Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Taking Time, Making Time: Reflections on Time Guest Post Series

Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."  
How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.
A guest post by Jody Collins:

"I don't have enough time."
"I don't have time for that."
"I'm out of time."
"This is not a good time for me."

Anyone else use statements like that?

For the last few months I've had a default conversational setting, "You think you're swamped? Well, top this."

The holiday season adds to the intensity...time is a precious, precious commodity.

My 'can you top this?' frame of mind was due to the demands of a new job with a very steep learning curve.  It had been consuming not only my days but my nights and weekends, too.

There was no time for anything extra, something had to go...a LOT of things had to go. 
· I unvolunteered from singing on our church Worship Team on Sundays.
· I took a Sabattical from our Home Group.
· Told our Children's Pastor I could only serve two out of the three months I signed up for.
· Backed out of a Christian ministry conference I was invested in.
It's funny how you can make time for what you think is important.
Not easy. Not convenient, but do able.
And life-changing.
Even in the middle of the too muchness of my life I was committed once a month to going to the Seattle nursing home with our blessed friends Richard and Susan. (below)
Why? Because I knew the investment of my time and energy would be multiplied ten times over.  I always came away more filled up and blessed than when I came.

As if the giving out somehow filled me up.

Because it does.

Instead of worshipping up front with the electric guitars and super sound system at church, I was standing next to Susan at the piano, a cappella-ing to the old hymns with the old folks.
Instead of teaching the kindergarteners about Jesus, I sat and listened to my precious husband share his 15 minute sermonette while Desi 'amened' him and finished his Bible verses--from his hospital gurney.

Desi could light up the whole room, especially when he laughed. 

Three Sundays a month, the residents come--in their wheelchairs or with walkers, with working voices or no voice at all, trusting someone will speak words of life to them and lift their spirits. They revel in the familiar, old gospel tunes.  They light up when we stop to say, "I see you. You're valuable in God's eyes." 

Sometimes we turn pages in the hymnal, sometimes we pray, sometimes we just listen.

And it is never time wasted.  It is time with a dividend of joy that fills me to the brim and makes me glad I came.

I'm so grateful for God's economy that says when you give life away, when you take time for the lesser loved and little knowns, for what matters to me, you will leave more blessed than when you came."

There is always time for that.

There is so much for which we can give thanks
But the real joy comes in the giving

Who is Jody Collins?  I've known Jesus since I was 19 and got dragged to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California,back in the 70's. My husband and I have been married 40 years and currently live near Seattle where we worship at this Foursquare Church. By day I'm an elementary teacher and in my spare time I get to bless my 5 grandkids and pour into the lives of their parents, who thankfully aren't more than 3 hours away.  If I lived during the times of Emily Dickinson.....I'd be just like her--hidden away in my garret with my books and paper and pens.  Writing is like breathing for me--necessary for life."  I blog at Three Way Light.

Linking with  Michele and Women to Women today.


  1. Jody, I loved this. The things you let go are the things most Christians see as ministry. What? She doesn't want to sing with the worship team? She doesn't want to help lead a Christian conference??? And yet, what you are doing is so meaningful, so worshipful. It seems less visible, less glamorous, and yet so needed and done in such love. It makes me think of Mother Teresa's idea of doing small things with big love.

  2. Gaby, you are so right. It takes so little to bring a smile to their faces--just a 'hello, I see you' blesses them. Thanks for reading.

  3. I think you made great use of your time, Jody.


  4. I love this! God bless you all!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement and stopping by. God bless you, too.

  5. Calvary chapel with Chuck Smith as Pastor? He was so good. A great teacher and leader.

  6. You always inspire me, Jody. This time it was your valuable reminder (especially as we enter the Christmas season) : "The real joy comes in the giving." And not just presents, but kindness, thoughtfulness, and time. What can I give to those around me, to those the Spirit brings to mind? He always augments and multiplies the effort, and--you're right--the dividend of joy fills us to the brim. Thank you, Jody!


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