When she was through, her chubby hands and face giving her smallness away were covered with a gooey chocolate layer. She’d just eaten an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, still soft and warm from the oven, in that distinct way toddlers do, not caring about proper protocol or mess-factor. Miraculously, her golden curls were spared from goo.
As I toted my little bundle off to get changed into pajamas, I saw that she desperately needed a bath. But it was too late, and this mama was tired. It had been a long day. Plus, I’d already supervised four showers just before passing out cookies. I didn’t have it in me to attend to another. My chubby, gooey girl could take a bath in the morning.
As a substitute, we settled for getting clean with the help of some wipes. I took one and she took one. We wiped and giggled as we swept the sticky stuff away. Then she began to wipe my face, not understanding that her face had been the only messy one. In that moment, of course it didn’t matter. What mattered was the freeze-frame worthy handful of seconds with my baby. Who, at that time, was the soon to be potty-trained — our family out of diapers forever baby.
And then all at once, I felt the desire to jump for joy and cry because time is fleeting.
Time. We’re consumed with time. And for good reason. It is important.
Time seems to slip away when we’re enjoying things. And at other instances, it doesn’t move fast enough. We’re always thinking in increments of time.
It’s the hurry-up and slow-down-already juggling act we love to hate. I don’t know if the pull to want time to be still or the push to want time to speed up will ever disappear from our way of thinking. I guess it’s the way we’re wired. But there is one thing I do know about time.
It’s that we’re to make the most of it.
Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12
I highly doubt that the Psalmist meant for this to mean scratching the most items off our bucket lists, or being ultra productive to get ahead.
I believe he’s talking about the sacred work we’ve been given to do. The work that is etched into our very beings — the things God had in mind for us to set our gaze toward.
How do we make the most of the time we have to do God’s work? It’s something I’m often pondering. My big family life is crazy. And it’s not because I’m doing too much. Or going too much. Or taking too much on.
My life in and of itself, no artificial ingredients added, is plain crazy. Even the craziness is part of God’s work for me. But there are other things too. Other important things.
I will never be a woman who will say that the highest calling for a woman is to be a wife and mother who stays home with her kids. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years, and just recently started working outside the home one day a week, while working some from home too. And I’m thriving in it. But that’s because I’m called to it.
You might not be. She might not be.
Our highest calling is to live in communion with God because of Jesus with His presence dwelling within us and to proclaim the Good News of the gospel. We all have vocations or callings that come second, and God gives women different roles to play to that end. It can look a million different ways.
How about we agree to get out there and thrive in that part we’ve been given to play? That’s what it looks like for you and me to be making the most of our time.