Sunday, April 30, 2017

Things above...

I think every Christian parent prays their children will grow up to follow Jesus, to choose His example in life over ours, and to invest their heart in 'things that are above'.

My youngest babe is Blossom, herself now a mother and blooming in the role she had hoped for since early childhood. She would tell me all the time that she wanted to be a mother like me and my instruction to her was to be a better mother than I, and to teach her daughters to be a better mother than herself. 

I felt then, and still do, that we should pray for each generation to surpass the one before in their relationship with Jesus so that every relationship they build in life - whether that be as a mother, father, friend, leader or server - increasingly carries the essence of Him.

My daughter will turn 23 next month and just as when she was a young child we still share our deepest thoughts and tell each other what God is doing in our lives and in our hearts. We often share life changing insights but as time goes by it's no longer a mother leading her young daughter, instead we've become two women seeking to encourage and inspire each other, using the Word of God as our guide.

Recently Blossom started a small home business making beautiful handmade baby and toddler clothes which she sells online. We were discussing the financial side of things and she told me about her desire to give generously in life and not be focused on money. She shared of the immense joy she experiences in doing good, being kind, and pursuing a generous attitude in all things.

My heart melted, such pride I felt for this young woman who has faced many struggles and trials in life these past eight or nine years. It's been hard to accept that only one out of my seven children loves Jesus but as she opened her heart that afternoon heartache fell by the wayside and I could only praise my wonderful and gracious Lord for His faithfulness in her life and mine.

I told her how much she inspires me, how proud I was of her resolve. 
And you know what she said?

"But, mum, I've watched you live like that all my life, and I have seen how much you love God and how He's always provided for your needs...and I want to be like you, I want to have that relationship with Him, that same trust in His provision, that same generous heart."

I was speechless as tears filled my eyes.

Why am I telling you this? 
Because I don't want you to lose heart if you're not yet seeing fruit in your children's lives.

Keep your mind on things above, seek to live a life worthy of Jesus and let your children see it all.
Let them watch you stumble (mine did many times!) then let them see you at the foot of the Cross laying all before Jesus and rising again refreshed, forgiven and renewed.
Don't hide your struggles, or your fears. You know you'll fall at Jesus' feet and grow into a deeper walk with Him inside your valleys, so let the children see this as it happens because you're teaching them to always look to God for the answer. 

I didn't know until a few days ago how much of my life and relationship with Christ was being observed by my youngest daughter. My eyes are still overflowing with tears as I write about that moment, but the most precious thing which has my heart swelling with hope and thanks is that her 9 month old daughter will now be watching and learning and growing in relationship with God because of Blossom's own example. And I know her example will exceed mine.

Parenting is hard, and parenting children who turn their backs on Christ is shattering. But dear sister, they have been watching you all their lives. Pray for all your children every day, the saved and the prodigals...pray that they remember how you walked with Jesus, and pray they choose to walk even closer to Him than you. 
Pray they seek eternal things above, and let go of the the temporal things of earth.

 May the Lord BLESS you each and every day,
May He refresh your broken and discouraged hearts, and remind you of His goodness.



Lin said...

Beautiful post Jenny. xx

Suze said...

This is beautiful and i thank you. None of my children really follow Christ but every day I pray. I wish I had been far more diligent in the past but all I can do now is try every day in every way to follow Him.

Shami Immanuel said...

Very inspiring jenny.

Chris said...

Beautiful words Jenny. God bless.

Little Penpen said...

Beautiful testimony!! You and Blossom are lovely ladies!

Bernice said...

Thank you again Jenny for your beautiful written words. God bless you!

Kristy said...

My heart is so full. I thank Jesus for you. You have blessed me so much today! We are in a deep struggle and it is so easy to get discouraged. Your thoughts today are ones that give me hope, blessed assurance that Jesus is in charge. You are a blessing to me and many others. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and your struggles as well as joys. What a joy to have your daughter share that encouragement with you. Thank you for the reminder to pray for all of our children. I have six and the oldest 4 are not really walking with Jesus right now. I will be reminded to not lose heart and keep praying. We have victory in Jesus! I know that but it is hard not to lose hope at times. Thanks again Jenny. You have helped me once again to seek Jesus and trust him with my children. K-

Anonymous said...

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! Doctrine & Covenants 18:10 This is a scripture that brings solace and joy to my heart. You have brought Blossom, and through Blossom who knows how many more? We do not see into the hearts of our children. We do not always know what is there, but our Heavenly Father does, and if we've shown them the love of Christ, we don't know when it will bloom fully. I try not to be disheartened when I don't see it happen in my time choice, but Heavenly Father has a plan and a longer view. I'm so glad you have Blossom, and so glad for those words that helped you know you have set the example, whether other children have chosen to follow or not. She is a treasure to you and both of you are treasures to Jesus.

cucki said...

Thank you for the beautiful words
Love and smiles x

Val Laird said...

So precious!

Little Quiltsong said...

Beautiful Post and special Scripture, Jenny!

Lori said...

So beautiful, Jenny. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration that you so selflessly share with us all. I print off my favorite posts of yours and put them in a little notebook to read over again. Keeps me going! I will pass it on to my youngest daughter someday. God bless you!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Oh how I love love love this post - give Blossom a hug from me, ok? And never, ever stop praying for those prodigals, I was one once myself, and my grandma's prayers never stopped...I'm joining you in prayer for them, my sweet sister-in-Christ!

C Reeder PhxAz said...

Precious words of encouragement- and to see we are not alone with children not walking with Christ gives me encouragement as well. Your posts are beautiful. Best of luck to Blossom with this new venture.

Tina said...

Hi Jenny, this brings tears to my eyes, because today this is not beeing thaught in churches anymore. Women playing bible teachers instead of teaching their daughters and Young women what it says in Titus.They teach them to have a Career and make lots of Money instead of beeing a homemaker.Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Greetings from Germany.

Moira said...

Beautiful thoughts! May the example you have set before your children bear fruit in God's timing.