Tag Archives: parenting

The Legacy

“God’s purpose was to do such a deep work in Job that every generation after him would benefit from it.” ~Bob Sorge, The Fire of Delayed Answers

what is my legacy

Through the fires of this life and the waiting for God’s answers, we are inevitably changed at our core—one way or another, for good or for ill, toward the face of God or away from it. We have a choice about which kind of change will come. And that choice can leave a legacy of faith and victory or a heritage of bitterness and self-pity.

Before all Job’s afflictions, he was a man of faith and great material success and wealth. But Sorge says Job “was living in a dimension of limited fruitfulness spiritually” and was unsuccessful in “igniting his own children with his love for God.”

After he had come through the fire, we see in Job a radical transformation—from a man who genuinely loved God, but was missing out on that deep, intimate understanding of who God really was and what His purposes were, into a man whose “faith had survived the crucible, and now he owned an intimate knowledge of God that would radiate to others a profound confidence in his Lord.” He had come forth as gold. And that spilled over into his new life and children.

The father Job can be on the other side of his suffering is a father who gives his second set of children a glimpse into the Father’s Heart, a testimony of deep and abiding faith and obedience to God and the knowledge and understanding that God will accomplish His purposes. He can teach his children about God’s love and mercy, about restoration and about perseverance and victory in difficult circumstances.

Because of his suffering, Job could be a man who bore spiritual fruit and could reach his children and every generation after, for God’s Kingdom.

And so I ask myself, what kind of legacy am I giving my kids?

Am I lighting a spiritual fire in my children and showing them what true and deep faith and utter dependence on God looks like? Am I living a life that produces fruit in the kingdom of God? When times are tough, do my kids see a mom who perseveres and is faithful and willing to suffer according to God’s will?

Maybe, but is it enough?

And if it is not, I am not only cheating my children, but I am also cheating myself by merely scratching the surface of the deeply intimate relationship that God desires to have with us. I want to show them that there is more.

It is hard to acknowledge my inadequacies as a parent. But it is only more proof of how desperately I need Jesus and His mercy and His work in my life. I want to go deeper and I pray that He will do that deep work in me that will produce lasting changes that bear fruit, so that I can pour that out into my children to the glory of God, for His Kingdom, and for the generations to come.

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I am excited to be joining in on a weekly book discussion led by Jason Stasyszen  and Sarah Salter. Please visit them to see other posts in response to The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge, at Jason’s blog—Connecting to Impact, and Sarah’s blog—Living Between the Lines. And even if you are not reading the book, please feel free to jump into the discussion!

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It happened yesterday…

Jacob Trident w watermark

My boy went to college. And the tears came.

Just yesterday, or so it seemed, I took him to kindergarten and I wept openly as I left. Sobbing loudly down the halls of the school. I am sure people were staring, but I didn’t know. And I didn’t care.

There have been more tears over the years. Tears of frustration—on his part and mine. Tears of hurt and pain as we battled through the really hard days. Tears of wondering what are we going to do and how would this all work out. Tears of pride as I have watched him work so hard and grow and learn and become an incredible young man. Tears of relief and gladness as I watched him master one challenge after another. Tears of gratitude to God. Tears so bittersweet as I watched him graduate from high school barely three months ago.

And now, here we are.

College.

As I put him out of the car and watched him walk away, the flood of emotions came. Prayers out loud in the car to Jesus…Be with him Lord, because I can’t. Help him. Protect him. Grow him.

And the tears.

Tears. Oh, the tears of indescribable joy and pride and love and excitement for his future. And gratitude. So much gratitude in my heart to see where he is today, knowing where he has been—where we all have been as a family. My heart is bursting.

No, he hasn’t gone away to school. He is still here with us to support him as he studies at the local community college. There are still many unknowns. But that is okay. He is ready. He is so on his way.

He is my hero.

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I just call it good parenting.

