Written by Scott Savage
I'm not sure if it was everyone's experience, but when we were expecting our first child, my wife and I received a lot of advice, both good and not so good.
Bad Advice and Good Advice
Everyone has advice for you! Sometimes, It can feel overwhelming. I’ve forgotten a lot of the bad advice, but some of the good stuff remains with me. One of the good nuggets someone gave me was:
"Remember, the days are long, but the years are short."
If you're celebrating a graduation this year, it may be blowing your mind that your child is old enough to be finishing this stage and moving on to the new one. Our youngest kids, 4-year-old twins, graduated from preschool this week and I was struggling to wrap my mind around it.
How can they be starting kindergarten this fall?!
After all, I can still remember sitting in the NICU with our twins, begging God for them to gain weight so we could take them home. And, it feels like just yesterday we experienced the exhausting, never-ending days of 2am feedings. Kindergarten, really?!
Embrace Every Stage
When we hit a milestone, like a graduation, the temptation is to long for the past or be afraid of how fast the future is coming. I want to challenge you to take a different approach. What if you embrace every stage and every phase?
In the middle of the Bible, we find the book of Ecclesiastes. In parts, it feels like a cynical book, yet it also includes some beautiful words. In Ecclesiastes 3, we’re reminded that there is a time for everything, including life and death, planting and harvesting. The writer tells us how God has made everything beautiful in its time. We often read those words at the end of someone’s life, but they are just as true at the beginning.
Today is filled with opportunity...
- Whether it’s including a daily habit of reading a bedtime story, a weekend habit of eating donuts, or an annual habit of a family trip, the early years offer a time to invest intentionally in your loved ones’ lives.
- Whether it’s setting the phone down and giving those you are with your full attention, or it’s praying with them, so they learn how to talk to God by listening to you, the season following those early years is an excellent time for meaningful conversations.
No matter where you are in the parenting journey, there are opportunities before you that weren’t possible a year ago and may not be around a year from now.
Keep in mind, we all have unique weaknesses.
Whether you wrestle with guilt or worry, remember that neither one really serves your kid. I wrestle with them both. I tend to beat myself up for the opportunities I missed and worry about the ones I feel unprepared for just ahead. But when you and I focus on what was lost, we ensure that we'll miss out on the moments before us today. When we worry about the future, we limit the joy we can share today.
A Blessing for Graduation Season
There are some phases which have passed, but there are many more which remain. Since the days are long and the years are short, I often pray for wisdom and courage - wisdom to discern between the opportunities that come my way and courage to seize the right ones.
That's my prayer for you today!
May you reject shame and embrace God's grace over your parenting mistakes.
May you reject worry and experience God's peace as you think about your kids' future.
May you reject distraction and choose to be present in today's opportunities.
May you open your heart and let God heal the wounds of your past, so you don't pass that pain on to your family.
May you experience the joy of God's gifts during the days which seem to last forever.
May you remember that time is short and beautiful in God's great world.
Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani and they are the parents of three “little savages.” He is the creator of the and you can read more of his writing at .