“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
Can you believe we are bidding another year farewell? Each year seems to go by faster than the last! When I was a teenager, I could not wait to turn sixteen. My uncle warned me that once I reached my sixteenth year, the rest of my years would fly by – and he was so right!
Maybe it is because time seems to go by so much faster now, but cherishing the moments I have with loved ones is more important to me than it has ever been.
As a child, life appeared endless. Everything was ahead of me. Nowadays, there is a lot ahead of me, but there is also a lot in my rearview mirror. The longer I live, the more important connection becomes to me – connection with family, friends, Eric, and especially connection with God.
At ten-years-old, I had a lofty goal: to get to thirteen. Becoming a teenager was going to make me happy. In the meantime, I enjoyed watching my favorite shows, playing on the playground, and having daily arguments with my best friend. ~smile~
As fifth grade came to a close, it saddened me to know that my BFF and I would not be going to the same middle school. I still remember watching her bus drive away. We stayed friends for a while, but it was never the same. Still, even now I am thankful for the time we had together.
At thirteen-years-old, I had another lofty goal: to get to sixteen! Turning sixteen was going to bring me freedom!!! Is anything in this world more exciting than driving a car?
And dating! I was going to be able to go out with boys – in a car – without my parents tagging along (i.e., without one of my parents driving us everywhere).
While I was waiting, I spent time with some incredible friends. I made some great connections and learned a few valuable life lessons. Sadly, some of the friendships I made did not last; but, some of them did! Even today, I am blessed to have relationships that survived the murky waters of adolescence. Though my friendships have experienced changes, they are still near and dear to my heart. I could be sad that time has changed them, but I’d rather be happy with my memories and excited about the future!
At sixteen-years-old, I had yet another lofty goal: grow up, get married, and have babies. Okay, so maybe that’s three goals. I could finally drive… to work. I was finally able to go out with boys… which led to crying and despairing over needless drama.
I remember the day my mom had to put my grandma into a nursing home. She struggled with the decision, but it had to be done. She wanted me to spend time with her that night because she needed me, but I chose to go see some boy. I missed a prime opportunity to connect with someone in my life who mattered. I guess at the time I could not even imagine the day when I would no longer have my mom. I wish I had been less selfish back then.
My goals did not change too much between sixteen and twenty-one. By my twenty-first year, I had mostly grown up, I had met “the one,” and I was just waiting to get married and have babies – six babies! As I prepared to become Mrs. Viets, I poured my entire life into Eric. I left places early so I could get home and talk to him on the phone. I spent little time with friends because spending time with my man was more important, right?
I made it to my wedding and became Mrs. Eric Viets – and then life happened. Though I loved being married, I quickly realized I was not living in a fairy tale. Life is hard work! Who knew?!
As the newlywed dust faded, I began to regret the time I had spent hurrying life along. Did I really rush through my childhood for this? Hard work, conflict resolution, and “fun” money discussions? Did I really push people away so I could spend every waking moment with the man I was going to wake up with every morning?
Now, at thirty-two, I have several goals… none of which include rushing through my life. ~smile~ I want to be a better friend. I want to be more content. I want to be a more kind and submissive wife. I want to find new and innovative ways to tell my loved ones how I feel about them. I still want sweet babies and am trusting God with that part of my life.
We rush a lot in our culture. We sprint from one task to another, barely taking time to breathe. We have to accomplish… we have to make a difference… we have to make money… we have to….
At the end of the day, what do we really have to do? What really matters? When the end draws near, will you gaze on sweet memories and smile because they happened; or, will you reach that day and cry because of all you missed?
As our year of exploring Connection comes to a close here at PreEngaged, I hope you will enter 2015 with a newfound determination to connect with those people God has placed in your life. Some of the people He gives us are difficult to love, but we are still called to love them. Some of our loved ones have much wisdom to share – if we will only take the time to sit down and hear them.
Thank you, Lord, for another year. Please show us how we can be a blessing to others in 2015, and give us the courage and strength to reach out to those who are in need of a connection. May we always point them to You – the giver of life.
How will you connect with your loved ones in 2015?
P.S. In 2014, we focused on Connection… on Friday, we reveal our focus for 2015! It is going to be exciting!!!