Making the Most of Our Time


Springtime is such a magical time of the year.  When I say magical, I mean it seems like magic that my yard and flowerbeds transform from dull, gray, and bland to green and colorful right before my eyes. One day I’m looking out my window at my backyard at all the projects I want to tackle and the next day it feels like I’m looking at a completely different backyard. The trees are in full bloom with beautiful colors, and my grass is all green overnight (Truthfully, there are more weeds than grass, but it’s green anyway).

A few years ago, our family took a trip during spring break. When we left, our neighborhood looked cold, bleak, and depressing. There was no color anywhere. The yards were all brown, and nothing was blooming anywhere. We were only gone for five days, but when we returned, it was as if we had driven into a brand-new neighborhood. It was as if we asked ourselves, “What did we miss?”

Every Spring looks a little different from year to year, and if I don’t pay attention, I will miss all the changes that are taking place around me. Sometimes, the changes are quick and seem to be overnight. Other times, changes are slower to notice, like the towering tree over our backyard. I can remember when that tree was just a little taller than me, and now it gives shade to our yard throughout the later part of the afternoon and evening.

Changing Families

Nature isn’t the only thing in life that rapidly changes. It happens in our families, too. Think about it this way: You only have 18 Springs with your child before they graduate high school. Each Spring will look different. Some will bring dramatic changes from the previous year. Other changes may take several Springs before you see them evolve to completion. The point is your son or daughter is speeding through each Spring of their life, and if you’re not careful, you might miss some of those extraordinary changes.

Your two-year-old will only experience a Spring as a two-year-old once. It’s true for every age –once as a five-year-old, a seven-year-old, a ten-year-old, etc. So, make every effort to live in the moment with your child. Don’t hurry through the present spring of your child’s life so that you can move on to whatever is next. Embrace the age of who they are in this present moment.

I remember when my girls were much younger and part of the preschool ministry here. I sometimes thought, “I can’t wait until she is a little older and gets to be part of the children’s ministry. Then, she’ll get to participate in some of our ministry’s camps and other activities.” Although there is nothing inherently wrong with looking forward to your child gaining new experiences as they grow up, we must be mindful of where they are now and not rush through the wonder of their current age. So don’t miss out.

Studying Your Child

The best way to make the most of these times is to learn as much as possible about our children. For instance, learn who a two-year-old is and what they are like so that you will know what to expect when they are two. Learn what to expect at each age, and don’t expect them to be who they are not. Learn what they are capable of emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually at each life stage. Be a student of your child. No one should know your child better than you.

Remember that every child is unique. If you have more than one child, you will know they are different and will not experience life the same. Although all children go through certain developmental stages, they will progress differently. It is essential to remember not to compare your children to one another. They are uniquely created to be the individuals God created them to be.

Slow Down

Your children will grow up faster than you could ever have dreamed. My wife and I have caught ourselves looking back at our family when our children were young and asking, “How did the years go by so fast?” It may not seem that way now because raising children is exhausting. But don’t make it even more so by rushing through each phase of their lives to get to the next one.

If you want to read more on this idea, “Don’t Miss It” is a valuable resource. It’s co-authored by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy, who are trusted and experienced children’s ministry experts, and a copy is available in our Preschool and Children’s Building. You can also click on this link to find it on Amazon.

Slow down and thank God for who your child is today and who they will become tomorrow. Be aware of resources and opportunities that will help you learn more about child development and how to celebrate the current Spring they are experiencing.

David Butts

David Butts

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