My time is not my own

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Sometimes, I find myself overwhelmed by my to-do list.  Housework is a neverending cycle.  I’m trying to finish up this degree I’ve invested so much in. My kids need me. My husband needs me.   And I need to be the woman God calls me to be.

Sometimes, all that stuff gets in the way of me. I’m an introvert by nature and “need” quiet time.  Read a book.  Surf the web…pinterest, Christian blogs, facebook…there are MANY things online to distract me.

I could find countless online articles right now that talk about the importance of MY time.

But, the truth is, I don’t have any time.  If I am in Christ, my life is not my own.  My time is not my own.

Philippians 2:5 tells us, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”  What mind was in Christ Jesus when it came to HIS time?  It was as in everything else—humility, always putting other people and the will of His Father above everything else.

We can find this in Mark 6:27-34.  John the Baptist was beheaded.  The disciples told Jesus about it and Jesus said, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”  The verse (31) goes on to say “For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”  They were tired, hungry and needed a rest.  They were seeking solitude.  To wind down.  As a stay-at-home mom, how often do I seek solitude, some time to wind down?  I know what I do when that solitude is interrupted.  I get frustrated.  What did Jesus do when His solitude was interrupted?

“But the multitudes…arrived before them and came together to Him” He didn’t even get a moment of solitude in this passage because there was a throng of people waiting for Him when He got there.  What did He do?  “Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them.”

Wow.  When my family interrupts what I think should be my quiet time, my solitary time, my few minutes away from everything…I get frustrated.  When Jesus was interrupted, he was moved with compassion.

In a similar instance in Mark 1:32-38, we see Jesus retreat to a solitary place to pray.  Jesus had been ministering to people the whole day.  We are told in verse 33 that the whole city was gathered together at the door, and He healed many.  The next morning he woke up extra early to pray in solitude.  Jesus had a very busy day.  He was looking to refresh Himself!  How many times do I feel like I’ve had a busy day and deserve the right to refresh myself with some quiet time?

But, Simon and others came looking for Jesus and said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

The life of a mom means that there is always someone looking for us, someone needing something.  And I get frustrated. I want to be able to read my Bible, fold the laundry, even do chores without interruption, and a little time to wind down at the end of the day.  Jesus could have said the same thing…Just give me a few minutes to pray in peace, people!  Leave me alone.  But, he didn’t.  Instead, He replied, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”

Jesus knew that His purpose was to carry out the will of His Father.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  I pray that I could grasp that same understanding.  My life is not my own.  My time is not my own.  My purpose is to carry out the will of my Father.  Nothing more (despite my own ambitions), and certainly nothing less.


  1. says

    I needed to hear this today! Thank you for such great encouragement! My time is not my own, it is God’s. As a mother I need to follow Christ’s example and embrace the interruptions not shun them. Sharing this on Facebook!

  2. says

    Wow – I needed to read this today! I have 3 boys under 4. Right now the older 2 are sick and the baby is teething. Hubby had to stay late for work. My patience has been running very thin since I got just a couple hours of sleep last night. Thank you for the reminder. I need to emulate Jesus and move with compassion towards my little ones even when I am at my wit’s end. Thank you for linking up at Thrive @ Home!

  3. says

    How I remember those days of going to school, raising for kids, being a wife… When I think back I'm like, "how the heck did I survive?" – but God carried me through, my husband was amazing… I survived and I'm better for it. Keeping you in prayer! Blessings :)

    • Crystal says

      Thanks so much for the encouraging words, Kathleen! I especially need them tonight while the kids have gone to bed and I’m furiously working on finishing up my last requirements for my masters degree (my credits are about to expire! lol).

  4. says

    I battle with this exact thing! In fact God has been dealing with me and saying the same things to me as what you have written. I am an only child and love to have time by myself. He's given me a family that is totally NOT…I repeat NOT…that way at all.
    When I'm frustrated I yell back "yeah, well Jesus didn't have beds to make, and meals to cook, and babies to take care of…His whole purpose was to preach and tell people about You, God! I could do that too if I had other people who took care of the basic daily duties!" So I'm right there with ya…just as I'm writing this my 3 year old is whining at me lol! I will be featuring this soon on my blog…I will let you know when I do!

  5. says

    Thanks for pointing out these examples of how Christ responded. While his example does show that it’s important to seek time alone–especially in prayer with the Lord–, he also demonstrated how to respond in grace and compassion when interrupted. That is SO hard for me too. I get really snappy when Thomas doesn’t take a good nap and messes with my “me” time!

    • Crystal says

      Mary Beth, yes Christ did absolutely show us the importance of seeking time alone in prayer, sorry if I seemed to be arguing that point. I think for most of us, the temptation is to want more “me time” than prayer/quiet time.

  6. says

    Thanks for your post. I needed those reminders today (yesterday actually), as my husband is out of town for the week & I am home with our 4 little ones, 7 and under. I actually said to them last night as I was putting them to bed that I had had “zero free time” that day (went through my list of all the things I did with and for them) and needed a break. This made my kids feel a little unwanted, like an imposition in my life. Ouch. Very convicting.

    I also blogged about this once here:
    I reread that also and was reminded from God’s word that Adam had tons of “me” time and yet God said “It is not good for man to be alone…” (and Jesus’ example of serving when he may have wanted a little time alone as well, but interestingly, his time alone was spent in prayer, where we can gain strength to meet those demands).

    • Crystal says

      Cheryl, this is so true! And, that was one of the points that I was trying to make (unsuccessfully) is that Jesus would have been even more justified in acting out at the interruption, since He was doing something “worthwhile” with his time. I, on the other hand, am usually trying to relax, unwind, read my favorite blogger, work on my blog, check facebook, etc. Some of these are good things, but still don’t give me an excuse to become frustrated with interruptions. I do think quiet time (prayer/bible study), but I also think that it would come easier if I wasted less time doing other things.

      Because there are those days that are overwhelming. I used to tell my husband that I’d like to trade jobs for a day because at least he gets a lunch break! lol. Prayers for extra grace for you this week! It is tough to do it alone, even just for a week.

      Off to check out your post now :)

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