In Which I Have No Answer (Freedom and Grace)

thousand years

Lately, a day is but a breath to me–here for an instant but gone the next. Not surprisingly, not much gets accomplished in that breath. I’m left frustrated and feeling inadequate.

It hasn’t always been like that. 23 years ago when I said “I do” my life stretched endlessly in front of me. It appeared I had all the time in the world.

When our children were little, I sometimes wondered if a day would ever end.

Something happened between then and now. Last time I checked, a day was still 24 hours. So why do those hours seem inadequate now when they were plentiful then?

Here are several possible reasons. Maybe you can find yourself in one or more of these:

  1. I expect more. As a newlywed and a young mother, my life revolved solely around serving my husband and nurturing my children. That was a huge job, but it had definition. I knew what that looked like. As my children become increasingly independent and begin lives of their own, I feel pressure to do and become more.  However, that “more” is fuzzy. Hours are spent just figuring out what these expectations look like. One day bleeds into the next without an answer.
  2. I feel more urgency. Friends, let’s be honest, we are all getting older. When young we feel we have our whole lives ahead of us. As we age, we begin to see our mortality. With that acknowledgement comes pressure to accomplish a certain amount (at least for me it does). In my fleshly thinking, I feel I must complete my tasks before God takes me Home.  
  3. God is more important to me. This is crazy, but as I grow in my faith, I expect more of myself: becoming a better servant, a more “present” wife and mother, a greater encourager, a more dedicated follower, and a wiser leader. I try to be everything for everyone. 

I cringe as I type #3.

As I crowd my schedule to meet that bucket list of expectations, I crowd out the One I’m doing it for.

When we strive so hard to be a better Christian, we leave little room for Christ to work. 

When we strive so hard to be a better Christian, we leave little room for Christ to work. Click To Tweet

No wonder I’m left frustrated and confused at the end of each day.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. I know what I need to say, and in some ways what I need to do: I need to re-prioritize my day, centering it on Jesus Christ, letting Him accomplish through me.

Saying it is easy (okay, writing it is easier). Knowing what that should look like is much harder.

Generally good things fill my bucket list. They are tasks God would approve of, and in some cases, ones I feel He has called me to. This doesn’t allow for an easy, practical answer.

So, I won’t try to give one—except to say never think a day is wasted, even if you’re certain it is. After all, each day is the Lord’s, and He wastes nothing. 

Never think a day is wasted, even if you're certain it is. After all, each day is the Lord's, and He wastes nothing. Click To Tweet

Instead, as your day zips by, look for that one takeaway point of wisdom. Even unproductive days have one.

And as we learn to quit striving, we can rest in the freedom of the grace found in Christ.

“Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed they pass quickly and we fly away.  … Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (Psalm 90: 10, 12).

Reflections: Do your days fly by as quickly as mine? Do you have any practical suggestions to share about how to number our days carefully? 

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “In Which I Have No Answer (Freedom and Grace)
  1. Julie says:

    Days and years do fly by and my heart’s cry is the same as yours–to love Him more dearly. But there is a daily-ness to the living, the “planting of Luther’s apple tree” that says I will trust Him to do his good work in my heart and in the world until I see Him face to face. And in the long view, indeed all of our days are bound up together to bring a story of His goodness and grace. Thank you for your sweet honesty–I live right where you do!

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