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What do you think that number represents?  Seems like a big number if you are talking dollars, days until that dream vacation, or stairs to reach the top of a sand dune for a lake view.

Several months ago, I was shown a large glass jar with 936 marbles in it.  When I questioned what they represented I was told the 936 marbles refer to the number of weeks you have with a child from their birth to age 18.  Wow, it doesn’t seem like that big of a number anymore does it?  So, if your child is 5 years old you have 676 weeks left, 10 years old you have 416 weeks left, 15 years old you have 156 weeks left.

When I first heard this number and what it represented, my kids were already grown and out of the house.  Yet, I was struck with a sense of panic and emotion.  Tears welled in my eyes.  It is so easy for parents to get caught up in the raising of their children they don’t realize how fast child rearing really goes.  I would frequently tell the moms of preschoolers that I worked with “the days are long but the years are short.”  They would nod their heads in agreement but I’m not sure they truly understood until their oldest child entered kindergarten.  Then they would say to me, “how did it go so fast?!”  We can all relate to how fast a week, month, and year can come and go.

Using this calculation, how many weeks do you have with your child(ren) until they turn 18?  Parents and grandparents, YOU are the main influencers and spiritual leaders for your children and grandchildren.  So often we don’t think the kids are watching but don’t let the rolling of eyes and the stomping of feet mislead you.  They are listening and watching your every move and will most likely repeat your behaviors.

Take this opportunity to reflect on your family life.  Are you talking about Jesus?  Are you praying with your children?  Do they know how much you love them?  Do they know how much Jesus loves them? Are you making memories?  It only takes a few minutes a day to make a difference.  Don’t lose all your marbles without being intentional!