Confessions of a Time Hoarder

There seems never to be enough time. Taking kids to dance class, homeschool day studies, school day drop off and pick up, part-time work, housework, food shopping and cooking, exercise, errands to run for school projects, birthday parties, field trips, time with friends, the list goes on.
Old clockphoto © 2007 Nonie | more info (via: Wylio)

I feel as though there’s never enough time. It’s as if I’m holding a bag full of tiny clocks each representing different amounts of minutes or hours, and throughout the day tasks, “have-to’s,” and “should’s” snatch those clocks from the bag. A minute here, thirty minutes there, two hours there. Before I know it the sun is setting. I still have “miles to go before I sleep,” and I’m frustrated over all the things that I didn’t get done, or never even started.

There’s a scarcity of time. 

Yet, part of what makes me feel this scarcity is the richness of relationships I have. Both my husband’s and my families live in town so our children can see their grandparents often. We are surrounded by many friends from different circles and seem to make more friends all the time. Opportunities to be with people are frequent.

As I reflected the other day on the number of significant relationships in my life and the lack of time to invest in them as deeply as I want to, something occurred to me.

I am not generous with my time.

I hoard my time. My time.

But, does the time really belong to me? Or is it God’s time which he entrusts to me?

I’ve been thinking about this often over Lent and asking God how I can be more generous with my time. As an introvert I don’t want to overdo it. I could burn out quickly and have before. This has led me to be extra careful with my time.

Maybe too careful.

Reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp the other day I came across a paragraph which resonated with me. It’s in complete antithesis to how I’ve been feeling as if there isn’t enough time:

“I watch the hands move grace on the clock face. I’m growing older. These children are growing up. But time is not running out. (emphasis mine) This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.”

For the rest of Lent and beyond I want to learn how to see time as something I am gaining. I want to look for opportunities to give generously from that bag of tiny clocks rather than stingily hold onto it like Ebenezer Scrooge.

I believe the way to generosity is being fully present to and having gratitude for every moment of my day. Grasping for minutes and seconds can be replaced with multiplying hours. There is enough time for me to do the most important things to be done if I am attentive to each moment and respond with thankfulness to the One who has gifted me with an eternity.

Do you hoard time or feel like it’s slipping through your fingers? How do you slow down and be present the moments you’re gifted with every day?

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