While going through my daughter’s backpack when she was in the second grade, I found a paper on which she had written her spelling words for the week. I was pleased to see an “A” for correct spelling and grammar. But as I read her sentences, I realized whom I had become in her eyes:
“Time” – My mom never has enough time.”
“Speed – My mom does things with such speed.”
“Garden – My mom used to spend time in the garden.”
My heart sank as I realized two things: The first was that, to my seven-year-old daughter, I was her whole world. Every sentence was about her mom. She observed me, studied me, wanted to be like me. And the second realization was this: She saw me as busy...as a mom who was rushing through life, not as one who took the time to be with her.
I took a good hard look at my life that evening and realized that isn’t who I wanted to be.
I thought about what I wanted to teach my daughter and what I was inevitably showing her from my life. I asked God to help me realize that I only have so much time left to influence her in a positive way and to show her that she is more important to me than anything else.
It was then that I adopted a theme verse or motto for my life:
“Teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
It was clear I needed to start “numbering my days” and focusing on the few things that mattered in life, my daughter being one of them.
That was 14 years ago. And today, there are still moments when I realize I need to keep numbering my days:
- My daughter has only a couple months left of college and I must number the days she will still live at home and be a part of my everyday life.
- My parents are aging. I must number their days and make the most of opportunities to connect with them while they are still around.
- My body is growing older. I only have so much time to take care of it, by how I eat and how often I exercise, before I, too, will depart from this earth.
How can you number your days when it comes to parenting, your marriage, or your life, in general?
- Instead of wishing your child would get old enough to drive, number the days that he or she is dependent on you for getting around. You only have so many days left to have those teaching moments with your children while being their chauffeur.
- When you’re asked to do something for your husband that you really don’t have time to do, realize that there may come a day when he isn’t around to ask something of you.
- When a friend leaves a voice message on your phone, but the stack of work on your desk tells you that there isn’t time to respond, realize that people are more important than productivity. Your days — or that friend’s days — may be numbered. Find the time to communicate with a friend.
What will you do today to begin numbering your days when it comes to people and situations in your life?