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.