By Katie Helmreich
My alarm went off at 5:50 this morning. I hit snooze a few times, but then I remembered today’s the day I’d arranged to swap kid-free hours with a friend of mine!
Before coffee, head still on the pillow, my mind started racing, trying to figure out how to be the most efficient with my solo time this morning: I should brain dump the whole week’s to-do list and really decide the best use of each hour. I should order groceries now so that I can pick them up when I’m out getting the kids. I wish my meeting was earlier in the morning so I’d have the answers I need to move forward with XYZ a bit sooner. Can’t forget to pack lunches! Do they need swimsuits? Jackets?… On and on it went.
The storm of frantic energy got bigger and bigger. I could feel my creative brain cowering in the corner as the fear of wasting my alone time got more and more overpowering.
I have this gift of a quiet house, and my drive to maximize the heck out of it was trashing all the calm, creative, joy. The need to make the most of each moment threatened to completely squash any chance of productivity.
Do you know the feeling? When time is so precious, you don’t want to lose a second; and, as a result, you risk wasting it all?
As I drove home from dropping off the kids, I found myself inadvertently humming that timeless hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be.”
As my fists clenched the steering wheel, I was also clinging tightly to the mindset “my time is scarce; my time is precious.” But then I realized what I was humming.
“…take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.”
The truth is, every moment before and behind me is a gift from God.
My Father, who created time itself, has given me this morning. Not for my own gain or to use in a way that feeds my “got it together” ego. Not even for the end result of any project I undertake.
Every moment I’m given is a moment I get to give back to God. The Spirit guides my mind, my heart, and my hands, allowing me to glorify God in ordinary everyday ways.
The value in these moments isn’t what I get done. It’s who I’m here for. It’s how I love others and show them Jesus.
So this morning I need to notice that I’m here for my husband, helping to manage things while he’s away at work so that he doesn’t have to add them to his task list. I’m here for my kids. Even though they’re at a friend’s house at the moment, I get to show them what it looks like to work hard, to work well, to use your gifts to bless others.
I’m here for the author of this book we’re working on together. She has a dream and I get to help her see it on shelves someday! I’m here for my friend and his start-up business. I’m here for his customers, taking the stress out of producing something worthwhile, even if they couldn’t quite picture it on their own.
I’m here for my friend, returning the gift of quiet time to use as she needs this afternoon. I’m here for her kids. It’s a joy and an honor to be part of supporting each other’s kids and showing them they’re not the only ones following Jesus.
I’m here for Jesus. I’m here because of Jesus. Because He led me here to be his hands and feet. The purpose of my every moment is to glorify God and to love others.
What does that look like this morning? I’m still not quite clear on the details. But I’m no longer tempted to hoard my time. I’ll take a look at that list, and see where it goes. The details will sort themselves out.
I know my purpose. The peace that brings is priceless.
“Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasures store; Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.”