Originally published Monday, 18 March 2013.
It is often said that we should enjoy the present days for “the days are long but the years are short.” Sooner than our minds can fathom, our children will be forging their own path and we parents left with dinner for two.
During these short years full of long days, how do we make the most of our time? How do we enjoy our children, maintain our patience, and live with sanity amidst frequent requests, tiffs between children, and multiple appointments? I think an oversimplification of God’s Word will give us a formula for living as wise parents. I need this advice as much as the next mom…maybe even more so at times.
First we must breathe.
The wonderfully created human body breathes without conscious effort. This is one function that you never need to put on your to do list…or do we?
Isn’t amazing how pausing to breathe and reflect before responding to a stressful situation often helps in making our reaction calmer? At least it does mine. When anxiety, stress, and frustration meets us in our day, a few seconds for purposeful, conscious breathing helps us to follow the commands of James 1:19-20: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
During this brief moment we also provide the Holy Spirit time to remind us of verses we have meditated on and/or read earlier in the morning as we started our day in His Word.
Next, we must rest.
Yes, there are multiple opportunities for work and work is a necessary gift of God. However, rest is a neglected portion of health. God rested on the seventh day and His Word further tells us to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) With rest comes reflection and observation of the greatness of God.
Third, we must reflect and praise.
In reflection on the precious moments of our day: his giggle, her smile, that quip, those paintings, toys shared, dishes done, we remember the gifts of God. As we remember the gifts we then turn and praise God, the giver of all things both good and perfect (James 1:17).
God appreciates a thank you as much as anyone else, and He deserves it far more than anyone else.
Each new day brings the opportunity for the repetition of these steps. No day is the same, which is why we must make the most of our time, accept the forgiveness of yesterday’s trespasses, and purpose to live this day in accordance with His will. Is that a lofty aim…perhaps, but He calls us to it none the less and He is patient beyond all our understanding.
A few simple reminders to make the most of our days and live intentionally in the present to make the most of eternity.