A few years ago I heard a woman speak on tithing your time to the Lord. I'll be honest, some months it is difficult for me to tithe my money to the Lord. I do it faithfully but 10% of my time? Well, that's another story. That's almost two and a half hours a day. But this particular woman gets up in the morning and offers her first fruits to the Lord. For TWO & A HALF HOURS. It's not that I couldn't spend that much time in quiet time with my Savior but I don't think it is logistically possible. Unless, of course, I wake up hours before my toddler in which case I'd be so tired I'd probably put his clothes on backward and forget that he needs his diaper changed regularly.
Nevertheless, several months ago, I talked about this in Sunday school. I didn't say that we ought to be tithing our time, I simply explained it in principle. And I talked about how, when at all possible, it should be our first fruits, not the last thing we think about before we turn the lamp off at night. Then I promptly forgot my own advice. For awhile I became the person who scurried through a few verses in between brushing my teeth and falling fast asleep.
Until about a month ago. I have begun getting up before the rest of my family. It's still dark and it's chilly and I really, really like my sleep. But I can't help but see the value in dedicating my day to the Lord. My son usually wakes up around the same time in the mornings. This is helpful. I set my alarm for 45 minutes before he typically wakes up. I've been blessed with a kid who is happy to entertain himself in his crib for awhile in the mornings so even if he wakes up before I'm done, I have no problem finishing. I spend about 20 minutes in prayer. Then I read through a chapter of the Bible. Then I go back through the chapter I just read and I pick out key verses and write these down in my prayer journal. If I still have time when all of that is said and done, I read a few pages or a chapter in one of the many nonfiction Christian books I have lying around here.
And I am loving this time. Don't get me wrong. I do not love it when the alarm goes off. In fact, I do not love it so much that last Saturday I turned it off and went back to sleep. But once I am awake, well, then I love it. Since the installation of this new way of studying my Bible I have made it through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians--one chapter at a time. I take Sundays off. Well, I mean, I don't actually take them off. Right now we get to church at 9:00 and I leave at approximately 2:45 after my rehearsal is finished. But I take them off from getting up early and having a quiet time.
I didn't know how much I would enjoy a quiet home and 45 uninterrupted minutes with the Lord. And oh how I recommend it.
Yesterday Garrett managed to get his legs stuck between the rungs of his crib. He's done this once before, when he was a tiny little guy. This time, I truly thought I was going to have to saw through the rungs to free his right leg. Or lather it with butter. Or call the fire department. He was screaming bloody murder and I was trying everything. Eventually I managed to communicate that he needed to lay on his side so that I could try it from a different angle. After painstakingly wiggling his chubby leg and making a millimeter at a time of progress, his leg popped free. And there were the biggest red marks on that poor thigh. The crying stopped and a look flickered across his face. It was a look that said, "Mommy, you are my hero. I will never disobey you ever again because you have saved my precious little life."
I intend to remind him of this for years to come.
"Garrett, you'd better listen to me. Remember that one time that I saved you from the horrible baby eating crib monster?"
And he will nod and say, "Yes, Mommy. I remember. Please accept my humble apology."
And I will. Because that's just how mother's are supposed to be.