Two weeks ago our little lady started Pre-Kindy. It was a mixture of emotions for me- I was emotional seeing her in her little uniform, I shared in her joy and enthusiasm of reaching this milestone and the enjoyment of learning, I was anxious about how she would go and how she would respond to the teachers and other kids and I was surprised to feel grief that my little girl was growing up. As I thought back over the past four years of mothering, there were moments that I was hanging onto the hope that “this too would pass” and that one day the mundane moments of mothering would be a little less intense as those toddler years would pass. Yet now that those years are on the horizon, I realise how part of me wants them back. The heart is a fickle thing.
As a consequence of her heading off three days a week to school, our routines are in a state of flux, as we work around drop-off and pick-ups and as the little guy and his mamma get to know each other more one-on-one. It has once again caused me to stop and think about how I spend my time and what I am involved in. With our third bub due in a bit over 11 weeks, I know we are in for a large year of transition and that makes me take stock and consider how I spend my time as the mother and homemaker of our family. It is so easy to be busy for the sake of busyness and be over-committed in order to be pleasing others or feeling better about ourselves. In these things though, we end up wishing for more hours in the day and making excuses as to why the most important things often have slipped by the wayside.
My efforts of intentional prioritising have been spurred on by Tim Challies’ new book Do More Better (Dec 2015). My phone now has new apps to help me keep track of my key areas of responsibility (ie. family, home management, personal, church, social etc.) and with associated tasks it helps my head feel like it is spinning a little less and my productivity level increase a little more.
In all this though, the following verses from Ephesians (5:1-2, 8-10, 15-17) have been in my mind:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. …for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. …15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
In our lives, we are to walk in love and live a life in sacrifice to God. We are to seek God and discern what is pleasing to Him, using the wisdom He gives in order to make the best use of the time we have. But in this, in how we structure our day, we are to see how our faith and hope in Jesus should infiltrate all areas of our life. Gloria Furman addresses this:
“What does life-changing faith look like on a day-to-day basis in the midst of the mundane? Simply put, faith looks backward and forward.
Faith looks backward to the cross and believes that Jesus has purchased every spiritual blessing for us with his blood (Eph. 1:3). Faith also looks forward to the reward of all that God has for us in Christ. This is the kind of faith that changes the way you live today and makes you into a homemaker whose goal and delight is in God and in being conformed to his image.
…Tomorrow morning we can get out of bed and confidently go straight to our Father to tell him that we love him and need him, and we can share with him everything that is on our hearts. Faith believes that God will satisfy us with joy forever.”- from Glimpses of Grace (2013, p.165).
We need to be intentional in our living, realising that our to-do-lists won’t save us nor will our Pinterest-looking homes or our well-behaved children. We fail, day in and day out, but the grace of God in the gospel urges us to set our minds on things that will outlast today- we are children of light!! May we not make idols of the things in our lives- our families, our children, our homes, our cooking, our to-do-lists but looking to Jesus, may we live in wisdom. May we use what time we have to productively live out our faith, grounded in the Word of God and most specifically, the grace-filled Gospel. For as children of light, we desire to live accordingly, not to save us, but as a response to our wonderful salvation.