What would you do with three hours all to yourself? (Cue the "Hallelujah Chorus!)
It hardly ever happens--but yesterday I had a block of time alone. I knew for weeks that I would have this alone time, and thought a lot about how to spend it. I wanted those three precious hours to be marked with purpose and intentionality.
Would I go home and clean?
Would I go somewhere and read?
Would I sit at a coffee shop and write?
Hmmm....all valid options. I was almost overwhelmed at all the possibilities--it really only mattered that I'd make the time count. I really hadn't decided what I would do even by the time this alone time rolled around. But once those three hours began, I set about to make every moment count.
I asked the LORD to order my steps. I asked Him to lead me every moment of those three hours.
I went to Barnes & Noble first, and prayed for one of those comfy chairs to become available. It never happened--probably because I wasn't going to be there long. I grabbed a coffee and a copy of "Crazy Love" and read the first two or three chapters while standing up. But then it was almost like an alarm went off in my head: Time to go.
Next, I headed to Target to pick up a few household items that needed restocking. Doing this during my "Me" Time meant I wouldn't have to drag my kiddos out with me later, earning me a little more "Chillin'-At-Home-With-Them" Time later. While I was there, I picked up a card for my husband and his favorite Frappuccino from the Starbucks in there. On to the next thing.
I pulled up at the soccer game my husband was coaching. I wrote on the card, and then put the card and coffee drink in his car to surprise him. After a few minutes of watching the game, there was that stirring again...Time to go.
I spent the rest of the time driving and praying and worshipping and singing my heart out to Him. It was the sweetest time, really. Just a time of declaring who God is, and being so in love with Him for it.
And then it was time to go pick up my babies. I scooped them up and gave them a million kisses, rejuvenated from a few hours of solitude.
So right now I should really be asleep (Hello, 1:09am), but I keep thinking about how intentional I was about those three hours. And when it came down to it, I spent that time completely mindful of and being about the business of the three things I SAY I love the most--my God, my husband, and my children. And so there was tremendous peace in how those three hours were spent--and I truly believe the Holy Spirit led me through those hours.
But what if I was so intentional about the other hours of my life? And what if I was so quick to say, "God, lead me in the path You have carved out for me. Direct me in the way I should go"? I do this--from time to time. What would it look like to be as desperate for His leading in my day to day life as I was for those three hours?
Andy Stanley said something one Sunday morning years ago that has stuck with me all this time: "What you do with your time really matters, because your time equals your life."
It's common for people to evaluate their finances, like what investments they're making and where their money is going. Why not take the same approach to time? How do we spend our days? It just makes me see the need to go over how I spend my time with a fine-tooth comb. Where am I spending? And--every bit as importantly--where am I wasting?
At the end of those three hours, I had answers for how I had spent that time. I want the same to be true at the end of my days and the end of my life. Because at the end of it all, every last one of my minutes will have been gone--spent in one way or another.
And I'll tell you right now, I want a darn good answer for how I spent them.