“Turning The Page” a Poem for Claudia

IMG_1746Today I turned the page
It is the last in the chapter
Tomorrow starts a new one
I wonder what comes after

But today I savor
I enjoy the last few words
Taking snapshots in my mind
Of all that’s seen and heard

Trying to live in the moment
To read this page, not skip to the next
I’m anxiously anticipating
Don’t know what to expect

Focus on this page
But I begin to reminisce
The story that’s been thus far
Laughter, tears, so many moments

Sure we’ll have more
But this chapter is through
We’ll see each other less
Shared moments will be few

It’s been quite a journey
Lots of ups, a few downs
Smiling, fun memories
Only more impactful because of a few frowns

I hope you’ll always treasure
The lessons that you’ve learned
Highest of all follow Jesus
God’s will utmost to be discerned

No we haven’t been perfect
But we hope you know we tried
Many have been our failures
And for these our eyes have cried

But our sorrow is turned to joy
When we feel God’s embrace
This story has been and will always be
Filled with His love and grace

So as I finish this page
A little sadness, but a whole lot of excitement
An adventure awaits
Go live your divine assignment

And Then There Was One

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This is it. Today is the last day before Claudia leaves for Nyack College to begin her freshman year. Over the past few years I have written about the two jars I keep on my dresser – one for each of my girls (Links below). Inside each jar are beads that I have counted out representing the days our daughter have at home before they head off into the next season of their lives after their high school years. Every morning when I am getting ready for my day I remove one bead. When I do so I ask myself what I am going to do that day to connect with them, invest in them, make a memory with them, etc. because time is ticking. These beads keep the reality of passing time in front of me. We won’t ever get this season of life back, and I want to make the most of each day. Some days I do a good job. Other days I don’t. Today Claudia’s jar is down to one. Today I have spent some time reflecting on, writing to, and praying for Claudia, and tonight we are going to celebrate by sharing one more experience together. Parents, maximize the time you have with your children whatever season they are in. What can you do today to share a thought, invest in, or create a memory with your kids?

Related: How Jars of Beads Have Affected My Parenting and Beads and Parenting: Two Years Later

 

20 Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago I married my best friend. She’s still my best friend. We still enjoy talking to each other, making each other laugh, raising our daughters together, serving Jesus together, expeiencing new things together, and sharing adventures together. Adriana is more beautiful today than the day I met her, and I love sharing life with her. I could not have asked for a better traveling companion for the journey of life. Happy Twentieth Babe! Here’s to the next twenty and beyond! 

Free Parenting Seminar with Rick Lawrence

JC Parenting Seminar

Join us as Rick Lawrence helps us learn how to be a steady parent in an uncertain world. This event is free, but we do request that you register here so we can plan appropriately. Coffee, refreshments, and childcare provided. A list of local eateries will be provided to participants for lunch.

Rick Lawrence is an award-winning author, journalist, cultural researcher, business leader, and national speaker. He’s been executive editor of GROUP Magazine for 28 years, writing the Trends section of this influential resource for more than two decades, and conducting large-scale social science research projects. He creates and leads experiential and interactive learning events for cultural leaders, parents, and young adults. And he leads a national conference for ministry professionals who specialize in working with adolescents. Rick has authored hundreds of magazine articles and is the author, co-author, or editor of 37 books and curriculums. His latest books include Skin In the Game (Kregel, 2015), Shrewd (David C. Cook, 2012), Sifted (David C. Cook, 2011), and the upcoming The Jesus-Centered Life (Group, March 2016). And he’s the General Editor of the #1 bestselling study Bible The Jesus-Centered Bible. He’s a consultant to national research organizations and a frequent mainstage conference and workshop speaker. He has been interviewed by scores of national publications and media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Homeword with Jim Burns, Dennis Rainey’s FamilyLife Today, and the Moody radio network, among others. He’s married to Beverly Rose and has a 17-year-old daughter named Lucy Rose and a 13-year-old daughter named Emma Grace.

Christmas with the Mahaffys

We are enjoying having my Mom and Dad with us for Christmas this year. We enjoyed Christmas Eve service at Shelter Rock Church, then had payaya at our favorite Spanish restaurant, and went to watch a movie. Christmas day was spent at home. And the day after Christmas we went into NYC to watch the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes, followed by a walk up 5th Avenue, through Central Park, and a stop in Times Square.

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Larkin Family Reunion

Last weekend we had the joy of attending the Larkin family reunion in Pennsylvania. 75 of us were there, 30 were missing, and there are 3 more on the way.

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All but about 30 of us and the 3 on the way.

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The blood line

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Some of the 29 grandkids

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Some of the 39 great grandkids

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The Mahaffy family (less April’s family) with Grandma and Grandpa Larkin