Skip to content

March 14, 2011

468… Make that 260 Marbles

A couple of years ago, I blogged about when Jack (my oldest) turned nine years old, I began to realize how quickly he was growing up and how I used a jar of marbles to keep track of his growth and determine priorities. (read post)

Today, Jack turned 13. This year, the marble jar will be half way empty. It is hard to believe that Jack is a teenager. He is almost as tall as me. He runs faster than me.

Looking back on the day I started the marble ceremony, my life is quite different. My priorities are different. My schedule is different. The marble ceremony has whittled some of the silliness out of my life.

When I first started the marble ceremony, I was running all over the world, I was running a company, I was running off different places to preach in churches. In some ways, I was famous to strangers…and a stranger to the people in my house.

Over the years, I decided that my kids needed me more than they needed a famous dad.

Over the last few years, I sold most of the companies, stopped most of the travel, started a church, and decided to be a stay-at-home Dad.

There have been many changes…for instance, my airline status in no longer top tier “Executive Platinum.” The other day I had to take a trip and did not upgrade automatically.

But to be truthful, missing the meal in first class reminded me that I had been home for weeks of meals around the table with my family. Laughing, learning, and being among my favorite fan club.

That nice hotels and the “Heavenly Bed” at the Westin was not a good trade for playing in the back yard with my kids, and sleeping with my wife.

That watching the news on a Hotel TV at night, is not a good substitute for tucking my kids in, kissing them on their foreheads, and praying over their beds.

The praise of strangers was not the same as the admiration of my own kids.

I don’t spend much time at conferences anymore…but I make it home almost everyday for the family conference.

Days are filled with the mundane…mowing grass, playing catch, listening to piano practice, taking kids to Karate lessons, and the potato cannon.

It still seems unbelievable that he might be out of my house and on his own in another 5 years (I left home for college when I turned 18.)

All in all, the trade was not good for my bottom line if all you value is dollars and frequent flyer miles. But oh the joy of watching a son turn into a man. Of watching a self centered kid turn into a God-centered man. Priceless.

Read more from Life Lessons

Comments are closed.