This is one of those "firsts" that I was not rushing. Our children have been such joys in these elementary years. There was a pretty significant leap in enjoyment around the time they both got into elementary school. When you make that leap from diapers, spit up, and not being able to go brush their teeth by themselves to being able to eat, potty, wash face, get dressed, and brush teeth by themselves; it is a pretty cool thing. They are fun, they travel well, get along well (for siblings), and it doesn't take a $300 outing to have fun. This has been a fun season for us. It has not been perfect and there have been tears and frustrations that are common to family life, but it has been a lot of fun. Many times these past few years Laura and I have looked at each other and said something like, "This is a fun season of life for us."
I thought of this as I watched her graduate 6th grade. I am very grateful for Hannah Grace and Joel's achievements, growth, health, personalities, and so many other things. A day like today has a way of bringing those memories back. Hopefully, the fun will continue. I know that junior high and teenage years will have some challenges, but we'll keep trusting the same God we have trusted these past several years. He's still big enough to handle whatever comes our way. He's still enough to work all things for His glory and our good. Perhaps the teen years will be loads of fun just like these last ones have been. Maybe there will be great challenges like we've never seen. It could be a combination of both. Hopefully, we'll say at the end of this season that it was a great season of life as well.
The graduation walk
Fun and happy girl
This "first" reminds me that I need to make the most of every day and season of life. God is a God who forgives and redeems, but some things don't have a second chance. I don't get a second chance at being a father to a 6th grade girl (or a 1st, 2nd, etc.). I don't have a second chance at being a 6th grader myself. I don't have a second chance at the exact opportunities that I had today. The Bible has a strong word when it says that today is the day of salvation. This is the day that I need to make the most of the opportunities that I have. This day will never come again. I need to constantly remember that this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. There really is no other day to be glad in. The other ones have either passed or I don't know if they will get here. The great memories I have are from the days that I made the most of the opportunities that God gave me. The days I let the opportunities slip by are the days of regret. As one person said of being a parent, "The days are long but the years are short."
Look for an opportunity today to make a memory; a memory you'll be glad you made 5 years from now. Don't get so caught up in the yesterdays and tomorrows that you miss today. Love on somebody and make a memory. Don't forget that you can do things today that you'll be glad you did a million years from now. So, what is the wise thing to do?
Remembering the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Hannah Grace's 6th grade graduation
2. Joel and Hannah Grace both doing well in school this year