when they leave the nest

I'm sure you have a friend like the one I talked too last week in the parking lot of basketball practice. 

She's the kind of gal who you store up questions to ask the next time you see her. 
She is a wealth of wisdom.
 Grace oozes out of her.
 Her track record with her children is proven and so you listen earnestly to gain some fresh insight into the life of your own family.
I was sharing with her (trying not to panic) how I am holding onto the days with our boys. I treasure the times they hop up on the kitchen counter and talk to me. I even showed her how I can count on one hand the years left with our oldest at home.
She gently and with confidence reminded me that all the training, mentoring and kitchen counter conversations really become alive when our kids make faith their very own.
My heart skipped...Oh my word. That is actually the best part about parenting isn't it! When we see our kids taking our instruction, our example and walking it out themselves. Sure they will get tripped up as they sort out the truth they have been taught with the worlds suggestions, but instead of counting the years left before our nest releases 1, 2, 3, then 4...
I can look forward to the countdown. 
John chapter 1 reminds us that John went before Jesus to point out the way. So the people would be ready for the Jesus. 
"There was a man, his name was John, sent by God to point out the way to the life-light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the light, he was there to show the way to the light." John 1:6

Isn't this a comfort? So as parents we in the same way John had the honor of pointing out the way to the life-light have the honor of showing our kids where to look. As much as parents, pastors, coaches, leaders, and teachers help guide our kids....they/we are not Jesus. 
The kitchen counter conversations matter. We point the way. The attitude checks count. We point to the Light. Thankfully there is One who has gone ahead of me. Of us.
"John pointed him out and called, "This is the One!
 The One I told you was coming after me but in fact has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word." John 1:15

Today we can be thankful for Jesus who has gone before us in our parenting days. There is great, grace laced comfort in trusting our lives with the One who had the first word.

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