I’ve heard it said that life is sprinting past us.
And I used to believe that. Until one day I stopped to look at a rollie pollie on the ground with my 4-year-old son.
He was absolutely mesmerized by this thing.
And I was mesmerized by his mesmerization.
I remember almost walking right by him to continue with some important grown up task.
“DAD! LOOK! YOU HAVE TO LOOK!”
So I got down on my belly, eye level with that tiny crustacean.
I was suddenly floored.
Every single time he touched that thing, it would roll into the most perfect circle I had ever seen. We laid on our bellies for almost 25 minutes playing with that thing. When I got up, I was all but ready to become president of the world rollie pollie association. It was that amazing.
A ROLLIE POLLIE.
It was then that I realized the statement my generation loved to spit out, “Life is sprinting past us…” was wrong.
We were actually sprinting past life. And that was the day I decided to stop.
There was more than a decision.
There was a plan.
The plan was three-fold.
Every day as a family we were going to experience three types of moments:
A created moment.
A received moment.
A rescued moment.
I thought if we began experiencing these moments, on purpose, then we would find ourselves with a much more fulfilling life.
And since that decision, I’m glad to say, I could not have been more right.
From winning a Peoples Choice Award AS A FAMILY, to everyday, small moments we experience together, my children will reach adulthood not wondering if they had an experience filled childhood.
Their experience filled childhood will set them up to have an epic, adventure filled adulthood.
The great thing about being a Moment Maker is that it doesn’t take large amounts of cash, epic trips around the world, or anything more than intentionality.
Lets look at created moments.
These are the ones that we are in charge of. The problem with most moments we run across as a family is that they are accidental moments. Epic things may happen to us, but they happen on accident.
What if we did them on purpose?
One of the rhythms I use and have helped many parents begin to use is what I like to call the “Exploration Phase” of moment making. This is an intentional way to explore our world for moments TO USE LATER.
Everyday I have an alarm that goes off on my phone. The alarm says, “EXPLORE.” And so right there, in that moment, I try and find an idea that I can use with my family. I now have thousands of ideas in my folders just waiting for me to unveil them. All because I was getting ready for the moment BEFORE the moment presented itself.
An example of this happened just a few months ago. My alarm went off on my phone that said, “EXPLORE” while I was walking downtown Nashville.
There was some parade going down.
Somebody was celebrating somebody being awesome.
Confetti was flying all over the place and people were SO HAPPY.
I took a picture of a kid with his arms reaching up towards the confetti and filed it for a rainy day.
A few months later one of my girls came sprinting into the house screaming…”DAD! DAD! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS! I LANDED MY BACK HAND SPRING!”
And then it hit me.
“HOLD ON BABY!” I yelled, and I went into my office, shredded ten sheets of paper, followed her outside, watched her do her back handspring, and then threw confetti as high in the air as possible, cheering as loud as I could.
She DIED laughing.
And guess what?
WE NOW ALL CARRY AROUND SMALL BAGS OF CONFETTI.
And when any of our friends has great news . . .
So all of this to say, whatever stage of parenting you are at, whatever season you find yourself in,
be intentional about creating moments.
Create them on purpose, and you will soon find yourself living your life as opposed to your life living you.
To read more about creating intentional moments with your family, listen to this month’s Parent Cue Podcast. And make sure to pick up a copy of Carlos’ book Moment Maker: You Can Live Your Life or It Will Live You.