How often do we mentally keep a tally of the events and people who cross our paths in the hustle and bustle of the day? Many of these interactions ignite memories and emotions. Our minds have an amazing capacity to hold information and details!
Recently our family made a huge move to a new state with many opportunities for new beginnings and learning moments waiting to unfold. The decision to make this transition had been mutual between my husband and I. But in all honesty, my heart was not wholeheartedly committed to our new adventure.
Friendships, ministry, family, our homeschool network…we were leaving all these comfort zones for a new unknown. This wasn’t the first time we’d embarked on this kind of event; actually, this would be the seventh time. The places God had taken us spanned the miles and languages. But somehow this time it felt different.
Six years in the same place had built ties and roots that were deeply invested. We’d allowed ourselves to make real connections and chose to be involved in ministry. It was a whole family commitment.
As we shared our decision and plans, they were met with many well wishes. All the while, I squelched the well of emotions inside. There were too many things on the expanding to-do list to allow myself an emotional time out.
The day had arrived. Packing done, ministry handed off, goodbyes and hugs passed around, our van expertly loaded, and our new adventure before us.
In the back of my mind, I kept asking, “Why? What could we have changed to have stayed longer?” It was an inner dialogue I wrestled with and brought before the Lord.
The Lord answered in a way I did not predict and humbled my heart and perspective to what HE was actively doing.
In the midst of our life before the move, you could have said we were busily running full steam ahead. The schedules were at capacity between ministry, homeschooling, youth group, music classes, errands, and the one-off activities we wedged in the open hours between.
The days always seemed full and the dinner table conversations were filled with stories of the day while my Facebook feed was buzzing with tagged pictures. The picture-perfect outward story was as real as the movie marque poster but lacked true depth.
Our priorities were about juggling the next deadline and ministry event. In retrospect, we’d lost our depth of building deeper with our own kids and teaching them grace. Grace in our words. Grace in our interactions.
Oh, how we needed His grace and to use the opportunity to imprint Him on the lives of those around us. Grace was no longer a random word in our vocabulary but a real action we committed to teaching our kids.
- Genuine – open and real in our interactions, leaving behind the fake facades.
- Respect – showing kindness to others in our words and actions.
- Appreciation – thankful for what we have and the people who are in our lives.
- Compassion – showing His love as we help and bless those around us.
- Enjoyment – taking time to be present, laugh, and smile.
Our generation is consumed with the image we present and keeps a log of the approval ratings. Let us as parents commit to raising the next generation for Him by setting a new standard—an image of Grace. May it be imprinted on their hearts and evident in how they interact and respond in the day to day. They are the upcoming world changers, may they do it with grace.