“Don’t lean over the edge Elle, you’ll fall in!” I say with my forbidding mom voice. The allure is too great. Our church grounds are centered around a beautiful three-tiered fountain resembling the Piazza della Rontando of Rome, well not quite, but none the less the water feature is beautiful.
After church the fountain is a magnet of gathering families. Many of us would sit on the wide ledge enjoying the southern California sunshine and watch the trendy Orange County families walking in and out of the busy sanctuary.
“Elle, you’re going to fall in the water.” I continue futilely. She spies a shiny penny and her two-year-old self control is lost. She lunges forward and I grab her little ankle and dangle her over the fountain. Her little periwinkle Gap dress is now covering her head but blocking the view of the penny. Pulling her up right and close to me she leans on my protruding belly ripe with her next sibling. She leans close to my ear and sobs. I whisper words of comfort knowing the lesson has been learned.
Jake, my four-year old grown up is shaking his curly haired head at us. I feel his silent reprimand of “why were you letting Gabby so close to the edge in the first place, mom!" He seems to have an innate sense of responsibility, a character trait of an oldest sibling. Through the years it earns him the nickname of Mother Goose.
A million little stories form our family, our legacy. A million strokes are what it takes to create a masterpiece. In the middle of mothering you are not consciously creating. The hidden truth is you are. The moment to moment encounters forms a legacy, your very own masterpiece full of stories that will form your very best work.
Walking through an old cemetery I read the gravestones of women, one after the other, “Beloved Mother, Mother, Wife and Mother.” It dawns on my that these women accomplished a million other things than these words that are nobly displayed on their memory marker. I also realize they want to be remembered by their masterpiece of creating a family, being a wife. This is the most honorable work of our lives.
There is another artist that is deeply invested in creating masterpieces. Our creator creates in his own image. This happens in a million moments of our life with God; we are his creation, his valuable workmanship. God is deeply attuned to our heart and knows our every way. He continues to build his legacy within us and for us. As we navigate our moments with our beloved family, take a moment to pull back and get a broader view.
Take pleasure in being his best work as we create ours.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 1:10 ESV
The photo tagged this entry is of a beautiful painting created by Randal M Hasson. It is titled Providence. Learn more about his work @hassonstudio. The sweet children are my first two grandkids, Samuel and Amelia. They are the same age apart as my first two mentioned in this story. I love the sweet sibling friendship they are forming. Building legacy is beautiful and worth giving our life.