Make the adjustments. Schedule the time. Make the sacrifices.
We often get married with all of these ideas and dreams about our lives together, but then we actually get married and start living, then kids come along, and suddenly, we’re living separate lives. Early in the morning, you go to work, you come back late, the kids are asleep, and you find yourself looking at your life wondering, What happened?!
We forget to carpe diem.
Latin for “seize the day,” it means to actually and intentionally live in the moment.
When our kids were little, I (Kristen) found myself always projecting into the future, saying, “This’ll get easier when they’re out of diapers… when they sleep through the night… when they’re off to school…” I had all of these ideas for the future that I forgot to just enjoy the moment with them—I missed what was happening right then.
That can happen in your relationship with your spouse too. “When we go on that vacation… when we get the house we’ve been wanting…” Whatever it might be, we can project ourselves forward into another moment—fantasizing about the good or stressing about the bad—and it robs the joy from that moment, and we miss it.
When we were married five years and had our three boys, a friend heard my (Luis) complaints about that season of parenthood and mentioned, “Enjoy this season. You need to enjoy every stage of your life.” He already had grown-up kids then and could only say, “It will pass so fast.” Twenty-five years later, we’re realizing it’s true!
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We’re empty nesters now, and we’ve gone through different stages of raising our kids, but I’m (Kristen) so grateful that the Lord taught me to seize the moment when they were young! Now I have all of these incredible memories because I was present.
A lot of people hear the phrase carpe diem, and they think it means to live and do whatever you want to do because you only live once.
But that’s not it.
It’s about living in the moment, forgetting what is behind as the scriptures tell us, and looking to what God has given us now.
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Intentionally sit down and write out your family priorities.
Normally, we don’t take the time when our kids are little to really invest in them because we feel like we’re in a stage of building and creating a family, or building a business, or a career and working hard to be able to provide. But your spouse and your kids need you and your best, not your leftovers after you’re done at work. You are the best asset in your home, and quality time with you is equal to quantity time—open your heart and share it with your family.
If you’re struggling to create that time, one of the ways we succeed in our family is to schedule it. It sounds so weird to schedule out not doing anything, but we have so much on our calendars that we need to plan to do nothing as a family.
Intentionally sit down and write out your family priorities. Talk about them as a couple and realize that you might need to make some changes to actually live in the moment.
You don’t want to turn around 20 years down the road and say, “Why didn’t I do better? Why didn’t I spend more time with my family? Why didn’t I enjoy my kids better?”
Make the adjustments. Schedule the time. Make the sacrifices. We did, and to be honest? We don’t remember any of those sacrifices.
What we do remember and cherish are the times we spent together as a family.