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Time & Time Again: Appreciating Time

Give me a time travel book and I'm happy as a character who finds her way back to the "right" universe timeline! But focus too much on time and find me in a pile of unable-to-move as I feel the sands slipping through my fingers. I've always loved to think about time, starting as a kid, when I would make my mind blank out with thoughts of eternity... try it, it's fun. Eterrrrnnnniiiittttyyyy. *mind blips out*

And speaking of time, this year my birthday brought me to the age that means I'm now in the decade of life my dad was in when he died. For some reason...well, actually pretty obvious reasons, this hit me in a different way than most years do. I am now Very Aware of Time. Actually, that's too tame, for a while I was more like, Freaked Out That I Couldn't Just Sit Around!!! My Days Are Numbered!! {Also, yes, I'm aware the logic in this doesn't add up. Go with me anyway...}

Focus too much on time and it slows down when a work shift is painfully not-busy, speeds up when you're, you know: HAVING SO MUCH FUN. Focus too little on time and you miss being aware of how precious the minutes are snuggling a baby, sipping a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, or relishing the plotline of a great book.

In Kelly Kapic's book You're Only Human, he describes the history of timekeeping and how it has created stress and anxiety in humanity. Travel back in time, and you'll find before it was common to have clocks surrounding us, they were only in larger cities and smaller increments of time didn't really affect the majority of people. "What did guide people was not so much the sight of time, but its sound: the monastery or parish church bells would ring, tolling the appropriate hours of the Divine Office or summoning people to

services. While sovereign kings were masters of land and politics, the church in this period was seen as the sovereign over time... The Church kept time as a way to foster a recognition of God's concern and providential care." What a beautiful way to think of time - as a remembrance to worship the Lord!

When I put my frantic feeling of time slipping away next to the idea of using time as a way to remember the Lord's sovereign care, I came up with a few practices I've put into place this year and have felt a renewed sense of peace and awareness of how I need to respect the time God has given me.

-Morning Routine: A morning routine helps me acknowledge and "mark" the start of a new day by recognizing the gift it is and how I am to appreciate that gift with self-discipline (vitamins! Bible reading! workout!) but also gratitude (prayer, coffee).

-Goal Setting: Goals - in my mind - mean moving forward with purpose. I create them for each year, each season and then break it down into each week and day. Making a small choice or moving the needle toward a bigger goal help me respect the time of each day rather than wasting days that stretch into years.

-Apps & Books: The 1 Second Everyday app stitches together a second pulled from a video on my phone from each day. I've done this one other year a while ago and if I'm honest? That year was one of hardest, worst years I've EVER experienced, but if you watch that second a day video of our year, it looks happy. Were we lying in the videos?? No! It taught me that even on the worst days, there are still spots of joy and things to be grateful for. It also commemorated God's faithfulness through a tough time, the truth was, we learned so much that year and grew in ways I would not have chosen for myself, but ended up a better person for it. A friend has Chatbooks printed for each month - a great way to memorialize time!

-A Flower a Day: I've loved doing this project that will end up being a flower a day by the end of the year. No, I don't stitch every day, but yes, I do mark time by this project... working on it in spots of time I find. Calming to me because it is a creative outlet, it also is turning out to be a beautiful reminder of how the little (days) end up making a beautiful tapestry.

-Sunset: We live in an area that is renown for its sunsets, and I have indeed found taking time to see as many sunsets as I can a helpful way to end my day with thankfulness. It reminds me of Psalm 92:1-2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to declare your faithful love in the morning and your faithfulness at night... As our friend Scott says about this verse: Anticipate His goodness in the morning and thank Him for it at night. One looks forward; the other looks back. {Yes, even if the day was terrible and filled with sadness in a fallen world, we can still acknowledge He is/will be faithful.}

-Prayer: Pray that the Lord would make you aware of time and lead you to what He has for you that day. Growing up, I heard this little poem often, and I'm thankful for the wisdom in it: Only one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.


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