This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: TIME
Time... I hate that I feel so old every time I say that it seems to be going so much faster nowadays. (Side note: Maybe it's the use of 'nowadays' that makes me feel older?)
I also hate that it is January 15th and I already feel behind on All. The. Things!
Already, I have pushed aside my desire and hope to workout three times per week... only managing to actually break a cardio sweat once or twice a week since the holidays (and honestly - not at all in between Thanksgiving and Christmas!)
School has started up and I am behind on my reading.
Bible study started this week and I am not caught up on my homework.
We have several events coming up in the next few weeks that require time and attention.
Let's not even discuss the laundry issue (and by 'issue' I mean my seeming inability to actually Fold AND Put Away!)
Time... last year I had the revelation to spend it like cash.
I decided to INVEST it on purpose... you know, wisely... instead of wasting it here and there and splurging all over the place (read:facebook!)
Yeah... I was nailing it for the first few months in 2015.
Honestly - I was!
It felt great! I was loving the bossy calendar that included all kinds of self-care and coffee dates in addition to actual busy important things.
I was loving having a routine that was full but flexible enough to, you know --breathe! I felt like finally, I was adulting well and relating and sowing into people and dreams and projects that truly mattered.
And then we went and started a church, y'all!
But here's the deal about that: It's not like it's a 'normal' church or like we have a building that we 'work' in or punch a time clock from 9-5.
It's not even like we are necessarily DOING a lot of work work. (Our pastors can't help themselves from pastoring and they really love to do a lot of the stuff that we, for real, don't even think about needing to get done. From the newsletters and sermons, to worship lists and sign up sheets... from officey things to the actual meeting all the time with all the people... And even the loving, nurturing introverts shutter at that last sentence.)
Our desire is not to build a church but to grow a family and what does that require? Patience... love... grace. That requires thought and emotion and prayers and TIME, right?
So maybe that whole season where I had nothing to show for my days was supposed to teach me something! Because in this season, I feel like I have nothing tangible to show for all the time I feel like I am losing.
And maybe it's because I am an artist or maybe it's because I am an intercessor... (I suspect it is a combination of both!) but time often feels obscure and elusive to me!
I tend to get caught up and lost in the task at hand. Whether it's painting or writing or praying for a situation or individual... my focus shifts and more than finishing the project or wrapping up the problem, I desire freedom to flow and let creativity have its' way. I don't want to feel boxed in or bossed around* and I certainly don't want to rush the process... I don't want to quit before it is done, but I am struggling with fitting messy life into little squares in my calendars. (Yes... calendars! Side note: Maybe one calendar is plenty after all?)
But here's the thing that I forget about people and art... We're never done.
Time is like money and in our fast-paced, over-booked culture, we are a poverty-stricken, needy bunch.
The Good News is that our God is rich in ways we can not know and He is abundant in hours and minutes and days and weeks... He moves inside and outside of time and He is not in a rush to finish us up.
He is not afraid to take His time with us... to lovingly add details, to add texture and light, to add layers upon layers until we look like who He intended for us to be! A Masterpiece that He can see when we are but still a blank canvas.
When He looks at us, He sees us as who He made us to be! I stated it earlier this week, we are created for His glory, and custom-made to praise Him!
He is the One who gives us this gift of time every day. And so I remember this and pray,
"Lord, may we spend our time wisely... investing in praising You and in pouring in to those who come our way. May we lavish upon them whatever you wish, and not forget to soak up a little time for ourselves as well!"
We know the truth of how we can only give out of what we already have and when I feel like I am operating out of lack, and I feel like I am always running behind, all of my interactions are rushed, half-hearted, and breathless in all the wrong ways.
Remind me again to slow and to still... to weigh down time with the heaviness of being fully present. To be fully there, wherever 'there' is at that moment.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
We make it so much harder than it needs to be!
* This is where my timer went off... but clearly, time is an issue for me so far this
Being busy is not my favorite. When my schedule truly starts to boss me around and control my days, I tend to kick against the goads and wonder if everything on my plate is really something I should have said yes to after all!
I think in all of my wistful hopes and dreamy wishes for a bright and shiny new year, I tend to overshoot and forget the importance of truly slowing and investing... --time, yes... but heart, too!
May we remember to put Him first - in the most non-bossy, truly free and loving kind of ways... and may we remember that Time is a gift and when we spend it wisely, the dividends are priceless.
...something about crowns in heaven... (and maybe even peace on earth!)
Let's aim for both!
Linking up with Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today. Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about: "TIME"
Side note: I am writing this later because I decided not to let my lists boss me around today and enjoyed a luscious long coffee date, connecting with a kindred heart. This was ministry... not so much from me to her, but from Him to me! ...and I needed it, exactly as much as I suspected I did!
Self-care, my friends... it's a real thing!
Practice some this weekend!