Monday, September 14, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Time

The days are long but the years are short...

Time flies...

Where did the time go?...

Time. We mommas have quite the relationship with time. When we are pregnant, the first trimester draaaaags by as we wait to hear our little one's heartbeat and try to make it to second trimester, when we'll (hopefully!) begin to feel better. 

Those newborn nights can seem unending, when our babes need to fill their tummies and struggle with day/night confusion, bringing us along for the exhausting ride. 

Teething seems to last a lifetime, as we wait for those little white pearls to push through and finally end the drooling, fussy, sleepless days

For the momma who returns to work after maternity leave, the weeks often pass as if in slow motion while the weekends fly by at lightning speed.

For the stay-at-home momma, the days often seem unending while trying to fill the hours with just the right mix of education, downtime, playtime, independent time, and naptime for ever-moving, stimulation-hungry toddlers. 

Winter lingers a little too long, while summer days pass all too quickly. 

We blink and the newborn we were just cradling yesterday is suddenly walking through the doors of elementary school. And I can imagine the same can be said for the day our babies finally leave our little nest.

Yes, we have quite the relationship with time, us mommas. 

But, here's an important, timely (pun intended) question: How are we mommas spending our time here on earth?

Sometimes, I think we (I) take time for granted. It's when I need verses like this most: 

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4. 

That being said, I want to issue a challenge for this week: For the next seven days, keep a general log of how you spend your time each day. Be honest and be specific. Each of us will have different ways in which our time is broken down each day. At the end of the week, be prepared to honestly answer these questions for yourself:
  • How much time is spent in prayer and/or devotional and/or church?  
  • How much time is spent working?  
  • How much time is devoted to family time? Friend time? Self time?  
  • How much time is spent on social media?  
  • How much time involves a personal hobby or something you choose to do for enjoyment? 
  • How much time is spent keeping yourself healthy, including hours of sleep and hours of exercise/activity?  
  • How much of your time each week feels fulfilling?

And, if we mommas want to be really honest with ourselves, let's look at the breakdown in how our children's time is spent, too, since we (especially those of us with young children), basically determine how their time is spent. And then, be prepared to honestly answer these questions:
  • How much of their time is being spent in prayer and/or devotional and/or church? 
  • How much of their time includes quality time with you? With their dad? With siblings? With friends? By themselves? 
  • How much screen time do they have each day (including television viewing, movie watching, computer playing, personal game playing, etc.)?
  • How much of their time is spent keeping them healthy, including hours of sleep and hours of exercise/activity? 
  • How much time are they given to pursue their own interests (e.g., sports, hobbies, etc.)?  
  • How much of a say do they have in how they spend their time?

Mission accepted? Let's do it! 

And then, for the real kicker: 

At the end of the challenge, try to honestly answer the following questions:
  • What do I want to do with my time here? 
  • How do I want to invest my time so that I am maximizing the life God gave me? 
  • How do I want to use my time to best impact others? 
  • In what ways, if any, do I need to alter my time breakdown each day/week to do the above?  
  • Am I happy with how my time is spent? If so, why? If not, why? And what can I do about it?
  • In what ways do I need to alter how my children's time is spent each week to help them lead happy, fulfilling, faith-filled lives? 

Let's try it. Let's see what happens. We have one life. Our days are numbered. And there's no better time than now. 

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand. Psalm 31:14-15

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