One evening a few weeks ago, David came into the kitchen after spending some time talking with a friend. He walked up to me, gave me a hug and held on a little tighter and a little longer than normal. When he finally let me go, he noted how grateful he was for me and how much he loves me and the kids. He went on to say something that’s echoed in my ears ever since.
He talked about the importance of recognizing that we only have one chance and making choices all along the way to maximize our time and impact.
“We only have one chance.”
I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought about that little sentence since that night.
I only had one chance to enjoy watching my kids learn to walk, lose their teeth, take their adventures, build their relationships, play their sports, etc. They were only 5, 9, and sweet sixteen one time, and I’m so grateful that God led us along a path that ensured that I was present and engaged for all of those things.
Because I was with them, I had the chance to let them know that what was important to them as little ones was important to me. That investment of time, focus, and energy has led to incredibly deep relationships with my now grown kids who share their hearts and plans with me regularly because they know that I care about what they care about.
I guess I’ve thought about this so much, because I know that there are a million little things vying for your time and attention. Each of us have found ourselves wondering if we’re wasting time and talents homeschooling and prioritizing our children when we could be doing so much more. I wanted to encourage you that there is nothing in this world that you could be doing right now that is more important or fulfilling in the long run than investing in your family the way you’re doing.
But, here’s the really cool part.
As I look back over years of prioritizing my children and investing in those relationships through homeschooling and intentional discipleship, I can also see how much God has grown me. He has changed and transformed me as I walked that path.
I was able to learn things I never knew, gain skill sets I would have never dreamed about, and have opportunities to do things that still amaze me. And the best part was that I got to do it with the people I love most in this world.
And, I believe that you will get to the end of the “have all your kiddos at home” leg of your journey and look back with the same awe I do if you live every moment in the reality that you only have one chance.
So, thank God for the opportunity to spend your time with your children. Look at even the mundane elements of your current reality through a new lens, for it’s in the moments that many people overlook that you’re building the deepest relationships, having the most amazing conversations, and laying the foundation for a family legacy that will bless you and countless others in the days ahead. Those natural interactions comprise the “teach them diligently” times of life.
If you’ve been feeling restless and wondering if you’re making the right decisions for your family, take heart. You’ll never regret taking those “one chances” all through their lives! If you’ve missed a lot up to this point, I hope you’ll take heart as well. There’s always time to start building those relationships and prioritizing those hearts. Get a fresh start and enjoy all the one chances you have to enjoy what is to come. As Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables reminded us, “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it… yet.”