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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What will the children say?

Our family bid an “earthly” farewell to a wonderful man recently – Joel’s Uncle Mark.  We gathered for a celebration of life service complete with recordings of Uncle Mark himself singing with his quartet. It was a wonderful reminder of not only his amazing talent, but of the God he served.

There was a time of sharing where folks reminisced and said good things about Uncle Mark.  Saying good things about him came easy; he was a remarkable man.  His two children shared memories and lessons learned from their dad.  I was very moved by their takeaways.  Hard work, perseverance, a love of music, and the importance of relationships, were just a few on the list. 

As I reflected on the service later I couldn’t help but wonder what lessons or memories my own children will take from my life.  Since I plan to be called up with everybody else at the trumpet blast, they most likely won’t get an opportunity to do this.  But in the event God chooses to take me before his marvelous return I can’t help but wonder…. What will the children share?

Mark’s daughter shared about her dad singing with her on the tractor.  Ah, such a blissful thought, but, I’m guessing this won’t be a fond remembrance of me, by my children.  They’ll be hard pressed to recall any singing moments except for the timeless classic “Granny’s in the cellar, Lordy can’t you smell her,” that I sang every time we ate biscuits.  

What will the children share?  Will they mention the cookies and desserts I baked or just that I once cooled off a McDonald’s hot apple pie by hanging it out the window as I drove down the highway on a freezing December day? Will they talk about my good cooking or just recount the many creative things I could do with a piece of bologna?

Will the children talk about my listening ear and how comfortable they were coming to me for advice?  Or will they just mention how easily I jumped up to make a sandwich when they beckoned me to do so from the basement?

Will they remember fondly the many hours I rocked them or comforted them in the wee hours of the morning, or will they only remember the times they feared for their life if they had to wake me in the night?

I have many ideas about how my “dream eulogy” should be delivered and if the kids want me to write that ahead of time for them, I’m happy to do so – just sayin’!  However, it’s those heart felt sentiments that tug at the heartstrings a little tighter. I just hope there are some of those!

What will the children share?  It’s a question that’s convicted me greatly over the last few weeks.  Parenting them just happened.  It went quickly, and as I look back I wonder what kind of impact I really made. 

I doubt that my impact will be as noteworthy as that of the virtuous woman Proverbs 31 so eloquently speaks of. I’m impressed with how the biblical book of Proverbs begins with a purpose and theme on how to live a godly life and then ends with the example of someone who does; the virtuous woman.

Will the children share that I was like her? Or that I at least gave it my best shot? Does my life reflect that I was a wife (or Mother, or friend, or aunt or person) of noble character?

Will those in attendance that day be able to say that they could trust me and that I meant them good, not harm?  Will they be able to say I was hard-working, providing for my family by making their needs of utmost importance?  Will they be able to say that I was resourceful, had strength of character and wisdom?  Will they be able to look back on my life and remember times where I showed compassion and charity – caring genuinely for others? Will my husband feel that I respected him and never talked down to anyone about him? Did I give faithful instruction in their time of need?  Did I tend the home and make it a warm and peaceful place they wanted to come home to?  Was I joyful, able to find laughter and help them find their laughter also?  Did they respect me?  Were they really able to rise up and call me blessed (instead of other choice words that came to mind in their touchy junior high years)?

But most importantly, will my children say that I was a woman of Noble Character who feared the Lord? Or will they just remember that I put the fear of the Lord in them – a time or two!?

What will the children say?  The Proverbs 31 woman has set the bar pretty high for us gals and it’s difficult to hurdle over that no matter how big of a lead we take before jumping.  As I look at the pattern of the Proverbs 31 one woman I can feel pretty overwhelmed and want to scream “Re-do, Re-do”.  Or, I can look at the pattern and say… “Hmm looks like I’ve got some work to do.”

Perhaps, instead of wondering how I might be praised by my children, I should spend my time becoming praise worthy in my Father’s eyes.  He’s laid out the pattern – I’m a work in progress. 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Prov. 31:30)