I wrote this article for the Link & Visitor – a magazine published by the Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec. I thought it would be a great one to share with you at the start of 2012. Happy New Year!
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
There’s a calendar that hangs on my wall. It’s a special calendar, not like the others. The other calendars are full – one full of appointments and family commitments, another full of faith-at-home ideas and plans, an online calendar that reminds me of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and a fridge calendar full of menu plan ideas for feeding my family. But this one calendar that hangs on my wall is different. It’s totally, absolutely, completely… empty. Blank.
I printed out a year’s worth of dates by their months and taped them together to make a year-at-a-glance. A year of nothing. You might be wondering, ‘What craziness, what madness, what strange new teaching is this?’ Quite honestly, I’d had enough. I was up to here with lying down to rest at the end of each day and only feeling a melancholy passing of time. I would weigh my efforts and actions each day and constantly come up short – with myself, my wifing, my mothering, my housekeeping, my christianity – all of it. Never good enough. I was most definitely losing heart.
I would subconsciously hear the relentless tick tock, tick tock, tick tock of the time I had with this life, this marriage, this motherhood, and this sharing of the gospel. The ticking and tocking chased me to bed each night and woke me with a start each morning.
I looked in the mirror one day and took a really long look at myself. I saw what only my human eyes could see – the emergence of gray/white hairs, the increasingly more prominent wrinkles around my eyes and forehead, the waistline no longer visible after 3 big baby boys and years of neglect. Needless to say, I didn’t like what I was seeing.
Then I asked God to please, please, please show me who I was in His eyes. One by one He showed me, blessed me, overwhelmed me with the beautiful things He saw when He looked at me. The mirror faded away and it was just me and my Maker, telling me who He made me to be. The blue eyes that can’t help but see the beauty in His creation. The long hair that my husband loves and my sons once twirled as they drifted into baby-sleep, each strand that God brushes and messes at will with His wind. The wrinkles that speak of decades of play and laughter. Frown lines that tell of occasional pain that He brought me through, pain that helped me trust Him more and made me more confident in His love and care for me. The waistline that is simply part of a still-very-healthy body that has the ability to enjoy life through all kinds of movement.
Everything changed in those moments, and suddenly I knew. When I look at time, at each day I’m given through my earthly eyes, there will aways be lack. But when I gave my life to Christ I also gave Him my time. It is His, my days are His.
The ticking and tocking no longer chase me to bed, instead they lull me to sleep. They no longer wake me with a start, instead they gently rouse me to get going on a new day. I never know quite what the days will bring. They are His days. The tick tock is His way of reminding me that He’s got things for me to do. Gone are the nights full of despair or the days full of drudgery. I still have to live out the appointments, commitments, plans, meal prep and special days on my calendars, but the one that hangs blank on my wall – that calendar is for God to fill however He wants. There is freedom, life abundant and countless blessings waiting on that calendar and I trust He will show them to me in his time and in His purpose.
May I be open to all You have for me Lord, always leaving room for You in each of my days.
How To Renew Day By Day:
- Leave extra room in your calendar and ask God how He wants to fill it
- Spend time with God and just listen to Him speak to your heart
- Look for God in the simple, timeless things of life
- Give God everything that makes you lose heart