Recently I was asked to watch a home and four kids while the parents took to the hills and spent some time with each other and the Lord.
This wasn't the first time I have gotten to be a "stand-in mommy" for a week or so, but I found myself again struck with the different seasons in life. The importance of redeeming the time.
As a young single woman, my schedule is vastly more flexible and open than if I had a home and children, and yet, somehow, it is still so easy to constantly be busy. But with what? I found myself asking, "What can I do now, that when I am married, I will have wished I had done while I had the time?" Is what I spend my time on now truly worthy of such an investment?
:: doing chores in the early mornings ::
:: bundled up children making new discoveries ::
:: lunch breaks ::
:: delightfully messy faces ::
:: random pauses to read colorful books ::
:: learning truth early ::
:: the setting sun on another dry, tranquil winter evening ::
:: baby feet ::
:: the welcoming aroma of fresh breakfasts ::
:: photo opportunities wherever I go ::
:: pancakes ::
:: bed heads ::
:: little fingers ::
:: a crackling fire kept burning all day ::
:: homework ::
All these little things I kept and "pondered in my heart." I love God's design for the home and family, but I also recognize that with that design comes much sacrifice. I was reminded of the unique opportunity we have as youth to serve others with strength, focus and availability. Our time is not less valuable because it is not called upon constantly by having our own children, meals and housework. Our time is not to be taken lightly or wasted simply because we do not have as much responsibility as a parent does. We do have a responsibility; we have been given much free time and God expects us to be wise stewards of such a gift!
What are some ways single people can be a blessing to others? Here are some practical ideas I could think of!
- Volunteer yourself to young mothers or fathers who could benefit from a helping hand with the children or work load.
- Develop musical skills to bless your local nursing homes, hospitals, orphanages and missions with music that refreshes your listeners and brings glory to the Lord.
- Be attentive to the needs of sick or hurting families and bring them meals.
- Develop your God-given interests (i.e. graphic design, photography, sewing, mechanics, painting, construction, gardening - the list is endless!) so that you play a vital, irreplaceable role in the lives of those who are blessed to know you.
- Discipline yourself to daily be in the Word and in prayer so that you are sensitive to the leading of the Spirit when in the midst of group activities.
- Memorize specific categories of Scripture that deal with certain topics that may come up in future conversations (i.e. discouragement, temptation, success, friendship, gossip, sorrow, materialism, etc.).
- Practice witnessing with a sibling so that you are prepared to be a doer of the Word next time you see an opportunity in a store or on the street.
- Be among the first to volunteer to clean up at events and parties!
- Get involved politically with candidates that support a godly vision of government.
- Set up an accountability partner that will keep you consistently growing in the knowledge of the Scriptures.
- Host a Bible study or begin discipling younger youth in your church.
- Seek out the children and invest in their lives with your time and energy.
- Visit the elderly and widows.
- Employ yourself with odd jobs for the purpose of donating your pay check to a non-profit ministry or organization.
There are so many more ways we can be using our time wisely! It is exciting to think of all the possibilities. Are any of the above activities ways that you are currently spending your time? What other ideas would you add to the list?
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
II Corinthians 9:7
Labels: DILIGENCE, SINGLENESS, STEWARDSHIP, TIME, WISDOM