Since it’s September, most everyone I know has gone back to school. Undoubtedly, we are all relearning routines and rhythms that have been forgotten over the summer. As we find more ways to fill our schedules, we are also learning how to be better stewards of the time God has given us.
T: Treasure it. When I was a new parent, people always told me to treasure the time I had with my littles because before Melissa and I knew it, they would be grown, and they weren’t kidding! We now have one in college and two in their last years of high school. Before long, they’ll be off to start families of their own. In the meantime, we’re going to continue to treasure the time we have together under the same roof. We try to set aside time each day (at least 4 or 5 times a week, even with busy schedules) to make sure we all sit down together for supper. Eating with your kids is a great way to continue to build relationships, help them unplug from their screens, and slow down for just a moment to savor time spent together. If you family life is getting too busy to sit down for supper, or devotions, or time together each day—it’s time to review the schedule. You will not regret spending time together as a family. The returns are well worth the investment, and you get to be known by your kids’ friends as that weird family that eats together. There are definitely worse things!
I: Identify it. Help your kids recognize how they use their time and how manage it well. Set aside time for homework. Worship life also takes time. Be sure your kids know that this time is important to you—and to them. When they are missing church/Sunday School/youth group/etc., the things that are filling that time are given greater importance. Help them to see that you have identified certain times during the week that are non-negotiable—and help them stick to it. It might mean missing out on something, but it might also mean gaining something greater as they immerse themselves in God’s Word and in celebrating His gifts together with their church family.
M: Make it. When your kid asks you to go outside and kick the soccer ball or toss a football or walk to the pool or play, do it! Obviously, we can’t always go outside and play, but our kids are begging to spend time with us, and we’ll never get it back. This is no guilt trip—I’m the first to admit that I’ve often said, “not now, I’m busy”. In hindsight, I would love those moments back to spend watching tiny legs play and listening to little lungs powering giggles of joy. What I’ve learned by those missed opportunities is that life stays busy and there is always one more thing to do, but it can all wait while you and your kids make memories together.
E: Elevate it. No, I don’t mean drive to Colorado, although time spent in the mountains is usually time well-spent. I mean remember that the time we’ve been given with our kids is a gift from God. We give it all back to Him because it’s His. Remind your kids that their time and your time is God’s and then take pray together and give God some time as you thank Him for his good gift of time. Kids are grown? Don’t have any? That’s okay. God’s time is always the right time. Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, uncle, or whatever the case may be, God has blessed you with the gift of time—take a second (see what I did there?) and give Jesus a shoutout as He blesses your life with time.
In Him who is In All Things,