In 5 weeks, we are scheduled to close on our Illinois house. Two months after that is my due date for Peyton. To celebrate, I am going day to day as if that isn’t a whole heap of change and work coming our way. As if time will just move slowly. You know, the way it does when you work full-time and have a two year old.
I’ve been thinking about what I want for our new house, our new family of four, our new season in this new state.
Meanwhile, a new year has begun, and as so many are apt to do, I want to use the fresh month on the calendar to freshen up a few things in my life.
This is the word I sensed God offer to me, as I prayed for this house and this baby and this new season. I pray in the dark of Riley’s room, holding him before setting him in his crib. It’s the only time of day I can count on him to snuggle. Head on my shoulder, I use my tummy as a shelf to prop him up. He listens to me pray, feels me rock back and forth.
I love the snuggles, so I pray long bedtime prayers. Sometimes I use my ‘kid voice.’ “Thank you God for mommy and daddy and Riley and baby Petyon in mommy’s tummy. Thank you for the fun day we had today.” But usually I pray in my normal voice, commandeering the time for myself because Riley doesn’t yet understand when I pray, “Help us learn to be a family of four because I am clueless and scared. We need your grace and wisdom and patience or we are toast.”
This is the stuff of my prayer life. And the grace of God is to hear those bedtime prayers and whisper Generous.
Generous is the way forward.
It’s about making this home a place where we are generous to others, offering hospitality and meals and a place to be yourself.
It’s about being generous as we learn to be a family of four. It’s about giving more grace, having more patience, and practicing the discipline of charitable interpretation.
Generous is the way of freedom.
The words we tie to generous actions–give, offer, open—are words of freedom. Their opposites are take, cling, close. Words of, if not bondage, then constraint. I know which ones I want to mark my family and my home.
Most of all, there is a God who gave up his claim on heavenly glory, offered himself to the world in great love, and opened up a way for anyone to come back home.
I trust that generous is the way forward and the way of freedom mostly because it seems to be the way God chose to operate when God set about to free us.
Generous 2015. Here goes.