Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
One week from yesterday, we will be delivering Hannah, our oldest child, to Messiah College for the start of cross-country season and her freshman year.
Hannah will be spending this week working, finalizing her packing, and saying her goodbyes to her friends. Hopefully, she’ll have a few minutes for her family.
Hannah is ready to go. And as hard as it will be for Leanne and me, I think we will be ready as well.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to rush things. We will miss Hannah dearly and we will look forward to seeing her whenever possible, but we would fail as parents if we didn’t launch her onto this next stage of her life.
As parents, we do our best to point our children at the right target. Like an archer holds an arrow on the bowstring keeping his sights on the target, we’ve kept Hannah on the bowstring of our family. We’ve done our best to point her to the right target – spiritually, financially, socially, and in other areas of life.
But an arrow is not meant to stay on the bowstring forever. An arrow is meant to fly towards the target and ultimately to hit the target, and this only happens when the archer releases the arrow from his grip. And our children aren’t meant to stay on our “bowstring.” They are meant to fly toward the target and to find their way. This week represents a major step in our parenting journey. Next Sunday, we will release Hannah to fly. We pray that she flies straight and free of obstacles, and we trust that our parenting efforts – our intentional efforts to point her to the right target – will pay off for Hannah and her future.
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I was a little sad to be at this point in our parenting journey. But my sadness is overshadowed by my happiness, joy, and excitement for Hannah. I’m excited for what this means for our family in the coming years. Leanne and I will get to spend some more focused time with our son, Isaac, as he heads into a big year. I’m also looking forward to what this means in our marriage as we draw closer to the “empty nest” stage of our life.
Parenting takes us on all kinds of fun, interesting, and crazy adventures. It’s important to stop and enjoy the moments and milestones along the way. And it’s important to be intentional along the way. The time with our kids goes by far more quickly than anyone can describe. Make the most of the moments with your kids. Take time each day to show them your love. And do your best to point them at the right target.
If you want to connect with other fathers who want to be intentional in their parenting, their marriage, and their manhood, consider joining my new mastermind group just for men. The Stretch Man Mastermind is all about creating a community of men who want to hit the right target. If this sounds interesting to you, I’d love to talk. Fill out the simple form below, and I’ll get back to you. Spots are filling up quickly in my September – November group. Don’t miss out!