Another year is come.
I stare in the mirror. I can see new places where I adorn the rhythm of life; silvery white strands replacing faded copper ones. Smile lines etching deeper. Faint whispers around the eyes quietly disclosing the years they have seen. Everything seems to be settling lower these days, on this body that has traveled nations and birthed three beautiful babies.
They change, too, those marvelous little ones, with every passing year. Every year passing so quickly. Too quickly. Never enough days to drink up the deliciousness of their youth.
But this New Year, as with them all, will move tirelessly ahead. And because of time’s unremitting haste, I am not afforded lengthy intervals to meditate; times of reflection are few and far between, or otherwise rushed and easily forgotten. Only when the year is fresh do I pause a little longer and ask, How, Lord, would you have me to spend these precious days?
The theme of His immeasurable Love, and myself its fragile conduit, threads its way to the forefront of every day. Year after year the weight of its indispensible beauty to reign over and in and through my life presses on my spirit. The simplicity of its truth. The complexity of its reality.
But recently I am captured in contemplation by Andrew Murray’s uncomplicated observation of family:
“It was God’s plan for the family with its love and training of the children to reflect the fellowship of God’s home and the love of the Father in Heaven.”
I ponder over his words.
I recall scenes from the world under my roof: Adara clawing her bother; Caleb taking the bigger half of a cookie; Caleb’s tattling, Adara’s demanding; The constant whining... the list is endless. Could there even be a hope that my home could mirror Heaven’s?
And yet the mandate persists, the privilege, to become this radical expression of Love: Love, whose Heaven-kissed breath made dust His image-bearer; Love, whose sacrificial breath cast redemptive hope to souls adrift. Love, who was, and who is, and who is to come.
My family, my home, should reflect His home.
And it begins with me. Within me.
The awesome wonder of His glorious kingdom on earth, in me, as it is in Heaven, starts with allowing Christ to transform my innermost being. The places I am willing to expose. The places I have locked away. The depths that are still unknown, even to me. And as the healing balm of His boundless grace penetrates, Spirit to spirit, a metamorphosis of the heart takes place.
And it’s not about perfection.
It’s about choice.
Every single choice: every thought, every word. Every habit, pattern, emotion. How I rejoice. How I bless. How I handle my frustrations and anger. What I do with sadness, hurt, and grief. How I respond to conflict. What I do when I am wrong.
Because their eyes are on me, ever watchful.
Those arresting soul-windows of my children, soaking up the world, taking in my life. Little likenesses of myself. Absorbing every public and private display of who I am. And if I am not reflecting Christ to them, then I am not loving them with the best of what I have to give. Our home is not the refuge of joy and peace that it should be. And we are all a little less than the people we could be.
I know I will fail. But failure is just another opportunity for the right choice to be made. And if an entire life can be redeemed in the simple act of choosing Christ, then there is always hope that my failing choices can be the learning moments for me to grow - and for my children to grow - in the realization of one’s desperate need for His Grace. And His Kingdom, ever being restored in my heart, comes once more.
This year will have it’s own challenges, its own joys and sorrows. I will flourish and I will fail. But choice by choice there is the hope of a promise:
On earth as it is in Heaven.
I leave the mirror and smile.
It’s going to be a great year.
Holy Spirit, breathe Your life afresh in me. Lead me the way of Jesus. Help me to be an organic vessel of the Father’s kingdom in my home, that I might leave a lasting inheritance for my children, and for generations to come. Let my life, made up of little choices, reflect Your love, Jesus. Teach our family of your fellowship with the Father. May our lives, living reflections of Your Kingdom, be the home that people are searching for: Yours.