Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner, and so today I want to share part of a letter that I wrote to my parents several years ago at Christmas:
Sometimes we wait until someone is gone to talk about the impact they’ve had on our lives, but not me. I want them to know now. Being a parent is the most difficult–and the most rewarding job on the planet. My parents are in their 70’s now and I never want to take for granted the sacrifices they made for our family. My Dad worked hard his whole life to provide for his family, and Mom was a true servant, creating a safe-haven for her children–a loving homemaker in every sense of the word.
When I see this picture of my Mom and Dad, the little girl in me returns. I adore my parents. They aren’t perfect, just as none of us are, but their unconditional love for me gave me a strong foundation for life. Their loving example was important for my faith in a God who loves me as a Father loves His child.
Being an empty-nester doesn’t mean my job is done… the life I live and the testimony I give will impact not just my children, but generations to come. I don’t know about you, but that can be overwhelming sometimes.
I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past—
things we have heard and known
and that our fathers have passed down to us.
We must not hide them from their children,
but must tell a future generation
the praises of the Lord,
His might, and the wonderful works
He has performed.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children so that a future generation—
children yet to be born—might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget God’s works,
but keep His commands.
Psalm 78: 2-7
There have been many spiritual influences in my life, and the ones that have gone before me set powerful examples–good and bad–that I want to learn from. Those examples challenge me to live in a way that will honor God and leave a legacy of spiritual impact. I said in this letter to my parents that the most important gift they could give their children was for them to love each other, but loving God first is the only way we can do that the right way. The only way I can see my life being a positive example for future generations is if I follow God’s plan. Be what He wants. Love like He loves.
Very soon we will welcome grandbaby #4 and I want to seize the opportunity to tell these new parents just how much I love them. I want them to understand the impact they will have on this precious little girl. I want them to know that my hearts desire is that we would follow her Creator in such a way that she sees Him in us.
It’s a huge undertaking, this parenting thing, and so many of the lessons we learn we have to learn along the way. There are many ways that we leave imprints or impressions on their moldable hearts.
Becoming a parent, and now a grandparent I more clearly understand the phrase “future generations”–so, thank you, Josiah, Emily, Rachel and Jarrett, for the privilege of being your Mom. I love you with all my heart.
And thanks, Mom and Dad, for loving me and giving me a safe place to call HOME. I love you.
My grandson Nolan says it best of all: