I’m rereading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp as a part of my Growth Group this winter. Because I’m the leader and an over-achiever by nature, I’m trying to read the chapters of the book that are recommended by the study. This means that I needed to read chapters 4 and 5 before Monday. Wednesdays are my quiet mornings, so I sat down determined to get these chapters checked off my to-do list. It turns about that chapter 4 is all about time. It was no coincidence that I read this chapter today.
What a week this week is. I’m preparing for my largest event of the year. Our girls sleepover this weekend and the deadline to register is today. I’ve been making supply piles in the office, making shopping lists for tomorrow, doing a jigsaw puzzle of leaders and kids as I find the right spot for them. Tonight I’ll get the final numbers after church. Tomorrow I’ll do all the shopping and set up what parts of the building I can. Friday will a majority of the set-up and show time!
Let me tell you, my brain is not here in the moment. My brain is on the upcoming details. Beyond the sleepover, we’re tearing up the carpet in our home this weekend and I need to clean the bathrooms before Growth Group on Monday and I wonder what condition my house will be in when they all arrive. The next week has a lot to hold my attention.
I was drowning in thoughts and check lists when I started to read this chapter. Here are just a few quotes that derailed me this morning:
- In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear.
- I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done – yesterday.
- Wherever you are, be all there.
- It’s not the gifts that fulfill, but the holiness of the space. The God in it.
- Jesus embraces His not enough… He gives thanks… And there is more than enough. More than enough!
- Life is brief and it is fleeting but it’s not an emergency.
- Life is is dessert – too brief to hurry.
- Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.
Oh Ann! How you hit it right on! I could really quote the whole chapter! Here I am running in circles. Hurrying through life. I’m always trying to get the next thing off my t0-do list. Especially this week when the list seems long and it seems to imperative that I get everything done perfectly. No time to be human, no time to stop and take a deep breath. It seems that to slow down and live in the moment would mean the world would stop, because I’m not longer holding the weight of it all.
I don’t want to be so driven by time. I don’t want to live my life feeling like there is enough time. My favorite quote from the book is found in this chapter – I just want enough time to do my one life well. Just enough! I know that when I invite Jesus into these moments with me the world feels a little less frantic. All the expectations and hurrying isn’t from him. He never commanded me into this tizzy. I put myself there. I created the mess. It’s so sweet to remember that time is what I make of it. It can be a hurried mess or it can be simply beautiful. It’s all in my perspective and the power I give it. I don’t need more time. That’s hard for me write, but it’s true.
I want to use my time this week to bring honor and glory to God. I don’t want to use it to stress and freak out. I want to use it to smile and do things I love. I really do the love the sleepover. I want to enjoy the smiles of the girls and watch them take over the church with fun activities. I want to be able to slow down and enjoy moment, because it’s only here for such a short while. Each second I will never get back. There are no do-overs, so I might as well live this one life well.