I am stealing this picture from a friend who posted it on IG early this fall, thinking, yes, that's me too. I am not an advocate of breaking the law or disobeying authority, or not following the Word of God.
But what has become evident as four children are now out of the nest, doing their own coloring, I did advocate drawing new lines. For sure, people, well meaning people, will tell you to stay well within the lines, don't color too close to the edge because your picture won't look perfect. I want to know why we stress over making sure our picture is perfect? In what world is life ever perfect? Why can't we draw new lines?
And so I did. Traipsing across the country following my husband/pastor(Ruth 1:16) we have had the time of our lives. Our children were born in three states, moving four times, making friends every time and eventually finding their spouses and bestfriends. It wasn't easy for them at times or for this girl who loves her people deeply and has a hard time making new friends. But, I tell you, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I have learned the steadfast love of a heavenly Father, the deep, trusting love of a husband who loves me despite my failings. I have gained friends around the country and in other countries. I have learned to laugh without fear of the future(Proverbs 31:25), because the Lord has clothed me with his strength and his dignity, made in his image.
If I could give only one piece of advice to any mom who will listen, it is this. Encourage your kids to learn, play, and find their way in this world by encouraging their dreams and ideas. Encourage them to work hard at whatever they are doing. Teach them to work hard, even at a young age, little ones want to help and contribute. And when they become teenagers and give you that look, they may not be so excited about helping out around the house, but being diligent about not giving an opinion about everything they are doing or not doing, i.e. nagging, will go a long way in teaching them to be who God wants them to be. Don't be that little voice in the back of their brain saying, "I wonder what my mom will think if I do such and such." Within reason of course, we still will counsel or give advice to our adult children, if they ask. Encourage them to draw new lines, lines that don't break civil or God's law, but new lines that will let them dream and follow what they believe God has called them to do.
So, yes, my friends, draw new lines. Follow the Lord in the new and exciting...and the mundane of Monday's and Tuesday's. Ask him for guidance for each step, he will answer and help you color the page he has for you.