“You’re starting again?”
I get the same response every time I explain the ages of my six kids: 24, 21, 19, . . . 6, 4, and 3.
“You could be empty nesters, traveling the world, and driving a convertible.”
“Yes,” I nod. “Yes, I could.”
There is nothing wrong with empty nests. Some day I might have one. There is nothing wrong with convertibles. Some day I might rent one! But even more wonderful than peace, and quiet, and time is knowing that our lives have completely impacted the lives of three children. James 1:27 urges us to care for the widows and the orphans. I think God meant it when he said that.
I do a lot with my time. I mentor teenage moms. I serve my church family. I have a radio program. I write blogs. I write books. But I’m most proud of the children I’ve raised to adulthood—children who love God, who give to others, and who are making their own impact on the world. They were my hardest task but are now my greatest joy.
Recently I was reading a devotional book from 1938 titled Leaves of Gold, and I came across this poem:
We all are blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
It does not make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world, unless
The builder also grows.
My greatest calling in life is working with God and with my husband to “make” these people. To grow them, and serve them, and pour God into their lives just as cement and steel are poured to make a building’s foundation.
And in the process I am made. God’s hands are on me. He forms me up and strengthens weary limbs. He breathes life into tired bones. He radiates light to my mother-heart that needs Him more and more with each day that passes.
God crowned the created earth with His man-making (woman-making, too). And now He joins us as we roll up our sleeves with the same task.
Yes, I’m starting again. Back to teaching reading, teaching manners, teaching kindness and gentleness and patience, and wiping feet on doormats. But I’m doing it knowing I am not doing it alone. God started this man-making business, and I get to be part of the process today.
Starting again is hard, but it’s a good kind of hard that puts me to bed at night weary but happy. It’s giving orphans a bed and realizing that with Jesus together we make a home. A future. A man. A woman—monuments to His glory long after my time on earth is done.