Reminders – For Our Kids…
Recently, I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about our three children and all the years gone by, especially remembering when they were young. I think that it is, in some way, related to the fact that our two daughters have started a FaceBook page that promotes Hoosier merchants and Made in Indiana stuff. While the content is interesting, I am really struck by the photos they have chosen to post from time to time that demonstrate the closeness our children have for one another.
By the way, Kristin and Jill aren’t leaving our son, Andrew, out. He is featured in pictures as well and the odd part is that I remember when almost all of the photos were taken. Whether it was was their first day of school back in the early 1980’s and we were living at the end of a cul-de-sac, or sitting on the front steps of our first larger home, or just goofing around, I have been consumed with memories of their youth.
There is something comforting about all that. The thing that has stayed constant throughout all the years is Janet’s and my love for them. Of course, our relationships with each of our children has grown as we have aged together. That was intentional – Janet and I chose to have our kids early in our married life as we wanted to spend as many years with them as possible. We realize that someday we probably won’t be here but in the meantime, we are grateful to God for all the time that he is giving us to live with our children – and with their children.
When the kids were younger, I always thought that someday they would grow up and even possibly move away – although I didn’t want that. And it crossed my mind that as they aged, they really wouldn’t need us anymore for counsel or even friendship. The reality is that Janet and I are active in the lives of all of our children and I think that we have a very close family relationship. Of all the things that Janet and I prayed for over the years, it is the hope that our children would depend on one another and have a deep love for one another that has been our constant prayer.
Quite honestly, there were periods in my life when I didn’t have that close relationship with my mother, or brothers, and on reflection, I believe that we all missed opportunities for years of our lives that could have made all of us richer for the experience. Thankfully, Janet and her family members were very close to one another and became a model of what I would hope our children can accomplish together. I believe that God is answering our prayers on this matter.
No matter how old I get, I just can’t stop thinking about them at certain specific times of the year. I always remind them to drive carefully on wet leaves in the fall – they can be slippery when wet. And before the first frost, I text or call the kids to remind them to disconnect the hoses from the house so the pipes won’t freeze and break. Late Tuesday night Janet let me know that we were about to have our first sub-zero weather of the season. I swear that I couldn’t go to sleep until I wrote a group text reminding the kids to make sure that they left vanity and cabinet doors open if the water lines in the kitchen and bathrooms were on outside walls. I actually had a difficult time going to sleep because I worried that I wrote them too late and that they would all be in bed. We are blessed to have all three of our children within 10 minutes of our home.
It’s impossible for me not to care about these small things in the lives of our children. I don’t want to push into their business, but my reminders are always designed to keep them safe, or to avoid some sort of potential problem. Of course, it occurs to me that God does the same thing for His children. I don’t believe that God created everything, spun the world into existence and then stood by to see what would happen. No… He is active in our lives, each day, every day, forever.
Our verse for tonight comes from the psalmist. We are told the words of God in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” That’s what I want to do with our children all the days of my life. My encouragement this evening is that God is always counseling us even if we don’t realize it. My prayer is that our children will always feel secure depending on us for counsel and that, with God’s help, we will continue to walk with them for many years to come. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…