In Him was, life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Go ahead and grab a warm mug of tea or coffee; I want to share something important with you and it might take a few minutes. I hope you'll settle in and soak up this message, because it is for each of you!
The idea of Beacon Parenting came to me years ago. After years of parenting and ministering to parents,
I had experienced my fair share of “helicopters” (over protectors), “lawnmowers” (over doers) and “tigers” (over drivers). I had also experienced the fruit of well intended yet misinterpreted parenting decisions, my own and of others. The fruit often took the form of fear, laziness, performance, doubt, entitlement and even rebellion. I was curious…what would it look like to parent your child without overprotecting; allowing them to make choices and experience consequences? What would happen if we gave our child direction with boundaries and challenged them to do hard things rather than making life easy? Could we be parents who celebrate growth in our children, taking note when they naturally excel rather than expecting them to achieve perfection, A+’s and awards for every endeavor? If so, what would we call that form of parenting? And more importantly how could I sign up?
A beacon, by definition, gives warning and direction while pushing back the darkness. The light notifies of an approaching enemy, giving security from danger. Goodness knows we need more light in this world! Perhaps then, becoming a Beacon Parent could be the vision? Warning would take the place of overactive worry. Training with deliberate direction would replace performance driven demands. We could actively and purposefully prepare the child for the road rather than the road for the child. I knew the Lord was showing me something. And then….He gave me a visual.
Last Easter I was driving to church alone. My husband, Lane, had gone ahead to serve. I was up early heading to the sunrise service; however, we had a problem…there was no sun. That’s not totally accurate, let’s just say the sun was veiled by INTENSE fog, the sort of fog that reaches to the ground and threatens disorientation. With car lights on, I was winding down the backroads I drive every day. Through the thick fog I was seeing things I had never seen. My eyes were drawn to houses I had never noticed, positioned near the road and tucked back in trees. My eyes were drawn to the light! These weren’t mansions with fancy lights set to illuminate splendor. Not at all. What I noticed were the homes that were well lit from the inside. Homes that emanated a warm glow reaching out from their very corners. I was intrigued. To the right, a house that was completely dark and then to the left, one that was lit throughout.
Over and over, I saw this and my spirit began to stir. My heart began to wonder about those “well-lit” homes. What were they doing inside on this Easter morning? Was that light in the back corner of the house lighting someone’s quiet time as they read the Word? Was a mama cooking breakfast before the family awakened? Was the smell from the kitchen filling the home, inviting sleepy eyes to the table? Were there conversations happening over coffee? Clothes being laid out for children? Maybe last minute prep for an Easter tradition that would soon usher in laughter and make lasting memories. I didn’t know the details but there was one thing I knew for sure. There was life in those lights!
I wondered….is my home a Well-Lit Home? Has it been for all these years? Would it be in the years to come? The sight marked me. It was attractive and I wanted it!
As I sat during that early Easter service, the fog dissipating as we worshiped, the realization emerged. This was the message the Lord had been stirring in me for years:
Suzanne, a Well-Lit Home begins with a Beacon Parent. And a Beacon Parent begins with allowing the Light of the World to shine in and through YOU. Becoming a Beacon Parent happens as we let the light of Jesus reach the darkened crevices of our hearts, aligning our heads, hearts and hope with Him; allowing Him to make us more like Him. As we do, the overflow of His light fills our home and the heart of our family. And that, my friends, is an attraction that will draw others to The Light.
Over Thanksgiving, we met my family on a remote island in South Carolina. My parents have had a home there for 30 years. It’s a very small island. I have driven golf carts on those roads since I learned to drive. Our family has grown a lot, so my immediate family stayed in a cabin going back and forth to the main house for meals. On Thanksgiving I had a few more details to wrap up in the kitchen. I was in the cabin alone. By the time I left it was PITCH black outside. There are no cars on the island, no streetlights and not many people this time of the year. It is VERY difficult to see at night. I couldn’t see which turn I made at one of the round-abouts. I still don’t exactly know, but bottom-line… it was the wrong one. When it was time to turn left there was no road. I went a little further. I could see NOTHING! The lights of the golf cart were only shining a couple of feet in front of me. I drove for several more minutes and NOTHING. I needed to put the cart in reverse and the lights were completely off for a second. Without exaggeration, I literally couldn’t see my hands in front of me to turn the key back on! At this point I was alone, disoriented and a little rattled. There was no way to tell someone where I was or how to find me. (Did I mention cell coverage is iffy and many alligators live on the ponds which I could not see in the dark? Just sayin! )
I made one more turn before calling for help, and there through the trees I saw a few lights. It was a home; warm light poured through the windows. I recognized the road sign in front of me and got my bearings. It was my parents’ home. With just that little light in the distance and a few familiar markers, I could find my way back to safety and security with my people, a place where I knew I belonged. It was a true “out of darkness and into the light” moment. May it always be so with our children.
Our intent with The Well-Lit Home is to provide a place and a people who will fill you up to overflowing with life and light SO THAT you are able to keep your light shining in your home! Become a brighter Beacon with us! God’s word tells us that “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness HAS NOT overcome it.” John 1:5
Yes, the world grows darker. But… the darkness has not overcome the light we have in our homes and hearts. May the Words of this Beacon Collective bless you abundantly!
Let us be the light we want the world to see, and let us begin at home.