Perspective, Time, Trusting God

Time: The Gift of Time

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This week I am spending Spring Break with my guys. I will be commenting and visiting blogs, but I will be a little slower than normal. 🙂

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“Time to go.”

“So many books. So little time.”

“Time flies when you’re having fun.”

How many sayings are out there about “Time?”

Time is one thing that sets definite boundaries around our lives.

We receive twenty-four hours each day. No more. No less. Let’s face it: women have lots to do. I often cram as much as I can into a day.

 

Cynthia Heald  said something that’s stayed with me: “Time is a gift, not a possession.” Simplicity views time as a gift, not a given.

I tend to take time for granted. I figure I’ll have time to do ____________ later. That way I can do ______________ now. If time is a gift, should I assume I’ll have an unlimited amount of it?

None of us knows how many days we’ll walk this earth.

Some days, I tear off the pretty paper my day comes wrapped up in and empty out the beauty it holds. I fill it up with a multitude of commitments and tasks.

I miss opportunities to live out simplicity by slowing down long enough to admire the beauty around me. When I choose this mode, stress becomes my taskmaster, pushing me from one task to the next.

 

Early morning birdsong, tulips poking up through hard ground, and snow capped mountains are some of the beauty that surrounds me. When I fill those early morning thoughts with all my to-do’s I often miss out on the beauty found in each moment.

How determined I am to “X” off as many items on my to-do list as I can!

How much I miss on those days.

Though I’m getting better, I still struggle to find the balance between focusing on my daily agenda and slowing down to soak in the beauty all around me. Sometimes, those to-do’s, though necessary, are the good things, but not the best things .

 

As one of God’s girls, I’m challenged to take time each morning to ask Him what He wants for me in that day. Giving God permission to hijack my plans sets me outside my control-comfort zone.

When I loosen my fingers from the list, He gently takes it. He leads me through His plans and gifts me with a satisfied “Ahh, now that was a good day,” as I lay my head on my pillow.

 

One aspect of living a life of simplicity is not insisting that I control how I spend every moment.

Trusting God to take my hand and lead me through the day isn’t easy for this woman who thrives on working her plan. When I surrender control, God always has a way of showing me His best for me. He also offers peace when He decides to tweak my plans.

What about you? Do you have a saying about time that stays with you? How do you plan out your days?

Click to Tweet: Time is one thing that sets definite boundaries around our lives.

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21 thoughts on “Time: The Gift of Time”

  1. Great essay, jeanne, and the visuals are perfect.

    My favourite saying about time is one from Afghanistan; it’s about patience and stoic endurance – “They have the watches, we have the time.”

    There’s another ‘Ghan proverb that I like – “If you set out for revenge after fifty years, you are being hasty.”

    This from a land where blood feuds are millennial.

    Coming back to a more normal place (normal , I hope, for you; ‘Ghan is my normal), I happen to like this rejoinder (which I’ve often used), “This will take as long as it takes. Your anxiety will not change the clock’s pace, nor my hands’ dexterity.”

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/03/your-dying-spouse-289-false-doctrine.html

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    1. Andrew, your quotes about time made me think. It’s always insightful to hear the words of those from other cultures (Afghanistan and from the Ghan proverb). They share insights that feel foreign to our hurry-up culture. 🙂 I especially appreciated the intentionality of the Ghan rejoinder.

      Thank you for sharing them here. I’m praying for you, friend.

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  2. Great post Jeanne and so timely (no pun intended)! Just this week I was feeling a heaviness on my chest which I hadn’t felt for a long time and know it was due to a task list that also seems very heavy. I’m not sure I can get all done! My favourite time saying is one I heard Andy Stanley say: Time is your friend. Trusting that I will get done what God knows is best relieves the pressure. And to always, always stay present. He wants us at peace doesn’t He?

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    1. Lynn, I’ve been in those places where there are either heavy (dread-inducing) tasks, or just so many to complete in a short time that it overwhelms and steals my breath away. I find myself praying more for the help to do the hard things and for the insight to know which things are most important. Somehow everything that needs to get done does. I like that Andy Stanley quote. Thank you for sharing it!

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  3. Jeanne, the saying that comes to mind isn’t about time, exactly, but I think it relates: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” It’s a quote from a John Lennon song, and it’s sort of become a theme of my life over the last year or two. I live close to my elderly parents, and I’m learning to hold my to-do list loosely, because I just never know when something more urgent is going to come up with them. What you said about time being a gift, not a given, is something I need to ponder. I tend to be a bit wasteful when it comes to time, and I don’t like the idea of wasting a gift! Beautiful pictures, too!

