I definitely spent too much time today working on my budget. I spent too much time browsing through facebook. Too much time looking at the calendar and making pointless appointments... at least the ones that are required but I hate going to. I spent too much time saying, "Just a minute" and "Wait one second."
The gift of time is something to reflect on. What do we do with our time? Patrick and I just decided today to get our TV turned off. We will still have Netflix for the occasional TV series we think is worth a relaxing night off, but overall TV adds nothing to our life or relationships. We are also looking at what activities our kids do, which ones will actually form friendships, but most of all, which ones will form virtue? I think it's important to not just aimlessly throw our kids into activities because, well, that's what the Jones's have done.
How else do we spend our time? For this year we have decided to homeschool. Not because we are claiming this to be the all out best choice of education for children, but because we want to take a chance to slow down time. The carpooling, the cramming in homework every night, the rush out the door in the morning and the lack of time my children were getting to spend together or with the family was dwindling already... and they are only 2, 4, 5 & 7. What? I'm going to teach them this year, so we can explore, go on field trips, read aloud, and spend time together. I want to teach them at this young age so if they don't get the math problem I can run to the kitchen to grab something hands on, so I can see their eyes light up when they do get it. So, when Gabriel receives his First Communion this year I will have had every moment to do what a parent does and form his little heart to be ready... with Eucharistic miracles, catechism and having more available time for daily Mass and visits to Jesus in the Eucharist.
What else do we waste our time on? Probably media. Probably trying to keep things at our own expectation levels. Probably trying to impress someone else.
What should we spend our time on? A very wise holy woman once told me, "You are a woman of the Kingdom. Wake up in the morning, set your timer for 10 minutes and lay yourself before Our Lord. He needs all of you for 10 minutes. Don't read, don't write... just be with Him for 10 whole minutes. Talk to him as a friend, a best friend. And when the timer goes off, go about your day... you must still care for that beautiful family, but look, you have put Him first, and all is well."
We need to spend our time on Him. I would struggle to drag Evelyn to the chapel most days that I would drop the boys at school last year... but whether loud or quiet, whether she allowed me to stay 30 seconds or 10 minutes, I would bring her, I would genuflect, I would tell her, "Say hello to Jesus. Blow him a kiss. Tell him you love him." I had yet to see the fruits of it until last week we were at my in laws house and a beautiful crucifix in their dining room caught Evelyn's eye... She hopped quickly down from the table, ran to Him, genuflected, attempted to do the sign of the cross and then she proceeded to look up to Him and sing the Hail Mary. Just. Beautiful.
Every day I am trying to look at my time. I think about all I could be doing to make our home cleaner. All I could be doing to live up to someone else's standards. All my kids could be doing to keep up with the other kids. We have to choose the better part... and we need to ask Him in prayer what that is for us personally. It's always clear, but do we say yes?