For many parents, spring can be an overwhelming season. School is in its final lap for this year, and plans for the coming year are likely under way. Spring is also the time when extracurricular activities can begin to take over the calendar. Rehearsals kick into high gear for things like music and dance, and spring sports are starting up practices again.

Although the spring season is only just beginning, the whole spring semester of this school year has felt especially intense to me. Besides the usual stressors like the above, my mind has been filled with new plans and changes on the horizon. With my oldest in her junior year, there are new questions to consider about potential college or job applications, navigating romantic relationships, and the ever-fun process of supervising as she learns how to drive. Our family's schedule for the next several months is filled with travel plans, mainly for work and family visits. We are also adjusting to getting involved in a new church, and most significantly, we are looking into putting our house on the market and moving to a new one. I feel like my mind has been working overtime trying to plan and keep track of all our current and upcoming activities.

Recently I was running errands, and an appropriate analogy for my life suddenly hit me. My life feels like a drive along a busy road, and I (like my daughter) am a new driver. It feels like there are so many things to keep track of—my speed, other drivers, construction and road hazards, traffic signals, all the laws I need to observe, and all the different functions of the vehicle I need to remember. The more I think about things I might forget or things that could go wrong, the more I can become overwhelmed.

At the same time, driving can be a relatively simple process if you take it one step at a time. Turn on the vehicle; hold down the brake; put the car in drive; ease onto the accelerator. Stop at the red light; go at the green light; yield to the oncoming traffic. Don't be too concerned about things that are way down the road—advance planning is great, but your primary job is to pay attention to your immediate surroundings and the road directly in front of you.

To put it another way, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matt. 6:34) When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I must often force myself to focus on my most immediate tasks: What do I most need to accomplish today or right now? Thinking through a myriad of tasks can be overwhelming, but accomplishing just one task is much more doable. If that task is planning for tomorrow, okay—that is something productive that I can do right now. But if I am simply worrying and stressing about how things might look tomorrow, I am not accomplishing anything. I need to leave that up to God, focus on the road directly ahead, and cross the next bridge when I come to it.

I certainly hope I can soon reach a point where I no longer feel like I'm in survival mode. I'm wishing my readers a spring that feels a bit less hectic than mine! But if it does (and I'm sure it does for many of you), I encourage you to join me in taking our journey one day or one small step at a time.