Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Making the Most of My Time
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days
are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
When I first became a mom, I joined a mother's group at our church. It's was part of a national organization dedicated to ministering to moms of small children. I was just a willing participant for a while and eventually served on the steering committee of this group. I enjoyed it but there were things that began to bother me. The biggest problem I began to see with this group is what they encouraged in these moms. This groups plug was simply that mom's need time to themselves so they can better serve their families. What I began to observe in myself and other moms, however, is that the more time moms sought for themselves, the less they wanted to serve their families. The reality of this idea is that this concept is contrary to what Jesus teaches about dying to self. At no point in scripture do we find Him saying that we are to take care of ourselves first. (And loving people as we love ourselves doesn't apply here. Often the more self-seeking we are the less we do love people.) It's not about seeking my own. It's about seeking what is best for those around you and dying to what you want.
How do we bring glory to Christ as wives and mother's? It's not by making sure our cups are filled by going out with friends or meeting for coffee or even making sure we're signed up for the latest Bible study. All that is well and good. It's permissible to do those things. But if you're looking to those things to fill your cup and make you a better mom, you are deceived. This is one of the Satan's ploy to pull mom's even further away from home. Our call is to be HOME more so in our heart than anything. This is God command for our focus. Period. The enemy will do what he can to draw us away from that.
I am going to make an argument against those of us who think we are giving our all to our home. How much time do we spend on the computer each day? How much of our time is spent watching TV or trying to read a book? Again, these aren't necessarily bad things? It's the TIME that we're spending on them that makes the difference.
I have been thinking recently of how I am spending my time. Is it wisely or unwisely? Unfortunately, I would have to answer the latter. Although I am not posting as much personally on Facebook, I am still posting different blogs I find interesting. I also cleaned up my google reader to less blogs only to add several more a few days later. I am still checking my email several times a day. Why? I think it's an attempt to still take care of myself. It's much easier some days to check my email that to follow a child around helping them with chore cards. It's more comfortable to read a blog than to actually apply what I already know the blog is saying. . .because I was convicted about the same thing a few days earlier. It's not as hard to contemplate the most recent blog post or deep meaningful Facebook remark than it is to sit for a period of time and meditate on the Word of God. Not only that, but these make it easier to sleep in rather than sacrifice some of my sleep to spend time meditating on the Word. I don't need it as quiet to meditate on blogs as I do with the Word. And I would say that is key to my time management. It's all about me and not about what I am giving to my Savior so that He can fill me up.
Last night I was reading from the book "Instructing a Child's Heart" by Paul David Tripp. Great book so far. But it was talking about leading our children back to their history in the word. I immediately thought of my 5 yod and how I would love to have more time to read to him about the heroes from the Bible. Then came the unmistakable conviction that I would have more time if I gave up other less important things. . .and would die to myself.
This morning I have felt less like being an advocate for healthy eating or home birthing or natural living (all of which I am part of groups on Facebook to be "informed".) My email suddenly seemed very cluttered with unnecessary newsletters and coupons. I no longer feel the need to set up blog posts that will allow me to post of things that I thought were important. Really, I have a growing desire to just be with my family. I tomato staked my 5 yod today because he needs me to. My email can wait but his sinful heart will only grow more calloused if I don't start addressing the sin now!!! Instead of being an advocate for healthy living, I am practicing it more today.
This afternoon I start new by giving my time to more important things. It's time that the internet became less about making my life easier (which is really just sin in that I "leave" my home to become a busy body - see 1 Timothy 5:13) and more about my family. Today, I give my time back to God instead of seeking for myself. This will be the driving force behind our new normal.