Parenting is more than feeding your kids and teaching them to tie their shoes. We all know that. There are certain core beliefs that each of us cling to and long to pass on to our children. I call these “big picture" lessons. I imagine if we all compared our "big picture" notes for our kids they’d all look pretty similar, perhaps worded a bit different, but with the same general themes.
I recently sat down with myself and had a little pow-wow. You would think after 10 years of parenting I’d have this plan in place already. Not so much. Anyway, these are my lessons. If I teach my children nothing else, I pray that I would have at least have planted these seeds.
Truly following Jesus means being willing to do things that are not safe, sometimes they are flat out dangerous. I need you to be ok with that. You need to know that having faith requires a great amount of courage. Way more courage than following the crowd requires. Be brave. Do things that other people think are crazy. If Jesus is calling you, close your eyes and jump in. He’ll be there to catch you, I promise.
You have a voice. Use it. Use your voice to build, to encourage, to love. Be a fiery furnace. Use your words to set the world on fire. Whether your voice is heard by a world full of people or just the tiny babies in your arms, know that your words will change the course of the future. Use them wisely. Speak for Jesus. Speak for those the weak. Speak for those who will never be heard. Whoever you choose to speak for is up to you. Just be sure to speak up for someone.
Be an investor, not a consumer
Invest in people, not in possessions. Clothes and furniture go out of style. Love never will. It hasn’t yet. Embrace life. Embrace the living. Embrace those that need your warmth and compassion. Make time for people. Your love is the best weapon you have.
Be still. Slow down. I’ve been known to say these words to you and your siblings time and time again. Usually they slip out when things are a bit on the chaotic side and there are more questions flying at me than I can answer in the course of my lifetime. Though I might frantically tell you to slow down and be still for my own sanity, it really is in your best interest to not fly through life. Take your time. Breathe. Taste your food. Enjoy what you have.