“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Last night was a big night for our youngest little guy, Jude; it was Kindergarten registration night at our local elementary school. We have talked for months about how excited he is to go to Kindergarten, to no longer have to stand on the sidewalk and watch, but to finally be able to get on the bus with his older brothers and the neighbors kids – to finally be recognized by others as the big kid he has seen himself to be for so long now.
As we filed through registration and I took Jude’s picture in front of the “Class of 2032” banner, I couldn’t help but notice that my excitement for him began to fade into sadness. I mean, where have the last 5 years gone? It honestly feels like he was just born (I know, I know, all mom’s probably feel like this with their baby). But haven’t I been waiting for the day all three of my little guys would go to school together? Haven’t I been waiting for the day I will not have to clean the house…constantly, to finally be able to have 2 minutes to myself and focus on work without playing Uno and Memory for the millionth time between sending emails and perfecting presentations? If I have been so ready for this, why the sadness?
In my work with GiANT one of my favorite tools is called the 5 Circles of Influence. It is a simple visual tool to help people understand that regardless of your title or position, we all lead in various contexts: self, family, team, organization and community.
While most of us find it easy to be intentional in one or two circles, we remind those we work with that the key to being a leader worth following is to be consistent in every circle. For me, I find it easy to be intentional in circles that pertain to work, but struggle to be as intentional at home, and that is where my sadness over Kindergarten registration comes in.
I see how quickly the time is going. I feel the truth of the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I realize it will be only a blink before my boys are grown and out on their own and my husband and I have far more time together, just the two of us. Times goes too fast. I cannot afford to be accidental with my family.
I was recently going back through old blog posts and in one I titled, “WHEN YOUR GREATEST CONTRIBUTION IS ABOUT WHO NOT WHAT” I mentioned an Andy Stanley quote I love that says, “Your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise.” Keeping this in mind, I plan to double down on my effort to be intentional at home. To not be thankful for the moments the boys are occupied on their own so I can get work done, but rather to be thankful for and take advantage of the time I have to spend with them knowing each day with them is a gift from God meant to be enjoyed, meant to be lived intentionally rather than accidentally.
How about you? Whether you have a spouse, children, parents, siblings, or friends who you consider family, how intentional are you when it comes to your “family circle?” What changes do you need to make to be more intentional and less accidental with family? The choice is yours, what will you choose?