Time: Time Is a Gift

Clock on shelf

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—TIME. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

There’s so much I could have said about this topic, but I narrowed it down to today’s life lesson. I have a suspicion Time will figure into more blog posts. 🙂 And I confess, I went a wee bit over. 

TIME

The older my boys get, the faster time flies.

There are so many distractions that eat up the minutes in a day. So many things to take care of that require my attention be focused on a screen.

There’s a place and a time for this, yes.

But my boys . . . they only live this day once. They come home from school with issues. And, when I’m distracted, it’s beyond easy to deal with the surface disrespect, the incomplete homework the binder left at school. So easy to reprimand.

But it takes a willingness to give of “my” time to get below the surface of that disrespectful answer.

Today one boy came home, glibly declared he’d left an important binder at school. And wrote me a note that about broke my heart.

God stopped me right there.

I went to his room. He poured out the struggles, the frustrations, the weariness that comes from being made to feel less-than by his peers.

I wish I had the answers! But, as my boys grow older, I won’t always have the perfect response to their heartbreaks. Sometimes, all I can give them is my time, my heart.

Glittery watch

My heart needs to be aligned with Jesus first. This takes time.

Yes, my boys will never be this young again.

They deserve my time—my full attention—as they walk through life’s hard during their pre-teen and teen years. When I’m focused on my to-do’s, its easy to forget how painful these years are. How painful it is to be the last picked for a team on the playground.

Time is a gift I can give to my children. Giving them time means my time won’t be spent on something I’m trying to accomplish.

When it comes right down to it, my family is the most important priority God’s given me. He’s the giver of all good gifts, and that includes time. But, He leaves the choice up to me as to how I use it.

Hands fingers intertwined

If I’m not willing to spend the time God gives me on them, then His gift is wasted. The boys are hardened. And I lose out.

I’m working to gift the time God gives me to those who are most important in my life.

What about you? How do you make choices to spend your time wisely? How do you gift your time to others?

Take a moment and read Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on Time.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Time: Time Is a Gift

    • Miranda, I’ve struggled with wasting too much time on social media too. I suspect it’s a struggle many of us face today. May God help both of us to grow in discipline to be all there for our families. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re a good, wise mom, Jeanne! Keep up the great work! Your boys are blessed to have you as their caring, loving mentor and provider. Thank you for being such a godly testimony. May the Lord continue to grant you that wisdom and compassion!

    Like

    • Only God can give us what we need to mother well, yes Kate? I’m so thankful He fills in my gaps as a mom, and He gives me eyes to see what they need. When I let Him. 😉 May the Lord give you all you need as a mama too. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost learned this lesson to late. I got so caught up in all I thought I needed to do I almost lost my relationships with our girls. As an introvert, ‘time’ is difficult for me to give to others, but I work on it becuase the time I spend with God every morning convicts me that it’s something that I need to do.

    Like

    • Anita, that is a frequent struggle for me. So many things vie for our attention, don’t they? I’ve focused on the wrong thing too many times. I’m just thankful God’s grace is always here, that my kids are usually quick to forgive, and that God gives second (and third, and fourth . . . chances). I love that you get outside your comfort zone and give time to others. I bet it means more to them than you know. Have a great weekend, my friend!

      Like

  3. Considering ourselves to be good parents but failing to make time for our children is kind of like cheating on a diet a little bit every day, before long we believe we’re still on a diet. You will never get this time of their lives back, take full advantage of it—everything else can wait.

    Like

    • Love this analogy, Gene. That’s the thing God keeps reminding me of. Our boys only live each of their days once. I have a standing invitation to invest time into them, or to decline. When I decline, we both lose. As my guys get ever closer to leaving our nest, I’m learning to set other things aside to be all there for them. Not easy, but very rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So encouraging! You’re giving your family the greatest gift… your time. This sounds like it was the perfect prompt for you today. So glad I came over! Blessings to you as God uses you mightily!

    Like

    • Julie, it was a perfect prompt for me today. That conversation with my son just wouldn’t leave me alone. And to think I almost missed it. I’m praying for eyes to see what’s going on beyond the surface of their words.

      And speaking of posts, I hope you enjoyed the movie with your hubby and your son. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Like

  5. Jeanne, I can very much relate! My oldest is eleven and I am finding it hard to watch him grow up and coming to the realization that this one childhood they get really does go by fast. I am trying to slow time down these days. I am trying to do less controlling and nagging and more listening… they still need us! Even if it is just to lend our hearts to them when life brings more questions than answers. By God’s grace!

