I have three teens—ages 14, 16, and 17—so May usually leaves me feeling like the Mayhem guy from the Allstate commercials. This year has an extra bit of sportiness with my youngest’s graduation and confirmation (a time in some churches where middle schoolers state what they believe and promise to be faithful to God throughout their lives), track meets (in the rain, of course), my middle child’s awesome fundraiser (I’ll write about that soon), and my oldest’s high school graduation (and college preparations).
As I was talking to a friend about the delicate balancing act of enjoying all of these while still adequately completing the work for all of my jobs, she gently gave me the best advice simply by saying, “Don’t miss the good stuff.”
Pick whichever cliché you want—it stopped me in my tracks, it flipped a switch, the light went on, it opened my eyes—and her five words did that. I’m good at saying yes to just about everything, and she gave me a reminder to say yes to the good stuff, while not feeling guilty about saying no to the other stuff. Her encouragement swirls around in my head as a reminder to set boundaries for myself and my time, something that does not come naturally or easily to me.
Don’t you love it when God sends someone to say exactly what you need to hear?
I thought maybe you need to hear that too.
Whatever stage of life you’re in—married or not married; children or no children; just starting a career or enjoying retirement; working for pay or going to school—while you’re trying to do all the stuff, don’t miss the good stuff.
For me this month, it means not missing my kids’ milestones (and all the events that go along with them). Watching them accomplish their goals is the good stuff. But let’s be realistic, that’s obvious.
Yet I’ve noticed this phrase affecting me in little ways too. As I enjoy the simple moments—like spending an afternoon painting with my daughter, having my son kiss my forehead (because he’s so much taller than I am), or laughing with the other kiddo as I struggle to learn the ukulele—I know this is the good stuff too.
My friend’s gentle reminder for me is now my gentle encouragement for you. Look for the good stuff in your life. Then don’t miss it.
Please leave a note in the comments, telling me about the good stuff in your life. I think we all would love to hear some of the good news!
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor. As she was writing this, it dawned on her that Mayhem is accurately named. After all, no one calls it Julyhem or Octoberhem. Maybe, though, Decemberhem might be fair.
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