Tight Time3:07 PM
I've been texting back and forth this afternoon with one of my best friends, Emily. We resort to texting because neither of us has much time for long phone chats. And when we can find time to really talk and catch up, it takes some time. And neither of us really enjoys talking on the phone. We prefer face to face visits when each of our three kids matches up with their corresponding playmate and leaves us in relative peace to bare our souls to each other.
This happens less frequently than either of us would like. So periodically we send each other little texts in mini-soul baring episodes throughout our busy days.
We both have three kids (1 girl, 2 boys). We both homeschool. We both like clean houses. We're both very organized. We both like to cook healthy meals for our family which requires some planning. We both love to work out. And we're both Christ followers committed to remaining grounded in God's word throughout our busy days so that we don't become malnourished, desperate, crazy moms who have nothing to give.
The question is how does it all work?
Time is tight. Or at least, it feels that way.
Today, I got the following text from Emily: Which is more important to get done in a day - Bible study or Homeschool?
My immediate response was this (and since I didn't even have to mull it over, I feel like it came from the Lord): Depends on which you're more behind in.
Several hours later, this text came from her: What about Bible study and exercise? Homeschooling usually gets done and then I find myself having to decide between the first two. I can't live without either... She feels like with the remaining time, she has to decide between two things which are both very important to her. She struggles between needing both desperately and not getting enough of either, really.
Again, a response immediately came to me, from 1 Timothy 4:8: "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." If possible, do both. Run or walk and pray while you're doing it. (My mom has done this for as long as I can remember). Depending on the time you have, choose time with God first and then He may stretch the time to allow you to also work out. It doesn't have to be hours in the Word or prayer - any is better than none as it will renew both the body and soul. And God knows what we need and has promised to supply it, even if what we need is time to exercise!
She agreed with me and shared that after the birth of each of her children, she has found herself struggling to find that balance between exercise and time in the Word. And that with each time, God brings her back to the same place of knowing that He is first priority. And she wondered why we always seem to question or consider otherwise.
I shared with her that I feel the exact same way. Truthfully, there are some days when I just don't feel like sitting down and praying or studying the Word. But when I make myself do it, the minute I open the Bible, a sweetness flows over me, reminding me why it's so important. The Bible is supernatural. God-breathed. Every time its pages flutter open, the breath of God wafts out and touches me.
This is a terrible analogy, but my Papaw smoked pipes. The scent of pipes lingered around him continually. He's been dead many years, but to this day, I catch the scent of a pipe and I'm instantly in the back patio of his house, hearing his belly laugh and feeling all warm and good inside.
Opening the Word and reading a passage has that same soothing effect on me, particularly on rough, strained days. I have also found over the years that time is much like money.
When you are faithful to tithe your money, it multiplies. It's an actual promise God makes and since God cannot lie, it holds true. Time is the same way. When we tithe our time and give Him part of our day, it seems that more time is available to us. Don't ask me how it works. I just know it does. I can forego a quiet time on a busy day and even with the time I saved, still not accomplish half of what I needed to do. Or, I can carve out a precious 15 -20 minutes of time in prayer, writing in my prayer journal or reading the Word, and somehow, everything on my list finds itself checked off.
Emily said God is always faithful to do the same for her if she takes time for Him first. She said it was pitiful that she has to be reminded of that.
I replied: Thankfully, He remains faithful when we are faithless.
And this is true. My faithfulness ebbs and flows while HIS faithfulness is utterly steadfast. I cling to that daily. My struggles to make the right choices with my time and energy are probably just the same as yours. These are important choices we're making because we do have limited time in this life and we can't do it all.
But I have chosen to follow the one true God who holds time in the palm of His hand and directs it at His will. When you and I make the choice to give some of "our" time back to Him, you never know how generous He may choose to be with us. What is it to Him to stretch or shrink time? He's done it before and can do it whenever He pleases. Tasks shrink and fit into 30 minutes...our husband comes home earlier than planned and we have time to run before dinner comes out of the oven...the kids nap longer and you get more done...or you just find that miraculously, it all gets done and you have no idea how.
Be generous with Him and you will find He is not stingy with you.
And be encouraged - you are not alone.