I’m not sure when I first heard it. It could have been when I was a child, or as a teenager, or even as an adult. The timing of when I heard the words does not make a difference, but the phrase and its meaning does. Somewhere along the timeline of my life, I began to hear the words, “Use your time wisely.” It honestly sounds like something my dad would have said. Those four words made their appearance again recently as I reflected on these last six months of coronavirus living.

As the days stretched into nights and then again into more days and nights, I found myself either completely motivated or disinterested in what the new day might bring. It was if I had energy available when I desired it most and looked forward to the new normal. I also found the opposite was true when the thought of the same old routine was my only focus.

How have your days looked the last six months? Are you using your time wisely?

The First Month

“I’ve got this” was my first thought when the governor of my state signed the first “stay-at-home” order back in March. I embraced the challenge head-on and believed that the shut down would only last a few weeks. Two weeks into the isolation was about all I could handle.

Motivation pulled me forward in the beginning and I accomplished a lot as each day ran into the next. Just as quickly as my motivation took hold it seemed to dissipate as I found myself wandering around the house, somewhat in a daze. The idea of using my time wisely became foreign to me and I slid into survival mode.

I learned quickly that as much as I like my “alone” time I thrive best when I see my family frequently. Alone took on a whole new meaning when the closest I got to my family was via FaceTime.

The other lesson during the first month of the shelter in place revolved around the idea of “If I only had more time.” For years, that was my heart’s desire. Now that I had the time I learned I didn’t like the conditions that came with it.

Months Two, Three, and Four

There is something about the middle that allows me to press pause in my thinking and try to understand the “why” that comes with the in-between place. It doesn’t usually happen in the actual middle space, but later as I wonder how I made it through to the other side.

Months two and three were flat out hard as I whined and pressed hard against the “new normal.” In fact, I wrote about it HERE but in my act of defiance, I called it the “new different.” Normal is a misnomer that precedes our belief that somehow we will return to our status quo lives.

When I finally got over myself, I learned that wasting time was never part of God’s plan. It was during this middle period that I finished writing my Advent book and put all of the finishing details into place. I found joy in writing, but more importantly, I rediscovered that God is faithful.

Months Five and Six

These last two months have been my favorites. In a world that continues to spin out of control, it feels good to find some rhythms that are more familiar than not. I wrote about August HERE and together we shared some musings. Now that we are reaching the halfway point in September, I am claiming more hope and contentment than in any other month this year.

I have set up some routines that feel right and keep me focused throughout the day. I am learning that when God gave me the word “steward” as my one word for 2020, He wanted me to focus on the stewardship of time even more so than financial stewardship.

Hear me when I say that life is very different now. We are forging a new path and a new way of living. The normal we knew is not going to exist in the same form as we move forward. But contentment is possible and hope never leaves when you trust that God is in control.

The fear of the Lord leads to life;

    then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23

The normal we knew is not going to exist in the same form as we move forward. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet

Takeaways

Answering the question, “Are you using your time wisely?” is an individual response based on your circumstances and God’s leading in your life. As I outlined this post and reflected on the last six months, I learned that we are unique and how we face challenges is our story to tell. Here are my biggest takeaways:

I was never alone even though I physically craved in-person connection.

I love beginning my days slowly. Coffee and God time is the best way to go especially when it is not hurried.

Pushing against the circumstances that life presents you with eventually leads you to push away from God. It is not easier and in the long run you will find yourself farther away from where you want to be.

The world is loud, but I continue to seek quiet. That looks like not listening to the news and scrolling through social media (especially Facebook) sparingly.

Hope is a person and His name is Jesus. Contentment follows on the heels of hope when you recognize that God has never left your side.

Here’s to finishing 2020 with hope and contentment. May you seek God’s peace daily and know that He never stops working with you and for you.

Blessings,

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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