What will I be remembered for?

A Reflection on parenting

When I was first pregnant I wondered what kind of a mother would I be. Would I take on the motherhood example given or could I – would it be possible to break free? There were so many things that I took with me into this new way. And I failed, like any parent I failed over and over again.

“Happy cutie babies with your happy cutie husband” – Grey’s Anatomy, 8:20

That was the dream – to learn from the mistakes of the previous generation and be perfect at this parenting thing. Failure was not something I expected and when I did, I was so guilty that I wasn’t perfect. The older female in my life knew she was perfect, had parented perfectly and continued to be the perfect one. I was a shadow of this.

No parent I have met since these first teetering steps into family life has had it all together. Each parent focuses on one aspect – for some, it is sport or talent or education and our children try to attain whatever it is we want for them to varying degrees of success.

When Aary was diagnosed as gifted we just wanted happiness for him, he had already outgrown his primary school teachers and when he arrived into secondary began a career of ducking out, sick days, half days etc. The school did not give him a chance to the extent of causing him to get a D in History because his project remained unmarked.

He has finished college, he did not manage to achieve happiness but attained educational success (in history) (and sometimes he is happy). I have been a parent for 33 years and it has not got easier but I have embraced grace and so I have no guilt. Will I be remembered for my parenting skills – no.

Daniel 12:3 talks about shining like a star as we lead many to Jesus (kind of). Faithfulness to God has a reward, not in this life, and God helps us to remain faithful (Gal 6:9, Phil 1:6 & Heb 12:1-3) How do I share the good news so that the next generation catches the vision?

There is a video by Nicole Johnson about being invisible. It explores the builders of great architecture who are never mentioned. 5600 men died building the Panama Canal, and even architects get scant mention in the annals of time: The Taj Mahal who remembers even the Shah of India’s name or his wife who he wrote it for never mind the one who penned the blueprint. I was listening to a hairdresser, in their 20s describe their disgust at the 2nd wife of a prominent male. He talked about the 1st wife as if she were an icon but was probably 8 when she died.

Some people, therefore, are remembered for their life and their death. Is this useful? Who is Qin Shihuang?

The Bible says: ‘Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort’ (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG). Would my parenting have been different if I had done it through Jesus?  Although I believe it would have been I also know that had we attended church through those early years my children and by extension, I would have been asked to leave. Whether it for R’s inability to sit still, S-M’s constant screaming or A giving a good rendition of Young Sheldon or my absolute inability to control them in a ‘polite society’ kind of way. Furthermore, I am in the midst of Christian families and none of them has it all together from the mini-adults to the dual living children, from the hour on a Sunday parent to the divide of the generations it is not

The first bible study I led, Mr M suggests that Blue (the wonderful shiny star that led me to Jesus) would be looking down and smiling. So, there are seeds that have been planted – I am a living example of this. Will I plant seeds as effectively?

Cathedrals took decades to build, the builders died before the building was complete. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) gave a glimpse of this. Recently I have been ruminating on this building of a church that takes years and years – decades, centuries, millennia but not bricks and mortar but people.

When did I last talk about Jesus? When did I last make the effort and talk about my Saviour to someone? I choose to be quiet and lead quietly because I feel that is what I am called to do and be. When I die the earthly death I don’t want to be remembered, I don’t want a legacy. Well, that’s not quite true. I’d like the legacy of many souls brought to Christ who remember Him and not me. The way I live for God today will have an eternal legacy. It’s definitely not a waste of time. And when I feel like the invisible woman I hold onto the superpower of invisibility and the ultimate ability of the Spirit to work in that. It isn’t about me at all but the times when God’s kingdom broke into the situation because I followed his calling into partnership with Him.

As a group of committed Christians let’s be:

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever and ever,
praising your greatness from generation to generation.

Psalm 79:13 NLT

Jesus said, The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6:63 NIV).

What moves hearts? What changes lives? The words of Jesus!

Aary rose above the disregard of his school and completed his BA in History and English this month. The results are still to come but it doesn’t matter – He has done it with a lot of prayer from a group of disparate people he doesn’t know. Despite our failures in parenting, we have three beautiful young men who will inspire by running, advocate for others and who knows what they will achieve in the future.

From generation to generation. – Read Ecclesiastes 1:11


He did it, bless him he got a 2:1 in History and English and graduates in October.