reflections

The Balance of Living Always

August 21, 2013

live

The Balance of Living Always {and Parenting Always}

If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey, you’ve probably heard it more times than you care to remember, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Without the context of his financial advice, it might sound confusing, but the gist of his advice is that you need to make sacrifices now in order to have (financial) success in the future.

And I agree. For the most part.

In fact, our family is in the midst of downsizing our house in hopes that we can work to invest and save toward more healthy long-term financial goals. And there will be some areas in which we step down to living a little less comfortably than we have been.

Yet, through this process, my husband and I have given much thought to the importance of living now, living always. It’s possible that we could downsize even more, make more cuts, and work ourselves into the ground with additional pizza delivery jobs.

Be All There

Whatever else I may think of missionary Jim Elliot’s methods, his saying “Wherever you are, be all there” has stuck with me through the years.

As adults, it can be easy to make decisions that result in abrupt and dramatic changes, especially when we see what the long-term pay off might be. But with children in tow for these decisions, we’ve seen them as God’s gift to us to remind us that we can’t just throw away “now” because we assume we’ll have a tomorrow where the grass is greener on the other side.

What might seem like a temporary four-year life-change is actually the bulk of childhood memories for my children. Five years is actually a lifetime for all of my children.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t take them along for the ride when we elect to move forward with big changes and adaptations. And for most of us, traveling through certain hardships is not something that we have choice over.

Still, we realize we need to understand we can’t just burn ourselves into the ground or make decisions without taking into account how it will affect us now and affect our children. The little years with little ones aren’t a waste. The time spent together as a family isn’t in vain. These moments build the foundation for the moments and connections we’ll have in their older years and all the years in between.

Whether with fondness or sadness, these will be the years our children look back and recall as their memories of childhood.

So, live making sacrifices, working hard, playing hard, and living hard. The moments in which we move forward from the past to the future are our present. The temptation to always look to the next thing will rob of us every enjoying the present.

Live now, live tomorrow, and for the next tomorrow; and remember today again when it becomes our yesterday.

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  • Elisabeth August 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Beautifully written. I agree that sacrifice in the present can often yield desirable results for the future, but it’s important to treasure the gift of today. Thanks for the reminder!