    Like

    • Kim, the days FLY by, don’t they?! My oldest enters the teens in a few weeks, and I’m amazed. I still remember holding him in the hospital, counting his wee fingers. And yes, less controlling of them and giving them the grace to make mistakes, it’s hard to do. But so necessary. I think the older they get, the more they need us to listen, really listen. May God continue to guide you as you mother your children. I always appreciate when you stop by!

      Like

  6. Guess I’m lucky. Pit Bulls have relatively few issues…

    “When’s dinner?”

    “Why dies HE have the toy I should have?”

    “When’s dinner?”

    But that said, I am realizing that the dreams I held, and upon which I tried to work, are far less important than simply being there for these guys. The world will not care if I write one less novel…but Dukee (pronounced Do-KAY) cares in I sit with him and rub his belly (and he cares even more if dinner is coming, too!).

    Like

    • Andrew, you made me laugh. 🙂 Pit bulls and boys have that one thing in common: When do I get to eat again? 🙂

      You make me think about dreams and their many purposes. Sometimes they are meant to be fulfilled. It seems like sometimes they are meant to give hope. Even if some of your dreams don’t come true, you’re living the most important thing out in caring for Dukee and your other “kids.” You are an amazing caregiver with one of the biggest hearts I know.

      Like

    • Martha, as I was re-making up one boy’s room for guests coming tonight, I caught myself looking forward to the day when we have a guest room again. Almost immediately I reminded myself that this would mean our boys were out of the house. I’m not ready for that. When they were little, part of me looked forward to when they would go to school. Now, the years are marked by going up through the grades, and they’re passing so quickly! I’m learning to embrace each moment I get to have with them. Okay, most of the moments. 😉

      Like

  7. Love that he is able to come to you, even through a note. And that you’re open to hearing him however he needs to communicate. I know I say this all the time, but you are such an inspiration and I am so glad you write so openly about parenting. Your honesty through this journey has made me a better parent!

    Like

    • Annie, it was the note that stopped me cold. His words on there were a call for help. I’m so glad he wrote them down and gave me a clue that all was not well. Your words bless me, friend. You are a good mom too. I love that we can learn from each other.

      Like

  8. This post is so heart felt and so true! You are soaked in His Spirit, Jeanne, and listening will guide you in helping those kids be all God created them to be. His wisdom wakes us up to things so easily missed in a busy world. You are listening. Great job!

    Like

    • You’re right, Mom. I can only truly be the mom our boys need when I am walking closely with God. He’s the one who gives discernment and wisdom to see beneath the surface. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement!

      Like

  9. What a precious heart that he would write out his worries to you. He knows you care. Those days are trying. I do know, I do. I think they’ve only gotten harder than when mine was teased for wearing the same tie to chapel at his “christian” school. To this day, I believe there was more he never confided. There are no easy answers but God is an easy listener and he places people in your life to help carry the burden. Reach out to them because I know you’re reaching out to your boys. This mama’s heart is praying for you.

    Like

    • Debby, I suspect there are things my boy hasn’t told me too. He tends to hold it all inside, and then one day, the dam bursts and out comes all the muck, the pain, and the hurt. I’m just so glad he’s willing to talk with me. And I’m beyond relieved that God doesn’t expect us to walk this parenting journey by ourselves. He gives His wisdom, insight, discernment, if we ask Him too. And, I’m blessed that He has placed people in my life who pray for me and give me their wisdom. I can’t imagine walking this journey alone! THANK you for your prayers.

      Like

  10. So convicting and hard to live out! Loved these lines: “If I’m not willing to spend the time God gives me on them, then His gift is wasted. The boys are hardened. And I lose out.”

    Like

    • Denise, I’m so glad you stopped by. These lessons are hard to live out. I’m thankful that, when we do, God honors our efforts, even when they are far from perfect. 🙂 Have a good weekend!

      Like

  11. Jeanne,
    so thankful I had the time (yes, time) to read your post. I appreciate that you showed that though both things were “important”, that to your children, this is the only moment there is. What a blessing that you listened to the Holy Spirit and had an opportunity for relationship with your son. You are an excellent mom who is way too hard on herself, and God knew you’d be that way and gave you the perfect children to shape you and you them for His purposes.
    I’m so grateful you took time to type this and even more grateful for the time you spend reading and commenting on mine. You make me feel valuable!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (not linked but when I do, I’m sure it will be in the 60s or 70s this week)
    @tammysincerity

    Like

    • You are always such an encouragement!I suspect all of us moms are too hard on ourselves, at least sometimes. 🙂 When we listen to the Holy Spirit, He gives us the insight to know how to walk through the hard moments with our children. I completely agree that God places the perfect children with each parent because He knows how to use them in each others’ lives. 🙂

      You ARE valuable, my friend. I hope your weekend is a good one!

