Category Archives: Writer: Jeremy Carroll

Time is Running Out

936.

That is the approximate amount of weeks that a parent has with their child from birth until they graduate from high school.

Tweet: 936. That is the approximate amount of weeks a parent has with their child from birth until they graduate from high school. @JCarroll212

You have been waiting nine months and finally you are holding that small, soft, and helpless being that you helped to create; one of the most amazing of God’s miracles lies quietly (hopefully) asleep in your arms, and time seems to stand still to let you soak it all in.

Fast-forward to today, as a now veteran parent, you know that was the last time that has ever happened. Your world now consists of taking kids to school, picking them up, getting them to soccer, baseball and/or gymnastics and ballet.

You run frantically trying to figure out when to find time for homework, extra practice before the big game on Saturday, and what to eat for dinner tonight; and that was just Monday.

Our world today is full of stuff and many times you may feel that even though you are with your kids, there is a lack of quality time! The number 936 that use to seem huge when they were little, now it gets smaller and smaller, the bigger they get.

The good news is that you are not alone; this is a problem that all parents everywhere struggle with. I am not an expert and I won’t pretend that all of these ideas are exclusively mine. But I can attest from experience that these ideas do work. Here are three ways to improve quality time with your children.

Be intentional

I have a 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son and the reality is, the older my kids get, the busier their lives get, and the more intentional I have to be if I want to have influence in their lives.

At our church we use a kids curriculum from the ReThink Group called, “Orange.” One of the verses they use is Deuteronomy 6:6-9 which says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

Now you may be wary of binding things on the foreheads of your kids, but the principles in these verses should definitely become practices for parents who want to impact their kids.

Use dinner time (when you sit at home, vs7) to talk about their day and then interject Biblical truth when the opportunity arises.

We don’t walk places as much anymore but what about those car rides to school, to practice, and to run errands? What a great time (when you walk along the road), to grab a kids devotional and have them read a page out of it and discuss it or say a quick prayer about a situation they are dealing with.

Eventually children have to sleep and this down time is a great time to model how to pray or to read them a verse or two before the day is over.

The point is, there are times in our day that instead of just going about the task that is at hand, you can use them to impact the lives of your kids.

Connect with your kids on their level and at their interests

There was a time in my life where I enjoyed firing up the old Nintendo Entertainment System and trying to punch out Mike Tyson, but as a now 40-year-old man those days are gone. Not necessarily because it wouldn’t be fun but because sadly my video game time passed when they added more than two buttons.

My son on the other hand is a video game savant; he usually can beat his newest game in two days flat. I have found that even though I am terrible at video games, it can be a great time to bond and hang out with my son. When my boy is older, hopefully he will think about what a great time he had whooping up on is dad at whatever game it was and cherish those moments as much as I do now.

Listen

If you are the parent of a teenage girl, then you know how difficult and honestly, painful listening can be at times. You undoubtedly will learn and be given more information than you ever wanted in one conversation.

You will now know about every relationship in the entire school. You will be privy to who the teacher is that no one likes because of the amount of homework they give.

You will learn what your teenager is passionate about and what they absolutely cannot stand. Luke 6:45 says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When you spend time listening to your children, you get to know what is in their hearts. And just so you know that listening to all those seemingly pointless discussions are worth it, someone once said, “if you will take the time to listen to the small things, your kids will come to you with the big things.”

936.

The number gets smaller everyday that your kids are alive, but hopefully you realize that there is still time to have a great impact on the lives of your kids.

JeremyCarrol
Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Pastor
Church 212

Map From Above

Return weekly for blogs from our various writers: The following blog is written by Jeremy Carroll on finding direction in our lives.

To get more blogs from Jeremy and other writers in our community, please subscribe to the right and they will arrive straight to your inbox every Monday–men talking manhood.

Also, you can follow our podcast channel here.


Map From Above

I hate being lost! Being unsure of where I should turn next is one of the things in life that drives me crazy. I need to have direction behind the wheel. If you are anything like me there may have been a time or two in your life, where you felt like you had no direction. Now as you and I both know, as men being lost is not something that is supposed to happen to us, and it’s a problem that we are definitely not supposed to stop to ask anyone about. But honestly I have been there. I have found myself at a place in my life where I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know where to go. Now what?

Well just like most of you, I used the two most common things to help me find where I needed to go next: others and myself. But more often than not I have found that when those are the only two places I look to help me get back on track or find my next move, I end up more lost and more confused. So what is the answer? Who should we pull over for to ask directions from?

Look at what the Bible says in Proverbs 8:10-11  “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Hearing from God about where you and I should go next and what we should do when we get there, is worth more to us than that next great stock tip from a buddy. God wants to give us direction, wants to show us on the map of life what the next turn should be. The question is, “will we ask by going to His Word?” Now I can hear some of you now, “I have tried to go to the Bible, but half the time I can’t understand what it’s saying and half the time it doesn’t speak to the situation that I am in.” Well I have a verse for you. Luke 24:45 says, Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” This verse is speaking about what Jesus had to do to get His own disciples to understand what they were reading in God’s Word and if Jesus had to open the minds of the guys that hung out with Him everyday for three years, how much more should you and I go to Him and prayer and ask the same thing for our own minds! We need to pray and ask Him for understanding and wisdom. The Bible talks about our heavenly Father being one that wants to give good gifts to His kids, and that if we go to Him to ask for wisdom, He will give it to us liberally and without reproach.

So we prayed for understanding and we’ve gone to God’s Word and received the direction and wisdom that we needed, what’s next? James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (NIV) I don’t like being lied to and I definitely don’t want to lie to myself. But that is exactly what the Bible says we are doing if we hear (or read) God’s Word and then choose not to do it. That would be like suffering through the frustration of being lost while driving. Finally making the decision to swallow our pride and pull over for directions, receiving the correct turn that we are suppose to make, and then deciding to purposefully keep driving the wrong way (only to get more lost) just doesn’t make sense. Once we receive the direction we have been looking for it’s up to us to choose to make the correct turn. It’s up to us to choose to do what God tells us to do.

Tweet: The great thing is that unlike Siri who still occasionally makes mistakes, if we choose to take the direction that God gives, we will never get lost.

 Jeremy Carroll
Church 212 Family Pastor
@212Kids @JCarroll212
JeremyCarrol