Treasure-chest of the soul--One cannot give what is not there, part 1

"Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom ; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity." Proverbs 2:2-7

Bone chilling fog wafted through the mysterious, ancient cobblestone streets as I made my way to school each morning in Krakow, Poland. Mists wrapped around the gray stone walls of the  aged city, whispering of the hidden secrets of kings and queens who resided there through hundreds of years.

Living there during the Communist occupation meant that we could not buy much food. Meat was scarce and fresh fruit and vegetables were rare and brought into small, open air markets only in season. But always, we could find beautifully carved wooden boxes of every size, shape and style.

Hoping that some day I would have my own cottage to fill with beauty and color, I would scan the hundreds of choices to find a distinctly crafted box that might someday find a place in my imagined future home. I was particularly drawn to the treasure chests that had keys to lock away precious letters, secrets, journals or jewels.

Years later, when my home became a reality and little feet pattered around, my treasure chests became favorite relics in my home. Often, I would lock a scrawled verse on a bright piece of colored paper, place some chocolate covered coins, a tiny little ring, bracelet, knight in shining armor, or small puzzle inside for my children to discover. Glee and intrigue would fill their hopeful little eyes as they opened the chest to see what was inside.

During a quiet time one morning, my eyes lighted upon one of my little chests and the Holy Spirit impressed me to look at the heart of my children as treasures chests. Filling the treasure chests of their hearts with truth, beauty, love, great thoughts, books and ideas, adventures, memories, traditions, wisdom, music, art, lessons, all that I could imagine became a purposeful goal. I realized that I wanted to fill them with such an abundance of relics of eternal value, that they would draw beauty, strength, guidance, assurance, courage, love the rest of their lives, so that they would always have bounty to draw from the rest of their lives.

Realization came to me, though, that I could not give to them what I did not myself possess. If I wanted the souls of my children to be rich, then my soul needed to be rich because it was my soul they would draw from. And so the idea of intentionality began to engage the imagination of my heart.

Whatever I filled my mind with became the tutor of their education as I lived my moments in their presence. Whatever I had learned and embraced, became for them the message on my heart of my day. Investing time every morning with the Lord became the passion I passed on each morning over breakfast.

Finding great people whose presence brings life, inspiration, and after I am with them, I want to be more excellent, want to trust God for more miracles, want to be a better person is rare. But, I realized that I wanted to be that kind of person--where the living, sparkling, dancing spirit of God was so much a part of me, that to be with me was to be in the presence of God.

The Holy Spirit comes into our lives to produce the fruit of Christ--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control, and so this is what I knew should be growing in me as I lived and abided in Him. I see that in God's economy, it is possible to become a "great" person, because He is great and desires to produce in us His holiness, righteousness, integrity.

But, filling our own souls with His character and grace does not happen by accident. I know many who speak of being committed Christians, but few who are truly great women because of who they have become from years and years of devoting themselves to Him.

If I am to become that kind of woman, one from whom all in my presence can count on finding Him there; finding truth there, finding life and inspiration there, then it will only happen with a plan, that will take every moment of every day to mold me into such a person.

And so I understood, that we must become actively engaged in becoming the kind of person we would like for our children to become. We must model for them what we hope they will embrace and learn. And so, I became a treasure seeker--I pursued all that was excellent and good, seeking to model myself after the most excellent, the most beautiful, getting rid of the garbage that was in my heart, as often as I needed to, so that I could fill my soul with all that was good.

"By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

The Mom Heart Blogs just keep coming and are delightful to read: