Good Morning C13 Moms,
Last week we finished the two positive expressions of love: patience and kindness. Today we start the next group of characteristics. In this group, God teaches us 8 different verbs that tell us what love is not like or does not do. The first 5 verbs explain the turmoil that goes on inside our minds. The last 3 talk about how we respond to others.
Today the topic is jealousy. In Proverbs 27:4 it says Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous. Jealousy can cloud our thinking and force us to focus on the wrong things. It causes us to become fixated on one specific thing and unable to see or do anything else.
There are so many things that can cause us to become jealous, but today I will focus on jealousy of our time. When I became a mom, I was naive about the amount of time it takes to care for a child. With each child more and more of my free time was swallowed up, until I felt like there was no time left for me. When this is not addressed it can lead to bitterness. And bitterness prevents a mom from loving unconditionally and loving with patience and kindness.
So, how can we not become envious of our own time but instead be willing to give it to others?
First, we have to realize that this is such a short season and we will make it through. I promise, you will! It will not be like this forever! Now I know older, empty-nested women are probably telling you this all the time. For me, at times it has actually become annoying to hear this. It caused me to just feel guilty about wanting the end of the season to be today, and for not making myself enjoy each and every moment. It didn’t give me the hope that I needed to make it through the season. It just gave me a deeper longing for it to be over!
However, looking back at some of the difficult seasons I have been in, they really are short in the grand spectrum of things and I wished I would have lightened up a little and taken a moment to enjoy the craziness of it all. I think the hope that can be found in this time-consuming season is that you are not alone. God gives you everything that you need to do everything that He has asked you to do. He isn’t going to give us a child and then leave us to fend for ourselves. When we take the time to ask Him for help, even if it is just 3 minutes, He is faithful to give it to us freely!
Second, we have to constantly be reevaluating and adjusting our priorities. When you have one kid you are able to keep a decent amount of your extracurricular activities going. During naptime you have the freedom to do whatever you want and most husbands are pretty willing to take the kid for a couple of hours for you to go out with friends or go shopping alone. As you add the second…third…fourth kid, your amount of “free time” dramatically decreases. It becomes more difficult to get those fun projects out and actually completed. This is why it is so important to evaluate what is a good use of your time.
I love to scrapbook and enjoy it. But it takes time to really get into it, and I need a lot of space to spread out and allow the creative juices to start flowing. After Kid Number Two, I finally realized that this was a hobby I needed to put on the back burner. Instead of getting frustrated that I didn’t have time to complete one page, I put it away to be picked up when all the kids were in school. I deemed it as low priority at this specific time and gave it a timeline of when I could realistically pick it up again. No death sentence is needed for your hobbies and interests; just a hopeful and realistic timeline for the future. Now, I am able to randomly pull out a few things to make a card, which allows me to keep this love alive but controlled. (This doesn’t mean that you have to give up all forms of your former life, you just need to sit down and pray about which ones should flourish in this specific season of life. Remember life is a marathon. not a sprint. There will be time for everything.)
To-Do? Maybe Tomorrow.
Third, you have to be willing to throw your to-do list out the window. A lot of times when I become jealous of my time I am frustrated that someone has messed up my plan for the day. Nate has gently reminded me several times to evaluate why I am mad. Is it because the kids are doing something wrong, or am I just mad because they are screwing up my to-do list for the day? If they are doing something wrong, he tells me to address it and take care of it. But if it is because they are “forcing” me to spend my time in a different way I should maybe reevaluate what is actually important to accomplish at that moment. Things do need to get done and supper does need to get on the table. So we can’t always just do what the kids want, but we do need to keep their needs in mind as we plan the day. Remember our priorities should be 1. God, 2. Our husband, 3. Our Kids, 4. Everything else.
Our Pastor’s wife shared how she does to-do lists a long time ago in a mom’s Bible study and it has stuck with me forever. In her planner she makes two columns. At the top of the first column she puts an A and then lists her plan for the day. At the top of the second column she puts the letter B and leaves this column blank. This is to give her a visual picture that God may have her change her plans and she needs to be willing to scrap plan A and happily follow plan B. I love this picture. Am I willing to scrap my ideals and follow someone else’s plan for my time? I hope that I am.
This week’s assignment:
1.) Look over the scriptures on jealousy. Is there any one you should focus on this week? | Love Is Not Jealous |
2.) Write out your frustrations about how you spend your time. What prevents you from getting things done? What would you like to change, add or delete?
3.) Ask God to help you prioritize your time in the way He sees fit. Ask Him to help you not be jealous of your free time and to help you be willing to use it to serve others.