The test of time…

So Time is something that I constantly battle with.  That sounds strange, as time is not an animate thing, but I guess I am actually battling with myself over how best to use my time, which is so fleeting.

I think of Ephesians 5:15-16, which says “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

I want to live for God first and foremost, and I know that I walk in the light of His grace and truth, to guide and help me make wise choices, but it is still hard to know how to use my time best. And lets face it, there just isn’t enough of it if I plan to sleep.  As a mother of 3 who is also does ministry and legal work, wants to build friendships with local moms, and would like to occasionally read and maintain some hobbies–I feel like I never get enough time for any of those categories…  So my struggle lies in two areas.

1. The Big Picture. So my kids are in the early years that are so essential in framing their sense of self, of love, of God, of family, and of the World. I want to focus on them as key priority (after God and Jeremiah). I also want to model for them living in the world with a servant’s heart. But I don’t want them to feel like they are second tier to other things, and I don’t want to miss out on really noticing and seeing their little minds and hearts develop and grow. There are pressures, internal and external, to always be doing more–many things that are wonderful and even Christ-focused. I am seeking to involve my children in ministry and want to start doing more community service with them too, but often it still feels like conflicting desires are pulling on my time.  I also do love working for Cru, and I know there is always more that could be done, both on campus and for the Legal team.  Yet these years are so fleeting…and won’t those things still be there to invest more time in later? But the needs I see around me are great now too…So I continue to try to do it all–be a playmate, take care of the home, and squeeze in those other things. But what gets squeezed out?

2. The Day to Day: This is where the rubber meets the road. How do I actually use my hours each day? When do I check email? When do I stop working after quiet time is over and Bethany is sitting waiting for me to come back and play dolls again? When do I plan for meals and shopping and prepare for discipleship? What about those work phone calls that are scheduled during my normal play or school time with Bethany and Judah?

Well, I struggle with these things. But I can either be enslaved to time, or I can seek the Lord, ask to be filled with the Spirit, and trust that he will give me grace for my foibles and wisdom for my choices. I cannot be supermom or superstaffwoman. I can be a woman in need of God’s grace, who seeks to “work heartily, as to the Lord and not for men” in each area of life.  I find peace again in the Gospel. If I focus on Christ and point my own heart to Him and direct others to see His goodness, then I can trust that my choices will reflect him as a whole (even when some of them are counterproductive in the moment). My children know that I love them and that I love to be with them and provide for them. But they also hopefully see that my life is driven by something so much bigger than our family–by the God who made the Universe, who knows each person by name, and who wants us to be part of his eternal plan to bring freedom, justice, forgiveness, hope and love (through Christ) to the whole World. I pray that the choices I make with my time reflect that reality.

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