I hate to say it, but enjoy today--it will all pass quickly! And in the end, they will be your very best, inner circle friends!!!!
As I say good bye to Joy in St. Andrews today and head back to send Joel to Cambridge. Sarah is now married and on a totally new track and Nathan is firmly planted in New York City, I will return home for the first time in 32 years! There is a hole in my heart--I will miss my best friends. So take time today to ENJOY THEM!
The car was packed to the gills. Six people and their "must have" items— swimsuits, CD players, board games, favorite blankets, magazines, and lots and lots of snacks—competed for space in the crowded interior. One item we all agreed on as a necessity, however, was a rousing book on tape.
Every year when we started our ascent up the steep, winding roads to our favorite mountain town, we began a new book together. The only break we ever allowed in the narrative was a stop at an authentic A&W RootBeer drive-in along the way, where we would all indulge in big, cold Frosties (root beer swirled with ice cream).
Our pick for this trip was Gods' Smuggler, the thrilling autobiography of Brother Andrew, a Dutch factory worker who helped open up communist Eastern Europe to Christian missions. We all listened in rapt attention as the British narrator began to unwind for us the details of Brother Andrew's story. We learned about his early life—how the upheaval and heartbreak of World War II in Holland created questions and needs in the young man's heart. How he joined the army and how the death and devastation he witnessed while fighting in a brutal Dutch-Indonesian war led him to discover his own deep need for Christ.
As the story unfolded, we saw Brother Andrew learning to listen to the still, small voice of the Lord through his time of studying the Bible and in prayer. We saw him visiting Poland at the close of World War II, when the Soviet Union began to take over the country, and feeling compelled to visit a communist rally for thousands of young students. Though young and with few resources, Andrew dreamed that somehow God would use him to reach the millions of people behind the Iron Curtain for Christ.
Then the excitement really began as Andrew smuggled Bibles and Christian literature into Eastern Europe. Miracle after miracle took place as this young Dutchman trusted God for the impossible. Over and over again, God proved faithful through incredible, providential, and personal answers to prayers. And through it all, our family listened wide-eyed to this book that reads like a spy novel.
As we approached our destination, Clay reached to turn the tape off. "Dad!" all the kids cried at once, "Don't turn it off! We want to see what happens!" As we talked about the story later that evening, Joel said, "I would love for my life to be like that. I would love to see miraculous answers to prayers and see God use me in a special way. I hope my life will be like that someday! We as a family need to pray like he did!"
I felt a thrill in my heart as I heard Joel voicing his desire to be used by God. In his eyes and voice I could detect the early signs of a heart totally committed to God and his purposes. This is what I had always longed to see in my kids. It is my central goal as a mother.
I don't just want my kids to be moral. I don't just want them to know all of the biblical rules for behavior. I don't just want them to make it through my home with good grades, no drug addiction, and no premarital sex.
I want them to leave my home with a hunger and passion to know God personally and to be used by him to accomplish great things for his kingdom. I want them to personally hear God's voice and have His Spirit's gentle touch and impression on their hearts as they read the Scriptures and struggle with the issues of their lives.
That's what God wants for our children as well. Whatever else we give our children as they grow, he wants us to pass along an eternal vision and purpose as well as a passion for Christ. If we are wise, we will keep this goal ever before us— to keep us focused on what really matters, on the ultimate purpose of our activity as parents.
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise,making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" ~ Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
How can you make the most of the opportunities presented to you with your family, today?
**winners of last week's Teaching From Rest giveaway ... Angella, Elaine P., and Sarah Gommeson! Please email Misty at firstname.lastname@example.org with your home address, and we'll get them to you asap!