Last week, I was at a conference with my husband and some of our family in Austin, Texas. Even though we were there for work reasons and to hear my husband speak, we found a little free time to explore. Our best outing by far was to Magnolia! Myself, my daughter, her mother-in-law, and my daughter-in-law all went and had a lot of fun checking it out. We bought only packable items and took note of what could be ordered, but really had the most fun just being there and seeing what it was all about.
The employees were so kind, helpful, and very attentive to their job, but what stood out the most to me was the energy. It just felt like a really good place, you know what I mean? There were some spiritual undertones in some of the merchandise and you could tell that Chip and Joanna cared about what was being sold in their store. It wasn't as big as what I thought it would be, but what they had had been selected with care. The gardens were beautiful too, with the sweetest gardening shed I've ever seen. The bakery line was long so we decided not to wait (probably for the best,) but we left very happy that we had made the trip to Waco.
The rest of the time we explored the city of Austin, went to some great seminars, and caught up with friends we only see once a year. The week flew by!
There was something different at this conference though: children. Not only did we have our adult children that work for us along, many others did as well. We have known many of them for years. When we first met a lot of these people, our kiddos were in grade school! We were the young ones at these things! We worked and played hard and took advantage of having fun away from home. Now we go to bed on time and the kids go out just like we used to. Three of our children work in our company and we met many others who had their 2nd and 3rd generation of family along. I know “children” sounds kind of off when we are talking about adults, but I don’t know what else to call them!
I was struck by a few things as I sat back and watched them interact with the same people we have been doing business with for many years. The first thing would be time flies! How can we be the old people?! Also, while they are learning from us, we have a lot to learn from them. It goes both ways and I witnessed a lot of respectful interaction between older and younger generations.
Along with the positive things we pass back and forth between generations, there is always some negative things we pass on too.
In my family that we would be addiction.
What I can’t do is stand back and watch for it show up somewhere else in my family. What I can do? Give it to God every single day.
What I can’t do? Preach at them not to drink. What I can do? Be a living example of how beautiful life can be when you are free from it.
What I can’t do if they get hit with this disease? Get angry. What I can do? Love them through it like Jesus does and help them pick up the pieces.
Although this mother's heart wants to worry about it all the time, I don’t want to live that way and they don’t want me to either. Instead we trust, pray, and hand it over just like we do everything else.
“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise." - Psalm 79:13
My husband and I are proud of all our kids. Whether they work in our company, are raising children, or pursuing a degree, we love them all the same. I love every stage of life as a mother. Whenever they move on in life (graduations, weddings, babies) I find myself ready to be sad it is behind us. Then, I realize that each phase with our kids is better than the last! How can that be possible?! And now there is the whole grandparent phase, don’t even get me going on that! A whole other generation to pour into. Somehow I have more patience this time around, and I'm not the first grandparent to admit that!
Today, I challenge you to think about what you are passing on to the next generation. Whether it is in your family, job, or church. There are opportunities everywhere where you look. What’s important is that we show them the same love and understanding you would like in return as an elder to them. Invest and pour into them. It’s a WWJD thing, every time. In fact, to make it really easy just remember the Fruits of the Spirit whether it's a toddler, teen, or Millennial. Anyone for that matter! The best guide ever written on how to treat others.
Blessings on your weekend,