It’s delightful how every photo tells a story. This one taken in 2012 reminds me of the time the Lord lead our family into new territory. We had moved to a new town that spring and this photo was taken months later in December. It was shot on a day when we were out looking for a green backdrop for the annual Christmas photo of the children. It began to rain the moment we pulled up to the Rosie the Riveter Park. We let the boys hop over puddles and catch raindrops into their gaping mouths.
That was the year I became a new mom for the third time and whenever I look at this photo, I am reminded of who I once was. I had relinquished my place in the rat race—giving up a career, a home, and all the commodities that lifestyle delivers—in order to walk on the cusp of becoming a homeschool mom.
It is a transformation, this life of a homeschool mom, this life of help meet to my husband, this life of surrendering to Christ. To many, including myself at some point, it may have appeared to be an immense loss. But imagine for a moment what can be gained. I think of the wise words of the Apostle Paul:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:8
I think of this text written over a banner of boldness. We do suffer loss in order to gain Christ. As a family, we can attest to what gaining Christ means because we realize that all the gains in the world are but dung.
When I observe my boys in this photo and recall the condition our family was under, the shift in perspective that we took to get to where that moment captured, I comprehend God’s design for me to be used to raise these little men because this is the moment in time when my husband and I need to disciple them, when we need to be sensitive to where their hearts should be:
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: Proverbs 3:1
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. Proverbs 23:26
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Proverbs 23:15
This photo reminds me of what it takes to gain the hearts of my children for the Lord. Giving up the world’s expectations (all things) in order to win Christ—losing all things for the excellency of knowing the Lord—is a prize!
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Now, I am still running a race, but this time, toward a higher road. In those moments when my muscles are weak, when my legs are cramped, when I find myself locked up in the homeschool slump, I conjure up this thought:
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11