Raise your hand if you try to fill every passing second of the day with something to do.
Or how about in those quiet moments throughout our busy day, we look to social media to pass the time?
I’m guilty to both of the above.
I feel like since I became a stay-at-home mom, I’ve battled with this idea that if I don’t fill up our schedules, or if I’m not planning my next thing on my agenda, I feel restless and almost a little melancholy. As if life is only “good” if I’ve got something coming up…
But here’s what I’ve realized. I’ve found myself feeling depleted and empty at the end of the day (no matter what I’ve accomplished). I’ve seen myself wish I could have enjoyed those silly moments with my kids, instead of day dreaming about future hopes and dreams. I’ve had to remind myself time and time again that life is about the white spaces on our calendars, not the spots that are filled in. Those white spaces are the spaces in which we can breathe, rest, and thus hear the voice of the Lord most clearly.
Let me break this down a little more.
A typical day for a mom might be like this:
Wake up by a baby (or kid, or even a teen) screaming.
We console our child(ren) and begin our day by walking into the kitchen half awake because we haven’t had our coffee.
Yet, the kids are screaming that if they don’t eat now (and they mean NOW!), they will surely die. So, we make them breakfast, and conjure up something for ourselves to eat as well.
At breakfast, the baby drops all of their food and on the floor. You wipe up the sticky oatmeal and glance up at the fridge. And there it is. The calendar.
The calendar then starts screaming (yes, calendars have voices. Wait. They do, right? I’m not just imagining this…)
You check your to-do list. Okay, so school, soccer practice, run to the post office and also to the store because you need to pick up fresh poultry, and back home to make dinner, clean up the mess throughout the day, give your children a bath that they desperately need but don’t want, and you all crawl into bed with hopefully all teeth brushed.
And that’s an easy day.
Let me ask you a question…
Where was God in that day?
Was there a morning devotional time? Or a time for a worship song in the car between errands? Was a prayer even lifted up to heaven?
We run around with our shoulders tense and up to our ears because these plans are “vital” to us. Soccer practice is going to be the thing that encourages our son to be a team player. We say “yes” to more than we can handle because how people see us is more important than serving our families and honoring God with our precious, and so limited time.
So, I have to ask, has our calendar become our idol?
God clearly commands us to serve Him, and only Him (Exodus 20:3-5). And this includes our time and how we spend it. Everything we do ought to point back to God and His righteousness.
Our hearts desire should be as the Psalmist wrote, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” (Psalm 90:12). Notice the word wisdom. It doesn’t ask for a gain in possessions, or a better reputation, or for the ability to be “super mom” and juggle endless duties. It says wisdom. I don’t know about you, but the only time I’ve received wisdom, is when I’m still and focused on His leading.
Friends, I’m not saying that basketball practice is the root of everything that is wrong in your life. I’m not saying that making plans is the source of all your stress. And I’m definitely not saying that spending time away from your family is corrupt. Rather, I’m saying that when we go about making plans, we need to discuss them first with God, and think about the effects they’ll make on ourselves and our families. Will they serve others? Will those plans strengthen the bond between you and your spouse, or children? How will saying “yes” to that invite bless your mission in pursuing righteousness?
I hope you can think on these things the next time you sit down with your calendar.
For more on the importance of spending our time well, look up the below verses:
1 John 2:17
James 4: 13-17