“Empire building can consume a lifetime and while the rewards can be great during that lifetime, if we want to build something that lasts, we need to invest our lives in the Lord’s work. We may not live to see that investment pay a dividend, but we have God’s promise that it always will.”
Rose Dee, author
I spoke last time about the importance of building a godly legacy and speaking words of life to your loved ones instead of condemnation. The above quote really spoke to me as well…because if we don’t intentionally invest our time in our loved one’s lives, the opportunity to speak life-giving words will be lost.
I was reading a devotional the other day which spoke about how rest was intentionally built into Jesus’ life. In Biblical times, if you wanted to get from one place to another, you had to walk. When it got dark, you stopped and rested for the night. Daybreak was soon enough to start out again. To eat, you had to build a fire and wait for it to warm up properly and then wait for your food to cook thoroughly. However, thanks to the introduction of modern conveniences, we have perfected the art of multitasking which leaves us more exhausted than ever. We can schedule appointments, wash clothes, and make dinner all at the same time. We can conduct a business call while chauffeuring our kids back and forth from various activities. With the introduction of smart phones, you don’t have to be in the office to be “in the office.”
My kids have complained more than once that when they finally get a chance to be with me, they don’t want me distracted by “one quick phone call to your grandparents” which lasts the entire car trip or checking email turns into two hours and our chance to watch a movie is missed. Even our five-year-old has stated on more than one occasion, “Do you really have to text now…really???”
I’ve started taking their complaints to heart. I’m realizing that while what I do for others is important, I’m the only mom my kids have…and they are the only kids I have. And I think they are pretty terrific! I don’t ever want them second guessing their place in my heart. While there are times I have to say “yes” to work and “no” to fun, there are many times I can set boundaries and keep them….showing my kids how valuable they are, just because they are them!
Every family dynamic is different so the ways our family creates special memories and shows our kids they are special will look different from your family’s choice of love language. It’s not important how we show our kids their value…it’s that we take the time to show them they are worth our time.
I remember hearing the argument that if God has called us to fulfill a specific purpose in life, sometimes that requires sacrifice of our families. I agree but also disagree. Yes, there are going to be seasons where your family may see less of you, but God would never call us to do something that would cause us to disobey any aspect of the Bible. God values family and says children are a blessing. It might take some creative thinking, but when we ask God for His wisdom, He will help us fulfill the role He has placed on our lives while still allowing us to invest in and nurture those He has loaned to us.
I love the calling God has placed on my life…but it doesn’t compare to the joy of investing in the lives of those He has blessed me with now. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow…each day is a precious gift. I want to make sure I remember to spend my time wisely and in a way that pleases God, leaving a legacy that will last for future generations…not die out when I take my final breath.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014