Even if grandma/grandaddy didn’t say it, they always get credit for wise statements. I’m good with that. With that in mind, I am positive I’ve heard someone’s grandaddy say that “the days are long, but the years are short.”
How true that is.
The reality of today. There are days that you want to look at your kids and literally punt their head across the living room. I get it. Happens to me at least 35x’s a week. We can’t believe the things they do/say some of the times. (By the way, I bet our kids say the same about us) The crankiness due to lack of sleep. Their stupidity of decision making. The complete disregard of your teenager to listen to your wisdom/advice. Their inability to make eye contact when they communicate with you because they’re looking at their screens. Their lack of financial understanding (money grows on trees, right?) The list of frustrations can go on and on. The days can be long.
Fast forward to graduation day. As you watch your child walk across the stage symbolizing their transition from one season of life to another, you suddenly realize that the last 18 years flew by. You begin to press rewind, and the memories are clear as day. The day they came home from the hospital. Their first tooth. Their first night in bed without diapers. Their first day of preschool. Their first day of kindergarten. The day they began using complete sentences. Their first trip to the orthodontist where you found out how much that hardware in their mouth was gonna set you back. Their first sports teams. Their first broken bone. The first time you caught a whiff of that onion smell coming from the pit of doom on your middle school boy (pit of doom = armpit.) The day they got their permit, then drivers license, then prom. The years are short.
I am pretty sure that the Psalmist said it best when he rightly said “Man is like a breath, his days are like a passing shadow.” Or maybe he nailed it again in Psalm 103 when he said that “men are like grass, he flourishes like a flower in the field; the wind passes over it and it is gone; and it’s place is no more.”
The days can seem long indeed. The years will fly by for sure. Attack each day with gospel intentionality. That’s the button to push every day. No pause buttons. No rewinding/redoing. Just redeeming. Redeem the time. Redeem the day.
- Pray with your kids, even when you’re tired and want them to go the heck to sleep.
- Offer grace, even when your grace tank is almost on empty. (Aren’t we glad King Jesus’ tank never even moves off of “full”)
- Say no to something you have on your calendar and take your kids fishing, hunting, camping, whatever. Go to a game together. Be spontaneous. Get them out of school early to go get ice cream. Make some dents in their lives with little things.
- Say no to your kids and take your spouse on a date. Show them what a healthy marriage looks like. Don’t miss the beauty of your marriage during the chaos of raising kids.
- Don’t be an alarmist. Often times we give way too much weight to small things, making the long days even longer. Your kid got an attitude with you? Great. Welcome to parenting. Your teenager disobeyed you? The world isn’t crumbling. Keep pressing on. Have some gospel optimism by believing and trusting in the beauty and sovereignty of your Creator in the lives of your kids.
- Celebrate like crazy. Celebrate the little things in the different seasons of their lives. Celebrate the big things and key milestones in their lives. Celebrate. We redeem the days when we take time to celebrate growth.
- Redeem the rhythms of your day. And before you know it, they’re gone. Don’t forget the beauty of blazing a trail of the gospel and it’s beauty so that the path of gospel living is clear for them. Redeem the rhythms of your day.