"The wise woman builds her house, the foolish one with her own hands tears it down." Proverbs 14: 1
When building a house, one can build a tiny cabin or a small apartment all the way up to a large estate. I have often said to women, the building of your home--your family, legacy, children, depends on how large your vision is. The greater the vision, the bigger the task and foundation laid, and the more prominent the house. We can build a legacy as big as a condo or as far reaching as an estate--it just depends on our vision of what God wants us to do and our dependence on Him to accomplish exceedingly above and beyond what we could ask or think.
Motherhood provides us with an opportunity to build in such a way as to influence generations--literally thousands--by the life we choose to live. But, building such a legacy comes with planning. An architect planning to build must prepare his blueprints. And so it is with women. Designing a blueprint for living will insure that I am better able to know what I am building; what the cost will be; what is needed; and how long it will take to build such a home.
My daughter was talking to me the other day and said, "Mom, I don't know if most women have given themselves totally to motherhood, understanding that it will take their all--their time, body, life, moments, rights--everything, to really build a godly legacy. It seems they think their children are "taking up their time" without really realizing that God gave them children in order to provide them with an eternal work to do--that it is their best way to influence eternity, that it is the most strategic work of their lives and will outlive them."
(It is so wonderful to be at this point where I can see that these Biblical ideals and messages have gone deep into the souls of my adult children who, I hope, will have the privilege to build a godly generation in their life times.--But even this is as a result of planning what messages I wanted them to understand and know and see in our home.)
But one more part of planning that is essential to our souls--that of stepping out in faith. God wants us to attempt God-sized lives--to trust Him to do far more through our lives and our children's lives than we could ever do on our own. We give Him our very best, our fish and loaves, but then we trust Him to do a miracle, to use us as He did David, to come to our lives in the name of the Lord of Hosts and to expect Him to work in and through us because of His greatness.
I love this quotation by Teddy Roosevelt:
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits, who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory or defeat."
And so in the spirit of living in and through Him and for Him, I begin to make my plan.
Sometimes I plan for 6 months or an overall yearly plan.
Today, I felt impressed because of seasonal movements in our lives (about to be finished with my last child in home education), to really say, "How does God want me to invest my life for His kingdom in the next season and years of my life? What is my stewardship? What is on His heart for me to do?
I begin by prayer, and today was a day when I was doing more of a long term planning. "Lord, in the power of your Holy Spirit, fill my mind with your thoughts, your plans, your work. What do you want me to dream and accomplish in the next 10 years during this season of life? What goals do you want me to make for:
My Marriage and family
My Children--individually and as a unit
My Local Ministry--Bible studies to teach; leaders to train, church involvement
What books do you want me to write? What projects do you want me to plan? What training do you want me to provide? What specific ways, in your Spirit's power, do you want me to leave a legacy of my life for all that you have taught me, messages you have given to me, and how can I train others with these messages so that they will live beyond me?
Reviewing my vision and writing out a vision and purpose statement often helps me to revisit my goals, ideals and practical application. Because I have been making plans for my life, as a result of building convictions about kingdom principles, for many years, I am familiar with where to go and what to plan. Clay and I have spent literally hundreds of hours in prayer and discussions over the years about how we want to be intentional about leaving a Biblical legacy and preserving righteous knowledge in our generation, so reviewing and seeking God in these areas is very familiar.
Now, my journal is full of ideas and I am excited about the possibilities ahead. Each season has its limitations and will require a different cost. But making a plan will mean that I will have direction and truth through which to monitor my decisions--the things I can commit to, the things that just do not fit.
I have come out with exciting plans, wonderful projects to captivate my imagination, and ideas of how to continue working in my family and with other women.
This planning is not a "telling God what I want to do." But more of a, "What is your priority for me, Lord? What work have you given me to do? How can I best promote and teach about your kingdom and what do I need to change in my life in order to align myself more with your plans for me?
Having a plan provides direction for every step that I will take--it gives me a direction to follow. These are the thoughts on my mind today. Off I go to dream and pray some more, and then on with the duties of my life, Joy's drama group, dinner, dishes,......
For helping to make a plan for motherhood, read: Mission of Motherhood