Living in the Moments
by Randy Wilson
“What you focus on is what captures your attention and your affection.”
– Paula White
As the parents of seven children ages 4 to 22, Lisa and I are constantly crying out to God for wisdom to steward our time and our lives well. Keeping track of schedules, to-do lists and keeping a pulse on living well in relationships makes us desperate for God as we lead, guide and direct these children. Having a preschooler and a daughter who is now married, we are more aware than ever how quickly the years blow by. Changes whirl in and out of our home like a fast-moving Colorado storm. Wow! Where do the years go?
One of the highest goals we have for our family is that our children will leave home with their best memories coming from within the home not outside the home. Our choices, moment by moment, add up to a lifetime of memories. We must steward our commitments and schedules well, in order to reap the fruit of life-long relationships. How do we say "no" in the minutes to a greater yes in the moments?
In scripture, the economy of time is a gift and the Bible sees it in two different ways: The word Chronos refers to the years, days, hours and the minutes. It is measured time. Kairos time refers to the moments in our lives. It is time that cannot be measured and refers to the feeling of time standing still. The power of family legacy is passed down in the moments of time. The moments we live reveal what our hearts are focused on.
When we're living in the minutes, what matters most is checking off our to-do list. When we're living in the moments, what we care most about is connecting (really connecting) with God and family. In the moments, building relationships isn't simply another to-do to complete; our relationships become the point, the priority. In the moments, we want to be present—heart to heart—with the ones we love.
So how do we create moments in our homes and relationships? Moments don’t just happen; they need to be planned and executed in a way that creates a memory for everyone.
We create moments by knowing the hearts of our children and creating celebrations in the home that make them feel valued and worthy. I've listed a few things you may like to try:
- Provide simple white board markers, one color assigned to each child. Our children have left many words of encouragement on mirrors and bathroom tile to connect with each other.
- Research each of your children’s names and the meaning of their names. Constantly speak words of value about how special they are and why God gave them that name.
- Journal to your children your prayers and love for them. It will reap enormous benefits in your relationship with them. We will give each of our children the journal we've kept for them when they're ready to leave home.
We also create moments by saying "no" to the world and "yes" to our family. Here some examples of choices we have to make:
- Living in the moment may mean not only turning your phone off, but also unplugging your answering machine for a few hours each day. As difficult as it may be to practice, it will demonstrate to your family that your attention and affections belong to them first.
- Say "no" to the computer when it threatens to disrupt family time. Schedule specific time for e-mails and being online that doesn’t distract from, but enhances family time.
- Plan wisely social engagements, sports events and ministry opportunities that flow best with the needs of your family. Saying "no" can lead to a higher "yes" to things that matter most.
What captures your attention and your affections? Our children can tell us—based on the way we spend our time.
Copyright © 2007, Randy Wilson
Used by permission.
For more information regarding intentional parenting, visit the Web site of
Focus on the Family.