I have two daughters who are quite different in their strengths and weaknesses. Not only are they different from one another, they are different from my husband and myself. And so, at times, I find myself struggling to know how to guide and lead them well. I get so stuck on passing grades, every comment they make, and the clothes they are wearing. I stress out over every decision, never knowing if I am saying the right thing, doing the right thing, offering the right opportunities, or teaching the right lessons.
As I look at the start of this upcoming school year, I at times, want to hide my head under a pillow, and not have to deal with all that is before us. High school, middle school, living overseas, friends, drama, boys, and the danger of apathy that often rises in my heart toward spiritual things.
This year though, I am asking God to give me a new set of eyes. Eyes that are not fixed on the things right in front of me, but eyes that are fixed on His things. As I stare down the barrel of sending my oldest off to high school, I am praying for eyes to see beyond the immediate struggles of algebra, to the character He is producing in her. As we look at trekking downtown to swim team, twice a week, in the middle of Bangkok traffic, I am asking God to take my eyes off of swim times and first place, and to place them on the influence she might have one day for the gospel, as a swimmer who is excellent at her sport. As I look at the decisions about sleepovers, the talks about girl drama, and the occasional boy who might be interested, I am praying that God would help me to see these girls as fellow kingdom workers. Reminding me that they have a purpose in his kingdom right now that will reap benefits for all eternity.
This year, as we look at jumping into whatever God gives us, I am asking him to help me take my eyes off of me and place them on Him. That this parenting gig would be less about what I do right, and more about Him working out his eternal purposes in our hearts, the girls hearts, and the hearts of his people throughout the world. I pray that He would remind me of the work He is doing (His kingdom), and the reason He is doing it (His glory) and that I might walk in faithful obedience, clinging desperately to Christ.
The beginning of a school year means lots of things, but this year, my prayer is that it would mean a deeper dependence on God, a heart for His glory and His kingdom, and a deep rootedness in His word. I pray that our focus would be on eternity, investing all we have here, so as to reap more fully there.