When I was younger I remember being fearful of heaven. I knew it would be beautiful and I knew I'd get to be with Jesus forever, but how in the world are we, as little humans (or even big ones for that matter), supposed to grasp the concept of FOREVER? It's downright overwhelming if you think about it.
If given the choice, I think I would have rather stayed in my happy little bubble of familiarity. I had Cinnamon (my loving teddy bear), my mommy and daddy under one roof, and a brother and sister who gave me just enough grief ;). I knew nothing different and I didn't care to change anything, even if it meant that it would be better.
A kind of better filled with no annoying chores, no more
defiantly practicing the violin out of obedience, no sad/angry/hurting tears, no arguments over who gets the bigger room in the living room fort we made or who gets to choose the next show on TV. No more girlfriends telling me that they no longer want to be my BFF. No more nervousness over tests. No more backstabbing relationships.
But now, as my years continue to fly toward that place called heaven, I am beginning to learn why this place called earth and these bodies, mere “tents,” are not our forever home.
My life has recently been surrounded by people in the throes of death, disease, betrayal, hurt, bad experiences, anxiety…people in the throes of this life on earth surrounded by sin.
The more and more I experience real life, the more and more I thank God for giving us a way out of this mess we made of his beautiful creation.
And through all this I constantly go back to my purpose here on earth.
Our ultimate purpose is to glorify God and bring others to the feet of Christ wherever we have been placed. Right now my place is at home. My mission field is my children. And I want to pour into them as much as I can during this short season that they are at home.
So we do our family devotions. We make our daily, weekly, and monthly goals and put a plan in place. And we carry through as the Lord leads.
But sometimes the Lord has different teaching methods. Sometimes, actually for our family, a LOT of times, God uses normal, everyday life as the spiritual curriculum for our children. And that is when we have to adapt and be flexible.
I am reading this excellent book by Courtney DeFeo titled, In This House We Will Giggle. It gives a month-by-month plan to make “virtues, love and laughter a daily part of your family life.” The first month is centered around “Joy: choosing to praise God in ALL things.”
I was so excited to get a plan together for our family. I wrote it on our board and was ready to begin. But then life interrupted. That messy part of life where you have to drop everything and run to the aid of a hurting family. The entire first week of the month passed by without me being able to even mention my new exciting family plan.
But you know what that chalkboard reminder did for our family? It helped center and focus this mama and in turn became a constant reminder of how to be a joyful friend in the worst of circumstances. It helped me refer to the scripture memory verse often as I went on in my day. It helped me as I encouraged my kids to be happy helpers in order for their mommy to be a good friend. It allowed open doors of conversation and it kept the Scripture fresh on my tongue and in the forefront of my mind.
It kept truth at the center of it all as I poured into my friend and my children and my husband who is in the midst of a difficult season of work, all while getting his doctorate.
I think I would be a puddle of emotions if it weren't for the plan I put in place for our family, even if it hasn't gone exactly how I had envisioned. It has accomplished its goal as it overflows from my heart into others' lives.
Don't get discouraged when life happens and your awesome plans go down the drain. Find a way to make these teaching moments into much-needed life lessons for everyone around you.