“The days are long, but the years are fast” is a simple thought that I want to unpack for a few moments.
I remember as a young mom listening to the older women in my church share these thoughts in our weekly Bible Studies. I would think, Lady, you don’t even have a clue. As a homeschooling mom of five children, I often wished the days and years would pass quickly, just so I could get relief. The noise, the needs, the exhaustion and the uncertainty to doing it all “right” had gripped me.
How was I going to be able to cope?
Would I ever have time to myself?
What did I need to learn and embrace in order for me to live and love well?
I want to share a few principles that I learned that help shape me as a mother and as a result built my family.
PEOPLE AND BOOKS
My dad would always say that we would be the same person in five years as we are today with the exception of the people we meet and the books we read. If we wanted to grow and learn, we would need to find people who we wanted to learn from and pursue them, as well as find mentors through reading great books. As a result of this principle I made it my purpose to pay attention to women who were a few years ahead of me and learn as much as I could from them. I needed help in personal growth, in marriage, and in parenting. Jim and I made books and seminars not only a time priority, but a financial one as well.
Often times I would attend a seminar or a workshop exhausted, BUT GOD met me in a personal life changing way. I found myself begging Him for defining moments at critical times of need. As are HIS ways, HE met me because I showed up. Pursue great people and read great books and you will love the journey. A great book to read is Chip Ingram’s, Good to Great in God’s Eyes.
SEASONS & RHYTHMS
We all know the song and the Bible passage on seasons. We can easily state that everything has a season, but this one truth radically shaped my life as a young mom. I found that I wanted to get past certain challenges now so I could enjoy my children now. I found myself often saying, I can’t wait until they are _________, rather than saying I love this moment. I was challenged to live fully in my current season, so that I would never look back with regrets. Today is one of one…never to be again. If this season was God’s gift to me, then how would I embrace it with joy? A great book to read is Bruce Miller’s, Your Life in Rhythm.
RELATIONSHIP OVER RULES
The greatest truth that has shaped my life is keeping the end picture in mind. What relationship do you want to enjoy one day with your adult children? The first decade of their lives you are focusing on corrective training (behavior), on the next decade of their lives, you will focus on formative training (relationship). It is easier to operate from a list of rules that EVERYONE must follow, rather than taking time to learn and understand how each of your children are designed. Children who are encouraged, celebrated and cheered on by their parents will find their voice earlier in life rather than later. We wanted a relationship with them that allowed our influence to go beyond the teen years. One of the greatest moments we experienced as a family was when we went on the journey to discover our strengths. There are several great resources for this. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, as well as Strengths Explorer, for children 10-14.
In closing, my hope is that you will embrace all that GOD has designed for YOU and your precious family.
Do not grow weary, for you are doing a great work and you will reap great things if you do not lose hope.
The days will come when the children are gone and your days will be filled with time for yourself.
Live and love well today, so that you will be able to look back and have no regrets.
Linda Werner, founder of Legacy Principles, has a passion to encourage women in their high calling of womanhood. For over twenty-five years Linda has influenced and trained hundreds of women in their roles as mothers and teachers. Her passion includes teaching and mentoring women as she challenges them to pursue personal growth for God’s Glory. Linda has been married to Jim for thirty-seven years. They have five married children, ages 23-34, as well as seven grandchildren with two more on the way.
Courtney here…I am still astounded and delighted how God has blessed our family with this move to Orlando. The day the Werners walked next door and said hello and we talked Atlanta. We quickly discovered her brother, John Woodall, was one of our very favorite pastors at North Point Ministries. I had no idea that I was about to be invited into a journey with her mentoring program and welcomed into her home often as one of her kids. Thank you LORD for having another mom next door and for planning this before I could imagine something so great. Watch funny video of John Woodall here.