Your calendar matters. I was scrolling through pictures on my iPhone last week and cleaning out some old photos to make room for new ones. As I was selecting images to purge, I found myself noticing how much my children have grown over the last two years. I found a video of my daughter’s first few steps, my son learning to ride his bike, pictures of family trips to the beach and mountains and a short video of my daughter singing her ABC’s. I started to get quite sentimental, and I thought: Geez it goes by too fast.

As a parent, seeing your kids each day, it’s often hard to notice the small changes that are happening every single day. That is why when your children see their grandparents, they always say “my how the children have grown!” or “they are getting so big!” The kids are growing up fast. I am being reminded that I need to savor each moment I have with them at each phase of their life. I calculated that from this day forward I have approximately this much time before my oldest son goes off to college:

  • 4745 days
  • 676 weeks
  • 156 months
  • 13 Christmas’
  • 12 Birthdays’

At first, that seems like a lot of days, but then I realize that it’s moving by quickly. Only 12 more birthdays for my son sure seems like a whole lot less. Like many dads, I face everyday pressures: working long hours, chasing the dollar, yard work, keeping up with bills, dealing with clients and trying to get some exercise. I often falsely assume that at some point I’ll have more time to focus on my family once I get everything sorted out. But I realize that while those are important responsibilities to maintain, I need to prioritize time with the relationships that matter most. And for me, that’s with my wife and my kids.  Our families are the mark we leave on this world.

I encourage you to look at your calendar and see what you prioritize. At work, we use our calendars to block off time allotted to specific projects and people. It often feels like it runs our lives at times. But we do this so that time is purposeful, meaningful and focused.

Are there places on your calendar marked for your family? Mark your calendars with the things that matter. Be intentional.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Uncommen Questions:
Check your calendar…is family time on it? Not just in the room, but in the moment.
Can you list 3 things that your child / children are into?

Uncommen Challenge: Look through your weekly/monthly calendar. Make appointments on your calendar for your kids or your wife. Don’t change them. Block out everything else and use that time to invest in your family. No distractions. Live in the present of that moment knowing there is nothing better a father can do than invest in the life of their family with undivided attention.

Do this every week on Sunday night, and plan out time with your kids during the week. Look for ways to demonstrate love, be encouraging, or ask about things that interest them.

About the author: Tj is the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.

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