Generation Cedar

You know that end of the year energy–cleaning out, getting rid of stuff, organizing–it’s short lived, but it gives us a much-needed boost for the new year.

I suffer from too many expectations and I have to constantly keep a reality check. Going into the new year I want to live purposefully. But I want to live realistically.

I want a tidy house and I have ideas to streamline our routine. But, I have 11 people who live here all day. I must make allowances for that reality. (Did you know that if your children get into the habit of leaving their things lying around, even after you’ve nagged them to death about putting them away, that if you start throwing the things in the garbage they will miraculously start putting them away?  You’re welcome.)

It’s easy to let a day full of physical demands crowd out the more meaningful goals of living. But if we get deliberate, we can command our time.

I want to see my children grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord, but I have to remember they are still growing, and their maturity will come slowly. I can challenge them, but I need to be patient and realize how much growing I still have yet to do. The reality is, I want them to be light years ahead of me. So I tend, and trust the Lord for increase. We have struggles just like you. I get frustrated and wish my children were more (fill in the blank). But I am committed to pouring all I have into them, knowing they belong to the Father. I’ll do my part, He will have to do His. And I will rest in that.

These are some random things I plan to be more deliberate about:

Reading great books with the family. This is one of the most important things that inspire us to live deliberately.

We do this already, but maybe not enough. We began reading Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men as a family and I tell you I think every family should read this book. So. Awesome. I also think our generation does not spend enough time reading about the lives of the great heroes of the faith. We don’t have the same spiritual tenacity and it would serve us well to be reminded of what faith looks like when it’s tried by fire.

I encourage my children that if they want to grow and mature in the faith, they have to take steps toward that. Reading great books is one way we can all become more passionate followers of Christ.

Here are a few (not complete)  we are adding to our list:

Playing with my littles. Make believe. Stories. Cooking. Creating. Simple stuff. I want to live beside my children, building memories, enjoying these fleeting moments. We, in our busy world, too-much underestimate the importance of this monumental task of mothering in the moments. I don’t want Facebook to rob my children of their mom.

Breathing vision into my older children. There is so much for a mother to impart to her children over time. But those lessons, that vision, is really imparted in small ways every day. I want them to be wise, to grow in maturity, to understand what God’s Word teaches them about how to be men and women, about what really matters in life. I want them to be productive and strong, positive and confident, humble and kind. Such action starts with modeling the behavior we desire to see crafted in their lives. And I’ll admit, that’s  the hardest. It’s easy to read books and do studies (which are important) but I must become the person I desire to see my children become and that involves my growing and seeking the Lord with an impassioned heart.

Adjusting to my new normal. I have married a daughter and it is splendid. Just tonight, it hit me for the first time, and the tidal wave of tears came. I just miss her. And yet, I truly am SO happy for her that it is beyond words. She is peaceful, full of joy and completely in her element as a wife. Her husband is the most gentle thing I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the way the Lord worked it all out. And I still miss her until it hurts. But I will adjust and so will she (she misses us terribly, too, amid all her new joys.).

But I still have a bustling family here and I am excited about having a little more energy to pour into these challenges.

I want to inspire excellence, and still remember they are children.

I want to expect much, and give much grace for their humanity, as I expect them to do for me.

I want to lead by example, loving Jesus in a way that makes them long for Him.

I want to become my husband’s best friend so their childhood is marked by a beautiful, steady, safe-haven of mother and father.

I want to live fully, remembering my frailty and not getting too upset with myself for an ordinary day. They happen. In fact, I don’t want to despise the ordinary day at all, but to recognize that living fully is precisely making the most of ordinary.

The new year, a new start, new  purpose and new goals. I pray we are all inspired to move forward and see the big picture–that we are all parts in this glorious display of Christ’s Kingdom on earth, and the way we live every day matters in that picture.

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9 Responses

  1. Ahhh. I come here for a dose of sanity amid the insanity of getting ready to move across the country with three littles and one more on the way. Right now it’s all but impossible to have much of anything deliberate with the kids as I frantically pack and clean. But when we are settled again, I want to pick up where we left off. And thank you for the book recommendations I have two boys, 5 and 2 and I want them to grow up to be godly men like their daddy.

  2. Made me think of your recent “Mother’s Work” post and how, in the end, it is relationship investment that matter most. Each one of your “steps” goes back to relationship. 🙂

    Also, I loved the statement about not letting Facebook rob your children of their mother. That is one reason I have not *yet* joined. I’m afraid I’ll create my own stumbling block to relationships at home. Have you written a post(s) on social media and how you manage your time? Thanks, Kelly!

  3. I haven’t got a lot of time right now ;-D (we’re cleaning out) but just wanted to say we must be mentally connected right now or something. I was thinking exactly the same thoughts that you’ve been having (it’s a little creepy lol.) Happy New Year to the Crawfords and Bria (who will always be a Crawford to her family I’m sure.) I need to be realistic because at 16 weeks tomorrow I’m still super exhausted and sleep a great deal. I still want to be methodical and live purposefully but most importantly I want to be an encourager of my husband and children and live joyfully; even when things aren’t. Anyway excellent post Kelly, thankyou.

  4. I think it was the picture on this post that caused me to dream last night that I was out jogging. 😉 Except with sub-zero temperatures, if I do head out, I will, to use a few words from your title, be *realistic* and *purpose* to be more *practical* in my attire. 😛

  5. Kelly,
    I love the beginning of the year because it is an especially good reminder for me to reevaluate…everything. Thank you for this marvelous, encouraging post. I say “Amen” to it all; you spoke my heart.

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