Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We Can't Make Time But We Can Take It

How many of you have the best of intentions to get things done (and done right) at the start of your day, and then something happens?  Things don't go as planned.  One simple, unexpected thing can send you in a tailspin.  Before you know it, the best of your intentions are thrown right out the window, along with your sanity.  And even though the game changer can be something little, the impact somehow becomes huge for the rest of your day.  Whatever it is, you suddenly feel like your day has gone to a certain bad kind of hand basket, if you know what I mean.  I hate when that happens!!  Does this ever happen to you?

That's exactly what happened to me yesterday.  The plan was toddler takes a nap in his new big boy bed = quiet time for this mom to get a quick shower, fold some laundry, do some blogging, return a few phone calls, and regroup before the big brothers come home from school.  Ambitious for two hours, I know.  Well, my plan was quickly shoved out the window by a toddler who spent nap time wiggling his little diapered caboose out of bed as fast as I could put him in and cover him up.  After what felt like the 100th time of putting him back in the bed, I have to be honest. My precious brown eyed little miracle was testing my patience and messing with my blood pressure.  I followed The Supernanny's bedtime advice with the best of intentions.  You know, I was determined to show him who was boss, my will against his, and I found myself getting more frustrated and agitated by the minute.

The day was downhill from there.  Two hours later I gave up on the toddler sleeping possibility.  If he wasn't going to nap, I'd show him.  So, out of determination to smell better for my husband when he returned home from work and for the safety of my sleep deprived, whiny, door opening toddler, I decided to put up a baby gate at the entrance to his room.  Then I ran to take a shower.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I returned from my shower to find (brace yourself) he had pooped in his diaper, reached in and grabbed a chunk of his own stinky stuff, and smeared it all over the baby gate and adjacent door frame.  As if that wasn't bad enough, he then picked up a bucket full of toys and one by one with his dirty hands, my little stinker (no pun intended), hurled his toys through his open door, over the banister, crashing them into the foyer below.  A second later the big brothers walked through the door ready to do homework and eat a snack.  And did I mention, I needed to start cooking dinner?

So like I was saying, the smallest thing can be a game changer, having huge impact and throwing good intentions out the window.  It might be a broken copy machine or a computer crash, a phone call or irritating conversation, a canceled appointment, a traffic jam, bad weather, one task takes longer than you anticipated.  There's no telling.  Think about it.  On any given day, there are tons of unexpected little somethings hiding and waiting to poo-poo all over your plans, your best intentions, and your clear thinking...leaving you with a messy day.

It's all the possible little somethings and Jesus' words in John 14 that convince me to give the FiRST part of every day to God, and for good reasons.

1.  Giving God the FiRST part of my morning means I am guaranteeing him room in my day. Pastors Greg Surratt and Josh Surratt of Seacoast Church poignantly point out in Make Room: Creating Space for God, "It doesn't matter what we say is important to us if we don't make room for it.  What we make room for is what is really important to us."  God is getting priority when we spend time with him before we do anything else, leaving less room for little somethings to get in the way of our good intentions.  Jesus tells us himself in John 14:6,

"I am the way and the truth and the life."
Who doesn't want "the life" grounded in truth?  Why wouldn't we?  And if I am not spending time with God first, I certainly don't want to take a chance that I am going the wrong way, grounded in lies and death.  Yuck!!


2.  Giving God the FiRST part of the day connects us to the daily resource and companion we have in the Holy Spirit.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14: 16-18)
If we can't see the Holy Spirit, and the world we enter when we leave our homes doesn't always know him, we could possibly go through an entire day, week, month, or year without this perfect, personal GPS system we have in God.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather get my directions FiRST before I get lost, and just maybe I won't make as many wrong turns along the way.

3. Giving God the FiRST part of our day means our hearts are open to hear God's speaking to us, and we can let him work through us.  Then, we are equipped to put our faith into action.  Pastor Greg Surratt puts it this way, "We CAN'T make God move, but we CAN make room for God to move (Make Room: Creating Space for God to Work)." Why is that important, you wonder?

Put yourself in Philip's shoes. Jesus tells him AND you,
“Don’t you know me, Philip [put your name here]  even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?  The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:9-12)
Did you hear that?  If we give God room, he is going to show up.  AND Jesus tells us our works will be evidence of God's presence in our lives.  In fact, Jesus says, we can do even greater works through Christ than the ones we know about because he died for us.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss out on that!

Taking time for God FiRST suggests that i am not large and in charge.  For me, that means i start my day by inviting God to have a cup of coffee with me in my pjs before i do anything else.  Apart from my bad morning breath, it also means that even on the messiest of days, i can be thankful that God is working it for good in his purpose perfect plan (
Romans 8:28). What does taking time for God FiRST mean for you?  For sure, we will have better days than we could ever have on our own, better weeks, better months, better years, better lives when we do!
A prayer for today-

Heavenly Father,
i thank you for always showing up when i take time to be with you.  i thank you for your purpose perfect plans for my life and all the ways you reveal yourself to me each day.  i pray you will give me the open heart i need at the start of each day to hear your Holy Spirit and do your work in the world.  May i glorify you and bless others in all that i do, recognizing my constant need for you.
In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, I pray,

Love and blessings,
PS.  I love hearing your thoughts on what you read and how faith and life are going for you!  Please, please, please feel free to share the blog with others.  I share my story so some good might come out of it!  Thanks so much for reading.  You are the reason I write. :)


  1. You are inspiring me to get back to my morning quiet time routine. I was once so dedicated about it, and spending that quality time with God definitely showed in my days - crazy as they can sometimes be! I felt quite connected to the Holy Spirit, in a special way. I've gotten out of the regular habit since our mornings start so much earlier now (with one in public school) and I miss it. Thanks for the motivation!

    1. I know. Early mornings just get earlier these days. I do love having quiet time though with the rest of the house asleep!