While attending a women’s conference one weekend, speaker and event founder Jill Savage shared a parenting
technique she used when deciding which battles to pick with her kids.
Jill first explained that, whenever she had to decide whether to stand firm on an issue, she would
ask herself: “Will this matter in fifteen years?”
“If the answer is yes then fight,” she told the 5,061 women in attendance through clenched fists that
made her look like a boxer ready to face an opponent.
“If the answer is no, then let it go,” she added while relaxing her hands and moving them in the same
way that an umpire does when he announces that a batter is safe.
Little did I know that I would be applying Jill’s technique when I arrived home to find that the custom curtains installed in our living room while I was away did not look like the ones I had ordered.
“The panels are supposed to have a strip of lighter-colored fabric along the edge to match the cornice,” I told my husband.
“I wish you’d have scheduled the installers to come on a day you were going to be here,” Bill replied.
I do too, I thought to myself as I stared at the curtains and wondered what to do next.
“God promises to use bad for good,” I said after calling on Romans 8:28 for comfort, “since the curtains are covering more of the window than we thought they would, maybe this means we should order tie backs in the lighter-colored fabric instead.”
Bill agreed with my assessment and headed upstairs as I checked the doors and turned out the lights. Knowing that “God works for the good of those who love him” should have been all that I needed for a good night’s sleep. Instead, I tossed and turned as I thought about how someone else’s mistake was now mine to correct.
The more I thought about this newest item on my To Do list, the more irritated I became. To calm myself down, I remembered what Jill Savage said at the conference and asked myself: “Will this matter in fifteen years?”
Knowing that the answer was no, I took her advice and let it go. The technique worked so well to clear the mental air that I decided to turn it into a rhyme that I teach to my children. I offer it to you in the hope that it will help you while parenting yours:
To reduce stress and minimize tears,
ask will this matter in fifteen years.