We all have accomplishments we secretly hope our kids make, I know this is true because my kids are only two and five months and, if I’m really honest, I have dreamed of things for them. For Claire (who is two) I have dreamed of a life of grace… I was not a graceful person. In fact in college my sorority nominated me for a pageant which involved a VERY simple (I’m talking spirit fingers kind of simple) choreographed dance and the teacher would constantly have to circle back around and ask if my uncoordinated 5’10 frame could do the the very entry level move. I couldn’t and I can promise you I was never asked to do such things again. I joked that my head was just too far from my feet. So for her I have dreamed of grace because if I’m honest I was always lacking on it. For Briggs I picture Friday night football games and us cheering him on from the stands. I don’t know why it just feels very picturesque, like what you imagine having babies is like before you actually have babies. Truthfully, I will cheer my kids on from whatever stands they let me cheer from. I don’t care if Claire decides she likes softball instead of ballet (which is more likely since she currently runs into walls… genetics are so unforgiving) or if Briggs loves chess instead of football what matters is that they let me come.
However we all have certain things we are dreaming off…real life stuff, the stuff that really matters. Stuff like planning a wedding with your daughter, or watching a graduation, welcoming your first grandbaby, or just seeing them settled into a life they love. The list in my head of check marks that will let me rest as a parent are long. Then today as I sat with my arm around my two year old, her little hands clutching her bunny and her new Kermit the frog stuffed animal, I realized I really only have one dream that matters. I don’t care about the sports I get to see, the degrees on the wall, the stands I might cheer from, or even picking out that perfect wedding dress.
The walk I want to see them make is that walk down the aisle towards a commitment with a savior. The stand I want to see her take is when she stands in some church or prays a prayer on bended knee that asks the question that will change the whole trajectory of her life. I want to see my kids put their faith in Jesus. I don’t say this because it’s Christmas or because it’s the right answer I say it because my life wouldn’t have any merit if I hadn’t found Jesus or more accuracy if he hadn’t saved me. I say that because as I watched parents and their children walk down the aisle today acknowledging acceptance of Jesus into their heart I prayed a simple prayer, “God please let me get to see my kids come to know you.” Because of all the dreams I hold this is the only one that gives them life. Of all the prayers I make this is the only one that gives me hope. Of all the things I wish for them I know that none of it matters without a relationship with a God that made himself human for us. There are very few things I would say without hesitation or questioning but this I know to be true, a life lived without Jesus is not a life worth living.
Tonight as a I wrap up tiny presents for my babies I am praying to a huge God who made himself so small for us. Not small in glory and not small in significance but small so we could behold him in a way that made him real. Small that made him tangible. This Christmas that is my real wish that one day I would get celebrate this holy night with their hearts that fully understand.
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).
Gloria Butler - I pray with you for your hearts desire for your children. There truly is no greater joy for a parent than to know that her children walk in truth! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
deirdre - So beautifully written. My daughter walked the aisle yesterday at Passion City . She is a senior in high school and we have been praying for that moment for a long time ! We are thrilled and so blessed ! Thank you for all you do for teenage girls !!
Anna Etheriedge - And so it begins… like Paul said with almost a mother’s heart, “My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you…” It is a beautiful (sometimes wrenching) journey to behold 🙂 Blessings to your precious family, Anna