It’s 6:45am in the morning and I am enjoying my first cup of coffee. All is quite in the house, but I know the crazy is about ready to hit the fan in about 15 minutes. That is when the kiddos know they can leave their bedrooms for breakfast. This period of peace is a pump-up session to get ready for the one thousand questions and demands barrage that will happen once they come down those stairs. I wonder what fights will happen and what Lego toy will be sought after. I’m curious if anyone has wet the bed. I wonder what breakfast food will be in high demand this morning. My wondering turns into a reality as the clock hits 7am.
7a – The demands begin
7:01a – Someone peed the bed and laundry begins
7:05a – Everyone is starving and needs food ASAP—3 different breakfast requests
7:06a – Independent child spills milk everywhere because they didn’t want help
7:10a – LEGO toy of the day, a green cargo plane, is being fought over and there is a lot of fussing and crying
7:15a – Dishes are piled up in the sink and the counter is a mess
7:20a – I look over at my wife and we share the look of “we just have to push through and know that they will grow out of all this craziness.”
Life is crazy with kids. It can seem overwhelming at times, or maybe all the time. We can so easily put our heads down in this time of life and enter into a mindset of waiting for a better day with our kids; as if it gets any easier, but we like to believe that it does. Did God really plan for parents to look forward to our kids just getting older, or finally moving out? Is this really the best way to think about all the different phases our kids go through as they get older? As much as I want to say “yes” this is exactly what God wants us to do, I can’t. We know better. Instead of plowing through the rough times, we should embrace those moment as uncomfortable as they are. I love the way Reggie Joiner puts it in his book “Don’t Miss It;”
“Don’t embrace the attitude that says ‘this is just a phase and we just need to get through as soon as possible.’ Instead, inspire your family to believe, ‘this is just a phase, and I don’t want to miss it.’”
That’s hard though. When life gets crazy with our kids we feel the nudge to just plow through and look forward to better days. What if we thought differently about these hard times and crazy moments? How would that impact our family? How would it make us better parents or grandparents? Let’s face it, our kids will only be 3 years old once in their life. Your student will only be 16 years old once, and then it’s done. You only get 365 days and then they get older and you will never know them again as a 6 or 13-year-old.
Just pause and sit with that thought. You might be thanking God for that reality. Hopefully though, it makes you think about the time you have with your kids. So, what do we need to do? To help us figure that out, let’s looks at how Paul put it in a letter he wrote to a group of Christians who were struggling to figure out life, and how to live it in a God honoring way. Paul says in Ephesians 5:15-16;
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”
I hope that instead of pushing through the difficult phases in life, that we take on the attitude of embracing each moment. Let’s be people who make the most of every opportunity and be wise with the time God has given us. Whether it’s good or bad, let’s just soak it in. We only get so much time, let’s not wish it away on the hope of better days ahead. Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Because if it is, it’s time to water your own lawn.
~Submitted by Andy Mannes, Student Ministry Director