Monday morning after dropping my young ones at school, I went on a two night getaway with eleven other women to reconnect with our beloved former Bible Study leader who moved to Texas last year. It was an astounding moment when we calculated that between the 12 women, we have 38 children ranging in age from 2-21. I wish I had thought to calculate the years of marriage...but it would have easily been 150+.
While it was not a formal retreat of any sort, there was a whole lot of life/marriage/parenting/friendship experience represented. In a couple of different heart to heart conversations we freely admitted that the older we get, the more complicated life seems to be on some levels--but the cry of our hearts seems to be infinitely simpler. I no longer can remotely pretend to have all the answers. Truth is, I am finally realizing I need just need one: Cling to Him.
I don't get it. He does.
I am weak. He is strong.
My circumstances are temporary. He is eternal.
And in that vein, I relished the advice my wise friend Holly, a mother of five (three teens) shared with me: Pray that they will love the things He loves and hate what He hates. As we talked I realized what she was saying. After all the loving, listening, disciplining, teaching, serving, apologizing, praying, talking and showing up we do for our kids... in the moments that count, it is the desires of their heart that will make the choice.
We must beg God to redeem the desires of their heart.
Grades, etiquette, work ethic, talents, character...all of these things receive so much air time for most 'good,' well-intentioned parents. But what of the deepest parts of their hearts? It is so intimidating because we cannot see that readily...but the God who made them knows. (My friend Amy pointed out the advantage of all the social media our children have access too--it does tend to expose what's going on in their hearts.)
Let's beg God to search them, know them and find them to be a generation who LOVES Him from the deepest parts of their being.
It was a wonderful reminder to me to embrace the hard stuff they walk through as a part of that sanctification process. (I gulp and cringe even as I type it.) May we pray hard before we rush in to rescue these little people from the very things God is using to strengthen them for His service and glory.
I readily concede that this is far easier to type as my angels are sleeping peacefully than it is to do when we are all worn out with the stress of life. But, oh, what a worthwhile endeavor!