Someday my girls will leave home
Okay mommas, this might be a hard one to read but it is an important one. So, reheat that coffee for the third time and grab a Kleenex. There’s encouragement for us here and it is reminder I needed so I want to share it with you too.
Last night my three-year-old had a meltdown at bedtime, because she couldn’t decide which princess nightgown she wanted to sleep in. Insignificant options can be so tricky at the times. We changed four times and then I passed her off to her dad to enjoy watching him navigate the emotions of a sleepy, princess toddler. She was, in fact, experiencing toddler exhaustion, which leaves all its parental victims helpless and in confusion.
With a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old-girl there are lots of moments just like this. As I began to fall asleep last night, I felt the Lord say to my heart:
“Someday your girls will leave home and they will bring things out, and your job is just to make sure that what they carry out is full of what is best.”
I pictured a suitcase at first and pondered this thought that I knew was not about statement about material or brand. I began to think about what it is like to pack for an adventure and fitting all that is needed in a single bag—for me it is nearly an impossible feat.
Immediately, I thought of the passage in 1 Samuel 18:22 that says of David as he left His father Jessie’s house and ran to the battle line to confront Goliath, “He left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper and ran to the battle line.”
For me, this thought about my girls carrying the best things out of our home is not about physical things being in their metaphorical suitcase; it is about my husband and I equipping them with instruction and confidence to run boldly into their anointing and calling.
As I went back and read 1 Samuel 16 and 17, I just began to write down things that David carried on the inside of him as he sat down physical things from what would ultimately transition his life out from under the roof of Jesse and into his calling as a warrior and then King (among other things). And I pray my girls know all of these things in their heart of hearts:
--David KNEW the Lord looks at the heart (inward appearance and not outer). 1 Samuel 16:7
--David KNEW the what it meant to have the heart of a shepherd—always bringing peace and provision to those in your care. Vs. 11
--David KNEW he was anointed. Vs. 12-13
--David KNEW the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. Vs. 12-13
--David KNEW he could function as a brave man, a warrior and someone well-spoken. Vs. 18
--David KNEW how to serve not matter what the call of service looked like. Vs. 21
--David KNEW how to respect authority, and that someone else’s authority in the natural didn’t lessen God’s anointing on David’s life. Vs. 22
--David KNEW how to display a grateful heart. 1 Samuel 17:19
--David KNEW how to have an obedient heart. Vs. 20
--David KNEW when to leave things behind that kept him from running into what He was anointed to do. Vs. 21
--David KNEW when to run to the battle line. Vs. 21
--David KNEW how to encourage others around him. Vs.32
--David KNEW the hand of the Lord had been at work in His life privately, ahead of this public moment of battle. And built trust in the Lord away from the eyes of man, Vs. 37
--David KNEW strength was from the Lord and not man’s armor and resisted conformity. Vs. 38
--David KNEW the power of invoking the Name of the Lord in a situation. Vs. 45
--David KNEW the spiritual reality of the natural and physical circumstances around him. Vs. 47
--David KNEW complete victory came from the Lord. Vs 47
Don’t be overwhelmed by this list.
This list only exists because early in the process of the notes above Jesse, David’s earthly father, allowed Samuel the Prophet to anoint Him per God’s calling. David developed these attributes as His earthly dad yielded to God’ multi-faceted plans and purposes for David—as a shepherd, musician, armor bearer, messenger, warrior, writer and later a King.
So, revisit this picture with me:
Someday my daughters will reach an age that they will leave my home. Your kids will also.
But they won’t be bogged down with weighty things or issues or possessions, or unneeded items for an unknown adventure.
My daughters will leave our home with instruction, memories, moments of love and faith and warmth and service and affirmation. They will have the words of the Lord sown with love in their hearts and minds and mouths. They will wear grace and humility bound on their necks like a garland. They will wear the gospel of peace on their feet and a crown of beauty on their head. They will shine like lights that don't go out because of the illumination of the word and the oil of the Lord.
They will travel lightly out of our home because we have dressed them in their best for whatever the rest of their journey entails. As I pondered the "best" thing they could take out of our home, I realize it is nothing that fits into a suitcase .The best thing we could make sure they carry out of our home is our yes to God’s anointing on their life and their confidence in wearing it out the door and into their calling.
So, amidst all the pressures of scheduling, school decisions, homework, exhaustion, potty training, and sleep training—don’t forget the big picture. Make sure your children carry the best things out when they leave your home—and they aren’t things packed, they are things worn.