Blue or pink? That was the critical dilemma a few months before our third daughter was born. Choosing a wall color for the baby’s nursery should have been an easy enough thing, but it was weighted with more pressure than I thought. Choosing a color for her brand-new tiny eyes to focus on for the first years of her life, every morning as the sun poured into her room. There she would peer into this color contemplating self-comfort or anxious terror. Her pre-conscious memories would be shaded with this color, casting a pink or blue glow on her childhood. Silly enough for a young mom to care about for too long, I know. Nevertheless, it was a choice I had to make that I knew would permanently paint my daughter’s reality.
My momma friend at the time of my nursery color decisions told me that I worried a little too much about this. She said that it wouldn’t matter in the end – what my baby saw when she woke up in the morning. My little girl would grow up to paint her own reality, no matter what color greeted her day after day. Her choices, her decisions, her own hand would draw the path where she would ultimately go. It was useless for me to take responsibility for the construction of her world.
I suppose I took comfort in this advice. At the very least it took me off the hook for choosing the wrong nursery color. But I have found these questions permeating more than pink vs. blue paint. As this little girl continues to grow into a woman, I’ve realized that I have been involved with designing more than just a hue she can barely remember from her crib. Sketching in our family relationship and comforts of home. Brushing in new strokes remembered from the canvas of my own past. Shading more realistic details for her to see each and every day. My dilemma of choosing a single color for the wall of her nursery is almost forgotten today, but not because it was an invalid concern. Rather, I’ve learned my paint on her wall was only a tiny piece, as her world now grows into a complex work of art.
“Mom,” she said, “I can only remember the stories you tell me about my childhood.” And a profound observation from this little artist reminds me that she was never the only one creating her own world. I was there, boldly outlining the stories that should really matter to her, washing over the insignificant particulars. When she stands back to look at her world, what she believes, where she is going, who she is, what is true, my splatters will leave an impression for her to remember.
We regularly have conversations about her world. Not just how she wants to see it. Not just the colors she thinks will look nice in her reality. We talk about a world beyond what she can see. We discuss what is on the surface and what lies beneath. We talk about fairy tales, about Bible stories, about history books, about right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, truth and wisdom, eternal dangers, and life beyond the grave. We explore every part of this vibrant world and brighten it with the story of the Promised Savior.
Like it or not, you are creating a world for your children. Calling them by name, you give them life. Taking their hand, you teach them where to go. Speaking the Word that first created you, you gift them a canvas drawn by the Hand of God. This is no small thing. It is the most honorable work God has bestowed on His creatures. He has passed His authority to you to create worlds, for the sake of His children. In the stead and by the command of Christ, create their world.