I remember when I was about 12 years old and I would spend all day in the summertime at the neighborhood swimming pool. I would ride my suh-weet pink 10-speed there, by myself, wind in my hair, towel around my neck, a dollar for some snacks from the vending machines, and BAM! I was ready to spend the day with my friends.

This was around 1982. When there were no smartphones and no way to really track your kid’s every move. At the pool back in the day, there were only lifeguards and the moms of toddlers and a phone, with a cord, attached to the wall.

I would stay there all day sometimes. Had me a really nice tan, too, y’all.

I look back on that time and wonder how in the world my mom let me do that. How many times have we heard our elders say: “Oh, but it was a different time then.” Okay, so now I’m the elder saying, “It was a different time.”

Because it was. It was a time when you could let your kids roam the neighborhood and ride their bikes around town. And stay out till dusk and just give a holler when it was time for dinner.

Maybe it was because it was a small town. Maybe it was because I was basically a good kid. Maybe it is because back then, you knew pretty much all your neighbors and everyone looked out for everyone else’s kids. People weren’t so busy with their own lives (or so afraid of someone else’s mama) to prevent them from calling out some child who was misbehaving. “Hey, you, I see what you are doing there! You better straighten up before I call your mama!” It really did take a village, and the village actively participated.

It was a different time. Not so, now.

Now, in the 21st century, with all the social media outlets, internet, cable television and smartphones at our fingertips, and with all the crazies out there, documented for us daily on the world wide web and the nightly news, and where we live in neighborhoods of transient people whom we barely know, we have to be different kinds of parents today.

she calls it stalking

I find myself hovering and asking questions and needing to know things and having to tell my kids things that I don’t think our mothers before us had to do. Oh, don’t get me wrong—I thought my mom was the most interfering mom ever!  She wanted to know who, when, where, and what. And she wanted me to call her and check in. Oh, the horror!! She was, and is, a good mom.

There are things happening today that did not happen when I was a teenager—at least not to my knowledge, or not in the circle of friends I chose to have. There are things I might have done, but was too scared to do because, “what if my parents found out.” I valued my reputation. I valued the relationship I had with my parents. I respected them. And I did not want to disappoint them. But I was a moody teen and was kinda sassy, and of course, I wanted to try to get away with as much as I felt like I could.  I know there were times that I made some poor choices and did disappoint them. It felt terrible at the time. I learned some good lessons, thankfully, without any long term repercussions.

I had an interesting conversation with my 14 year old daughter yesterday. Emma is so blown away by the behavior of some of the kids at her school. She has overheard conversations where young ladies are bragging about their exploits. Emma and I have talked about sex and God’s design for relationships and I have said so many times that once your reputation is ruined, it is hard to repair. Emma said, “Mom, they don’t care about their reputations. They are not embarrassed about the things they are doing. They will be talking about it like it’s no big deal and the people they are talking to are just laughing about it. They just don’t care. I don’t get it. They are just crazy.”

SIGH.

I say it’s just sad. I am so sad for those young ladies. And it breaks my heart to think about the reasons why they do the things they do.

I am thankful to have a daughter who respects herself and who understands that she is a child of God and holds herself to a higher standard. She is so much more together than I was at her age.

So as I am calling or texting Emma and reading her Facebook wall and wanting to meet her friends and their parents and the boy who wants to take her to the Military Ball and making sure our internet browser has a good filter and asking her all the who, what, when, where, why and how questions, she calls it stalking.

I just call it good parenting.

‘Cause what else is a mama supposed to do in this day and age?

We have to be vigilant. We have to pray for our kids. We have to talk to our kids and know what is going on in their lives. Even if it seems intrusive—or stalker-y. We need to make sure they know the truth.

I am not perfect and neither is she. We are both going to make mistakes. But we talk to each other and I will continue to stalk her—mercilessly. And pray without ceasing.

9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy… Colossians 1:9-11 NLT

 

(This post was linked with Throwback Thursday.)

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Filed under Back in the Day, Faith, Family, Parenting