My Thoughts on the Value of Time and Presence

Our lives are a large sum of moments. Those moments that we overlook, those moments that we take for granted, those moments that we waste, those moments that we rush... each one counts. Each one matters.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I spend my free time. Sure, a large chunk of my day is spent at work, but that doesn't mean that I am without spare time. I have more openings in my schedule than I think, and that's probably because I typically waste those openings with things that don't matter. 

After listening to one of my favorite podcasts (The Delightful Life) the other day, I decided to experiment with what Jennifer was asking us to do -- create an "ideal week" schedule. This is basically an excel document outlining what an ideal week would look like for you. She encouraged listeners to become part of the 5am club -- a not actually existent (that I'm aware of, at least) club of people who commit to going to bed at a decent time and waking up early to do productive things, and to start their day on a non-stressed foot. 

I love this idea.

I've been doing much better over the past few months about reading my Bible on a daily basis, but to be honest, it hasn't commanded my entire attention when I'm reading it. I tend to sleep in until the last possible moment, and then read the Bible on the subway. While there's nothing inherently wrong with reading the Bible on the subway, my mind races all over the place. I get distracted, and I realize that I hardly remember what I just read. 

I don't want that to be true of my time spent in the Word. It should command my attention. 

fullness-of-joy

Same thing goes for my time spent with my husband. I don't want our quality time to be marked by multi-tasking. I don't want to be the wife that's always on her phone or working on something during family time. When I'm spending time with Matt, I want my mind and my heart to be present in that moment. 

Instead of multi-tasking all the time, I want to dedicate certain times of the day to focus on certain things -- reading the Bible, praying, journaling, spending time with Matt, working on SweatStretchEat.com, etc. 

As you may know, Lent begins today. Lent is a season where we intentionally focus on the life our Savior lived, reflect and repent of our sin, and look to the hope of Christ that we celebrate on Easter. Traditionally, Lent is a season of fasting. A lot of Americans go on pseudo-diets during Lent without any real spiritual purpose behind it. It's more of a practice of self discipline for them. For me, there's more to it. If I'm going to fast from something, I want make sure of couple things:

  1. It's a sacrifice to give up
  2. The practice of fasting will remind me of my desperate dependence on God
  3. Will draw me closer to the Lord

So for Lent, I'm giving up sleeping in. I'm going to wake up early, and spend time in the Bible, meditation, and prayer. I want to give up multi-tasking with God and with Matt -- even if that means I post less often on this blog (sorry, guys). 

We promised any number of moments, so let's live our lives in a way that shows our gratitude for time. Let's also give God and our loved ones the gift of presence. 

Are you giving something up for Lent?