Time can be tricky, can’t it? I have spent my whole life wishing for one moment to hurry and arrive and another moment to slow down and pause. In a few weeks the entire world has felt like it’s at a stand-still because of one common thing, COVID-19. You may have been like me and filled gaps of your day looking at thousands of status updates and memes on social media, or have read hundreds of news articles and watched dozens of videos. After a few days of this going on I asked myself something. Was I making the best use of my time?
It has been a dream of mine, for a while, to be a stay-at-home mom with a thriving business that would allow me to spend time volunteering and working based on the schedule I created for myself. I’ve only had one time in my life when I was able to see what that would feel like. It was just over three years ago when our youngest child was born. I was on maternity leave and thought if I treated those weeks as though it would be my normal forever that maybe, just maybe God would answer my prayers and I wouldn’t have to return to work. The fact that I didn’t like my job helped fuel this even more. I poured myself into having the cleanest house, the best meals and fresh baked treats, having good social media content and publishing one of the best issues of Nouveau Exposure Magazine that our readers had seen at that point. My feelings were so hurt.The six weeks came and went and there I was, returning to my cubicle and working in a call center for eight hours a day, five days a week.
You can probably imagine what my mindset was when my current employer (that I absolutely love working for) sent me to work from home after the announcement of the Shelter-in-Place for my state due to COVID-19. Initially I was elated. I’m an introvert, so staying away from people appeared to be no challenge for me at all. I fell immediately into this strict routine to keep everyone on their daily schedule. I was working out, helping our children with school work, preparing meals, cleaning house, picking books to read and making business plans for the rest of the year. I was consumed with daily media updates from press conferences to news articles. Does anyone see what’s wrong with this yet?
In both examples I was filling my days with tasks to complete or causing myself to have anxiety based on my need to be constantly informed or be this imagined version of perfection. I was missing out on valuable time that I could have spent with God and my family. I have seen so many blogs, vlogs and glogs (Lol, I definitely made glogs up.) giving tips and strategies for making the best of your time as it relates to business and staying active at home. I haven’t seen too many recommendations focusing on strategies to strengthen relationships with God and those we love.
What are you doing to build on your relationship with God? Let’s face it, we’re all a part of a church e-campus during this season of our lives. We can’t physically join together in our worship centers. We can watch hundreds of service streams and listen to dozens of podcasts or conference line prayer meetings. There is nothing that beats having personal time set aside to read God’s word (the Bible) or praying alone while pouring out your heart to God and sitting in the peace that his presence brings. We can catch every one of the social media video concerts and worship sessions, but there is something different and liberating about singing and worshiping in your home without being led by anyone else.
Before the pandemic caused an interruption to the world as we knew it I had started to get into a routine of having my daily time of devotion. There are so many ways to do this and no one does it perfectly everyday. I started a 60 day devotional last month and I’m just on day 29 when I should probably be on day 36 or 38. The important thing here is to make time to do it. You can use a devotional book, subscribe to websites that offer daily devotional material, or listen to scripture as it plays from a Bible app. Find a spot in your home and have a moment for you and God. You may even invite your spouse and/or children (depending on their age) to have a break-out routine for time with God. However you choose to do it, make time to read and pray in addition to the online church hopping and emergency prayer calls. God desires to spend time with us, let’s make time for him.
The Shelter-in-Place may have thrown some of our schedules off. I’d love to know what everyone is doing to build on your relationship with God. Comment below to share, it may give ideas to someone else.