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Family Heirloom

The aroma of freshly cooked chicken soup was wafting from the kitchen when my youngest came downstairs for breakfast. It was nearly 1:00 in the afternoon, but I'd let her sleep in because she was battling a cold. On normal days, she required eleven to twelve hours of sleep; she needed even more now.


When she sat down at the breakfast bar, her soup was ready to be eaten in her favorite green glass bowl. Her favorite tiny silver spoon was ready to be dipped into the steaming bowl of brothy noodles, and a cup of apples sat nearby.


As I watched her eat, I shared a bit of info she'd never heard from me.


"Did you know that bowl belonged to my parents?"


"No," she answered with curiosity.


Because our girl came to us after my parents had already passed away, and she started her life with us when she was already nine years old, my youngest was always very interested in family history.


Green bowl, Terri Hitt's family heirloom

"When my parents passed away, I kept that bowl," I told her. "I can still imagine my mom's delicious homemade potato salad or vinegar cucumbers inside."


"Yum," she replied as she ate. Although she's a tiny thing, food always catches her interest. Her eyes lit up thinking about the flavors of the food I mentioned and how she might get to taste those recipes.


"I'm glad we have that bowl since you love it so much," I told her. "Now you get to eat from it whenever you want to and become a part of the memories."


Nodding with joy in her eyes, she continued eating.


"Only God knew that one day the special little girl He sent to me would enjoy eating from the same bowl years later," I told her.


Her beautiful, dimpled smile rewarded my effort at drawing God's truths into the conversation.


Terri Hitt's daughter, family heirloom

In a matter of moments, that green bowl had moved from a mere serving bowl to a treasured piece of family history. With a few words, a precious, much-wanted child became a part of the memories that would be shared in the years to come.


For most people, days are lived with such a rush of movement. Wake up, get busy, complete the next activity, responsibility, or chore, then move to the next thing. When did we decide "busy" was honorable or a worthy way to spend time? Or did we just fall into the habit of constant activity?


Mothers, please be purposed. Live with godly intention. Most of the actions we hustle to complete have no effect on eternity. In fact, they may be distracting us from setting goals that led to eternal purposes. Our ignorance may become a barrier to our children living and thinking with eternal perspective.


The green bowl that has been passed to a third generation proves that we don't have to be busy. Or fancy. We don't have to be wealthy. Fame doesn't matter. Just as that bowl served the purpose it was designed for, and made impressions on others for years to come, our lives must purposely reflect our faith, trust, and obedience to the One we love. Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."


My life became intentional for Christ in a new way when I was in my early forties. We had already raised two children to adulthood and were beginning a "second family." We were preparing to travel halfway across the world to bring home the baby girl God promised was waiting for us. Then ten years later we brought a sister home. In between those years, our family suffered so much loss. Grandparents, parents, a job and income, but at the top of the list was our first child. Her death was the final catalyst for a purposed life. Although I already knew my life purpose was to honor God and to teach my children to love, know, honor, and serve Him, losing Jaime cemented that desire. My life was no longer only about making Him known to my children, but now also focused on helping other women do the same with their children.


Terri Hitt with family heirloom

The joy my youngest felt at eating from a bowl that had served its purpose for generations reminded me that if that simple glass object can be a vessel that joins people in love, how much more value is found in a purposed parent who connects her child to Christ? Items we treasure in this world won't go with us when we pass from here to eternity. Yet we know that the eternal wealth we store in the hearts of our children will live within them forever, serving them until we see them again. This is the type of family heirloom approved by the Father.

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