Taking Hold of My Marbles!

Do you remember those nights when you bolted awake at every sniffle, whimper, or rustling sound your baby made?

The days when you wished naptimes were just a wee bit longer?naptime

When you wondered if you’d ever be able to spend five minutes alone, eat a meal uninterrupted, or get out of the house without five to ten potty breaks taken between the time you say, “Let’s go!” to the zip of a coat?

I do. And once the chaos calmed, I remeber wishing someone had told me those sleepless nights wouldn’t last forever. That there would be days when our house would be insanely, hauntingly quiet.

That our baby would grow up, grow independent, and the tables would flip.

No longer would she be following me around with arms raised, “Momma, hold me!”

Now I’m the one following her around, “Want to talk? How was your day? Can we…?”

My husband and I have less than two years before our princess launches into adulthood, moves away, and our relationship is relegated to phone calls, random texts, and the occasional family vacation.

In essence, we’re losing our marbles. This morning a dear friend and longtime mentor, SandyT, forwarded me the following: “Savor the Season

The words she sent reiterated a message God continues to pour into my heart, reminding me to make the most of the time I’ve been given, because it won’t last.

A couple of Sundays ago, our church played a video illustrating this truth. You can watch it here:

Playing For Keeps from Orange on Vimeo.

So, what will Steve and I do, to make the most of the marbles we have left?

We’ve decided to engage. To take the time and energy to schedule fun and silliness into our week. Yes, I said schedule, because if we don’t get intentional about how we use our time, it’ll get away from us.

girlscookingThis past Tuesday, I spent a few marbles for a girls night in. My house wasn’t spotless, the recipes weren’t perfect, and I didn’t have all those fancy cooking gadgets.

I had proposals and articles to write, ministry stuff to take care of, and laundry piling on the bed.

But I also had a kitchen, some random ingredients, and some special people to enjoy.

I suppose I could’ve allowed all those “didn’t/wasn’ts” to hinder my plans. But I chose not to.

Because I’ve only got so many marbles, and once they’re gone, well…

So I carved out a few hours and set aside my to-do list (as did my guests).

We made truffles and mini-cheesecakes, following recipes some, improvising girlssmooshingmore.




There were lots of giggles and story-sharing.










And a small chocolate battle. (Which I won!)Ashchoco

It took some planning, some preparing, and carving out a few hours of our evenings. But the pay-off was well worth it!

livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this! Don’t lose your marbles, my friend! You’ve only got so many! And each one is a gift from God. How will you use the marbles you’ve been given? What are two things you plan to do this holiday season to make a memory? (Please note, if you do not have family nearby, you can still create a fun memory! Invite someone over for a baking or hot cocoa sipping day, or pop by a friend’s house with a Tim Hawkins’ video. 😉 )

Join the conversation here, in the comments below, or at Living by Grace on Facebook.


  1. Because of some health issues, and for personal enjoyment, my husband and I go south for the winter. I just realized today, that even though we miss the “family”, this time on our own brings us closer together. He only has me and I only have him, so we rely on each other’s company. We’ve taken some nice walks in the park to see the holiday lights, and had the pool to ourselves last week. Though is was scary to me the first time we weren’t home for the holidays, I’ve grown to appreciate taking hold of our marriage marbles during this time of the year!

    1. Audrey, that sounds so romantic! What special memories you two are creating! I have a picture in my head of a weekend I’d love to spend with my hubby–in the mountains, in a cabin that is surrounded by snow, us sipping cocoa by a warm fire. One of these years!

  2. Jennifer, what a great topic. And so timely. I may not have children but do need to become more proactive in protecting my marbles 🙂 Actually, despite all the shoulds and need-to’s this weekend, the weekend before Christmas, my husband and I are giving ourselves a glorious weekend off for much needed fun and relaxation. Of course, for me, that begins with visiting some of my favorite blogs, like yours.

    I’ll Tweet this post.

    Christmas blessings.

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