I have wasted many days. Days that will never return. Days where, once the house is quiet for the night, I reflect back and wonder:
How did this day go so wrong?
Why did I do/say that?
Why didn't I do _________ when I had the opportunity?
I'm thankful that God's mercies are new every morning. I get to start again tomorrow with a clean slate that I don't deserve but that He gives me anyway. Because of the blood of Jesus He forgives and casts my sins as far as the east is from the west. But today? It's gone. And there will never be another one.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. Psalm 103: 15, 16
I don't know about you, but I want each day to count. Yet I would guess most of us struggle with, "too much to do and not enough time to do it!"
However, even when my to-do list is long and there is no way I could humanly accomplish everything on it, I still want to look well to the ways of my household, choosing not to squander the valuable minutes I have on earth and the limited moments I have to impact my children for Jesus. (Read: When Mama's To-Do List is Too Long).
But the time wasters. They are always there.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Here are five creative ways to waste your day:
1.) Don't read your Bible and don't read it to your children. And whatever you do, don't pray.
The promises of God and understanding the character of God brings peace and joy into our lives that we can then pour out onto others. But we can't believe God's promises or trust in Him if we don't know what His Word says. And we certainly can't impart truth to our family, that we don't possess ourselves.
A woman can live on junk food all of her days, but eventually, it will catch up to her and the physical body will begin to suffer. So it is with our spiritual lives. We must feast on the soul-nourishing, life-giving Words of scripture daily. If we are in a very busy season we can still read a short passage and then discipline ourselves to meditate on it.
Reading God's Word and spending time in communion with Him should be the foundation of each day we begin. It leads us to know more of our own heart and more importantly, more of the heart of Jesus.
2.) Don't smile, don't laugh and be sure to take the spilled milk very seriously.
A good temperature gauge of the relationships in our homes, is laughter. How often do you smile, laugh or find the humor in different situations that arise? (Read: Keeping a Sense of Humor in Motherhood). There are serious things that happen and corrections that have to be made very often that are not funny at all. But many times I let inconveniences or childish, immature behavior turn me into a real grouch when a little laughter could have turned the whole situation around.
3.) Pass your day sitting in front of a screen.
This can be a television screen but more likely it is an iscreen that tempts us to waste our day. If The Screen gets too much attention, it can consume our thoughts even when we are not online.
It is easy to pass a day hopping on and off the Internet making time for quasi-relationships, at the expense of real ones. We can become distracted by what is happening online, even if we're not logged on. As Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are, be all there." This can apply to mothers too, in regards to our homes.
4.) Complain a lot.
I have noticed when my attitude stinks, everyone else's does too. Our position of influence can be used to encourage and edify others in the home or it can be used to tear down the house. Do not be deceived. Words hold great power over others. If you have complainers and whiners, ask yourself first if you have been the example in that. If you complain about making dinner for instance, why would you be surprised if they complain about eating it? Complaining and discontent breeds complaining and discontent.
5.) Spend the day in a hurried frenzy.
Guilty on this one too. I can easily get so busy with household details or homeschool schedules that I don't take time to stoop down and speak quietly to little ones. I can have so many household "details" to attend to (have you seen my boys' closet?) that I don't have time to listen to that lengthy story or watch the new trick someone just perfected or sincerely encourage the heart of my children. I can easily be so worked up about a "schedule" that I don't take time to kiss my husband in a way that tells him he still makes my toenails curl and I'd marry him all over again.
I want to be faithful to the Lord in my service to my family, but many days it takes prayer and discipline not to fall prey to these time wasters.
These are a few ways that I have wasted days. What would you add to this list of time-wasters? What are some time "maximizers" you have found to be helpful? (Getting to bed early comes to mind...so I'm headed there now :)
Bambi Moore is the helpmeet to her husband of almost two decades. Together they are raising nine children, ages pre-born to 18, for the glory of God. She is also the author of More Than Rules: Exploring the Heart of Beauty and Modesty. Bambi blogs about marriage, motherhood and family discipleship at In the Nursery of the Nation. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Pinterest.