“What do you try to control instead of allowing God to control?” the small-group leader posed the question. He gave an example, then someone else mentioned an area that hit home. “I try to control everything for my children,” she said. “My natural instinct is to protect them, but I tend to micromanage. For instance, I tell my teenage daughter to text me when she arrives somewhere, text me when she’s leaving, text me when she arrives at the next place. You get the idea.”

Yes, I got the idea. My mommy-heart tends to micromanage in a different way; it wants to make sure that my children aren’t put into any potentially hard circumstances. If some situation or conversation might make them feel uncomfortable or awkward, I try to derail it or intercept it instead of trusting that our loving God is working in their lives just as He is working in mine — through good times and hard times.

Charlotte reminded us that the only reason we can enjoy Masterly Inactivity is because of faith: “That highest form of confidence, known to us as faith, is necessary to full repose of mind and manner” (Vol. 3, p. 35). We must have faith that it’s not all dependent on us as parents; faith that God is at work.

“When we recognise that God does not make over the bringing up of children absolutely even to their parents, but that He works Himself, in ways which it must be our care not to hinder, in the training of every child, then we shall learn passiveness, humble and wise” (Vol. 3, p. 35).

We are not in this child-training business alone. God has assigned us to the task, given us the children He determined — with all their qualities and faults, but He has not left us alone to toil and guess and worry. God is working alongside us.

Yes, some lessons may be hard. Our mommy-hearts might groan at the thought of our children having to walk through an uncomfortable season. Our hearts might ache when our children are required to wait for something that they really desire or when they have something that they love removed from their lives. We want to control everything that happens to them.

And yet, Masterly Inactivity, at its deepest root, is trusting our Heavenly Father with these children whom He has lent to us for a time. Because the fact is that we can’t control everything that happens to our children all the time. Only God can do that.

Grab ahold of that fact and hang on with both hands.