Monday, March 4, 2013

Fingerprints, Footprints

Doug and I are so blessed.

*Blessed to have found each other.

*Blessed to be parents.

*Blessed to have four healthy kids.

*Blessed to be a part of a loving family.

*Blessed to be part of a loving church.

*Blessed to have great friends.

*Blessed to have a home, a job, live in a free country.

This list could go on and on. I look around and am so, so grateful for the many gifts we have.

Of course we have our challenges too! And right now, we are in the midst of a very challenging season in our lives. As I sat and mourned some losses today, some hurts and worked on forgiveness, I was reminded of a lesson God taught me a few years back.

A close friend of ours lost his mother. It was so hard to see the loss and know that he was grieving. As I sat to write out a sympathy card, I was at loss for words. I had no idea what to say to this couple who were so wise and loving that would be of any comfort…especially since I didn’t know his mother. I remember sitting at the table, pen in hand, praying for words. I clearly remember the words that came into my mind, “You may not have known his mother, but you know him. You know what his life looks like. Although you never met her, you can see her fingerprints in his life.”

As a young mother, those words from the Lord struck deep in my heart. Parenting is hard work and it has life long ramifications for our children. How I love, how I forgive, how I encourage peace, how joyful I am, all reflects in the life of my children. The fingerprints I leave will show in their life.

Never forgetting free will, I am reminded over and over of the chance I get to help set my kids on the right path. The choices Doug and I make will leave marks on them for a lifetime.  Sometimes it’s daunting. Sometimes it’s encouraging.

Our kids are growing up so quickly. I see how much my influence is diminishing with our oldest children. Friends opinions rival ours. They (rightfully) seek out council from people at church, in our homeschool co-op, at their activities. I’m so grateful for each of these friends who helps to shape and mold our children. Their fingerprints will leave marks on my children too. Their hearts will help shape my children’s hearts.

So as I’m watching my kids mature, change, become the people God has created, I’m feeling blessed. I’m watching them make their own place in the world. And I’m remembering a song that Rich Mullins used to sing. My prayer is that as my children walk through this world, they will leave footprints of grace. And go on to leave their fingerprints on the next generation.