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    1. Lois, I’ve heard that quote, and isn’t it so true? It’s good to hold our to-do lists loosely. People are more important than tasks. I just have to remember this when the tasks are pinging in the back of my mind, and when they make me feel like I’ve accomplished things. More important is have I held people as more important than my to-dos? We really don’t know how long we have with our parents, do we? I think about that with my own, as well. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here.

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  4. Time is a precious gift and one that we should use wisely. Sometimes it means saying “no” so we can just enjoy the beauty around us. I don’t have a favorite quote about time except-“time flies” and on any given day that seems like the truth. Hope you have a wonderful week with your boys creating new memories.

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    1. Mary, it took me a long time to realize what a gift time really is? It seems to mean more to me as I grow older. Especially in the busy times, I need to remember it is a gift, and use it as such. Thanks for your well wishes about our time this week. So far, we’re having a great time. 🙂

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  5. We so need that time to slow down and soak in the beauty, Jeanne. The photos are beautiful. Isn’t it so reviving to see the new life springing up? Stopping to notice these things can make life less overwhelming. Nature can calm us and remind us that God is in control of our lives, too, and we aren’t. I love how you give God permission to hijack your day. It can make things a lot less frustrating if something doesn’t get done, right? I hope you can slow down and have some quality time with your boys, too, during Spring Break. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Trudy, I must be honest, I’m not consistent in being okay with how God “hijacks” some of “my” days. 🙂 I’m working to become more intentional about yielding each day to Him first thing in the morning. On the days when I’ve done this, those inevitable hiccups that come are easier to handle with grace. My guys and I are having a great time this week. Thanks so much for your well wishes. I’m sending you a big hug in return, friend!

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  6. The only saying about time that comes to mind is “time heals all wounds” which I don’t completely agree with though I think it can help in some cases. Thanks for this encouragement to slow down and to be open to what God wants instead of just rushing around trying to do all that needs to be done. I like the reminder that time is gift too, and that it is something we should treasure and make the most of. Hope you have a wonderful spring break!

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    1. Lesley, I feel like the queen of rushing around through my days, keeping myself on such a tight time-budget that there’s no emotional space for those glitches that come. God’s spoken to me off and on over the years about yielding my plans for the day to Him. I do well some days, not so well on others. 🙂 But I’m working to be more consistent with remembering that each moment I have is a gift from Him and I want to fill them with the things He shows me they need to be filled with. 🙂 And yes, we should treasure each moment. Only God knows how many we have.

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  7. Great post Jeanne. I totally agree that time is a gift we must use efficiently
    Like the old adage goes – “Time waits for no man”

    It’s kind of interesting how almost all mothers seem to be always running out of time no matter how fast they work. Why is it so?

    And, thanks for passing by my blog. Already said that in my reply but felt like saying it again.

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    1. Jane, sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Somehow, your comment ended up in my spam folder. 😦 It is rather interesting that mothers seem to run out of time before they run out of other things. It’s such a tricky balance of relationship with the littles and managing every other aspect of life. 🙂 I guess we all figure out our own rhythm . . . eventually. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by here!

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  8. Oh my word Jeanne, the Lord is loosening my grip as I read this. So much in here that gently corrects me in some of my views. Balancing practical time management with being willing to let God hijack my schedule has been a struggle lately. Just earlier I was thanking the Lord that it seemed He multiplied my time as I finished off my big checklist early enough to more simply savor extra time with Him. Thank you for the beautiful wisdom you share here!

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    1. Bethany, sorry it’s taken me a few days to get back here and respond to your comment. It’s a choice-by-choice journey to allow God to have His way with “our” schedules, isn’t it? Here’s hoping we get more time to just savor with Jesus!

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    1. I confess, there have been days when I’ve wished for more than 24 hours. But the thing is? Even if God gave me more, it still wouldn’t be enough. So, I’m learning to be content with the daily 24, and to use my moments as wisely as possible. 🙂

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  9. Jeanne, enjoy the spring break. My time sure doesn’t feel like mine anymore. But it never was. I’ve been working hard with my youngest in school. Time to write has been so sparse. Time alone has been sparse. But regardless, this day, this time is a gift. Love you, friend. xoxo

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    1. Shelli, with both boys in sports this spring, my time doesn’t feel like mine either. But, as you mentioned, it’s not really ours to begin with. I’m trying to carve out writing time too, and I’m finding that I have to ask God to open doors of time for me to write. And, as you said, each day is a gift.

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