As some of you know, I’m a busy analyst, author, and speaker—but much more importantly, I’m a wife to my husband, Jeff, and mom to two great kids ages 10 and 8. At least they are 10 and 8 for the moment. I feel like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and find two teenagers living in my house.

Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. See if this also rings a bell: From the point when my kids were toddlers, I’ve had hundreds of women stop me in the grocery store or at my speaking events (since I often bring the kids with me) and say, “Oh, enjoy every moment of this phase while they are little: It goes so fast.”

It reminds me of something that happened when Jeff and I got married 16 years ago. What a day that was!  After months of planning and dreaming and working long hours to get it all ready, the ceremony seemed to pass in a delightful blur and soon we were facing cheers from the crowd and being introduced as husband and wife.

A few weeks later, Jeff mentioned seeing a particular couple who hadn’t been able to attend the reception, but was at the ceremony. I said, “Really? I don’t remember seeing them. But then, it all seemed to go so fast—I don’t remember much about the ceremony itself.”

Jeff smiled sideways. “I remember everything about the ceremony.”

I looked at him, surprised. He continued. “One of my groomsmen told me to enjoy every moment. He said it could either rush by quickly, or be soaked in. So I was purposeful about really enjoying every moment.”

Six years later, when our daughter was born, I started to hear echoes of those words from all the women who told me to enjoy the time because it goes so quickly. I found that every one of them knew what they were talking about. So I figured that following their words of wisdom would be a good idea, too.

So in these past 10 years, I have soaked in every bit of delight that God wants to bring me in my kids. My awareness of every passing day is made all the more poignant by the fact that I’m a working, traveling mom—and because there are times that I can’t bring them with me on the road, I know there are times when I am missing things. It makes me appreciate all the more the times that I do have and it gives me the desire to be extremely purposeful about enjoying them, instead of letting the days slip by and wondering where the time went?

I’ve found it is so vital to be purposeful about our lives as moms, as wives (for those who are married), as workers (in whatever we do), and simply as women. Being purposeful and intentional doesn’t mean taking everything super-seriously, or reading every book on the shelf about parenting or marriage.

But it does mean being aware of what will make us (and the people around us) thrive and live the abundant lives God desires for us. It does mean sometimes thinking about things we may not otherwise think about or realize in the busyness of life. It does mean being aware about what will ultimately bring glory to Him, and giving Him our lives to use as He wants. And thankfully, if we do that, He promises us grander adventures than we ever could have imagined.

 Copyright © 2011 by Shaunti Feldhahn. All rights reserved. Used by permission.