“It’s Just a Phase…So Don’t Miss It”

Newborn days…the words “exhausting” and “black hole” come to mind.

Toddler years…can you say,  “TANTRUM CITY, BABY?!?!”

Elementary years…I’d like to talk about who’s actually in school during these years because hello paperwork, projects, reading logs, oh my!

Teenage years…”you got to pray just to make it today” (so says MC Hammer, not sure if this is what he was referring to…)

College…

Adulting…

Working…Parenting…

Empty Nesting…Caring for Aging Parents…

Legacy Years…

We tell ourselves “It’s just a phase,” to remind ourselves that whatever we’re dealing with now won’t be forever. The sleepless nights that come with infancy, the tantrums of a 3-year old, the scary start-up phase of a new business, the sandwich years of caring for aging parents while still caring for young adult kids, and the list goes on and on…

More often than not, the phrase has a negative connotation. “It’s just a phase, it’s just a phase, it feels crazy now, but it can’t go on forever.” And it’s because whatever phase we’re in currently feels like the most difficult phase simply because it’s where we are right now.

I get it. In fact I think we need to make a societal pact that we’ll stop telling people who are struggling with the phase they’re in that they should just hold on because the next one is harder. Y’all, STOP IT! The tired parents of twin babies who haven’t showered in days do not need to hear about the trials and tribulations of teenagerdom waiting to trounce them.

Because here’s the thing about phases – they simply don’t last. So, what happens when we decide to not miss the phase we’re in? What if there are unique opportunities in every phase that we’ll forego if we’re simply waiting on what’s next, or surviving for what’s next? What if we could make the very idea of a passing phase the motivation to get back up today instead of waiting for tomorrow?

Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy introduced this idea in their 2015 book, “It’s Just a Phase–So Don’t Miss It” as they broke down the life stages of kids from birth through 12th grade. I highly recommend this resource for parents of kids in those ages/stages. In the book, they talk about how we think in each phase, and the questions we’re asking in each phase, but most importantly, they talk about the distinct opportunities we can leverage in each phase to impact someone’s life in significant ways. Check out this chart they created –

Phase Overview Timeline-01

I won’t attempt to summarize the book and explain all of the phases, but if you’d like to dig deeper into the idea, you can check out the five-week message series I just finished at Ashley Ridge Church here.

For today, I simply want to encourage you – don’t miss the unique opportunities of where you are right now – challenges and all. God will use all of it, and He’s certainly with you in all of it.

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One Comment on ““It’s Just a Phase…So Don’t Miss It”

  1. Pingback: May Your Torch Burn Long and Prosper – Four For Soaring

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