“Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins; his feet are as sure as a cat’s.”
Psalm 37:30-31 (The Message)
When I look at the journey I’ve traveled in life, it looks nothing like what I imagined it would when I was a child. When I was in second grade I wanted to be a stay at home mom, grow our own food and raise our own animals, I would have children in school and always a baby or two at home as my husband would go off to work every day. As I got older, I figured I better have a backup plan, but still thought I would get married young, have only two children and work as a child psychologist.
Thankfully God took some of the desires of my heart and has given me a life that is far more rich and blessed than either of the above. I got married a little later than I had planned, but God blessed my choice of waiting by giving me the best husband for me. I married my best friend and wouldn’t want to go through life with anyone but him by my side. While God did bless our family with two children, He added two more to the blessings – one waiting in Heaven and another who brought joy back into our house after losing his sibling too soon. I do get to stay at home with my kids, being their primary caregiver, but in addition God has blessed me with a work from home atmosphere that has included many different career paths – all leading toward the ministry He hasn’t completely revealed yet.
While the blessings are many in the path God has allowed me to travel, there has been quite a bit of heartache and challenges as well too. Disease. Miscarriage. Job loss. Financial issues. And as a result, I realize that without a tool belt equipped with the right tools, the journey traveled would have been much more difficult.
As a mother, I would be negligent if I didn’t use the wisdom God has given me through the above to offer the essential tools needed for success in my children’s unique journeys. And I love my kids way too much to keep my hands off and just hope they don’t run into any problems they will have to navigate.
Two of the most essential tools, in my opinion, that will help a person succeed throughout life are to identify who they are in Christ, what their identity is in their Father instead of the world’s definition and to have the opportunity, while still living at home under the protection of parents, to grow strong roots in a relationship with their Father. A relationship with God is ongoing and will never reach a finish line until we die and stand before Him one day. However, the opportunity to establish healthy habits of reading God’s word, learning to hear His voice for our own personal lives and developing a strong prayer life is easier to establish and maintain before the daily responsibility of juggling marriage, kids, a full time job and maintaining a household begins.
In my opinion, while life is hard and I can’t promise my kids a trouble-free journey, by offering these tools and showing them how to use them, they have the chance to succeed in every aspect of their lives: in all relationships, in their pursuit of learning, in their career, in their marriage, as parents, etc. And while I cannot force them to take or use these tools, I can encourage, guide and give examples of how they have helped me in my life.
Everyone has a survival tool belt strapped around their waists – the question is what tools are in your belt?
Cheri Swalwell 2017