18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing With My Kids

 

Saw a friend post this article today and had to share. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Like most parents, I have those moments where guilt and regret comes over me like a wave. I consider then how much of my parenting time has already passed by and how little remains. My oldest child, my son, is thirteen. He is already a teenager, just one year away from high school, just eight years from the age I was when I left home to get married. My girls are following close behind him. When that wave rises up, when I feel like I could drown beneath all that regret, I sometimes consider those things I will never regret. Here are 18 things I know I will not regret doing with my kids. 1. Praying with them for them. It baffles me that one of the things that most intimidates me is praying with my kids. I don’t mean praying with the whole family before or after a meal, but praying with my daughter for my daughter or with my son for my son. Yet this kind of prayer lets them see that I am concerned for what concerns them and it lets us join in prayer together for those very things. I know I need to prioritize this because I will never regret praying with them for them. 2. Reading books to them. As summer turns to fall, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, we spend many of our evenings together in the living room as I read books aloud. We’ve read our way across this world and across many others; we’ve read forward in history and we’ve read about days long past; we’ve met heroes and villains; and we have experienced it all together as a family. I will never regret reading books to my children. 3. Kissing them goodnight. The days get long and I get so weary. By the time the children head to bed I am sometimes so worn down that the very last thing I want to do is see the kids to bed and to kiss them goodnight. But I am always glad I did and often find these the times where the children are most tender, most eager to speak, and most eager to listen. I know I will never regret all those goodnight kisses. 4. Taking them to church. There is such joy in sitting in church together as a family, worshipping the Lord together and hearing from him in his Word together. I do not take my children to church so they can learn good manners or be better people; I take them to church so they can learn who they are, so they can learn who God is, and so they can encounter and experience Grace. I will never regret prioritizing church. 5. Taking them out for breakfast. One much-loved tradition in our family is taking my children out for breakfast on Saturday mornings—one of them each week. It’s a tradition I have lost and revived and lost again and revived again. It is a tradition worth maintaining. The $10 or $20 expense and the time it takes pales in comparison to the investment in their lives. I will never regret our breakfast daddy dates.

Source: 18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing With My Kids

Bible studies

I’ve been in Bible studies/small groups/prayer groups/discipleship groups/accountability groups since before middle school. I am only in my 20s, so I know I don’t know the half of it. or even the eighth of it, but I do feel like I know a little something. There are several reasons to join a group like this:

 

  1. To study and know the Bible (you think this is a given, but it isn’t always).
  2. To be in community and grow and learn from other women and men.
  3. To pray for one another and together.
  4. To challenge one another and hold one another accountable to the things we say we believe but don’t always put into practice.
  5. Other reasons I am sure I am forgetting in my pregnant stupor.

 

I have been in groups that have done some or one of these things above well, but the best groups have always done all of these things. Those groups are rare, but life changing.

A friend recently asked me what I loved most about the Bible study groups I was a part of in California (I mentioned them in the previous post). Honestly, God knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Below is what I wrote to her:

My Bible Study was amazing for several reasons. It was just the normal women’s study at our church in SF, but the first year (when I was pregnant with #cavebaby) I was in a group of young moms with kids ranging from just born to 9 or 10. WOW! What an incredible experience to learn with them and from them about the Lord and His word along with all the wisdom, prayer and support they showed for one another in all things parenting small children. The timing was just SO PERFECT. We studied the books of Nehemiah and Daniel and I learned not only about God, His Word, but also real life application. Just a great group. 

Every year they switch up the groups which I was sad about but understood. Knowing I was just going to be living there for 2-3 years, I was really praying to stay in that group that seemed so perfect for 2 years to continue to deepen those relationships. Well, the second year starts and I am in a group where the person closest in age to me is probably in her late 40s/ early 50s. And she doesn’t come every week. The next youngest person has sons my age and the rest were all in their 70s/80s/90s.

“One of these things is not like the others…and it is the redhead with an infant” 

I was totally skeptical and my small group leader told me that she almost came to me after the first week to let me know if I wanted to switch, that I could. She didn’t approach me about this and I am very thankful because the things I learned in that room from women who have seen it all (cancer, widowhood, children battling deadly addictions, cross country moves, etc…) will stick with me. I don’t mean this in a cocky way, but I am typically never (probably/actually never) the person in the room that knows the least about the Bible. This is for several reasons, but mostly because I have always been in a church, school setting or group that has studied the Bible. I know I don’t know much still, but I typically can hold my own in a room. Not this room. And I am so thankful for that.  

These women’s dedication and love for God’s word and prayer was astounding. They weren’t just talking about it like so many people my age – they were doing it day in and day out. Praying for hours, giving so much of their time and resources to those in need, digging deeply into the Bible so they could truly test and approve their faith. And they LOVED me and #cavebaby SO much. He reminded almost all of them of their grand children. And great grandchildren. It was a time in which I knew that they were praying for me and I knew I felt so cared for. It was incredible. We loved our church in SF and we are definitely missing it. It was also incredible because of my small group leader. This woman oozed joy. I mean, if you could literally ooze joy, she would. 

I am now back in DC and have joined the group that I was a part of three years ago. I LOVE THESE WOMEN and this is the kind of group in which you really dig deep and learn SO much about the Bible. And I know they are praying for me too. I am excited to dive into this next chapter.

♥sam

The in-betweens of life

I wrote this in June 2015 but forgot to post. oops :)

 

I have learned something the past few years. You gotta live in the “in-betweens” of life or you won’t really live.

 

I am currently in an in-between. We are moving back to D.C. in August so I have started to slow things down here in San Francisco. My Bible study ended in May (I should write a blog post about that group – AMAZING) and so did MOPS (did you know you can attend MOPS even if you don’t have a preschooler? It was great). I am really going to miss these people. It is amazing how long three years actually is and at the same time it feels like I just left D.C.

I am crossing things off of our bucket list. frantically.

1. Drive the PCH

2. See Hearst Castle

3. Eat at the Breakers in Stinson Beach. one. last. time.

4. Take a trolley ride

5. Walk up the steps on Russian Hill

6. Run the second half of the SF Marathon

7. Drive through a Giant Sequoia

 

I have some work to do in two months! This in-between started a few months ago when the huz got the call that we would be moving. You have to take advantage of these in-betweens or half your life will be spent waiting for the next big adventure. It is easy to think of this time as just prep time for our move. Time to plan our cross country drive. Time to purge my closets and crawl space. Time to look for our new home. And while it is all of these things, you cannot forget to live where you are. I want this time to be characterized by other things:

1. Pool parties and BBQs with friends

2. Making new memories in new places and old, familiar places

3. Deep and refreshing conversation with friends that became so dear in three years

4. Soaking up the sun with NO humidity

5. Hiking in real mountains (no offense, VA).

 

Well, off to enjoy!

♥sam