as you. Should they go? Are they ready? I have also been home with my boys since they were born. I, like you, am a professional worrier. It's actually become quite bad since I had children!! I question every step I take and decision I make for them. You are such a wonderful mother to your's very obvious. My family and I continue to keep you all close to our hearts. We think of you every day. The picture you posted earlier of your boys at the fire station is fantastic. I felt like I was looking at a picture of my own boys. Ben is always in our thoughts...
    Shannon, fellow MoM

  13. I'm a Mom of 3. I admire how hard you're working to keep your daily life normal in the midst of the extra care you're taking of Ben. If I were you, I think I'd sign Ben up with Jack and take it a day at a time. I said special prayers for your family at mass today. Enjoy your day!

  14. Any teacher(S) would be THRILLED to have these boys, a positive and proactive parent like you...and a story of faith GROWING before their eyes. Choose from your heart. And if you choose public school this year then know there are Christian hearts waiting there, a social network for each individual and twins, a support system for ANY of life's hardships. Whatever you choose, consider your decision A DOSE OF HOPE!

    Heather Lange
    Speech Language Pathologist, Reading Specialist...and yes kindergarten teacher!

  15. Hi Mindy,
    A fellow mom at my church's moms group shared your fb posts with us to ask for prayers. I just want to let you know that just 2 weeks ago I was in the er and icu with my 2 year old daughter. It is the scariest and most terrifying experience to watch your child in pain. Although I am not in your shoes exactly, I can empathize. I also struggled with tears and questions to God but ultimately like you, God revealed something to me that I hope continues to encourage you - He is in control. The biggest reason why I was so scared was bc I was but in control and there was nothing I or my husband could do to "fix" and heal my daughter. Thank you for your incredible faith and inspiring me that God is bigger. I will pray for Ben right now for a miracle, but I will also pray for you. continue to stand strong in your faith and trust that the God who created Ben is sovereign and will help you get through this.

    A fellow mom and sister in Christ

  16. As a Grand-Mom now, I finally see that I need to live in my SPIRIT and not respond to/live in fleshly worries. Joyce Meyer, over the years, has taught me that PATIENCE (to wait on God's timing) is how you ACT while you are waiting. It's not a passive thing, but an active walking out in faith--knowing that God will meet you at the time of your need. Thankfully, I am finally learning to trust in that knowledge. But it helps to live from my spirit and not by fleshly feelings. You have the power to change the way you feel about any situation. Try doing what you know to do (the last thing God told you to do) until He tells you to do something different. Your post shows me that you can do this, so just keep loving your children and living every day to the fullest--encouraging them to do the same--because God wants you all well. He "has your back"! You are lifted up in prayer and blessed by His love--have a great day.

  17. I can't imagine how your mind must be spinning right now, especially as I also have a 4-year-old (and a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old) and I just can't imagine having to go through this. I am sure you are doing absolutely EVERYTHING in your power to fight this and to deal with it... I am reminded of a newspaper article I saw recently pinned to the waiting room board in our local naturopathic doctor's office regarding alternative cancer treatments...maybe you would find this worth a try. If so, our N.D. is Dr. Marcantonio in Tonawanda at (716) 873-8700. I just thought I would mention it because I had seen it by chance and had filed it away in my mind in case I ever needed it. Either way you are in my prayers.

  18. Hi there...I know we don't know each other, but I wanted to say I'm paying for you and been and the whole family. Your post was so perfectly laced with grace, love and hope in a time that must break your heart in ways none of us can understand. God is with you...and this story is far from you said. Praying.............and praying.....

    1. Praying....not paying...sorry about that.

  19. I cannot even begin to imagine what your family is experiencing at this time. Praying for your baby and your family.

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  21. Oh, keep them with you!

    The best advice I have from a Christian, homeschooling mom of 7, originally from Western NY now living on the Eastern Shore of VA

  22. When I clicked on the title of this entry, I was CERTAIN that it said "Professional Warrior". Indeed, that is what you have now you fight for the life of your child.

  23. Mindy,

    I am right there with you when it comes to worrying. I make up such crazy things in my mind sometimes. At night I will lay in bed and think, "Maybe I shouldn't go to sleep. What if there is carbon monoxide in my house and I don't hear the alarm?" I think it comes naturally in all moms.

    I am a mother of 2 live children and 3 miscarried babies up in heaven praising Jesus. After getting to know your story I find myself thanking God for taking my babies before I got to know them, to look in their eyes, and to see their personalities develop. He knew what I could handle and He carried me through every minute. I know He will do that for you.

    I am praying and I keep praying every time I see the color blue on anything. God is mighty and a miracle is possible. God can do the unimaginable. I pray that He truly shows this community and the world who He is through the story of sweet little Ben.

    Much love from me and my family,
    Beth Cerminara

  24. As a twin, I am fighting tears as I read a mom, it's even harder to fight those tears back. I have an identical twin sister, and a little boy who is almost 4. And I have "irish" twins - my son and daugher are 11.5 months apart, and inseparable. So I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Your faith is truly incredible. No one wants to know how they would do in situations like this, but at the same time, I think everyone wonders how strong their faith would be. Anyway, there were a few instances growing up where my sister and I were separated (classes, sports, etc.) and it is never the same as when we were together. For Jack's sake, I say keep them together. Should God choose to take Ben home, Jack should enjoy every minute he can with his brother, and it would be good for Ben too. That's just my opinion. I will be praying for a miracle with you.

  25. Mindy - I pray for Ben and your family numerous times a day. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us what is truly important in this life. I pray for Ben's healing and your continued strength. I am walking in the National Brain Tumor Race in honor and hope for Ben in Charlotte, NC on 3/22. God bless your family!

  26. I just found your blog, following a link from Katrina's Blog at Cedars and Tiny Flowers. Thank you for sharing your faith and your story. My heart aches for you. And I'll add my prayers to the pile!

    The scripture you quoted in this post reminded me of a song, Consider the Lilies. The last verse is my favorite. Here is the youtube link:

    May Heaven bless you and Angels surround you to buoy you up.

  27. Lifting you up before the throne of grace to our great comforter. Lamentations 3