“He established a testimony in Jacob and a law in Israel,
Which he commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children,
that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God and keep His commandments.” Psalm 78
We knew it was coming, but this fall was a prolonged splendor of crisp, autumn days perfect for hiking. We so enjoyed our jaunts by the national forest several days a week knowing that they would be gone too soon. This morning, I opened my eyes and saw swirling, blowing snow rushing about outside my window. (We don’t have any curtains on our bedroom windows as we face our backyard which has no one in our sites.)
Now, I knew plan b must go into action. We were going to an outing, but I knew the snow would cancel it. Now I already know that we will not do math–we never do math on Fridays! We can snuggle up for a longer Bible reading and have a longer talk over breakfast. I think I will read out of the Celtic devotion I have been enjoying.
Now the day holds at least one or two cups of tea and or hot chocolate, the fire burning and reading out-loud for at least an hour. A perfect day for teaching Joy how to make Broccoli soup to go with the bread we made yesterday.
And that blog she was going to start for girls in their 10-15 year old range–maybe I could assign an article and have her work on the design, since her computer class was canceled today.
And I need her to listen to the song Nathan has picked out for her to sing with him at the competition in January. She will have to pick out the one minute segment she thinks will be best. Piano practice and playing a fun card game in between should make a great day of memories and input.
Of course talking, talking, talking–gigging, correcting, a fair bit of eating and nibbling.
I have that peace and assurance that these are the very kind of days that are shaping Joy’s heart, soul, mind and filling her emotional tank along the way–giving her appetites for the right things in life, stretching her mind by exposing her to ideas and thoughts from others, giving her a chance to exercise her own skill at creating, writing, performing, putting her imprimatur on all sorts of things in our home. The Lord and people and life drift in and out of our conversations all day long naturally, because these are the things of our real hearts. It’s not a formula, but a relationship that starts with Him and ends with her.
How I like these gifts of time, knowing that my window of time into Joy’s heart is going to close sooner than I can imagine. Having three siblings before her gives me grace, freedom and peace in the midst of her varied days knowing it will all turn out well. I don’t worry about the result, I just enjoy the time I have, knowing God will be at work.
I love seeing her grow and stretch her wings. She has a little job with MOPS babysitting all the children for 2 hours during their Bible study–makes $40 a month (got a $1 raise yesterday!) and it helps her to give to the Lord, save a bit and then have some money all her own to spend on things she enjoys. “Mom, I just wish I could teach some moms how to be Moms!” she said as she hopped in the car yesterday.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, you can really tell the children who are nurtured and have had their souls filled with love and training.” (wonder who she has been hanging around with or listening to! ) Some of them seem happy and are easy to take care of and steer in the right direction and some are always whining, and or fighting or hitting. And you won’t believe it but one child was fine until her mom came to pick her up and when she did, the little girl clung to me and started crying. Her mom yelled at her and said, ‘I am gong to McDonalds without you and I am going to leave you here!’ I can see why she wouldn’t want to go with her- she had no clue how to gently reach the heart of her little girl.”
“What would you do instead, Joy?” and so began a 15 minute discussion while munching our sandwiches together.
At thirteen, whether I like it or not, Joy is beginning to strain toward adulthood. I am becoming more and more a guide to build on the foundations she has been given. But I also know that her movement in that direction will provide me with another adult best friend. So even though I hate the thought of her growing up, I love the thought of seeing her flourish and spread her wings to take the messages of her heart and mind–and to build the legacy, hopefully, into the lives of her children, that the baton of righteousness may be passed on and on faithfully to my children and grandchildren. (Please, Lord, bring my children godly spouses in your time! and give me a grandchild to fret over before Joy leaves! )
And to think this is what God designed me to do–to enjoy my days with the ones I love, talk and have fun, create life and enjoy my day and in this to be building His kingdom. What a privilege! What fulfillment. What fun.