Saturday, January 23, 2016

time costs something

It's been 23 days into my fast. (Here's where you can see what led me here.)

It's hard to put into words exactly all that is happening inside of me. I have had a sense of freedom cutting off the outside voices. I'm still in awe how freeing that is. Can you imagine the moments of never having a negative word influencing you? It really has done a wonder in my heart.

If I had one word for these last 23 days it would be - INCREDIBLE! I'm not exaggerating. I really had no idea how much FB (and other things) was draining me. The hardest times have actually been during the day when I'm nursing the baby. It was the "go-to" when I was just sitting there feeding her. But other than that, I HAVEN"T MISSED IT ONE BIT. I actually think its going to be more difficult to return. I took the app off my phone and don't plan on putting it back on. I kept messenger. I think the fact that I have to log in to my computer to view it keeps its frequency more manageable. I don't have a lot of breathing room with that since I'm rarely sitting down as it is. Truth is, time is something I can never get back. Do I really want to give that precious gift to Facebook? No, I don't. If I watch a movie every night, that's 14 hours a week, 60 hours a month, 730 hours a year! Think of that in light of ANY screen time: television, video games, social media. It's SO EASY to waste precious time I can not get back. I'm not saying its bad, but what I am admitting to is that I am not treating my time with honor. Remember when Paul said "all things are permissible, BUT not all things are beneficial"? (1 Cor. 10:23) I have to choose which side of the fence I want to tred. Do I give up my time just because I can, or could I honor it and invest it into things that will ultimately benefit me? Think about it. What if I treated time like I treat my money? Do I just toss a $1 here, a $1 there? Most investors want a return on what they've invested. Do we treat time in the same way? It has come to my attention that if I truly want to be lead by the Holy Spirit in ALL things, in all areas of my life, I must also be willing to surrender my time. If I want to reap those things of the Spirit, my time should be invested into it. That doesn't mean I'll never watch a movie anymore, but when I do, I will feel led. I would have put thought into it. I won't give my time without actually considering if that is the best choice right now. Simply - I am choosing to be thoughtful with my time, because I have come to realize it is a precious commodity, even more valuable than money.

Think about this. When you reminisce on your childhood what type of memories first come to mind? For most people they first reflect on their parents, child-rearing, time spent with family, a memory of endearment, or even a sorrowful memory of an absent parent. It often reflects the exchange of time: Was dad or mom spending time with me? What was their involvement? What was their time being absorbed by? Were you the highlight of their day, or was their an absent parent who rarely was on the scene? Here's what I am getting at. There are MANY things I could give my time to apart from a screen: reading, writing, cleaning, organizing, doing household projects, laundry, and the list goes on. But ultimately what I desire my children to remember I took the time for them. I want them to look back and remember how much I took part in the moment, enjoying them, coming alive with them, and showing them that they are deserving of my time. I saw a sign the other day that said "excuse the mess, the children are making memories..." That's a hard pill for me to swallow. I had a realization that if I want my children to fill every corner of this home with imagination, creativity, memories, then having my living space look like something from a home magazine may be impossible. I have to let go, and let God be the very breath of life in what my children are creating in this home, this home filled and centered in love. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean home. The difference is, I don't stress anymore if its clean or not. I know that love is being woven in every day life, and the memories being made have nothing to do with whether its clean or not.

The memories remembered most are the ones we spend time making.

In addition to fasting  I've also been using the "extra" time, when I'm nursing the babe, or cooking dinner (because I use to catch a movie or something on Netflix while I cooked), and getting up early to spend time with the Lord before beginning my day, I've been listening to podcasts, audio bible, and youtube teachings. I have had a drastic change in my mood, perspective, and just overall outlook on my day. I feel full of purpose. Mothering has been a breath of life, rather than feeling depleted. Everyday is a surprising joy. It's like God has breathed a strength into my day that I had not had before. And the voice of God has become unreal!!! Honestly, at times it freaks me out - a stirring and a fear of the Lord filling my heart. I am in awe of what He speaks sometimes. Yet He is also so loving towards me and tender, and its always what I need. Firm, yet endearing. Really, what I'm most reserved about is losing all this beautifully rich stuff. I've been fasting FB, movies, alcohol - all things I have grown too accustom to just giving so much of my time to, and I'm wanting to come out of the fast remaining in the same tenderness while I was in it. I feel awful admitting I didn't always spend my time wisely, because I deeply desired it to change. I came out of two very intense years. I had two babies in less than 2 years, while homeschooling for the first year, along with working through some emotional healing, while learning to maintain a massive property we had recently moved into. 2014 and 2015 were by far growing pains for me, but I trusted God through the storm. And I know (though I didn't feel it then) He was there, and He loved me through it. He waited patiently for me to return to my First Love, to seek Him FIRST, and ALL things shall be added to me.

I am addicted to God. I think about all the things that are so easy to be addicted to. But I can not help it. Once you taste of Him- of His goodness, of His tender mercies, of His unconditional love, His endearing loyalty and faithfulness. You can not look back. There is nothing sweeter - nothing better. He sees me. This has set my heart free. This reality has brought truth to my heart at a new level. I can not go back. I am forever changed.

I know the issue for me wasn't the "what", it was the "why". Social media is not evil. Its not to blame for my apathy. I was to blame for my own indifference. It was the "why"- the reason I was giving my time to other things, that gets to the "heart of the matter". I became apathetic all on my own, by simply feeding the flesh rather than the Spirit. I was feeding a spiritual hunger with an earthly addiction. It doesn't take long to realize that doesn't satisfy. And as my groaning for something deeper, desperate for a breath of fresh life, I began to seek and inquire of the Lord. I began to worship, to give my time, my thoughts, my heart to Him in all that I do. Every diaper I change, every meal I make, every dish I scrub, every article of clothing I wash, every kiss and embrace I give, every moment I take to listen to my children, I have given to the Lord as an act of loving worship.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness."
(Romans 8)

I do think forsaking something I habitually gave my time to, especially since God is jealous over that time, freed me up in a lot of ways. It gave me opportunity to yes to Him in ways I wasn't able to before. It gave me clarity on how I want to spend my time in the future- making it more purposeful. It doesn't mean I'm never going to watch a movie, or go on social media, or even have a glass of wine. It just means all I do is for Him, and I will be thoughtfully considering Him in all I do.

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