As I think about these things, I can't help but wonder what the future holds for her. One more year at home and she is off to college and then gone for good. I have such mixed emotions about this. You see, we gave her to the Lord over 16 years ago, and we only have her in our home for just a few more months. There are so many things I want her to know. I wonder sometimes...what do I still need to teach her? to teach all of my children? Have I done enough? Will they be ready for "the real world"? I haven't come to any earth-shattering conclusions, but there are some things that I do know for sure.
1. I want them to give their whole heart to the Lord, holding nothing back. I want them to be willing to go anywhere and do anything for Him. I want them to walk with Him intimately. I want them to learn to go to Scriptures for answers before they go anywhere else. I want them to talk to their Heavenly Father about EVERYTHING and to know that He cares about every detail of their lives.
2. I want them to love others without reservations, even those who are hard to love. I want them to love people even when they know that they may never see them again. I want them to open their hearts to others no matter the pain it may cause later. I want them to know that loving others is always worth it, even if we don't see the results of that love. I want them to put the feelings of others above their own feelings, to prefer others in love.
3. I want them to value people above things. I want them to see how incredibly rich they are to have accepted Christ at a young age (the three who have already done so), to have people around them who love them and desire to help them grow in grace and knowledge of God's Word. For the two little ones, I pray that they will also accept Christ at a young age.
4. I want them to be tenderhearted and to know how dangerous sin is and how easy it is to fall into temptation if we are not guarding our hearts and minds with Scripture and prayer. I want them to be sensitive to the convicting of the Holy Spirit when they do sin. I want them to see the seriousness of sin and never make light of it.
5. I want them to learn to boldly share their faith with others, not worrying about whether or not they will be made fun of. I want them to see every life as precious and in need of a Savior.
6. I want them to live with joy, realizing that the joy of the Lord is their strength.
As I think about the things I have listed, I have to think to myself...if these are the things that I want for my children, are they seeing these things in me? Am I living out these things in front of them? Oh, the weight of responsibility when little eyes are watching everything I do and little ears are listening to everything I say. I know I have failed so often in these things, but my prayer is that my children will see that we can come before our Heavenly Father with brokenness, asking Him to forgive us and to give us strength and courage to live for Him, and He grants forgiveness every time. I am in awe of His love, mercy, and forgiveness towards me. I know how undeserving I am. My children know how flawed I am, but may they understand that God doesn't expect perfect vessels, but He wants willing vessels.
I want God to do BIG things in them and through them for HIS honor and glory.