How 3 Children Unknowingly Saved My Life

"My heroes... my children."

“My heroes… my children.”

Rachel, Savannah, and Will… my heroes. They also happen to be my children 🙂

Now, before you click away from this blog I want to encourage you to bear with me for just a few minutes. I promise that I’ll be brief and to the point. Those of us who have children understand the dual-edged sword that we refer to as “parenting.” On some days it is pure joy. On other days… well, you know. How does the old saying go? “Kids, you can’t live with them and you can’t shoot them.” 😉

At any rate, I want to share with you just a handful of life-changing lessons that have come to me by way of my 3 kids:

  • They have taught me the meaning of true love. My children taught me that true love is unconditional. It doesn’t rise and fall like the ocean’s tide. It is consistent. It is constant. And it remains unchanging. Furthermore, true love is a choice. Love is much more than just a feeling. Love is much more than the word we so casually throw around in our everyday conversation (hopefully the “love” we have for pizza is not the same “love” we have for our family). Love is all-encompassing. Love is that necessary glue that holds our family together. My children taught me what it meant to truly love someone.
  • They have taught me the value of selflessness and sacrifice. Before my children came along I was consumed with selfishness. Life was defined by my needs, my wants, and my desires. I was happily married but, as much as I hate to admit it, that commitment had done little to challenge or change my immaturity. I was the center of my universe. The arrival of my children taught me that others should and must come first. Their very survival was dependent upon my provision. Many were the days when what I wanted had to take a backseat to what they needed. Sacrifice became the standard as my children replaced me at the center of my universe.
  • They have taught me the need to prioritize. You can’t do everything. You just can’t. Time is limited. Energy is limited. Money is limited. Monthly payments on a red sports car or food on the table? Hanging out with the guys or spending time with your family? Expensive furniture or a family vacation? Children bring about a refinement of principle and priorities. They taught me that some things are far, far more important than others and that nothing is more important than them.
  • They have taught me that learning to laugh is priceless. In my house we laugh over spilled milk. Why? Beats the heck out of the first option. Life has enough crying without adding even more foolishness that only adds unnecessary burden and weight. My children taught me that it’s more important to enjoy people than it is to constantly worry about things. The broken window can be fixed but the broken spirit is much harder to replace.
  • They have taught me the importance of living in the “now.” My first-born is moving out at the end of this summer (turned 21 in Jan.). Every time I think of her impending exodus I feel an emptiness within, an emotional battle against the “I wishes” and “I wonders.” I wish we had done more together when she was little. I wish I had worked less and stayed home more. I wonder if I have done enough to prepare her for life. I wonder how often she’ll come back home to visit. I wish… and I wonder. My children have taught me the value of making the most of every opportunity. Spend time with them as often as possible. Quality time is great but why settle when you can also have quantity time. They are only young once and the years can pass by in the blink of an eye.

Well, that’s it. Honestly? Like the old Christian refrain says, “I once was lost but now am found.” Over the course of 2 decades my children have challenged me and they have changed me. I am not the brash, selfish, and thoughtless young man who proposed to their mother back in the day. I have grown, matured, and evolved. And at so many points along the way these precious 3 were the catalyst, the motivating force in my life. Thanks to them I am a different person. Thanks to them I am a better person. And because of them I will never be the same. They saved me.

Rachel, Savannah, and Will… my children, my heroes.