Last week, we attended the 50th Euro-American Retreat in Rothenburg, Germany. We spent four days singing praises to God, learning deeper lessons on Renewing, Reflecting, and Remembering, and hearing from missionaries doing His work all over Europe – all in the beautiful backdrop of a medieval village.
On the last full day of the retreat, the ladies had a small get-together – a break from kids and time to share with other women, to give and receive encouragement, to just BE for a small window of time. One consistent theme is “how do I balance giving my children the time they need AND being a student of the Word?” An older lady, with years of mission experience, said, “Your children are your talents. Invest in them now, the rest will take care of itself. If you don’t take the time with them now, they won’t give you the time when they are older.”
Our children are gifts, entrusted to our care by the Heavenly Father. The NIV uses “Bags of Gold” instead of “talents”. Their value is beyond comprehension, in our eyes they are priceless. How much more so to the God who created them?! He expects us to teach our children about Him, how to follow Him, and how to serve Him by serving others. How can they do that without our time, example, and teaching?
Last week, I received so many compliments on my children. My darling, talkative, mini-adult son impresses all adults with his ability to have big conversations. I’m trying to delight more in him, and appreciate this stage, rather than getting caught up in all the things we struggle with daily (listening skills). Because of his talents and intelligence, I often have to remind myself he is only five and simply acts like a five-year-old. My angel girl shines with beauty, and people take notice. This trip was difficult for her, as she’s getting her first-year molars. Still, everyone had encouragement to offer about what a good baby she is – everyone from moms my age, to older women, to a young woman who is neither married nor a mom. This young woman blessed me with the following words: “I read an article once that said a congregation with no babies crying is one that is dying.” What a big job! Raising the future of the church! I pray we are each up to the task, that we invest now, and trust God to continue blessing our lives with others that will encourage, teach, admonish, and help us along the way.