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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

How I Overcame Yesterday's Regrets by Accepting this Everyday Gift

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My child wandered into the kitchen, clutching her stuffed bunny in one hand, sucking the thumb of her other hand. As I buttered toast, I expected her to grasp my leg and rest her cheek against it. But today she offered something more. And although there was a time when I would have been too rushed, too distracted, or too impatient to see it, this time I didn’t miss it.

I got it before one more email, one more text message, or one more yes to an unnecessary commitment stole another precious moment.

I got it before one more “In a minute,” or one more “Once I get this finished,” caused life to pass me by.

I got it before one more “When I lose five pounds,” or one more “What will people think?” prevented me from dancing, laughing, and truly living.

I got it before one more empty, willow, meaningless distraction robbed me of the kind of glorious experience that makes life worth living.

And because I “got” it, I saw a chance to grasp what really matters.

There stood my quickly growing child who'd dropped her pink bunny so she could extend both arms to me … just like she did when she was a baby.

For a moment, I was frozen. I couldn’t remember the last time she reached up to me like this, indicating she wanted to be held. Many fragmented and sleepless nights had occurred between then and now, creating gaps in the memory bank.

I hadn’t expected this to ever happen again. I thought these days had passed without notice, like the way she'd stopped calling her sister “Na Na” and began to say her entire name. I couldn’t pinpoint the day it happened, I just knew when it was gone.

Despite being a work-in-progress, I knew a golden opportunity when I saw it. And there was one standing below me in fuzzy, pink polka-dotted pajamas.

Without hesitation, I turned away from my burning toast, unmade school lunches, and unsigned homework folders. I turned away from distraction and turned toward what—or rather who—really matters. I opened my arms and scooped her up ... just like I did when she was a baby.

As I held my child, I was struck by a revelation that seemed almost too good to be true:

I have today. Yesterday is gone. All the mistakes, failures, poor choices, all the things I wish I could do over, they are gone.

Today stands before me with arms wide open.

This hopeful truth is yours too.

You are never too far gone to come back.

You are never too tarnished to be made new.

You are never too broken to be made whole.

It’s never too late to make changes.

It’s never too late to begin again.

It’s never too late to choose love.

Today stands before us with arms wide open.

Let's see it as the golden opportunity that it is ... and embrace it.

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What began as a mantra to silence her inner bully, only love today, slowly became the practice of Rachel Macy Stafford’s life. ONLY LOVE TODAY is now a book of bite-size reminders to help you remain anchored in love despite the stresses and distractions of everyday life. Each short entry (like the one you just read) serves as a reset button directing you back to what matters most. Secure your copy of this highly anticipated book by clicking here. Four pre-order bonuses available until March 7 by emailing a copy of your receipt. Click here for details.

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