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Wife, Mother, Pastor

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HOW MANY SATURDAYS DO YOU HAVE LEFT?

IMG_7548Last week at a conference I got to hear one of America’s great heroes, Jeanie Mayo. As she spoke she shared the story of the old man and the 1,000 marbles.  I heard her share this before 13 years early, but this time it hit me differently.
To read the full story click here.

To paraphrase, the story goes like this: a man in his late 70s tells a young workaholic, missing out on his children’s

J's jar.

J’s jar.

lives, how he learned to cherish his Saturdays. At age 55 he figured he only had 20 years left since the average man lives to 75.  He went to the toy store in town and bought 1,000 marbles, took them home and placed them in a jar. Every Saturday he took out a marble from the jar, carried it in his pocket for the day, then threw it away. Twenty years came and he got down to his last marble, praising God for the extras given to him. He lived his life much differently those 20 years then the 55 before.

This gave me an idea. Instead of figuring out the Saturdays I had left in my life, I figured out how many Saturdays I had left with each of my three children.  I calculated that from now to graduation I had 536 left with P, 640 with C, and 848 with my little man J.

C's jar

C’s jar.

I quickly went to eBay and ordered 2,000 marbles for $30. I counted them all out and placed them in jars I bought from Michael’s. About a $45 investment.  They now sit on my kitchen counter as a visual reminder of the time I have left with each child. I’m literally watching my time with them decrease.

You have about 936 Saturdays with each child (52 Saturdays x 18 years). I figured mine for each child up to the day they graduate.  Depending on their birthday, you may have more Saturdays then others. And if you’re one of those moms who has a bunch of babies and toddlers, ignore this post.  Seriously. Just sleep until they’re all five, then think about their Saturdays.  Don’t put that pressure on yourself.

P's jar.

P’s jar

It’s easy for us women to put ministry first.  We put family activities aside because someone has a crisis.  The phone rings we answer it, we give to those who suck the life out of us.  Instead of leaving the leftovers for our husbands and children, remember how many Saturdays we have left.  Do we fill them with sleeping in, TV, and more church activities?  Or hot chocolate dates, picnics, Ann of Green Gables, and family dinners?

I only have so many Saturdays left.  I’m planning on doing a better job with those then the past 428, 310, and 84.

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS
“Lord I thank you for the short time you have given me on this planet.  I thank you for my family.  Please help me to focus on what matters most.  Help me to make sure I take more advantage of the time I have with my kids and focus on making eternal memories with them.  Give me ideas, provisions and the creativity to do so.  Amen.”

Share with me some ways you, as a minister, make your time with your kids special.

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