I’m so grateful for teachers.
Not because I am one myself; in fact, most days I feel that my calling to teach has very little residual impact. Daily-repeated maxims like, You need to work wholeheartedly without grumbling, or, Be intentionally otherly-minded, or (my personal favorite), Please think about the root of that attitude! seem to fall by the wayside like so much leftover seed. You know… like the seed which Jesus described, the stuff that fell on the hard or rocky soil and didn’t bear any fruit?
Not that my kids’ hearts always resemble that formidable terrain, but there are too many days where the weeds just seem so prolific, and I can’t tell if there’s any life springing up.
The teachers for whom I’m grateful must often (on a somewhat grander scale) feel the same as I. Lots of tongue-wagging, seed planting, and soil watering going on, and not too awfully much to show for it.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m eternally grateful for those whom God has brought along to make a deposit into the plain dirt of my life. I’m certain that if they could only see the fruit that has grown as a result, they’d be astonished! (Well, maybe not astonished, but perhaps a bit pleased.) Some plants have taken root over the past twenty-five years which, in that time, have made considerable progress; like a young sapling, they’re putting down tendrils which are going to support multi-generational growth.
Looking back, I’m truly in awe of the way God has used these men and women to shape my thinking and vision. He’s given me principles that have changed my entire worldview. Ideas that have shifted my paradigms. Vision that has stirred my soul. And I’m certain that without His astounding grace at work, I would be much the same now as I was twenty-five years ago: still be trying to figure out how to live this thing called life, fumbling my way through each day.
This most especially applies to motherhood. In his kindness, God saw fit to teach me, through those who were oh-so-much wiser and further along the road of parenting, how to mother well. And yes, because I do tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of girl, I jumped right in with both feet.
From the time my first precious toddler was clenching tiny fists of defiance, I was going after his heart with bucketfuls of youthful zeal. God had used the principles I had been learning to plant something deep in my core. My husband and I had grasped hold of a vision of what parenting could be and what it could mean, one that we truly hadn’t seen lived out in very many places. But the Holy Spirit kept stirring us to press in for more. And the more we pressed in, the more He stirred our hearts.
The end result was this patchwork quilt of philosophies, ideas, methodologies and vision, all rooted in Scripture, that we began to use to craft a foundation for our home.
Today my first toddler-boy is twenty-three, and the three youngers stair-step down from there. I’m realizing that after twenty-three years of being a momma, I am still amazed at how God has led me, how He has oh-so-faithfully taught me. The fact of the matter is, even on those many days when I feel that my teaching is falling on deaf ears, God is faithful. He never lets His word return void without accomplishing the purpose for which it has been sent (Isaiah 55:11). And I’m starting to catch a glimpse of something so beautiful, it takes my breath away: generational succession of a vision planted by God, watered by the Spirit, and given growth in the light of the Son.
I wish I could go back to personally thank each one of those teachers who imparted nuggets of truth to my life. Most of them will never know my name or be made aware of the impact they have had on this little band of Jesus-followers called the Nesbitt family.
I am thankful for the blessed impartation of their lives to mine.
Most of all, I’m thankful for the God-grace which has allowed fruit to flourish in our tribe, a harvest of righteousness and soul vision which will nourish those who follow after us.
It’s deep-down beauty, this generational legacy. Spirit breathed and Word crafted.
And I am deep-down thankful.
Special thanks to Rick Delanty who has granted permission to use his beautiful art in this post.