What do you do when you’ve done all you can do?

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
Mother’s often face this challenging question concerning life in general, and in dealing with their children, in particular. I might add quickly that the children I speak of can be tiny infants resting safely in cribs in the nursery, elementary age students, high schoolers, college age semi-adults, or grown men and women out on their own.

Mamas never give up the reigns of guidance, prayer, concern, and love, no matter the age of the child, if they are worth their salt. I know there are sad exceptions, but I believe most moms are a steady lot and do love those they birth. I also fully appreciate those women (and men) that step up to the plate and into a motherly role for whatever reason to rear boys and girls that become contributing members of society. Hats off to all moms this week. We all face the question I gave to the title of this column.

My old editor for many years often told all of his writers that he allowed one question to make up a column title and one quote to lead off a story every 12 months of writing, so here’s mine for the year…”What do you do when you’ve done all you can do?”

The reason my heart and mind is on this subject so heavily is that I have been forced to do some heavy duty thinking with grandchildren growing up so quickly and reaching these new “semi-adult” ages of 24 and 26, graduations lurking, and major plans and ways of living changing. Many of my friends are facing the same situations and several will be empty nesters once the school term begins in late August. And, I had always thought that life just got easier and easier until you died and went to Heaven. Wrong! There are always challenges, goals, and new ground to break, even when we’d prefer staying in old, safe, known places.

I remember for many years when my life’s work included writing and organizing and conducting large conferences across the country, there came that down time, usually the week the meeting started when you had done all you could do toward planning, purchasing, and preparing. The team members had to learn to wait it out until the event kicked off on opening night. We referred to it as, “the eye of the storm,” and usually along with that period of time came reflection, checking and rechecking on facts, figures, and final travel and organizational plans.

My editor and featured conference speaker for whom I had worked more than 26 years, often said to me in the wings as he walked out onto the stage for the opening ceremony, “Brenda, are all the bases covered?” I would say, “Yes, as far as I know, the bases are covered.” And, then he would usually say something like, “What is the mood of this crowd?” And, I would tell him what I had observed in the weeks of our being in that location handling the final details. He was a wonderful “on his feet” thinker and he could come up with just the right wording to bring the entire crowd of thousands into his corner with a few opening remarks and a funny story or two. From there on, the meeting took on a more serious tone and many good sermons, fantastic music, and guest speakers delighted the assembled group of people.

My job was to see that those bases were truly covered from meeting a huge budget, filling a big auditorium or conference center, making certain the nursery was safe and well staffed, all speakers were picked up from various airports and housed properly, transportation was running on time, advertising purchased and prepared, and film crews in place. Among the big details were hundreds of smaller ones that had to be taken care of well in advance to ensure smooth sailing when the meeting started. Once, the event began, it rolled with its own momentum and life, and I still declare each meeting took on its own personality and framework. If everyone on the team had done his job well, the meeting was a huge success and every person was happy. If not, which was seldom, each minute detail would be discussed in the break down staff meeting once the event had ended.

I am doing today in my life as I did then in the weeks before the big meetings were to start in any given city. I am waiting. I am praying. I am trusting. I am exercising my faith in an all-faithful God who loves me and cares what happens in my life. He loves you, too, in the exact same way. I don’t know what changes we are waiting to see happen, what event is next on our calendar, or what personal issue causing us unrest, but I can guarantee you that we will survive much more pleasantly if we learn to turn our worries, concerns, fears, and inadequacies over to God and allow Him to truly be the pilot of our craft.

The above suggestions are not licenses to be lazy. I contend that we must do all we can, pray as often as possible, and help equip those we love to face life, but then we must learn to rest in Him. Allow Him to do His work in our lives and in the lives of those we love. He will not fail. After all, faith is best described as “F.A.I.T.H. — Forsaking all, I trust Him.”

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

“Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

Happy Mother’s Day, 2021. May God bless your labor and investment.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
[email protected]


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