60 Years Left (maybe)

60 Years Left (maybe) 1We are in the habit of praying together as a family before meals, in the car, on hikes, spontaneously, and right before bed.

The bedtime prayer typically happens because our 3-year-old INSISTS. "Let's pray," she'll say, tugging our hands toward her little sister's bedroom. We typically pray until one of the girls inevitably sits on or elbows or scratches the other as they attempt to hug or lay side-by-side.

Tonight, right before we prayed, Tim looked at me and startled me with this question: "Can you believe we only have 60 years left to be with our kids?" That's assuming that we live to be around 90.

I know everyone always says that life is short, but: LIFE IS SHORT.

[Do you really, truly, completely believe that with all of your heart?]. [Do your actions prove it?]. I ask myself those questions all of the time.

60 years isn't very long. And, perhaps, I don't even have that long. Maybe I have only 1 year. Or less.

THIS is the day to love my husband, enjoy my kids, help the poor, laugh out loud, smile at a stranger, turn off the television, see the sunrise, fight against injustice, promote peace. THIS is the time to do something large and dangerous and remarkable.

Today I am reminded to: Seize the Day*.

* I totally love this song, even if the music video is not as spectacular as it could be.

How do you pray as a family - daily, weekly, whenever inspiration strikes? What songs or quotes remind you to make the most of life?

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22 comments on “60 Years Left (maybe)”

  1. we pray together as a family at bedtimes and mealtime. I love hearing how the girls prayers have grown as they have.

    One of the songs that I'm addicted to right now that makes me focus on what matters most is a song by Mindy Gledhill. Whole Wide World.

  2. Stephanie, thanks for the kind words. My son and I had a REALLY good talk later that day, and I think he really "got it." I'm feeling very grateful.

  3. P.S. I realize this is a post about prayer, and about appreciating life. I don't mean to be a downer in relaying what happened today. But if ever there was a lesson about appreciating life...

    1. Not a downer at all.

      Your comment reminded me of a quote from A Severe Mercy, one of my favorite books: "“We were aware of death: those who love life most always are.”

  4. Stephanie, I can't believe your timing. I'm still emotionally shaken a bit because today my 14-year-old son (who starts high school tomorrow) was standing with me at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to turn. The light turned, we got the walk signal, and without looking carefully enough, he stepped into the crosswalk just as a car sped up and ran the red light. I grabbed his arm and pulled him back onto the sidewalk just in time, then proceeded to read him the riot act about always looking and not assuming people are going to stop. It was anger coming straight from total fear, of course, and soon enough that anger turned to tears. He came THIS CLOSE to being hit. To being badly hurt or killed. You're right. None of us knows how long we have on this Earth. When I'm not busy teaching safety rules (which, as a kid, he sometimes forgets), I'm trying to remember to cherish each day. But right now I'm still pretty shaky, thinking about what happened and what almost happened.

  5. We pray like most people at meals and bedtime, but my oldest daughter makes the day amazing and fun at the same time by bursting out in prayer and will occasionally singing (very loudly) in prayer, it reminds me that prayer doesn't need to be a tradition but rather an expression of love, gratitude and awe of our Lord. It's amazing how it takes a child to humble us adults.

  6. We pray at church, and at meals and as part of our night time ritual. I want to get into more spontaneous times though. I have a friend who prays with her children when they are frustrated, hurt or sad which I think is pretty cool.

  7. We pray at meals, and our son's nightly ritual is to have Daddy read books to him in his bed and then have me join them for family prayer before he goes to sleep. He insists that both of us are there. So sweet!

  8. We pray as a family but your post made me think of my daughter. A few years ago I said something about my great-grandmother and the subject of death came up. My great grandmother was 96 so so when I told Princess A that it warped into 99 and now she thinks everyone lives to be 99 unless they have an accident or get sick. She likes to subratct our ages and say we have that many years left unless we are not careful. She is 7 now and she still believes that and who knows most of my grandparents and great grandparents lived into their 80s and 90s I might make it to 99

  9. This is something I need to be reminded of everyday. The older I get the more I think about how important it is to Seize The Day. Things like peanut butter smeared on the floor really isn't that big of a deal. :)

  10. I don't know that I really think about this life in that way. Maybe because I'm so focused on our forever life after this one that I don't think about this life as much. But when I do allow myself to think of this life in its short term, I do realize how short it really is.

    We were just talking about time today on the way back from my husband's Grandmother's funeral. How a mere 8 years can change so much for the older generation. Only 8 years ago his Grandmother and Grandfather were up and around and totally there mentally. Now his Grandmother is gone and his Grandfather isn't quite all there.

    So much can change from year to year, even day to day. I suppose I do notice the time passing when I look at my baby and see he isn't really a baby anymore. People look at him now and see a toddler, even though I still see a baby.

    Isn't it amazing that once we leave this human body, this earthly life, we'll never think about time again? Now that is a mind bender!

    Nell

  11. I'm reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan right now and he makes this point exactly about us not living as if our life could be over today. It could be over for me before I finish typing this post but do I really live my life like this? Most the time we feel immortal in this body and on this earth.
    I don't want to live like that....

  12. Wow! I haven't heard that song in YEARS! Thanks for the reminder. I love that song, too!! I remember wanting that for our senior slideshow. Sigh...
    And thanks for the post. It's such a good reminder. And it came at a good time. I am caught in the tedious mundane (isn't that all mental?!). I need to change my attitude about diapers and crumbs on my kitchen floor.
    Thanks, Stephanie!

    1. What song DID we have in our slideshow? I actually can't even remember. ;)

      Also, speaking of diapers...I just got my first pack of gDiapers. Have you ever tried them?

  13. We pray at meals and when we do devotions...and try to remember before bed.

    my husband always says, "faith that moves mountains starts with a pick and a shovel." I love that.

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