My schedule is now quite an interesting one. My week drags by as I anticipate getting to the weekend, and then my weekend goes way too fast as the next week comes flying around the corner. And thus goes the cycle week after week.

Now I know many people work during the week simply because they need to pay bills, and they look forward to the weekend when they can relax and have fun. It’s not uncommon to feel like the week drags by and the weekend goes way to fast. But the reasoning for why my week and weekend feels this way is a little bit different from simply wanting to relax on the weekend and just trying to push through the work week.

My reasoning has to do with my children. And what I have to share is a challenge to anyone reading, whether you’ve experienced the things I’ll share about or not. Please don’t take this as a way for me to complain, that is not the intent. Rather, my desire is to simply share with you a challenge that is based upon my life experiences. Take it from someone who lost everything…

[When I say everything, it’s not to be taken completely literal. If I had literally lost everything, I wouldn’t be writing this as I’d of lost my life as well. But I’m still alive, so I didn’t lose that. I did however lose all the things that were most important to me on this earth.]

I’ll keep this brief, but basically what I lost as a result of my divorce was my wife and marriage, my best friend, my job, my financial security, and my ability to be a full-time dad. I am still a dad, I didn’t lose that completely. But since I only see my kids on weekends and for church events or other activities, I don’t get to be a dad to them every day, so I did lose part of my ability to be a dad.

While it was, and still is, hard to deal with losing all of that, the things that have been the hardest to lose have been those that involve a relationship. My wife, my best friend, and my ability to be a full-time dad. Those have been the most difficult to deal with. I’m not happy I lost my job and my financial security, but the others are much harder to deal with for sure.

As it stands now, my children stay with me every Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. Last weekend as I was driving my kids back to my apartment on Saturday, they were all trying to talk at the same time as they told me about happenings from that week. My heart filled with joy as I listening to them telling me about their week. Each one of them couldn’t wait for one to be done telling their story so they could share their own story with me. At my apartment my kids were playing for a bit and then we put in a movie to watch as a family, and I stood in the kitchen making dinner for all of us to eat together. Later on, after dinner and the movie, it was time to get ready for bed. I went through the bedtime routine with them, and then kissed them goodnight as they fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up to my youngest daughter staring at me, asking me if she could get up. After she got up, the others trickled out of the room one at a time. We ate breakfast, got ready for the day, and then went to church as a family. Later that afternoon before I dropped my kids back off at their mom’s, we went to a park where we had a picnic and played at the playground there. Then I drove them to their home, gave them all hugs and said goodbye, and I drove off. And just as the joy had entered my heart the day before when I had picked them up, that joy began to leave as I drove away.

You see, I don’t look forward to weekends because I want to relax and have fun instead of work. I look forward to the weekends because it’s the time that I feel the most alive. I feel joy during the weekend in a way I rarely do during the week. For a brief period of time, the pain and brokenness in my life is minimized as I get to be with my children and be a dad to them. I don’t ever want the weekend to end.

How many times when our family was still complete did I not take full advantage of my time with my kids? How many times did I complain about doing tasks like cleaning up after my kids, trying to reign them all in at bedtime so they can go to sleep, or act too tired to listen to their stories? How many times did I take for granted the time I had with them?

How many times have you taken the things that are most important to you for granted?

I wish I could have even just a little bit of what I lost back. Every time I get to experience something that I lost, whether it’s time with my kids or spending time with a good friend or even getting the opportunity to do ministry in some capacity, I’m reminded of just how important those things are to me and how much I miss them.

So take it from someone who lost everything…cherish every moment you have in this life with those you love, or when you can do those things that you love to do. Be thankful for those moments, and treasure each and every one of them.