I remember the stress and frustration clearly.
Baby number five was a few months old and the stress scales began to tip. My mental to-do list and want-to-do list far surpassed the hours on the clock.
I climbed into the shower, wishing fervently that no child would notice I had escaped for a much needed respite from the dirt — physical and metaphorical — of motherhood.
I prayed in earnest,
“Oh Lord! I just need more time. If only I had time, I could do so much!”
That might have been my first heart-wrenching plea for more minutes in my hour, but it was far from the last.
“If only I had more time!”
My dreamer idealist heart screams at the universe for its ritualistic passage of the minutes, hours, days, months, and years.
“Oh that box of photos? I have been meaning to deal with those. I just haven’t had the time.”
“Sitting down and reading with the little ones is so important; I just wish there was time for it.”
“I really wanted to take that family a meal, but I ran out of time.”
“Those books that have been brewing in my heart for so long would be written if only I had more time.”
And then the self-sympathy tries to help.
“There will be more time later.”
“When the kids are older, you will write.”
“If you get more rest, you’ll have the time to do that tomorrow.”
“If you could just structure your time better, think of all you could accomplish!”
I then pick myself up, feeling encouraged and hopeful that the time that always seems to be missing will be found somewhere with the missing socks and pens.
But the frustration quickly finds it’s way to its usual place, and back on the carousel I go.
My eyes fall to wise words, words from a woman who all too well knows the pressures of motherhood, suffering, servanthood, and ministry.
Frustration is not the will of God. Of that we can be quite certain. There is time to do anything and everything that God wants us to do. Obedience fits smoothly into His given framework.
Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline | The Glad Surrender
Time. To. Do. Anything. And everything.
Impossible, I think. Save for the caveat:
“…that God wants us to do.”
And there it is: the key to unleashing the frustration and endless chasing after minutes.
We have the time; we must pray for the discernment.