Lord knows (as do I) - I haven't always made good decisions. Or right decisions. Or righteous decisions. In fact, looking back I would venture to say a lot of the decisions I've made were quite the opposite. I would venture to say it took me a long time to understand what learning from my mistakes meant. I say that because perhaps I made the same mistake more than once. Or twice. Or more than twice.
Don't get me wrong. I mean, I've definitely done some good things in my life. Take a look at my children and you will know that's true. (I do good work, Y'all.) But the lovely and well-grounded human beings they have become came through trial-and-error, not through making all the right decisions.
What I have learned over the course of my life - whether good or bad decisions were made - is the power of the legacy you build. The very children I speak of are positive proof of that. And so are their spouses.
"What do you mean by that, She?" "How could you possibly have had anything to do with the people your children married?" I'm glad you asked those questions!
When my children were small, I never knew the power of a praying parent. I did all the things to take care of them physically: I brushed their teeth, helped them with their homework, bathed them, fed them, put giant helicopter bows in their hair. (Well, not the boys. Well, sometimes the boys. But just for fun - perhaps that can go into the bad decision pile.)
Thinking about how fantastic my son-in-law and daughter-in-law are obviously makes me grateful for their parents - because just like me, right or wrong they did their best - and it happened to work! But for me, personally, I now know it's about building your legacy; building an example, building tradition. Children THRIVE on it. They watch you. Ohhhhh BOY, do they watch you! And they remember EVERYTHING. And they carry on traditions. And they really don't want to disappoint you as parents. (Even if you're not a parent, you're someone's child, and you know exactly what I mean. And even if you are not close with your parents, you STILL know what I mean through that loss.)
By the time I learned the value of building these things and building my children up in prayer, I thought it may be too late. But it wasn't. I got started immediately after I came to realize that something like praying for your child's spouse, even when they are young and long before their True Loves come along, is valuable to the legacy they themselves build as they grow - and also who they choose to do life with.
I learned that if you build it, they will come.
I know, I know. There are some of you that just can't believe that building prayer up for your children in their lives is truth; that it's worth the effort. There are some of you that are believers but still don't understand you can be building your legacy and that of your child's through every decision you make and the consequences that stem from them. There are also some of you that simply think I stole this idea from an old (but classic and awesome) baseball (and legacy!) movie and I'm just crazy. But I have proof. I believed it. I built it. AND THEY CAME. And they have been beautifully built into our family and our traditions and our prayers as well!
Do I want to choke my kids out sometimes to this day? YOU BET. Do I know they sometimes imagine doing the same to Adrian and me? Uhhhhh, YES. Is life easier now? No. Can I go back and undo the poor decisions? Nope. But I can find joy in just about anything now. And I can look upon my children and their (hand-picked, prayed-for) spouses with a grateful heart. And I know that life is good, even when it isn't.
And I know that if you build it, they WILL come. It's never too late to get started.
So? BUILD IT.
“The past is a pebble in my shoe.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe (Past failures remind us of the importance of the choices we make today.)
"Outlive your life!" ~ Max Lucado
"The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance" ~Proverbs 1:1-33