Today I came across a picture of my grandson Ethan when he was just a baby and what a sweet picture it is! But as I look at it, I am reminded of how quickly time has passed. He has grown up so much and is now 8 years old; he will be 9 years old in December. Where did the time go? That is probably about 2,565 days that have passed! Wow! Ethan and I have done a lot of things in that amount of days in whatever amount of time we had together. But what about me during those same days? What about you? What have you done with your days of 24 hours?
If I take my 24 hours that I am given and I rest for at least 8 of those hours, what am I about doing for the remaining 16 or so hours in my day? Am I productive? Am I working towards my goals? Spending time with loves one? Or ENOUGH time with loved ones? Do I make time to be alone with God? Do I breathe in the air and then think how blessed I am that I can breathe without trouble? Do I enjoy the flowers that I have, and feel God’s blessings that I can walk over to them, as well as, bend over to smell them or look closer? What occupies my mind during my 24 hours? Where is my heart for each 24 hours I have been given? I have made some changes in my life that have made such a huge difference, that I want to encourage you in this area too. I have FELT the difference in my life since being mindful of how I spend my time, who I spend it with, and what I focus on. It is now a lot easier to say no to things which would set the spin cycle into motion.
First, after your rest, I think God wants to be first in your day. Wake up and then thank God for at least five things before your feet even hit the floor. He wants to speak to you, give you some encouragement, and a boost, to handle all the things that come into your upcoming day. You might find you handle your situations a lot better if you start that way. I know, you think you don’t have time in the mornings. But that’s not a good excuse. It’s too important for you to skip. Be in the Word. It can’t help you if you don’t have it IN you. Remember, you are in a battle each day! Wield the sword! But we need to be in the Word so that we know to speak it out!
Secondly, re-think how involved your kids AND you are in outside activities. If you are running from dawn to dusk, I don’t think that is necessarily the way God wants your day to go. Yes, it’s important for kids to be involved. Yes, it’s important for you to be involved in activities too. But, not at the expense of never having some quality time to sit down together to dream, love and cuddle! Another factor is that your family needs to see a secure relationship between husband and wife. Your marriage needs alone time too!
The world today is on spin cycle! It is like when you were kids and you got on the merry-go-round and got going faster and faster and you had to hang on for dear life so you wouldn’t fall off. That is what we sometimes make our life and family life look like. You can’t see anything when you are spinning so fast. It all becomes a blur. Not much to enjoy when it is just whizzing by! I chose to get off.
- I want to look at pictures like I did today, or talk with my grown kids who remember times we did things together as a family, and feel at peace with the legacy I am leaving.
- I want to have time to encourage another in our journey of life. You never know when God is going to use something you do or say to help another.
- I want to feel that I am exactly where God wants me to be.
- I am using my time better and better for His purposes.
Some of you who know me, may see me online a lot during the day. That is because my computer IS up most of the day, but I’m not sitting here most of the day. I am about my life and sharing it with others in ways I hope encourages you to breathe easier, slow down, appreciate what God has given you, and be grateful for the fact that you are alive! I keep very busy myself, but I look for the balance in my day. And…I find it.
I have been reading a book about the idea of living in such as way for God that it looks “weird” to other people. I guess many may say that of me; that’s ok. I am glad I’m weird, if that is what it takes to live my life as God is revealing it to me to live. God has shown me that being a bit weird, is a good thing. I love the fact that I am learning to live simply, taking Him at His word, and that I enjoy each day for what He gives me. In that process, I am ultimately drawn closer to Him and isn’t that what we want for ourselves? I know it’s what I want.
So what do you do?
- Begin asking yourself as you look over your list of activities, if doing this activity or getting involved here, will enhance your goals of family time and family activities, and time with the Lord?
- Have a family meeting where you discuss as a family what is most important to each member. Make some hard choices and limit where you say, “Yes”. Remember no is a complete sentence.
- Realize that you may have to say, “No”, to something another family is doing, just so you can truly have the things which are important to YOUR family. Don’t compare apples to oranges. Be a bit weird.
- Guard your quiet time. It is important for children and grandchildren to see you in the Word, and seeing you make choices based on the Word.
- We sometimes feel competitive to what others are doing around us. RESIST!
- Go into this Fall Season with a renewed sense of direction for your 24 hours each day. Reevaluate!
Let me leave you with this thought: Don’t willingly go to the spin cycle lifestyle. You can’t even see what’s going on around you when you are spinning so fast on a merry-go-round. So slow it down. Enjoy going around and having fun, but slow down so you can enjoy the ride, and experience it. You are the only one that can control how fast your life spins. Don’t be someone that sits and looks at a picture years from now and says, “I wish I had done things differently. I wish I spent more time with my family. I wish we played in the water more. Or like me MANY years ago, when I was working 3 jobs when the kids were young to make ends meet, say I wish I had stayed home…I wish…I wish…I wish… Not anymore. I knew better then, but felt I had no choice, and kept going for many years. We ALWAYS have a choice. It is just what we are willing to do. However, God has brought me to a new place in the last 12 years and I am VERY thankful for it! I look to the future with hope! What about you? What part of this story resonates with you? Are you willing to do the work to get off the spinning wheel?
I say, step off. In fact jump off! It feels wonderful!!! Walking the journey with you…