Susan Stilwell is one of my dearerst online friends. We share a similar heart for the Lord, teaching women and ministry. She is a freelance writer, motivational speaker and Bible study leader who loves discovering God at work in the ordinary, day-to-day stuff of life. Passionate about God’s Word, she’s a prolific devotional writer and a popular guest blogger. She and her husband Steve enjoy their empty nest in the beautiful mountains of southwest Virginia.
You can connect with Susan on Twitter at @susanrstilwell and on her website, www.susanstilwell.com
One of my favorite sounds is the groan of the school bus as it pulls up the hill near my house. Before my kids entered kindergarten, one of the highlights of our morning was watching the “big yea-yoh bus” pick up the “big kids.” How they dreamed of the day when they would be old enough to climb aboard!
We dream of many “milestone” days in our lives:
*the day we start school,
*the day we get our driver’s license,
*the day we leave home, etc.
Anticipation of the future is a wonderful thing, but only when it’s balanced with an appreciation of today.
I look back at times in my life when I was so focused on what was on the horizon that I missed some of the joys that were in front of me. College was one of those times.
I couldn’t wait to graduate from Tech, get a job and start making money. My parents helped me choose a major that virtually guaranteed a job after graduation. The field I chose wasn’t well-suited to my personality, so I didn’t really enjoy my classes and I struggled. But I managed, because off in the distance was the promise of landing a high-paying job.
Building my resume’ became critical. I worked hard to make good grades, went to summer school so I could position myself for a senior project, and joined clubs that would help me stand out in an interview. My goal was to find employment and be self-sufficient. And I did, but there was a cost.
I spent most of my time and energy trying to impress others so I could earn a good living. Don’t get me wrong, earning a good living is a good thing and now that I have two in college, I want them to earn good livings of their own and become self-sufficient! But I was so focused on advancing my career that, during that time in my life, I neglected my personal growth.
I also missed opportunities to grow in my faith. If I'd kept a journal back then, the entries would have likely been about pursuing a career and not about pursuing God. I had an agenda, I moved forward, and I expected Him to rubber-stamp my plans and open doors for me. While He was faithful and He did open doors for me but, praise God, the doors were HIS. As I continue to walk through His gracious doors, He patiently reminds me that He is in control of my future so I can enjoy and appreciate today.
So when the “big yea-yoh bus” stops in front of my house, I remember happy days with carefree children who are grown and wondering about their futures. I want them to walk in godly confidence, following His plan for their lives and being thankful for His blessings and opportunities each day.
Tidbit to share with your kiddos as they prepare for a new school year:
The right thing isn’t always popular, and
the popular thing isn’t always right.
But you’ll never regret doing the right thing!
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. ~Matt 6:34 (MSG)
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