Sometimes we just get paralyzed with our time. The calendar and "to do lists" are overwhelming. We feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do it all and so we don’t accomplish much of anything. We let our time with the Lord slip, letting the voices that cry out the loudest win the moments in our days.
I’ve done this “journal” several times over the last 15 years. The first time, I still had children at home and was working at least 30 hours a week in ministry. I felt the Lord was calling me to write Bible studies and teach the Word, but I couldn’t see a way to fit in more time for study. I felt the need to develop more intimate friendships. I needed to see where the hours were really going.
Our conversation was brief. She couldn’t stay. She spoke about how the Lord was teaching her about her schedule as she struggles with physical limitations that she now has requiring her much more rest than she is used to. She’s had to guard carefully how she spends her days, where and how much energy she can give.
Her life is a picture to me of devotion to Christ. As she left she said, “The Lord said to me, Am I not enough for you?”
She’s one of my friends that I love to sit down with to share a cup of tea sprinkled with wisdom. There’s not much small talk with my friend. Conversations are purposeful, centered on Jesus and what He is doing in our lives. Whenever she leaves my house the conversation always lingers in my mind and spurs me on to consider how Jesus is speaking into my life.
How is He speaking into your life? It might be through a friend.
How would you answer that question from the Lord? Am I not enough for you?
Are we living our days in a way that reveals to the watching world that we are saying yes to the Lord with our lives?
Or are we chasing after things that don’t matter, things that rob us of precious time we could be spending in relationship with Him or with others?
Are we wasting precious moments, looking more like the culture we live in rather than a life that is set apart for Christ?
I remember when I first started keeping a journal of my days. The process led me to look at how Jesus spent His days. Who ever lived on earth with more demands on their time, more people clamoring for His touch on their lives than Jesus? Yet, He made it a priority to pull away and spend time with the Father in prayer, in worship. He also lived His life in relationship with others. They broke bread together and had meaningful conversations that spoke truth, hope, and love.
I think of the visit with my friend last week where she shared the joy and new hope she was experiencing with her daughter in their relationship.
Then there was the evening spent with the woman I mentor. We cooked a meal together. We had talked about picking up Chinese food, but I thought it would be more fun to cook together. So we made the one Chinese dish I know! Then we discussed a chapter in the book we are studying together, “Owning Your Life” by Sally Clarkson.
We prayed and laughed and discussed some really deep questions like...
“What are the things or people in your life that are creating chaos?”
“What voices in your life are influencing your decisions and are they worth following?”
“How can you invest the resources of your money, time, and heart commitment to build a life that matters for God?”
Yes, they are tough questions, important questions to ask even if you don’t know the answers today.
I shared a wonderful evening with my husband at the home of some new friends. Dinner together, sharing our stories, building new relationships, an evening of joy and blessing as they shared their ministry of hospitality with us.
Tea and prayer with Sherry. Making Restore plans for “The Light of Christmas,” sharing dreams, and prayer together.
And then there was the visit yesterday with mom. We talked about the girls, but she can’t remember their names today. She asks the same questions over and over because the alzheimer disease keeps her from remembering my answers. Ever the hostess, she offers me a coke and a piece of candy. I water her flowers and fill the hummingbird feeder. We walked through the butterfly garden together. She’s so concerned that they are not dead heading the roses in the garden that I fear she might try to take her walker into the beds and get to work on those roses! Once a gardener you are always wanting to care for God’s beauty even at 87!
It’s one of those bittersweet visits..... As I leave she thanks me for coming. She won’t remember that I came tomorrow. Relationships aren’t always easy to pursue and sometimes there is sorrow intermingled with the joy, but they are time invested well.
It’s easy to lose sight of this simple truth in our fast paced, fast food culture. I believe in the family meal... sitting down together, without the TV, and sharing the events of the day. It promotes friendship, family and relationships, and provides an opportunity to invite Jesus into the conversations, the everyday, ordinary moments of our lives.
So make time to savor a meal and savor a relationship.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you should never pick up a meal or order pizza. There are certainly days when that makes the most sense to keep peace in the home!
But, I wonder, as a culture are we losing the art of a home cooked meal, are we practicing hospitality, are we sharing words of life around the table?
Feel like there is no time in your life to add another thing or person?
Try keeping a detailed journal of your days for two weeks. You may be surprised to find a few windows of time if you just make a few adjustments.
Perhaps it’s time to give the family meal a try in your home if it’s not your habit. Something simple.
My girls always liked it when we lit candles.
It makes the simplest meal special.
Or invite someone new over for a meal.
Sound like too much?
Try starting with a simple cup of tea or coffee,
mix in meaningful conversation, laugh together
and pray together.
No matter what you’re journal of days might look like, time in relationships is purposeful, intentional time well spent.
Use your imagination....
Invite some friends over for appetizers or dessert, or simply light the candles and share a pot of soup and break bread!
Come to the table!
***Special note: If you are reading these blogs through your email reminder, it's best to click the blue title at the top which brings you directly to the Restore website. Then you will be able to read in the original format which is especially helpful for photographs, slides shows, etc.
Resources - Pinterest, Own Your LIfe - Sally Clarkson
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