Moment 2 Moment Masterpiece Parenting Blog

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

by: Dan Thorndike

Fixing cars and assembling things is something I am very good at.

Writing about me and sharing struggles and wins in my life…. not so much!

I am a husband to one amazing woman as well as a father to five amazing kids.  Three of these kiddos have diverse needs, and together we have a masterpiece!

Growing up in a large family, I always carried the desire to be married and be a dad. However, I never realized how hard raising children could or would be, but I absolutely love being a husband and a father. Now, learning how to be there for my wife and how to effectively parent our children, has been a huge learning curve for me and did not come as naturally for me as it did for my wife.

marathon not a sprint 2

We married in our thirties and immediately started a family. We had an idea of how we wanted to raise our children. (A strong work ethic, practicing honor, and knowing they are deeply loved were at the top of the leader board.) My experience growing up and learning honor and respect from my parents did not translate as well to my children. It is a different time, and our discipline is different. I had unrealistic expectations of how quickly my children should learn these values that were so important to us. In my head, no matter how many heart-to-hearts I had, and no matter how many times I sat down with that child and poured into their heart, nothing seemed to click. I would become frustrated, and eventually would become gruff and raise my voice, only to feel guilty afterwards. It was an exhausting cycle!

But things changed…

Things changed for me one day as Elizabeth and I were on a drive around our neighborhood. She was telling me how deflated she felt with all the attempts to bring about changes in our children and raise them with empathy and kindness.  As she spoke, the scripture, Proverbs 22:6, came to mind that says, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they shall not depart from it.”

I then followed up by saying “honey, it does not say these things will happen overnight, they take time, patience, and grace. Every seed we plant matters.  (As I said these words, I also listened, if you know what I mean!)

Now, over time, I have grown to believe that if I am teaching them consistently, and I model the desired behaviors, seeds are being planted. These seeds are slowly blooming. Eventually, they will grow into the men and women they are meant to be. We are only shepherds. We can design a nice pasture and keep them from harm, but we do not get to design the sheep. They are not a blank slate. They are the combination of a long line of family traits and genetics created by God.  So many of us carry parent guilt for the choices our children have made, but that is too heavy to carry. We can model our values and chat about what is important to us as parents, but they will ultimately be their unique selves.

marathon not a sprint

Elizabeth and I often remind ourselves that raising our children is a marathon not a sprint. I am constantly learning how to be a better father. We have wins and we have losses, but overall, we live a blessed life.

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”


Dan Thorndike

I am an engineer at heart. My passion is fixing cars and knowing how things work. I owned and operated an automotive repair shop for years but sold it to spend more time with what matters most – my family.



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