Saturday, March 15, 2014

Who has Time?

No one HAS time.  Time is not FOUND.  Time is MADE.  We decide everyday what we will choose to spend our time on.  We are making time for the things that are important or essential to our well being.

Time is a currency.  Each moment we decide what we will spend our time on, we are showing what we value by declaring how much time we are willing to give up for it.  Our values and our priorities are declared by each minute we spend.

Each day we are given 24 hours to spend.  It's like a pocket full of dollars.  We are investing our time, and what we choose to invest in will determine what kind of return we receive.  Do we invest in that which will develop us and our relationships?  Are we spending our time on the things that really matter? If we are unwilling to MAKE time to spend on something, is that "thing" really as important to us as we said or imagined it was?

It would be good for me to evaluate my (time) spending habits.  Am I being a good steward of that which has been given to me?


  [stoo-erd, styoo-]noun
a person who manages another's property or financial affairs

Each day, each moment, is a gift from God.  It is he who has ordained (ordered or decreed) how many hours on this earth we will have.
Psalm 139:16

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I think this is so important, I want to say it again:  time is a currency.  What we value is proven by what we are willing to spend our time on.  Our time is a gift from God and we should be aware of how we are investing it.  Time that is invested wisely (developing ourselves, God's kingdom, our relationships, etc.) will bring us a return of blessing.  We will be rewarded with those things which money and busy-ness cannot buy.  Peace, joy, contentment, hope, and faith to name a few.

Let's evaluate our (time) spending habits.  Where do we lose time?  Where is it wasted?  What choices do we need to make differently in order to not waste the time we have?  How can we better budget the time we are given?  

I think it is similar to money in that for some of us, there are many demands on what we have and the spare time (or money) is very minimal.  However, God does not tell us we need to spend our time like anyone else, he asks us to use what we have in the most faithful way possible.  Think of the story of the widow who gave her "two mites" (tiny coins) which was all she had, and God praised her giving, although small, because she gave what she had and trusted God to take care of her.

Even in the time which seems to already be "spoken for" (our obligations and responsibilities), there is one thing we always have a choice about:  our attitude.  Will we perform our obligations with a grudge or grumbling, or will be choose to focus on the positive and see each moment as an opportunity to shift our eyes to God and be thankful for all that he has done for us?

God help us to be mindful and purposeful with all that you've given to us: time, resources, talents.
In Him,

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Real Life

There was a time when Mike & I used to make it a point to regularly invite people over to have dinner with us.  We haven't done it all for a long time (with a few exceptions).  We can make excuses ("Our house is barely big enough for our family, how could we fit more people in?") but the truth of the matter is this:  I am too embarrassed.

The house we live in is old.  And a mess.  I am severely lacking (read: I fail) in the areas of landscaping, cleaning, and decorating.  We have rodents in our dining room (pet hamster and chinchillas), stains on the carpet, and scratches on the cabinets.  So, to put it bluntly, it's my pride.

God opposes our pride.  Having people over to our home is going to mean swallowing my pride.  Here we are: our home in all it's grubby not-so-glory.  A few weeks ago I told Mike that I was feeling like we should start inviting people over to our house for dinner.  Then today I was reading the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker.  This is what I read:

"There is something so nourishing about sharing your living space with people where they see your junk mail pile and pee wee football schedule on the fridge and pile of shoes by the front door.  Opening your home says, "You are welcome into my real life."  This square footage is where we laugh and hold family meetings and make homemade corn dogs and work through meltdowns.  Here is the railing our kids pulled out of the wall.  This is the toilet paper we prefer.  These are the pictures we frame, the books we're reading, the projects we're undertaking-- the raw material of our family.  It's unsanitized and truthful.  We invite you into this intimate place, saturated with our family character."

After I read that, I knew God was sending me a message.  I have to respond, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel.  I am going to try to be more purposeful about engaging in hospitality and using our home to build relationships.  So, who wants to come over for grilled cheese sandwiches eaten next to a chinchilla cage?  I'm just kidding of course...

We don't grill our cheese sandwiches.

With Fear and Anticipation,