Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hey Powerful Parent!

This morning during our church service, I cried a few tears. Our services always leave a mark but this one was uncommonly good. There were local ministries telling stories of changed lives, an African preacher-friend, little kids singing and flags.

Those flags. They get me every time. If you want to have influence over somebody, just carry around a few flags and sing passionately. You will bring them to their knees and have them pledging their undying devotion to whatever your cause. 

Could be. 

This morning though, there was a whole other level going on for me. 

My two Jr. High kids were carrying flags. And not just any flags, but very special flags.

My son was carrying China's flag, in all of it's red glory. Having moved into that large Asian country with my husband and said 6 month old son, it will always bring my heart to a state of mush. 

My daughter was carrying Thailand's flag. Most people wouldn't recognize it but we do. I remember seeing those blue, white and red's flying all over the city when I gave birth to my daughter all those years ago. 

You can imagine how quickly my eyes filled up when I saw my children walk into the auditorium this morning carrying those flags and proudly announcing their country. Bawl-baby me.

One word rises to the surface of my thoughts today: Legacy. 

Legacy is a gift of money or property left to someone. An inheritance, a heritage. Something of value passed on.

As parents we all want to leave a legacy for our kids and the truth is, 
We all WILL leave a legacy for our children. 

What will that legacy be? What will that look like for my family and for yours?

I hope all of my kids catch God's heart for the world. I think that is why the tears flowed this morning. Seeing my kids embrace two beautiful countries, if only for 10 minutes, whispered something to my heart. 

I wish it were that easy, to just give a kid a flag and hope for the best.

But it is so much more costly than that. It is so much more work.

A legacy takes time and intention. 

A legacy is the same passion being taught over and over and over. And then again and again and again. Kind of like a two-year-old asking his questions. 

A legacy is not just spoken with words but it's spoken with action and with a bit of fire in our bellies.

What legacy are you passing on to your kids? 

You ARE passing one on and so am I. Our kids pick up on the things that we are most passionate about. Do you think my kids cheer for Michigan football because it really is the greatest team out there? Or, also likely, they are devoted fans of the team because they are devoted fans of their dad. I'm pretty sure that is how that works. 

We may love our sports team, fishing or Garth Brooks and that is all well and good. We may love throwing color around our house, cooking or running. But if we could only pass on two or three things, if only two or three things would really stick and would be a permanent piece of our kids' DNA, what would we choose?

We parents are powerful people. THE most powerful people in our kids' lives. Period. What are we doing with that power?

I hope my husband and I are able to pass on the legacy of God's heart for the world, that is one of my top three. We might get glimpses of that passion being alive in them now but the thing about legacies is that they live on. I might not see it in my kids until long after they have left our nest. But oh how I hope to see it!

What about you? What are the top three legacies you hope to leave to your kids? 

Let's make it good friends!

God help us.

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