While indulging in some Godiva chocolates I got for Christmas today, my four year old Abigail asked if she could have one. I offered her the most “normal” chocolate in the box. She nibbled on one edge and said, “Nope, mommy I don’t like it, maybe when I’m a grown up.” It made me laugh. She has her father’s palette for cheap chocolate. You’re welcome future husband of Abigail.
It got me thinking about the whole concept of them growing up though. I was at a conference a little over a year ago and heard Andy Stanley speak and he said something that continues to blow my mind to this day. “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
Who will these little crazies be? Will they be mommies and daddies, doctors, teachers, ministers, painters, coaches? In these early years, I strain by neck trying to peak over the endless laundry pile into the futures of these sweet crazies. I find myself so busy in the daily chores of motherhood that sometimes I forget that these amazingly needy, beautiful creatures will one day be able to get their own milk, play without constant supervision, shower, read, drive a car, get their heart broken, graduate from high school, go to college, move away, get married, have children of their own. In some ways this thrills me to think that there is a day coming soon when I will be able to take a 15 minute shower with the door shut, but this simultaneously makes me have a panic attack. It makes the time seem way to short. What will I pour into them in these short years I have with them (even shorter if you take out the teenage years, when I assume they won’t hear a single thing that comes out of my mouth).
Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Instead of my panic attack I think I’m going to make this my mantra when thinking about their futures and what my part is in helping them get there. I want to help them find their passions and talents. I want to encourage them in that passion with everything that I am. When the world tells them it’s not possible I’m going to argue with the world.
As I sit here contemplating their potential it’s fun to dream big dreams for them. What will make my crazies come alive? What amazing work will they do? What will be the mark they leave on the world? How will they, in their own unique way, breath Christ’s love on this world? How do I go about raising them to seek out their talents and passions and chase after their dream?
That’s the scary part for me, because I think it’s probably through leading by example.