“We’re calling this controlling what you can when things feel out of control.” (Olaf, Frozen 2)

Yes, I just quoted Olaf.  The snowman from Frozen.  But, please hear me out before you move on.  When I first watched this movie, I laughed out loud as children put magical icicles on Olaf’s chin in the face of impending doom.  It was just so relatable to my role as mom.   

This idea has become a parenting mantra of sorts for me, especially when it came to parenting and school decisions for my 3 kids in 2020 and 2021 with so many unpredictable things happening.  And, it continues to be present in my mind as my kids have started another year of school.  Do what I can, knowing it won’t be everything and may not even turn out the way I think it will. Trust God – the One Who truly is in control – each step of the way.  And work hard to enjoy each other along the way.    

Whatever school looks like for you this year, recognize that it is a transition your family is going through – a new routine to adapt to and adjust, a new set of circumstances where you likely have no control over everything that happens.  And while there are things you can do, there are likely many things you cannot control – a reality that can be a little unsettling for many of us.   

So with all of this in mind, we put together a few journal prompts to help you evaluate where you are, have been, and hope to be in the days ahead.  

  • Take a moment to pause and take inventory of what your family has gone through.  What were the wins?  What were the losses?  Be kind by honoring the experiences you have walked through by celebrating the good and grieving the hard – it all has a place in your family’s story.
  • What potential outcomes are you fearing and/or focusing on?  Do these differ from what your children are fearing and/or focusing on? 
  • What specific areas are your family as a whole struggling with?   
  • What can you control? Are you being intentional to do the things you can control?
  • Thinking about the areas of struggle you listed above, is there anything you can do to help in these areas?
  • Thinking about the areas you think you can control, imagine that a different outcome comes about than the one you expected.  How do you think you would react?  
  • When you think about different scenarios which could happen, which are still unknowns at this point, how does that make you feel?  Anxious?  Chaotic?  Want to shut down?  Take a moment to pray and ask God to increase your faith and prepare you and your family beforehand for whatever happens this school year.    
  • While we don’t want to dwell or live in fear of the “What-ifs”, there can be wisdom in thinking through potential outcomes in an intentional way so that we can prepare beforehand. What pre-decisions can you make now so that you are more prepared for anything that may come up? 
  • For you to care well for others around you, you need to be well.  Your wholeness matters.  So what are some non-negotiables for self-care and soul-care as you go into this school year? 
  • How can you help your children learn to take care of themselves?  
  • What does rest look like for yourself and your family in this season?
  • Where can you show kindness? Gentleness?  
  • What do you hope for your children in this new school year? 
  • Is there anything that you can do in light of your hopes? 
  • How can you be intentional to spend quality time with your kids?  Is there anything you can do to make this easier?   
  • Now, take all of this to Abba and entrust Him with the hopes, fears, and all the what-ifs.  Write out your prayer to Him, remembering that He is a compassionately attentive Father who sees, cares, and acts when His children speak.  

As you mother your children through this new school year, may you be blessed with His peace.  May you have wisdom to know what you need to do, and faith to trust God with all the unknowns and what you cannot control. 

May you remember that your Father loves your children even more than you do and trust His steady hand to care for your children as they go.


At Grit & Virtue, we believe that the benefits of journaling are so powerful that we created the Well Done Journal Collection.  Every journal is 100% ethically sourced, manufactured in the United States, and intentionally designed to provide you a beautiful place to write your story.  You can shop the collection here.  
Carrie Vipperman

Carrie is a writer, editor, wife, and mother of 3 based out of Mckinney, TX, who is passionate about incorporating her faith into life’s beautiful mess.

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