Twenty-five years ago right now I was walking on air! I was getting ready to leave Abington Hospital outside of Philly. Inside, my wife was holding our just-born third child. . . a girl. . . Bethany. . . meaning that Josh and I were outnumbered in our house, three to two. Outside, the ground was blanketed in a fresh coat of snow. All was right in the world.
Today, Bethany celebrates her 25th birthday. Snow is falling outside once more. . . which helps to remind me of that day back in 1988. The little girl who brother Josh called “Bessie Hope” is now grown-up. . . a school teacher. . . living on her own. . . an adult. Where did the time go?
As I stop and think back on that day and all that’s happened since, these are some of my thoughts. . . and I pass them on as they may help you to get the much-needed perspective I always need. . .
- Yes, time does fly. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 103:15, our “days are like the grass.” God has numbered our days and they do fly by. Sure, when you’re a kid waiting on a summer afternoon for the ice cream man to show up seems like forever. As you get older you realize just how short our time here is. This isn’t a sentimental lament on my part. . . just a realization of the truth. . . a truth that should cause us to treasure every moment we’re given.
- Your kids grow up fast. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. And don’t let your job, your hobbies, your TV, your cell phone, your computer. . . your anything. . . divert your attention away from these dear little ones that become big ones in no time.
- Your kids are not your own. They’ve been stewarded to you by God. Don’t fall into the trap of “wearing” them like status objects before a world that you think is watching you. . . as that world watches them. No, they belong to God. Our job is to do with them what He wills.
- Ponder what God has done in your kids’ lives. Anything good. . . well, don’t go patting yourself on the back. That’s purely by the grace of God. Seriously.
- It’s character that counts. We’re told in I Samuel 16:7 that we human beings get hung up on the wrong stuff. . . stuff like the outside. God, however, looks on the important stuff. . . the stuff that should be important to us as well. . . the stuff of the heart. . . the inside stuff. And if there’s anything good there. . . well, that is purely by the grace of God.
- Take lots of pictures. Memories fade. Pictures keep those memories alive.
I was looking through some pictures of Bethany this morning. I came across one of my all-time favorites so I thought I would put it up here. I remember when it was taken. . . I can hear the place and smell the place. A lake in Maine. Vacation. Seems like yesterday.
A message to all you young parents out there. Time flies. Don’t miss it.
Wonderful and heartfelt entry Walt. My first just celebrated his first birthday and our second is due in June. It is a constant weigh on my mind in how I parent and if I wil raise them in the right, God-fearing way. Thank you for the note.