Once upon a time, I set out to find the things I wanted to give my children. These were the things I wanted them to feel and know and remember when they looked back on their childhood. Of course, there are a million things I want them to experience. God gave us a pretty awesome world that is limitless in its things to know and feel and remember.
Alas, my parenting is limited by things like time, money and energy. This limitless goodness must be reduced down to somehow fit within the scope of eighteen-ish years, a teacher’s income and that bone-tired feeling that seems to find me at least once a week.
I chose six. Six things that I want to give them and I want them to bring with them into adulthood. I could (and will on another day) say much about these six things.
But today I want to focus on the choosing. Taking time to ponder and to choose was a good, good thing. Having a set destination makes the mapping of each week and month doable.
Even when that bone-deep exhaustion finds me, even when appliances and vehicles break down and the budget suddenly grows tighter, even when I don’t have the mental space to dream up a “meaningful activity” for the days, I can just fall back on my six.
Having a big plan has literally been life changing and if you don’t have a similar plan in place, might I encourage you to make one? Choose a handful of things that you want your kids to take with them when they leave your nest. Make a list and a secondary list of tangible ways to bring those things into their lives. Use these lists to plan your days, your weeks and your months and let the rest go.
These last few weeks have felt somewhat chaotic. And I know in past seasons of my parenthood, chaos would inevitably lead to that terrible question: “am I doing enough?” Hallelujah! I am. I am doing what I set out to do.. With a plan in place, all I have to do is follow.