By Sarah Read
Laundry, dishes, diapers, meals, toys, vacuum, dishes, laundry, diapers, toys, meals, diapers, vacuum… life as a stay-at-home mom can often resemble the feeling captured in Bill Murray’s movie Groundhog Day. “I’m reliving the same day over and over,” said Bill’s character Phil Conners, a weatherman stuck in a time loop on February 2. It could be the mantra of many moms, especially during the last six weeks of winter.
Faced with his gloomy forecast, Murray’s character starts out extremely pessimistic and bleakly hopeless, but as the movie progresses, he slowly starts to learn the valuable lesson that true change can only come from within.
The truth is, that while God gives us the freedom of will and choice, the truly important outcomes, if we search within ourselves and trust in Him, are in His hands, in His time. That is why, similar to Groundhog Day, we cannot control the actions of anyone but ourselves. We can shape, influence, discipline, advise and teach, but it is up to our children whether they will heed the lessons and apply them. You can tell your toddler not to hit, your preschooler to say please, your teenager to just say no to drugs, but in the end, the decision for their actions is ultimately theirs. The better we know our children, the less we will worry about the choices they will make. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”- Proverbs 22:6
Zoom out on the bigger picture, and our Father, who knows our souls better than we know ourselves, is parenting us all the same. Some things He knows we have to learn for ourselves, other things He will show to us. Also, akin to the plot of Groundhog Day, there are even times He puts our own metaphorical blizzards in place, as a roadblock around our situations, to keep us right where we are until we get it right.
However relatable the funny repetition in the movie Groundhog Day can be, Conners is a man with no future, which is impossible to experience while raising human beings. God has tomorrows in store for us, even when it may feel as though there wasn’t one today.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
On days when you feel like Phil Conners felt when he said, “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life,” just remember God promises rainbows after the rain, and spring following each winter. Just as Conners discovers at the end of the movie, “Today is tomorrow. It happened.”