The gift of time.
Have you ever thought about how time, though it as no monetary value, can be one of life’s greatest values and possessions? When I think of the gift of time, I immediately think of how Jesus lived His life. He walked the streets, looking to give people His time. It wasn’t riches; it was Himself. He changed lives with who He was and who He saw people could be, by just giving them His time.
After almost 9 years of marriage and our household containing just Dan and I, you can imagine the routines we got into. The quick jump in the car and go trips. Hunger setting in and quickly whipping up a meal and sitting down to eat it. Staying out late or staying up later because you know the next night you can go to bed earlier. Those things that become part of your routine. Notice though that with a few of those examples, they are done quickly without much thought given to time.
That has been one of the greatest gifts and lessons God has taught me since Mazy came into our life – time is so much more than being quick and doing it according to my time.
God has used parenthood to change our lives in such a beautiful way. Waking up in the morning for the day, not at a consistent time, has taught me about flexibility. Creating a to-do list and realizing by noon I haven’t touched it, has actually made me feel free. It took me a day or two to feel that, but when I can look back on the day and realize that what I accomplished was loving our daughter, my heart is satisfied. It was time spent loving the very being God has created and given to us. He specifically created Mazy for Dan and I to raise. What a humbling opportunity.
It is that time spent with her, that I never want to take for granted. Time I wish to never wish away.
And it is the gift of time from others, that has made our gift, all the sweeter. The past 4 weeks have looked nothing like I expected them to circumstance-wise, but they are more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I never imagined the outpouring of love that we would receive. The help that has been offered. The countless cards and words of encouragement.
The blessing of community.
We are privileged to live in a community where the family of God is incredibly strong. All one has to do is walk down the street and either you will be waived at by those passing by, stopped mid-step to talk to the person in their yard, or send a smile across the road to those walking on the other side. And the bond and care goes much deeper. We have the blessing of going to two churches. With that, has come an outpouring of love onto our little family. That gift of time that people have given, has changed our lives.
The gift of time when it comes to the hands who have made us a meal. Our freezer downstairs speaks volumes to the gift of time that people have given us. Each meal that we have eaten and warmed up in our home, has been created and made by hands who had taken time out of their OWN day, to bless someone else. I can’t even begin to tell you, how much meals made have blessed us! I honestly thought I would have just a window of time each day to make something, but so far, not so much. And that is where the gift of a meal, has allowed us to give our daughter the gift of time spent with her, instead of worrying about a meal.
The gift of time to send a card, email, or make a phone call. I am a lover of snail mail. Always have been. I do email quite often, but I still love to send the occasional letter or card via the mail. The time that people have taken to write a little note of encouragement, the time people have taken to let us know that they are praying for us, and the time people have taken to send us a little message, is time that has blessed us richly. No matter how the day unfolded, we were uplifted with the gift of love through messages. Especially when I was under the weather, the outpouring of messages blessed us richly, as it increased our belief that yes, God can heal. Which leads me to the next…
The gift of time when praying. This is one that is the most humbling. It is the gift that no one really knows about. It is that gift done in secret. It is the gift that increased our faith. When we first thought that I needed to have another open heart surgery sooner rather than later, it was others belief that God can heal, that increased our belief that God would heal. And look at where we are now! In 6 months, reevaluating, but for now, just hanging tight, not needing to worry about it. The gift of time spent in prayer on behalf of someone else, brings tears to my eyes, that people would choose to think of us. As Christians, I think the beauty of prayer is what draws us nearest to God. It’s that time spent with our Savior in the quiet moments of the day. But then when a prayer is being sent up on behalf of someone else, I can’t even tell you how much of a gift that is. Truly humbling.
The gift of time in conversation. I can be a talker (just ask anyone who knows me). Even though I do not always struggle to find words, it is in asking how I am doing, where I do. Being completely honest with someone about how I am really feeling, is difficult for me. Sad, really. But over the past 4 weeks, I have been blessed with the gift of time people have given me, to ask me how I am really doing. It has stretched my faith and stretched myself, as I have to choose to be honest each time. But that has been such a gift. Just asking how we are doing, is a gift of time that I am learning to not take for granted!
The gift of time so that we have time. The number of hands that have held Mazy so that Dan and I could reconnect, get a break, or take a deep breath, has brought me to tears. The offers to come and just hold Mazy so that I could either take a nap or get some things done around the home, is a gift that has given more than those people realize. The offers to babysit while I run errands or go to an appointment, have blessed this mother beyond words. The offers to be the hands and feet of Jesus, has been a gift that has given beyond the action itself.
The gift of time in the giving of gifts. Material possessions fade, but it is the love in which they are given, that only grows. If you walk into Mazy’s nursery, it is a testimony to the gift of time that people have taken to choose something for her. To bless our family. To help us obtain all that is needed to raise a child. I remember thinking at one point that if she was born, we would have to go and buy clothes because we did not have really anything. Now I look into her closet, and now we have a choice of what to put on her. We have been SO BLESSED by the gifts that people have given! To know that someone took the time to drive to the store, find something that they enjoyed, purchased it with their own money, wrapped it, dropped it off, all for little Mazy, is again, humbling. We cannot thank everyone enough for the gifts they have given us! We had NO clue how much we needed to raise a child, but boy is there a lot that is needed! Wowzas! Yet God has provided all that we have needed.
You see, the gift of time goes much deeper than we often think. In this new season of life, we have learned much about what it means to give the gift of time in different ways. We have been blessed by our family, friends, and community, who have chosen to give us this gift. We cannot thank you enough.
Who can you bless this week, with the gift of time? Having been a recipient of the many ways you can give, I will say that it is one of the most treasured gifts!