By Jodi Hiser
As long as I have been an adult woman, I have struggled with the irritating adversary of time. I never have enough of it, I am always fighting against it, and I find myself racing and striving to beat it. In any given week, my mind swims with the unlovely thoughts of jealousy towards women who magically have more time than me, and bitterness towards my own lack thereof: “If I only had more time, then I could….”
I have secretly coveted more time to myself, more time for chores, more time with the Lord, more time on vacation, more time with my husband, more time to read an ever-growing stack of books, more time to binge-watch my favorite TV shows, more time to play with the kids, and more time to pursue my own hobbies.
If mothers had access to the vortex of super-powers, I would choose the super-power to stop time. If only my life could enjoy this luxury, then I could stop time in the early morning and spend hours reading, hours praying, hours pursuing my hobbies, and hours taking care of my home—then unfreeze time to be with my kids. I could get everything done and then enjoy my children too! Win, win!
But our stepping outside of time was never God’s intention. For our ultimate good, God gave us a limited number of hours and minutes each day to remind us of who we are. These limits help us remember that we hold no divine power to be self-existent and infinite. Instead, we are finite creatures dependent on a mighty God who is limitless, all-knowing, all-powerful, omni-present, and beyond the scope of time. Our boundaries remind us that we are dependent on God, and nurtured from His hands. Ultimately, what we feel as a restriction, God uses in grace. This grace helps us to order our days wisely, using each moment for God’s glory and not our own.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
How do you spend your time?
Every woman no matter her age, stage, or season is called to be a manager of her own time. We are also called to fulfill many different roles as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. How do we ever get it all done? How can we best manage the time God gives to us? How do we center our attention on the things that really matter? How can we truly focus on the people that God has given us when the laundry piles up, the stove-top dinner boils over, and the house hasn’t been cleaned in weeks?
I have learned over the past twenty years of motherhood that time doesn’t have to be the enemy. I don’t need that super-power to stop time to get everything done. Instead, I need to look to our true Hero, who is Christ. He is the all-powerful Savior, steering me through the priorities that He has given me. As I walk in love (Ephesians 5:1), and walk in the light (Ephesians 5:8), Christ gives me the wisdom to order my time for His glory and for my good.
Dear Sisters, choose the admirable endeavor of organizing your time. Be intentional with it. God has given us all the time we need to do the work He desires for us to do. If we put planned intentions behind how we spend our time, we will see that our home and our people are managed in a way that God calls wise.
Questions and Activities for Reflection:
- Turn off your phone and sit alone with the Lord. Pray and think about the roles He has called you to fill. Write down all the jobs that fall underneath these roles.
- Looking at this list, prayerfully rank all the jobs on your list according to priority. Ask the Lord where each item should be on this list of priority. What things are most important? What items need attention, but are not as important? What items on this list could you delegate to someone else? What items on your list should you put away for a season? Remember to put your people first on this list of priorities.
- Now look at your calendar. Prayerfully ask God how to order your days and weeks in such a way that you accomplish the lower priority items over a broader amount of time, and keep the higher priorities (your people) as your main focus for each day. Create a routine for the days in your week that covers the list in a way that is realistic for your season of life.
- During your planning, look for spaces in which to add a pocket of daily margin time. Margin time gives room for organic daily happenings, such as big kitchen spills, toilet overflows, family emergencies, child melt-downs, fevers and colds, a friend in need, and much more. Margin time protects us from overwhelm when the messiness of life overflows into our day. Margin time gives us a quick minute to take a deep breath, reset, remind ourselves of God’s truth, and move on.
- Most importantly, plan moments in your day to be with the Lord and to rejuvenate your soul with His word. Cultivating time with Jesus helps us tap into the Source of wisdom, strength, peace, calm, focus, and courage for each new day.