Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wasted Time

I'm really good at wasting time. Procrastination and laziness are two sins I continually fight against. Thankfully, God has forgiven me and helped me to not procrastinate and be lazy lately. But, I have been thinking about years in my life that were wasted due to unhealthly and selfish levels of desires and wants that took my focus away from His work.

The first few years were my late teen and very early twenty years. I was out of school, unmarried, and either had jobs I hated or no job at all. I wallowed in depression, gained weight, felt miserable and generally viewed my life as worthless. Why? I wanted to get married. I was upset that I didn't marry straight out of high school and didn't have 2 children on hips and more to come.

Now, it's very beautiful and even Biblical to want to get married and have children. What's selfish is the lack of trust in God for His timing and the wasted time.

I want every young, unmarried woman to read this and fully understand that they should not waste their time. This is the PERFECT time in their lives to extend themselves spiritually, economically, socially, physically, creatively and helpfully.

This is a great time in your life to grow in the Lord and do His work. Perhaps you could enter into a ministry, be it teaching a class, helping out in nursery, volunteering at a soup kitchen, making quilts for Project Linus, etc. Many women, once married and having babies don't have time or energy for ministries other than the ministry of their family. I know many a mom who wishes she could do a ministry, but that's not God's plan for their lives right now. Motherhood is.

Economically, it's a great time to work and save money. Start a nest egg, a hope chest, and generally plan for your future financially. I wish I wasn't so stinkin' selfish and worked harder to earn and save money before I got married. I should NOT have entered into my marriage with debts. I should have entered with savings that would help keep us out of debts. Take a lesson hard learned out of my book and use your unmarried time to save up.

Socially, enjoy your friends. Go to the church picnic. Talk about the old times with the elderly. Spend some time helping out the busy mother with her child(ren). Get out among the people. I was practically a hermit during my unmarried time. Consequently, when I did meet the man I married, I clung to him so much that I nearly lost him. Get out among the people!

Physically, don't do what I did and gain weight in sleepy self-pity. This is a great time to get and keep yourself healthy and strong. Men love a woman who's feminine, yet strong. Not only does it keep you young and attractive, it'll help sustain you for when you do get married and pregnant.

Creatively, learn new skills. Work on projects. Come up with at-home business ideas in case you need to start one after marriage, or if God delays marriage in your life.

Finally, be a help at home. Give your mom a break and clean for her. (It's good practice for married life, anyway). Like I said before, help out the new mother. Be the one to stay after church to help clean up.

My other wasted time was the first 4 years of my marriage. I wasted time angrily wanting to have children and deceptively trying to get my husband to agree. I legalistically refused to work outside the home and subsequently, my at-home business failed and drove us into $6,000 in debt that we're still trying to pay off. I could have spent that time earning and saving, creating and helping, and building up rather than tearing down.

Thankfully, God has forgiven me and my husband loves me more than ever. However, like the story goes, even the removed nail (sin) leaves a mark. If I had it to do all over, I'd do it so much more differently. All I can do now is encourage other young ladies to not repeat my mistakes.

Don't waste your time.


Leigh said...

Kate you are an excouragement to me!! I have been really suffering under the weight of "what ifs" and you post just further reminded me to do my best with all that God has given me now, not wait for something to come along.


Julie said...

Oh I agree 100%, 200% even. I get a little discouraged sometimes when I think of how I wasted time before marriage and before children. Striving for things that ultimatly God wanted to give me in His time. I went into marriage really unprepared and into motherhood even less prepared.
Great post, my friend.