Hello you wonderful people who read my ramblings. Today I wanted to share with you something that is not my original idea, but in true ‘AJ’ fashion I tend to add my own flare to someone else’s ideas (read: make it better according to my opinion).
So if you have never heard of the company/ministry ‘Orange’ you should totally check them out for all things ‘KidMin’ (Kids Ministry) and Parenting. They have some wonderful resources. Awhile ago they came out with the Legacy Marble Jar, but I wanted to add a little more to it.
So I purchased my jars and marbles from Hobby Lobby (waiting for each item to be 50% off of course) and downloaded the Parent Cue app so that I could figure out how many marbles went into each jar based on the age of the boys.
So I know you are thinking, “Girl, what in tarnation are you talkin’ about – you have lost your marbles!” Let me explain…
Each marble equals one week of your child’s life under your roof. There is on average 936 weeks from your child’s birth to when he/she graduates from high school. So I logged into the app, entered my children’s birth dates, and it told me how many weeks he had left under my roof. I put that number of marbles in one jar (the tall one with their names on it in the picture). I put the difference in the other jar (the shorter one). I also put 18 larger bright orange and yellow marbles scattered throughout the jar.
Every Sunday evening before going to bed Mark or I move a marble from the tall jar to the short jar. And it becomes a visible representation just how important each week is that we have with each of our boys. It reminds me how intentional we should be each week. And how tightly I want to squeeze them and never let go.
You will also notice in the picture brown leather-bound journals. At the time we move a marble over if there has been something particularly important that happened, cute that was said, or a memory I would love to record I’ll just jot it down in that boy’s journal.
Each year on their birthday I move over one of the larger bright marbles and Mark and I write letters in the journal to the birthday boy. I also interview them and have asked them the same questions each year since age 3. (Thank you MG for this idea many moons ago). They are simple questions: what is your favorite meal?, who is your best friend?, what do you enjoy doing?, who is Jesus to you?, etc.).
Now I will say, when both sets of our parents saw this they all looked at us and said, “How sad.” or “How depressing.” Which I guess it could be looked at as sad and depressing. But, that’s not really how we look at the jars. Every week I say a prayer of thanksgiving for one more week I had the privilege to parent my children. One more week where God filled in the gaps for me. One more week that I got to experience the joy of each of my boys or even the trials of my boys. Each week is one more week that God has gifted me to steward wisely in the rearing of my children. And the visual reminder, well it just helps me stay focused and on point. For the harder weeks I’m glad the week is over and in the other jar. For the wonderful weeks I hold onto the marble a little longer and write a memory in their books. And for the normal, “mundane” weeks I just smile and say “Thank You Lord”.
How do you stay intentional and “on point” in your life? It doesn’t have to just be in your parenting, but I would love to hear your ideas.
<make sure to click on the links above that take you to the orange website and the link to the app>