Twenty years ago, if you had said, “Tell me about Jodie,” I probably would have said that my goal was to be a good wife and mother. I wrote books, did some speaking, and organized stuff like the Bazooka Blowout at the kids’ school, but the thing that made my toes tingle—the thing that gave me purpose and joy—was loving my family and pointing them toward Christ. Here we are, back in 2001:
Today, I’m still crazy in love with these people (and now, more than ever, I want them to press into Jesus!) but the field has been flipped. My kids are pretty much launched, with careers and families of their own, and I find myself asking, “What’s next?”
The Bible says that those who love the Lord will “still bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:14). I love that! And I can’t help but believe that every stage of life (including—and maybe especially—the empty nest years) is important and precious to God.
If that’s where you find yourself, too—longing to bear fruit in every season (whether you’re up to your eyeballs in laundry, navigating the twists and turns of a career, or bouncing a grandchild on your knee)—can I invite you to join me? “Whatever you do,” the Bible says, “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people.” (Colossians 3:23)
Pursuing Joy. Celebrating Grace. Living on Purpose.
Let’s go at life with all our hearts. Let’s pursue joy (and trust me, I don’t always catch it), celebrate grace (because that’s God’s beautiful, every-day gift), and live on purpose, surrendering our plans and our agendas to God.
And one more thing. Let’s also cheer for the ‘Hoos. Robbie and I have been doing that for more than 35 years. We might not win every game, but we’ve never lost a tailgate. And if you ever find yourself in Charlottesville on a fall football day, I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!
If you want to know who’s who in the “grown up” family pic, that’s me on the far left, then Geoff and Annesley (you can read about their wedding joy here), then Charlie and Hillary (their recap is here), and finally Robbie Jr., Virginia, and my best friend and U.Va. sweetheart, Robbie.