~ What’s on your Top Ten list? ~

I usually stick to matters of education, but as you will read below, I have been moved by some things recently which I just feel the need to put into words here.


I have visited two funeral homes in the past several days. Both funerals were for women who were almost 100 years old, one the mother and one the grandmother of people I love. These women lived long lives, and they were very much loved by their families. Both services were a tribute to the women and to the God that they served and with whom they now reside. I could blog a few pages on that thought alone.

I have been thinking more deeply than I normally do. (Uh-oh)

You and I may have a whole lot of differences in our backgrounds and viewpoints on this and that, but the one thing we have in common is that we are human. We have a beginning, and our life as we currently know it will have an end. While we tend to think and definitely hope that we will live long, fulfilling lives, there daily exists the possibility that today will be my day or your day to leave this planet. Them’s the facts.

Without being ghoulish, I just wish to remind myself and anyone else who may be reading these symbols we call words that time is short. What do you want most to accomplish in your time on earth?  What might be included in your “Top Ten List of Things to Accomplish in My Lifetime”?

I doubt that “Keep my house spotless” would make my list. Neither would “Make sure the lawn looks nice.” With that said, why do I still stress about my messy house today? Probably because I have been conditioned to think from this perspective. This needs to change.

Many of us homeschooling parents would probably say that one of our major goals in life is to raise up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Many parents, homeschooling or not, would say that is their goal, and this would be in my top ten list as well.

What makes your short list? Grab a pen and paper and give this some serious thought.

“See all my kids get into college.” “Prepare my children for a lifetime of service to ___________.” “Live to see my grandchildren.” “Become independently wealthy.” “Be the best at ________.”Just a few random ideas to get you started. What is it you wish to accomplish while you are on this side of eternity?

I ask you,  what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Mark 8:36) This is where my thoughts have been this week. This very verse.

I have a student who took the ACT this past Saturday. He diligently prepared, hoping to do his very best work in the time allotted. He told me he felt prepared academically; however, his problem, in his words, is that he often needs more time to finish the sections than he is actually given. That is a big problem on an ACT now, isn’t it? The time factor changes the game enormously!

I know I lose sight of the fact that I am not here forever. I am living a timed exam. So are you. This daily existence we call life is ultimately a test, and fortunately for us, it is open book. It does, however, have a ticking clock.

While studying and working diligently are commendable things to be teaching our kids, are we emphasizing being an excellent learner more than following Jesus with whole heart, mind, and soul?

Am I teaching my children what it means to follow Jesus through my own actions? Am I living what I want MOST for my children: to know that Jesus is the answer for every question they will ever have about life, love, and relationships?

Am I so focused on getting through a day’s school work that I miss the opportunities to incorporate worthy values, manners, and/ or attitudes in my children? Yes, I am guilty of running through the day, giving little heed or thought to the Big Picture. Some days I am just busy getting through the day, getting through until I can finally put my head down on the pillow, close my eyes, and breathe in quiet.

I am so thankful that I can start fresh every morning. I may have been off track for a while, but this day I can start fresh. I can begin anew to concentrate on those things that are most important and let go of those things that threaten the true goals of my very existence.

What is perhaps hindering you today from running your own race with discipline and effectiveness? Do you even know why you are on the course you are on? Do you need to change the course? Or maybe you are running full speed ahead, doing just the thing you know you are called to do. If so, don’t forget to offer out a hand to those who can use your help and who will be blessed by your focus along the way.

What will it profit our children to achieve academically but lose their souls?

I urge you this day to examine your heart, your motives, and your very reason for being. Tomorrow may be too late.

Kenny Chesney has a popular song out right now called “Everybody Want to go to Heaven (Nobody Wanna go Now)” Leave it to country music to say what folks really are thinking. It is a crummy message of a song, but the point is that we get so focused on the temporal that we lose sight of the real stuff going on in the realm of the everlasting.

As for me and my house, we will slow down and do the essential, not necessarily the urgent.

Enjoy your day today! Tick…tick…tick…tick…


2 Responses to ~ What’s on your Top Ten list? ~

  1. hi-d says:

    Oh my goodness… I love this. You hit the nail on the head! Bravo. I agree that our children’s souls are what should be most important to us as parents. Thank you for putting it so well!

  2. Christopher says:

    Being 62 years old, and having two young children, plus a 37 year old, I am keely aware of just how fast that clock tick, tick,ticks.

    I’m a Marine (well, former), and was brought up in a Marine’s home – it was always, always, “Marine Clean.” Not mine. I gave up on that long ago.

    My task in life is to educate children who grow up to be servants of the Lord. House Beautiful magazine is not going to beg us to feature our home next month. We have a very nice home, just don’t expect to be dazzled went you come inside. It looks like we live there! And that’s the point. We LIVE there. It’s comfortable. When people come over, they’re comfortable. We’re just four people, living, loving and laughing – and praying.

    Time goes by so very fast. There are no do-overs. Hug you children – right now.

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