Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wasting Time

Lately I have been reading a blog called Passionate Homemaking. If you haven't ever read it, you should check it out. The blog is written by a woman who is about my age, and has 2 young kids. She has great ideas about eating healthy, growing in your faith, strenthening your marriage, making the most of your time, and encouragement for stay at home moms. It is very encouraging and there is tons of great information!!

She also includes ideas for family reading, individual book lists for the year, ideas about having a prayer and planning retreat, making the most of your mornings, and teaching your kids at home. While all these ideas are great, I was finding it difficult to get the motivation or the time to do some more things I wanted to do. And then, God started convicting me about how I was spending my time. I did have time. The great thing about having little ones is that they do sleep!! And if I budgeted my time better, I could get some things done and still get to bed at a reasonable time, and I wasn't really doing either of those things. I would argue that once the kids went to bed, I was too tired to do anything but watch TV or go online, so therefore I couldn't get anything else done. It might be true that once the kids go to bed, I am exhausted, but spending 3 hours each night in front of the tv was definitely not a good use of my time.

I might not have the energy to deep clean my bathroom or get working on a big project, but I could certainly relax on the couch and read, spend time with God, do some planning for homeschooling, fold some laundry, read up on some parenting issues, or a host of other things.

As I was talking to Tad the other night, and talking through these convictions, I said, "It's not like at the end of my life I will look back and be glad that I watched a million hours of TV. There is not one show that is really worth the time that I spent watching it." And while we don't plan on cancelling our cable, and while I'm not saying that all TV is bad, I'm just saying that for me, I don't want to "waste my life away" sitting in front of the TV every night and not be working on other more worthwhile goals.

I long to become a better mother, to take the time to become a better wife, to establish my relationship with God and grow daily, to learn more about how to run my home and teach my children, and to be more organized so that my life can be simpler and run smoother. I realize that with all I want to accomplish, I could be spending my extra time working towards those goals, and not filling my mind with nonsense and going to bed dazed and braindead.

When I wake up in the night to nurse Judah, I want to wake up thinking about positive things, verses, things the Lord is teaching me, praying for others, and not wake up thinking about the show I was watching the previous night because it was the last thing that went into my brain before I went to sleep.

In his book, "Don't waste your life" by John Piper, he says, "Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud-just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time)..."

"No one will ever want to say to the Lord of the universe five minutes after death, I spent every night playing games and watching clean TV with my family because I loved them so much. I think the Lord will say, 'That did not make me look like a treasure in your town. You should have done something besides provide for yourself and your family. And TV, as you should have known, was not a good way to nurture your family or your own soul."

I wish I could put more on here, but it would be more practical for me to just tell you to read the book. It is so good and really drives home the point I am trying to make. As mothers, we want so many things for ourselves and our families. And in my case, I am not going to accomplish any of those things if I am wasting every single evening of every single week watching my "shows." It is a wakeup call and something I desire to cut back on, and replace with good things. Life things. God things.

"Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain."

I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that I spent $X on cable TV and wasted countless hours of precious time that my family and I could have been spending on more quality things, on things that made a difference for God.

My heart is to become a better person for God and for my family, and wasting my time by watching tons of TV is accomplishing the opposite of that. Instead of filling my mind and heart with God's glory and what He wants in my life, I am filling my mind with the world's philosophies and ideals, becoming more like the world everyday.

I hope this post challenges you and doesn't offend you. I struggle with TV more than anyone, so I'm not here to judge, but to offer what I hope to change over these next few weeks and months, by God's grace. To slowly but surely replace negative time-wasters into positive uses of my time, and to hopefully start becoming more of a disciple of Christ, and not of the world.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16

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