My husband and I were driving home from a date night tonight - food, Target and Starbucks. We love driving together it always seems to be the place our best conversations come from. Tonight my husband said: "God's given us the gift of time." And I completely agree.
You see my day feels like 24 hours. I'm not sure the last time I've said "I don't have time." We guard our time very closely, however after talking tonight we couldn't help but to come to the conclusion that we aren't the best stewards of the time that has been given to us.
We have been so intentional about what we fill our time with, that I think we might have gone overboard with the word no where we now have a surplus of time that just gets filled with sitting. We don't want to be running from one activity to another every night of the week where we never see each other or have time to be together as a family. But I think we have even gone a step further. You see, we are both major introverts and homebodies. If something involves anything that is away from home our first instinct is always to say no. And seriously, new places and people scare me.
As we continued to talk I recalled a point that was in a book I just finished reading, "Wasted Prayer." He was talking about how it is hard to love others if you isolate yourself and don't have community. Oh so true. And we are isolaters. I mean really - how can you love others if you are never around others? How do you know the needs of those around you if you are not around them?
It is easier for Jonathan and I to say a big yes and get out of our comfort zone than it is to say yes to smaller things - such as a lunch date, attending a baby shower, or having people over for dinner.
Why is that? Who cares if we are awkward at conversations or if someone comes over and a mess is made. A big hold up for me of having people over is cooking dinner. I'm not even good at making meals for my little family, how am I supposed to cook for another family that I barely know? Hmm... maybe Pizza Hut delivery.
Getting out of the house takes effort with little ones in tow. But I think it might be worth it.
In high school I remember feeling like such a loser if I was home on a Friday night and I had no plans. Now, I love an empty calendar. I love never setting my alarm clock. I love having hours at home with my husband and children. There's no where else I'd rather be actually.
But God has called me to love others. And I have to be willing to get out of my comfort zone to do that. I have to throw off the label that I am not a people person and put on the love of Christ. I have to be willing to put in the effort and time it takes to love others. And that means being around others. (And then coming back home to recharge.)
I think there's a balance to it all. I can't say yes to every opportunity that comes my way and I won't. I still have to guard my family time. I have to be smart with the hours we are at home to make sure they are of quality. That relationships are being made and priorities are getting done. But I also can't hide behind my family anymore either. We have to serve others as a family and sometimes by ourselves. That means getting out into the community and around people. That means sitting next to someone at the doctor's appointment and chatting. That means attending someone's celebration party to support and love them.
It means loving others with God's love even when my desire is to isolate myself.
God has a plan for our lives. Our everyday matters to Him. I'm going to do my best to wake up each morning and ask God how He wants me to spend my day.