Quite a few years back, I remember when I was tucking in my oldest for bed one night, and as I laid down beside him, tears filled my eyes. Pregnant with our second child, I wasn’t sure where the time had gone when I realized just how big he was as his feet reached past my knees. With my arm around him, I asked, “How did you get so big, and what did I miss?”
Why does it take those moments to realize those little important details sometimes? I’m thankful for those moments as I’m reminded that every precious detail counts. While I don’t feel like we’ll never have a few regrets, I’m thankful to be reminded to soak in each day, each hour, and every minute I have in the season I’m in.
Rough seasons come and go, but so do the not-so-rough. What are we doing with our time? How are we spending our waking hours? Is it where we want to be and with whom we want to spend it?
There really are some things we can control, and there are some things that we can’t. For the ones that we can, what are we doing with them? Are we using our precious time to better ourselves, or are we just wasting it away with a meaningless agenda that goes nowhere?
Let our progress be intentional. The last time I checked, I didn’t get anywhere worth going by mistake. Usually if it’s by mistake, it’s not a very good one.
Recently, as the recipient of two beautiful speeding tickets within a month’s time, I was reminded of how much I should have been paying attention! Not paying attention costed us almost $500, a court appearance, and an online driving course. Unfortunately, life experiences can be a tough teacher. But fortunately, if we learn from it, it’s our chance to improve!
I’m in a season with little children needing me almost every minute, while also learning how to discipline them and myself, homeschooling… and heading into a season where they will need me less and less to do things for them as we teach them how to survive in this life without us. That is the success of raising children, isn’t it?
As hurtful as this may sound to some, this will be our greatest reward as a parent – teaching them to need us less and less. And as soft as this sounds, this is a very tough season for parents. It’s tough because if we’re weak, we give in to what’s easier for us (which is always tempting), and if we’re strong, we guide them in the way that is best for them – their development into the adult life for which we are preparing them. But being strong and doing what’s right comes with lots of pain in the short-term, yet lots of gain in the long-term. No pain, no gain. Remember, we are raising adults, not children. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
Pretty soon, I’ll be heading into another season when I start up my graphic design business again. I had to do what was best for me and my family when I decided to take a step back from it. At that time, I was in a season with babies and toddlers, and I needed to take some extra time and space to care for myself and my family, while also spending time to educate and empower myself to finish it well.
Too many times, we get caught in the day to day mundane routine and forget what we’re really supposed to be doing. And for each of us, that looks a little different.
Whatever the season you’re in, embrace it, learn from it, and make yourself better for it.
Just make sure you pay attention.