Time. In some ways it is the great equalizer. No matter what we have or lack of other resources, we all have the same amount of time each day—24 hours. Yet for most of us, it seems there is rarely enough. 

Never have I felt this more viscerally than in motherhood. I used to crave time to be outside, to exercise, to relax, to have long, lingering conversations with friends (and I still do!), but now I also long to sit still for just a moment without being needed, to eat when I’m hungry, to take a shower without little fists pounding on the door and big tears being shed. I long for time to sleep—that magical cycle of shallow, deep and REM that remakes our brains and bodies each night. You never know just how much you need sleep until you find it impossible or elusive!

So what does it look like to surrender my time to the Lord? Especially when I feel like it is already such a scarce resource? Those precious moments I do get I find myself hoarding and shielding, as if any minute or an hour free from the responsibilities of motherhood or homemaking is mine. Lately, I have been convicted that this is a kind of greed. I have been holding on so tight to any margin in my days, but slowly and gently God is beginning to loosen my grip. This Lent, He is calling me to have open palms. I want to hold each 24 hours I am given up to Him in a posture of surrender, trusting that He is the one who calls the weary and heavy-laden and promises a deeper rest than the world could ever give.

Surrendering our time to the Lord does not mean becoming harried and bedraggled chasing every opportunity for worship, service or—heaven forbid!—simply busyness. We all have limits. We have responsibilities. We need breaks. And He knows this! He made us, with all of our human limitations. Giving our time to God simply means being willing to say yes, even when it comes at a cost to us. It means considering our time to be a resource that ultimately belongs to Him. It means receiving space for rest and play with gratitude, while also giving generously of our spare minutes and hours, even when we’d rather not.

For me, it looks like turning off Netflix and opening my prayer journal during Luke’s nap. It looks like taking a meal to another family, when feeding my own keeps me plenty busy. It looks like volunteering to help with childcare for a local outreach when my own child will already be in his bed. It looks like using a rare morning home alone to write a reflection on giving time to God. 

What does it look like for you?

Hannah Recinella