Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Buying Time

It has been way too long since I wrote an entry on this blog. Life, motherhood, school, and just general cranial disorganization has contributed to a serious lack of content. We recently moved into our new flat, and the craziness of it all has left me thinking about how I can manage to cram all the things I need to do into a day. At the end of the day, I often feel like the "to do" list has only grown longer. Those same days are typically ones filled with the frustrations of trying to teach two toddlers to grow into godly children despite their being the seeds of the Fall just like their parents and all the time that is consumed trying to keep a house cleaned, laundered, and fed in the South Asian context where neither electricity or water are particularly dependable. I have been challenged by the thought of how one, whether overseas worker or person living at home, buys more time. How do you carve time away from other less important things to place that oh-so-valuable time where it really belongs? We know that time is precious, but how do we get more?

In those few moments I have to just be quiet at the start and close of the day, I have been reading a book called One Thousand Gifts about a woman's journey to transforming her life from one of ingratitude and dissatisfaction to one of thanksgiving and joy. Eucharisteo. She commented in the book of the difficulty of taking time to say thank you when she had so little time to begin with. In giving thanks for all the little things throughout a day, from the warm smiles of her children playing outside to the curls of cheese she piled on a pizza, she began to feel a sense of having more time, similar to when Jesus gave thanks before feeding the crowds--that thanks took a little and made a lot. Essentially, this slowing of the heart and mind to recognize every gift from our Maker slowed time, gave her more, because she began to live fully in every moment. Another person in the book commented, "Wherever you are, be fully there." This week, I have been battling my scatterbrained nature to instead stop and live fully in each moment, rather than rattling off "to do" lists in my head while someone talked to me. I am learning, despite the fact that my flesh does not want to be taught, that thanksgiving has a transformative effect. Maybe it really is how we begin to buy time in this precious, short life.