Birthday, Anniversary, and Mentor Weekend

We had a great weekend. Let's re-cap:

Birthday.  Elijah turned 8 on Saturday. I love this boy so much! I love watching him learn, build, and create. I love that he has a best friend at the Boys & Girls Club in Allendale. I love that for all that he knows and is serious about, that he's also still a kid who loves to play and laugh. I'm So Blessed to Be His Dad!

Anniversary.  Yesterday, Joanna and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. Besides going to Savannah (see more below), we didn't do anything really special. But I am reminded how grateful I am for My Excellent Wife.

The past couple of weeks, one of the staff at the Club has been out a good bit, due to a family situation. With 45-50 kids each day, and only 2 remaining staff, I've needed her there. So, for most of the past 2 weeks, she has been educating our kids all morning, and serving at the after school program (until at least 6pm) every afternoon. Joanna is my partner, and I could not do this without her. (For a great article on marriage, read The Truth About Marital Compatibility from The Resurgence.)

Mentoring.  We took a quick trip to Savannah to see a family that has been mentors for us for a number of years. The husband was my boss for 4 years, and personally mentored me for at least 2 years before that. The wife has poured into Joanna since before Hannah was born (10 years ago). And, to make the circle complete, Joanna and Hannah were at their house 8 years ago, the day that Elijah was born. (Joanna left her place just after lunch, and Elijah was born at 3:25 PM.)

Since we're in the midst of a job change in Allendale, this trip to see these mentors was timely. We enjoyed "downloading" all that has been going on with us, and getting feedback. We appreciated how they loved on Elijah with brownies, ice cream, and a gift. We were thrilled to serve and worship alongside them on Sunday morning.

One of the biggest encouragements we received from them was something they said that was not in a structured teaching moment. We were sitting around the table eating lunch, and our children were chattering away about all the "important" stuff on their minds. Joanna and I tire pretty easily of their constant talking, and maybe you parents understand this, or maybe you are a lot more patient than we are.

But, in the midst of all this, these mentors (who, in less than a year will have only one of their three children still at home) said, "We miss this." What?! "We miss our kids being around the table talking, with everyone enjoying each other." 

We saw and felt what they had enjoyed, and now were now missing. And we were encouraged and challenged all at the same time. Though we are often tired and frustrated and impatient with our children, we need to cherish what we have for now. It won't be long before it's gone.

If you are an uptight worrier and planner like Joanna and I are, be sure to slow down, and to step back. Enjoy the moment with your children and of your children. Unlike with Christmas shopping, there are no returns in parenting.

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  1. I echo the Collins' counsel.....enjoy every moment with your chattering kids because those moments are precious and will be gone before you know it! Greg and I have found every stage of parenting to be both a blessing and a challenge, but by leaning heavily on the Lord's strength and direction, we're all "still standing" and loving each other!

  2. Thanks for sharing your weekend with us! We love you guys & are looking forward to the next time we can be together! :)
    PS - I'm mailing "B" out tomorrow...I don't want Sender to have to wait!

  3. Kathy -- thanks for that encouragement, and reminder.

    Tracy -- we've got some thoughts about "next time." I'll email you. (Thanks for "B" -- we may hide it from Sender anyway. That boy will take "B" to college.)