Lauren Snyder’s weekend message hit a little too close to home. I have five children, and while they each have a baby book recording their milestones, my oldest has all of her teeth lovingly recorded; whereas, my fifth child may still only have one tooth if the book is correct. She might not even be sitting up by herself. And those beautiful photo books, well, my oldest has four, my second has two, my next two have one each, and my almost 3-year-old is still begging me to make her a book too. When it comes to remembering the moments of our lives and the lives of those we love, it can be easy to think, “I’ll never forget that.” But when a Facebook memory from a year ago pops up, you realize that you did.
How can we capture these moments that we desperately want to remember? How can we live a life that we look back on with fondness instead of regret? While I’m a photobook failure, living with intentionality is something that I have thought long and hard about. Some might say it’s one of my soapboxes or hills to die on. When it comes to family—winging it isn’t the best approach. When you begin a trip, you have a destination in mind. If I’m headed to Columbus to visit my sister, I don’t get on I-75 North. I will never get where I want to go that way.
The same goes for your family. One of my homeschooling mentors says, “When someone asks your kids about what it was like to be homeschooled, what do you want them to say?” We can all ask ourselves this question, when this phase is over, what do I want to remember? Am I looking at my goals with spiritual vision? Am I looking at what God is doing in my family and stepping into it, or am I forging my own path?
For our family, we have done several things very intentionally that we want our children to remember—foundations we want them to have in their souls so that when they leave the house, these things are part of who they are. Our primary objective is that they know and love Jesus. I can’t make that choice for them, but I can present knowledge of Jesus throughout their days so they know who he is and that he loves them. I have committed to making them a prayer journal. Every month, I find a passage of scripture that speaks to me, and I pray that over them and give them my thoughts so that one day, when they need it, they will have the Word of God and the prayers of their mother to read.
Nature, music, and literature are also key foundations in our home. It is important to us that our children are given opportunities to develop an appreciation for what is beautiful. Every week, we explore a local metropark with our homeschool group. My kids love being in the world God created. We listen to beautiful music in our home. My kids love classical music, we sing hymns and folk songs together, and we also sing our fair share of Slugs and Bugs. I would be remiss if I failed to mention my deep and abiding love for literature and my desire to pass it on to my children. We read all the time. We read fun books, and we read hard books—both of which my kids love.
Through these foundations and others, I pray that we are living out Deuteronomy 6 for our children.
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
When you look back on this phase of your life, what do you want to remember? What do you want those you love to remember?
Do you have spiritual vision? What is one thing you can intentionally do now that will have a lasting impact?
Think about your current phase of life. Choose one small thing that you can consistently do that will impact the generations to come. It could be to pray for a child, spend 15 minutes outside, or listen to something beautiful. It doesn’t have to be huge—just do something with intention.
Check out the family faith plan and be intentional about the phase your family is currently in. If you don’t have children, share the faith plan with someone in your life who is.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to impact those around us for your kingdom. Give us spiritual vision to see how the things we do today will impact our lives tomorrow. Give us wisdom to act with intention and not let life just happen to us. Help us to see every day as a gift from you and use it for your glory. Thank you for using us as part of your story. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.
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