      Like

  12. Beautiful post! It’s so easy to get caught up and distracted by all the things we have to do, but so important to make time for those close to us, to really listen to them and be there for them.

    Like

    • Carly, it is SO easy to get caught up in all those things that weigh on our shoulders. I suspect choosing to listen to those closest to us is something most of us need to work on. Choosing the best over the good, right? Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Time truly does fly by and those after school moments are so important! Believe it or not, you truly will miss those times one day… and how those simple moments in between a school day and whatever is next give you the opportunity to connect and create… praying for us all to invest time like money this year! Let’s spend it wisely, my friend!

    Like

    • Karrilee, I know you know these truths. I’m already dreading the days when our boys are off and into their own lives, not needing us in this way anymore. Connecting . . . that’s always important. I know your girl is on her own now, but may we both invest time like money (Love that word picture!). Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

      Like

  14. Jeanne, I can so relate to this. I, too, have young boys and constantly have to remind myself how fleeting the time is. So many other things tug me away, but I know these gifts God has given me deserve my time, my undivided attention and effort. Lovely reminder. Thank you.

    Like

    • Abby, two young boys . . . oh, how I love them. 🙂 We live in a world where it’s hard to focus on the most important, in pursuit of accolades, or even affirmation. May we both remember daily they are only this age once and choose them above other things. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Like

  15. Beautiful encouragement to give priority to our families. Sometimes it’s so hard for me to come up with energy for teenage angst, but really, it’s a privilege that our kids want to talk with us. Our time is a gift.

    Like

    • Betsy, with an almost teen and a pre-teen in the house, I’m already seeing the angst. My initial response is to just make them deal with it. But, God’s response is love. And that’s what we have to keep learning, isn’t? I completely agree with you. It’s a privilege that our kids want to talk with us. I don’t want to lose that privilege. Ever. Time = Love for them, yes? Thank you so much for adding your thoughts here. 🙂

      Like

  16. As my two sons have been independent for a while, I have had plenty of time to reflect on what sort of parent I might have been to them during years when I was distinctly ‘absent’ or ‘overly present’ depending on how I was dealing with painful issues from my past.
    Reading ‘Yesterday’s Child’ by Mary Pytches helped a lot as I went through counselling. In it, she suggests we can only aim to be “good enough” parents and not beat ourselves up because we weren’t perfect.
    Having been raised very imperfectly myself, I always struggled and strived to do better, yet also battled my ever-present inner child’s needs too. However, God intervened and made sure my boys knew they were loved by this insecure woman and are able to love others in return. Best of all, they turned to Him for their fullest security. And that’s where we go too when we feel ‘less than’ as a mum/wife/friend/woman. His love for us enables us to love others as well as possible. By the sounds of it, you’re doing a great job, Jeanne. Never forget it!

    Like

    • Joy, thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself. I am blessed by your openness. Those thoughts by Mary Pytches make a lot of sense. I know better than to expect perfection from myself. Especially as a mom. But, I’m still learning how to give grace to myself, like God does. A dear friend of mine shared something with me when my boys were little: “Motherhood:Perfection not required.” I’ve held onto that, and I pray that God will fill in my gaps. Because I’m sure there are many gaps in what I want our boys to leave our home with and what they’ll actually take with them (skills, character, etc).

      I’m praying my guys learn to turn to Jesus for their security. That’s the best thing they can learn in this life. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

      Like

  17. When my boys come home, it needs to be about them – about the emotional pop-corn of their school day. One son, I felt like everyday after school I had to put him back together again. There were other boys who didn’t have parents do that – ours are blessed that they do – we pray for them, cry for them, believe for them and point the good way for them. What a beautiful testimony of mother-son love. It’s a tough gig – but God knew we could do it!

    Like

    • I love your words here. We are the ones who put them back together again. Growing up with two sisters, the boy-thing has really thrown some learning curves my way. But I wouldn’t trade my guys for any girls. They are the best,and they definitely keep my on my knees. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Like

Comments are closed.