1 Corinthians 3:11  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have–Jesus Christ.

Lately, I am loving Lisa Leonard Designs.  Her jewelry is so pretty and simple, yet there is meaning behind each piece, and it has personal touches too – it can be stamped with your kiddos’ names or a favorite scripture.  (She also writes inspiring posts about life and relationships and fashion and her experiences raising a son with special needs).

My family gave me the Lisa Leonard crossbar necklace for my birthday and it’s one of my favorites to wear.  I love the meaning that’s associated with it, too – in construction, a cross beam provides stability. You might not see it, but it’s there, providing support and bearing the weight of the structure.  It says, don’t worry… I’m here… I’m holding you up.

Just like faith.  Just like God.

Our foundations are so important – the spiritual ones, emotional ones, relational ones.  They set the tone of things in our lives:  our days, our families, our character, our goals.  My faith and my relationships are my foundations – they provide support. They hold me up.  They say,  Don’t worry.  I’m here.

Foundations are particularly on my mind because this is my last week with my girls before I send them off for three weeks to camp. (Three weeks!!)  The camp is a great experience for them because they meet kids from all over the country – lots of whom have a very different mix of ideas and beliefs and experiences than my girls are surrounded with here at home.  But it’s a scary experience too – because they meet kids from all over the country – who have a very different mix of ideas and beliefs and experiences than they are surrounded with here at home.  Learning to make friends with, live with and respect new people who are different (even for just three weeks) can be a test of their foundations.

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I loved Shel Silverstein books growing up – and one of his poems is called “The Voice.”

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

Our inner voice – our conscience – the Holy Spirit who guides our hearts and minds.  When my kids are away, experiencing new things, new phases in life, will they let others influence them?  Or will they listen to that voice inside and make the right decisions for themselves, even when it’s hard?

My mom often writes encouraging notes to my kids, when they’re facing a challenge at school, or a week away at camp or a tough game.  I wasn’t sure how much they listened, until I spotted this in the sleeve of my son’s wallet:

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It’s a card my mom gave each of my three kids for Christmas – laminated and tucked into their gifts, with the Silverstein poem.  I didn’t realize Will was carrying his.  I love it that he takes his grandmother’s words to heart, and makes them part of his foundation.

My kids have some truly awesome, good and wise “teachers, preachers, parents and friends” around them, but as Shel Silverstein’s last line says, our decisions are ultimately up to us:  No teacher, preacher, parent, friend/ or wise man can decide/ What’s right for you–just listen to/ the voice that speaks inside.

While they’re away from family, I’ll pray for my girls to meet interesting new people and learn lots of new things.  To appreciate new friends, and new ideas, while remembering their own foundations:  their values, their faith, what’s inside, holding them up, keeping them stable.

Just like I remember when I wear my necklace.   The simple bar that’s a reminder of who truly gives me foundation and stability.   Often I almost can hear God whisper: don’t worry… I’m here…I’m holding you up.

Ephesians 2:20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.

 

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