It was one of those mornings here. I was frustrated, feeling inadequate. I set my alarm early to get the best start: to read my Bible and do a bit of planning and maybe even do a bit of exercise before the masses required my involvement. Suddenly though it was 9am, breakfast was still in the works, the kitchen a mess and the dining room table strewn with bits of oatmeal, a dry half of a sticky bagel and several school books, including my lesson planner! Who got into that? Well, my diligent older students had looked through the planner and were asking for work that I hadn’t prepared yet. My younger more playful kids were trying to figure out how to sneak out into the new snow before they had to attack their work without me noticing.
Do you ever feel like there’s so much to do that you don’t know where to start? That was my morning. In fact, I often feel that way.
Then a sweet friend texted. She reminded me to pace myself, that I wasn’t expected to get it all done before noon on Monday. I don’t expect that of the kids; I don’t expect it of anyone else. Why would I expect it of me? In fact, I get over excited about all that I want to get done so often and with so much more than just school assignments. I wish I had blogged more, I want to fix so many things on my website, I want my storage room to be at least passable, if not somewhat tidy. I have so many ideas about how I could better serve the Awana programme which I run at our church. Sigh.
But then, I remember that there are 25 hours in a day on Mars. If God wanted us to fit more into a day he would have made us Martians.
I am reminded that there are a few things that I do need to do a better job at fitting into my overcrowded schedule. I need to take the time to prioritize, to play, to pray.
God, in his infinite wisdom, ordained 24 hours for each day that I am alive. He wants me to spend those 24 wisely each day, to prioritize. I need to respect that limitation that He has placed on me and make sure that I am a good steward of that gift of time that I have been given. When I think of it that way, I realize that I have often misspent my time. Have I spent it on useless things, or on things that have eternal value? On running myself to exhaustion or on taking care of own body, getting the rest, rejuvenation, and nourishment that I need to be able to care for my family and others? On connecting to Him and His life-giving Word or on things that might be very good but aren’t necessarily the right things for me to pursue right now?
It’s often hard for me to stop and play. I know that I tend to be driven. I know that it is a common personality trait for us homeschooling moms. I get up in the morning with a long to do list and am not good at taking the time to stop and take in a new card trick or piano tune that one of my young performers wants to share. Why do I sigh and reluctantly sit for a game of Skipbo when the world isn’t going to end if the chores get put off a bit longer? If I put my time into perspective and start to pursue God’s priorities, I know that relationships are far more important that lessons checked off on a planner or chores completed to perfection. The moments that impact my family are the ones that draw us together, and play timeis a key part of that.
Finally, I need to pray more. I need to pray in the moment; I need to pray in private; I need to pray when I am perplexed or happy or upset. I need to take the time to quiet my heart so that I can wait on the Lord and learn His priorities so that I can pursue what He wants me to run after and have confidence in cutting out so many of the busying activities that only serve to pull me away from what I should be doing.
Friends, as we embark on another day, I wish you moments to play and to pray and the wisdom to seek His priorities for your days. I wish you peace that transcends the usual Monday morning rush.