Sally and I in Colorado“Older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” -Titus 2: 3-5
August has been so full of change for our family with so many new things to encounter together and go forth into…but God knew that right in the middle of so much change, I would need time to prepare for what lay ahead and he provided this in an amazing way for me! I was so honored to spend a few days in Colorado with Sally Clarkson at her ministry’s leader intensive. It was a time where Whole Heart Ministry identified and prepared leaders to minister to mothers through writing and speaking. I have long been mentored by Sally in her books (oh, sweet friends, if you have not read her books, run to the store and get them right now!), and being able to sit at her feet and the feet of other women who desire to share life with and train up my generation of mothers was just unspeakably beautiful.
As I prepare for this school year with my children at home, I am longing for them to grow in their own desire to pursue righteousness in our culture. Especially as we live smack in the center of one the most materialistic cities in America, if not the world. My children actually walk down 5th Avenue. They see movie stars on the street. “Harry Potter” lives across the street from their daddy’s office. Lavish living surrounds us and sensuality seeps into the heart of our city. Even in suburbs or small rural towns, magazine covers smatter grocery store isles with pictures of perceived beauty, our culture’s goals in education focus on academic success and fulfillment and rarely reach the heart and character of a child. How do we nudge our children toward living a life fully alive and full of beauty? How do we walk along side them as the great internal work of their character and opinions and convictions are forming? How do we do it well and with enjoyment? How do we do this work to the glory of God?
Cue Sally, her writing and her words to me this month. She has long written about having a family culture with a purpose. Our family holds a soul-likeness…so does yours. How is God going to use us in this world? Sally taught me that “for our children to pursue righteousness, they need to have vision…passion…fun! They need to have life-giving heart-strings tied to their family and to God’s purpose for them.” Our kids will remember passion.
And so this week in New York, we are talking to our children about living out our lives missionally. We are talking about how God called our family here, about what he is going to do with us and through us. We are talking about the gifts in our children’s personalities and talents and interests and how God has knit them perfectly for the work He prepared in advance for them to do. We are talking to even our youngest sweet souls about how they are a part of God’s great big work in this city that he loves. In this city that in many ways defines culture, we are here to place a stake in the ground and love it deeply with the power of Jesus. And we’re being goofy and having fun with our scooters, baking up a storm in the kitchen and having dance parties. We’re getting down low to look a toddler in the eye, we’re lingering to watcha new “trick” with a matchbox car and creating silly mad-libs over and over again to show our children they are valued and heard and that we enjoy them.
I am already so hopeful for our life here. I am so excited for conversations with moms I am meeting. Sally is coming to stay with our family in October and I can barely wait! She is going to be speaking to moms here and I am praying with great faith and boldness that God would begin to give those women a vision for their roles in nurturing their children and that through her time here, they would begin to grow in understanding of the work He has for their families to do.
I’d love to hear in the comments some of the things God has called your family to…