What God Gave Me Time For


Me and my youngest baby right after she was born. That was one of the happiest days of my life. 


I struggle with parenting. Always have, probably always will.

I love being a mother. I’ve wanted to have kids since before I could remember.

But with parenting has come a constant inner battle. I am always fighting for more time.

It’s taken me more than a decade as a mother to discover that I need time for myself or else I will never be happy. Time to cultivate my talents. Time to read an occasional novel. Time to take a step back from parenting and a step toward who I am when I don’t have kids underfoot.

I don’t do it a lot, but I have started finding time for myself. It has been nice, even if it is minimal.

But finding time for myself is different than making my time matter.

I still fight with myself about wasting away not making an impact on this world.

I haven’t published a best-selling youth novel. I haven’t written a Pulitzer-Prize winning news story. I haven’t had my blog featured nationally and I doubt I’ll ever be a famous portrait photographer.

I want to learn and study more. I want to get another degree. I want to learn more languages.

There are so many things to do and learn and see.

And so little time.

When I think about all the things I could be doing certain questions arise.

Questions like:

Am I important? Does what I do day-to-day really matter?

I was thinking about those questions when my mother-in-law gave me an article about time.

The article mentions a non-LDS Christian Blogger. The blogger – a mother of five – comments of time and parenting. She is quoted in the July 2016 LDS Visiting Teaching Message.

“… Children rank way below college,” She wrote. “Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it’s is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for. “

When I read that last line it struck me.

“…what God gave you time for.”

God gave me time to be with my children. That is the most important thing for me. That is what I have always wanted. Why do I discredit its importance?

Realizing that my Heavenly Father doesn’t care what impact I make outside the home, but that he gave me all the time I have to make an impact inside the home, has changed my perspective.

I don’t have time or money to travel the world like I want to. I can’t go buy gelato at 10 p.m. on a whim.

I barely have the energy to keep my house from looking like a hurricane struck so forget about running outside or hitting the gym.

And all of that is all right.

Everyone has different dreams and goals. My goal was to be a wife and a mother.

I may never become famous. I may never visit the far corners of the earth.

But I am doing what makes me happy – I don’t need to reach for a life that is beyond me.

That’s not what God gave me time for.

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