Archive for May, 2014
“We will tell the next generation . . .” Our pastor alluded to it last Sunday. I re-read it this week in Psalm 78. And I saw it in action recently in a Mom to Mom group where I spoke.
You could call it “generational wealth.” I’ve heard the term used in the context of legacy giving and non-profit donations: inherited wealth passed on generation to generation. Churches and charities love it.
But the generational wealth I’m talking about is far richer than the largest donation, the greatest bequest. The Psalmist expands on it in Psalm 78:3-7:
“. . . what we have heard and known,
what our fathers [and mothers] have told us
We will not hide them from our children
We will tell the next generation
The praiseworthy deeds of the Lord
His powers and the wonders He has done . . .
So the next generation would know them,
Even the children yet to be born,
And they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God. . . .”
It’s the Titus 2 principle, on which Mom to Mom was founded, fleshed out. And I saw a wonderful example of it in a precious Mom to Mom group in Meredith, NH. Four generations in Mom to Mom: Titus 2 leaders Mini and her daughter Mary, Mom to Mom member Carrie (Mary’s daughter) with her daughter Rose. It was a first, for me, to meet four generations of one family in Mom to Mom.
In that same morning there were many memorable interactions with women about “real mom” life: particularly challenging children; grown kids in crisis; marriages that died—some brought back to life again by our resurrecting Lord, some still dead but with daily strength supplied by that same Lord. And then there was the mom who wrote this in a note to me: [Mom to Mom] has inspired me to trust in the hope of Christ for those in my family who are still unsaved. I also have faith that God will redeem the years that the locust has eaten—from all the mistakes I have made in raising my children.” Can’t we all say “Amen” to that?!
A precious gift given to me summed up the morning. One mom had painted on a beautiful plate a verse I had alluded to in their last session (Session 16 of Growing Together). This same mom had several years ago painted Mom to Mom sayings on her bathroom walls—the only place she got to sit down in those days! No, she didn’t present me with a piece of the wall. But the verse on the plate captures it:
Generational wealth: Pass it on!
Images courtesy of Susan Brown. Used with permission.
“Mommy, when you were a little girl, I was nowhere.” (My 5-year-old granddaughter to her mother.)
“That’s true. God hadn’t made you yet.”
“Yeah . . . I was in His hands.”
In His hands. Another lesson from the lips of a child.
In His hands. A place I woke up thinking about this morning. A place I need to be. A place I am, actually, all the time. But I need reminding.
I need reminding when life feels uncertain. When I feel unsteady. When other people’s hands break away—or were never there in the first place.
When I am scared, when I am lonely, when I am uncertain of the next step, when life feels wobbly, when I can’t seem to see farther than 6” in front of my face . . . what do God’s hands do for me?
These huge, strong hands that shaped and formed me from the beginning—when I was “nowhere.” These warm, strong hands hold me. Guide me. Steady me. Lead me. Mold me. Lift me.
The same granddaughter, yesterday, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where we are visiting, comes running in from the circle where she’s been riding her bike with her friends. She’s crying inconsolably.
“What’s wrong, Gabriella?”
“I want to do something. But I can’t. Because I’m so scared.”
Warm Nana hands reach out and lift her to my lap. Loving arms enfold her while she pours out her story of wanting to take the “stabilizers” (training wheels) off her bike but being too scared . . . She cries and talks and cries and talks . . . And then she runs back out to Daddy’s hands to give it another try.
I think of the hands of God. And how we—and our children—need to be reminded of them. I hope you feel His grip today.