I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. Things I love: Pumpkins, s’mores, boots, scarves, colorful leaves, the smell of bonfires, and oversized sweatshirts (although in this North Carolina weather, who knows when we’ll actually see any of those things). Things I hate: The 3,643 holiday season events and activities that turn me into an overwhelmed and overly zealous basket case.
Is it just me, or does it seem as if there’s a tad bit of pressure to do all the things? After all, if you don’t enjoy a pumpkin-spice-something while wearing cute wedge boots and carving a pumpkin while roasting a marshmallow…did fall even happen? And if you don’t create DIY Halloween costumes for your children while wrapped in a blanket scarf and bake pumpkin-somethings from scratch…do you even have a soul?
These are the questions that haunt me.
In all seriousness, I’m guilty of trying to do every last activity or event with my kids—like if I don’t do enough, they’ll be in therapy someday, lamenting the woes of their lost childhood to their therapist.
If only I’d gone apple picking and had my picture taken with a scarecrow, I might have gotten a real job and made something of myself, they’d say.
Ok, so I can be a bit dramatic.
But what if instead of focusing on doing lots of stuff, I focused on making each task, event, or activity an opportunity to point my children to Jesus?
Instead of obsessing over doing everything to make my children’s holiday season “good enough,” what if I were obsessed with making a few things into teachable, gospel-centered moments?
Sure, go to the pumpkin patch. But use it as an opportunity to talk about how creative our God is. Yes, bake pumpkin cookies. But then use them as a way to bless others, reminding your children that we love others because God loves us.
Pick a few things your family will love to do, and then focus on injecting every one of those moments with the gospel.
I’m learning that my children are so receptive to truth that even an everyday mundane moment, when connected to Jesus, can make a lasting impression. I want to leave my children with more than just 28,953 filtered pictures of themselves posing next to pumpkins and scarecrows. Instead, my hope and prayer is that when they are grown, they’ll be changed by the gospel message and obsessed with sharing it with others.
Parents, our legacy is not our calendars jam-packed with stuff to entertain and fill time.
Our legacy is the way we point our children to Jesus.
One pumpkin-spice-something at a time.