My Mum lived with terminal cancer for sixteen years before she passed away. Those years took us on a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with countless rounds of chemotherapy and many new trial drugs as the cancer slowly spread through her body. Six months before she passed away, I shifted my work days so I could spend Mondays with Mum. I knew that I didn’t have much time left, so I wanted to make the most of the time that I had now. These days were filled with much conversation, laughter, trips to visit my Grandma while Mum was still strong enough to walk, and time spent just sitting by Mum’s side as she got weaker. In 2014, Mum passed away.
I will always treasure the Mondays I spent with Mum. Although ordinary in many ways, they were incredibly special as I made the most of the time we had left together.
It reminds me of a simple yet profound truth: “When you know how much time you have left you make the most of the time you have now.”
Reflect on that for a moment…
When we know how much time we have left we are intentional. We make deliberate choices in how we spend our time before it’s gone. This was true for the time I spent with Mum but is also true for us as parents. Our children are only kids for so long. Sure, they’re always our kids but they do make the transition into adulthood. By that time they no longer need us to clothe them, help them with their homework or drive them around. Our relationship changes.
Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Numbering our days helps us to be intentional as parents. So whether your kids are twelve months or twelve years old, how can you be intentional with the time you have now while they’re still kids?
This might look like:
· Finishing work on time
· Eating meals together
· Tucking your kids into bed
· Watching their sports games
· Playing a family board game
· Prioritising time together on the weekend
When you know much time you have left, you tend to make the most of the time you have now. So how can you make the most of the time you have together with your kids this week? Or in your current season? Put one simple thing into practice and see what difference it makes to you and your kids.
Your kids won’t be this young forever, so make memories; build story and be intentional. You don’t want to miss it.
Merryn is Children and Families Stream Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church. Merryn and her husband have a beautiful baby boy.