*This post originally appeared in the June 1st, 2017 Pink Vine Newsletter in the article I wrote for The Mission Church women's ministry.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller penned that phrase. The woman who could not see or hear but embraced her life exactly how it was and lived it on purpose.
Maybe your life doesn’t seem like a daring adventure right now. Motherhood can feel like quite the opposite most days. We do the same tasks over and over again. Cook, clean, change diapers, tie shoes, kiss bobos, chase babies, stop squabbles, fold clothes, soothe hurts, and pick up toys off the floor. All of this on a looping repeat from sunup to sunup. Who has time for adventure? We’re lucky if we get to brush our teeth! And didn’t we once imagine motherhood would somehow be different than this? That our life would be one exciting fairytale event after another? Or at least that it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming, so lonely, so exhausting, so isolating?
But there’s a story that’s unfolding, and one day these chapters you are in won’t be remembered for their monotony but for their full-hearted, time-treasured memories.
God is writing the story of your life, and He invites you to co-author with Him.
Everything God does He invites us to do with Him. Creating, dreaming, life-giving, parenting, rescuing, blessing...He does all this and more and then places the desire to be like Him in all of our hearts. He invites us to partner with Him.
Madeleine L’Engle describes it this way: our lives are like a sonnet--a strict form but freedom within it. “You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.”
How will your story be remembered?
And how will it live on in the lives of your children? Because stories are like that. They never die, but they affect every life they touch. We have an opportunity to leave a legacy of love, a legacy that points to the Redeemer and leads others to Him long after we have passed away.
I remember sitting on the edge of my Grandma’s bed, an old family Bible the size of a small suitcase propped up between her, my mom, and I. She had written in beautiful, flowing script the birthdays and departed days of all the members of our family right there on it’s gilded pages. It was a tradition then--recording one’s family lineage within the family Bible and passing it down to the next generation to record the dates to come. Her eyes would light up as she read the names and answered the questions us women would ask, for isn’t it us women who often become the Keepers of the Family Stories?
“Ahhh,” her finger smooths over a name, “Grandma Dovey Palestine Mackenzie Cunningham.” And my mom reminisces, “Her favorite song was ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’. The week before she died her house was filled with one gospel meeting after another. Her children sang her favorite gospel songs with the steady stream of friends and neighbors that poured through the door to say their goodbyes.” In that moment, the song I had always loved took on a new meaning and I knew I wanted to live a life that would be remembered as a beloved friend of Jesus.
It was many moments just like that one, moments spent hearing stories my mom would share with me about missionaries and those who shone bright like stars in the midnight of their generations. And it’s those very moments when you are the weariest but you gather your children close and share such narratives of faith with them that they will remember forever. It’s moments you simply gather them close that they will remember, that will be etched line after line into their own life stories.
Mama, you are the Keeper of your Family Stories.
Those little things you do every day that seem inconsequential are really the things of eternity after all.
And you know what? You are also a story being kept by God.
He knows the beginning and He knows the end but this chapter you are in RIGHT NOW He invites you to write with Him.
There may be chapters already written, pages of failure or shame that you have read over and over again, and you’re not alone in wishing you could rewrite entire chapters of your story. I was replaying a list of my failures the other day when I felt the Lord stop me. He spoke to my soul that those worn pages of regret that I carry with me-- they don’t exist in His copy of my story. Jesus’ blood spilled over every word of sin and regret and blotted them out. Those chapters that I think define me, aren’t even recognizable in God’s hands.
Remember what was written about Noah in the genealogy that God kept of His people?
These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God.” Genesis 6:9, the Amplified Bible
Noah made mistakes. In fact, we’re told of one of his less than stellar parenting moments in Genesis chapter 9. But God in his great mercy chooses to recall his faithfulness, not his sin, and calls him righteous. What a merciful God we have!
What will be written of you in God’s family records?
His grace gives you opportunity to live every moment in the freedom that Jesus has rewritten into the story of your life! The greatest adventure begins when our hearts love like His, when no act of that love is too small or too common; when every day is viewed as a fresh new page of the story, just waiting to be written by God...with God...and for His glory.