Our first annual Cousins Camp

One of the great privileges of being a pastor’s wife is that my life has always been connected to people from several generations. Over the years, I’ve gathered some great ideas from people I have admired and respected. 

The young people in my life have taught me how to use a computer and accomplish all kinds of things in just a moment that used to take hours! At the same time, I now spend hours on a computer. 

Friends from an older generation have been an example to me of what to plan for, prepare for, and make time for. Experience creates wisdom, and I’ve been blessed by what they have taught me over the years. 

I learned the idea of a Cousins Camp from a wonderful couple in our church. They took all their grandkids for several days and did fun things with them—and they did it every year. Even though they lived in different cities, the cousins grew up very close to one another. 

I loved the idea and decided, “I’m going to do that someday.” 

That day is here. 

Our picture frame

My oldest son’s family bought us one of those electronic picture frames for Christmas. Jim and I call it our favorite TV show! Our kids can load their photos directly to this frame. It plays glimpses of their lives all day long and we love it. 

I was looking at it the other day and a picture rolled by that I’d taken of our granddaughter shortly after her birth. I had her propped up on my legs so she could sit up, and I shot the photo just as she was giving me one of those adorable baby smiles. That picture rolled past and then a current photo popped up, showing me her eight-year-old smile. 

I realized how fast the years go by. 

I’m looking forward to the chance to spend time with all four of my grandkids’ smiles! 

Time spent and time invested

Another piece of wisdom I learned from an older friend is that all of our time can be measured in two ways. Most of our time is spent so it’s important to make an effort to invest some time in the things that matter most. 

Time is like money. We are all spending more on things these days, so there is less to invest. Isn’t that true of our time as well? 

I’m old enough to remember our first microwave. We were actually a bit afraid of it, even as we were amazed by what it could do! People talked about how much more free time we would have because of this new invention. 

People said the same about computers and cell phones. 

Have you noticed how much more free time you have? 

Or, if you are like me, we just filled our free time with other things. I’m not sure free time even exists. I think all time comes at a cost of some kind. 

The money we invest provides greater returns than the money we spend. We can apply that same truth to our time. 

Every moment is either spent or invested. 

We should make sure we are investing enough time in our future. 

What will matter most at the end of our lives is what matters most today

I’ve had the great privilege of being with people who have reached their final years, even their final moments. These saints, on the edge of heaven, would often take my hand and want to share some wisdom. 

None of them ever said, “Make sure you don’t miss this television show or movie.” 

Not one ever said, “Can you look this up for me on the internet?” 

No one ever said, “Can I check my Facebook page right now?” 

Seasons of life change, but, as far as I can tell, our priorities consistently flow through all of them. 

At the end of our lives, it will be the time we invested that will bring our greatest returns. 

Cousins Camp 2022

Our grandkids’ ages range from three to eight, so Cousins Camp should be a crazy time. I hope it will be full of joy and laughter. I hope we will begin to create memories that will be woven into the fabric of our family. I hope that my grandkids will be an important part of one another’s lives. 

Jim and I will invest our time in them for the next several days. I’m certain that I will invest some time in utter peace and quiet after they go home too! But, I hope when the pictures of Cousins Camp roll past on my electronic frame, I will find joy in the ever-changing seasons of their lives. 

I have one main priority as a grandparent: I want to help my grandkids know they are loved—by us and by God. 

One day I will be in my last weeks, days, or moments of life, and I hope I can take their hands, knowing I invested time with them while I spent time around them. 

I hope they will know what matters most in that moment will be what matters most in life. I can’t help but smile when I consider Cousins Camp 2030. 

My granddaughter smiles at me from the electronic frame with her toothless baby grin. Today, she smiles at me missing a couple of her front teeth. I can only imagine what that smile will look like when she is sixteen. 

These kids change so quickly. So will I. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). I’m grateful for the chance to invest some time in these precious lives. I’ll spend time next week getting back to work! 

And I hope my picture frame will hold thousands of good memories in the years to come. “For everything there is a season.” 

Let’s invest some quality time in every one of them. 

And, one day, time will cease and eternity will begin. 

Time invested could matter eternally. 

How does that thought change your plans today?