• Vanessa Bryant

The Gift of Time - Final Week of December's Random Acts of Kindness


We have approached the final week of December Random Acts of Kindness, and our final intention as we close out the month is "Putting in Time." We often lose sight of the gift of our time, that undivided time and attention is a precious gift and one that is often overlooked. Making people feel special this holiday season doesn't always require you to spend money. How we choose to spend our time is more valuable than any amount of money one can spend.


As a mother, I am constantly multitasking in order to fulfill the daily roles and expectations. I get so accustomed to splitting my time between various activities and between the two kids, I frequently have to remind myself to slow down, be present, and intentional in the moment. When I do that, not only do I see a difference in my children and those I am sharing my time with but in myself as well. By slowing down and focusing my time in one direction, I allow myself to fully soak in the moment, and isn't that a powerful lesson we have all learned this year? The lesson of slowing down, staying present, and the significance of spending time with one another.


This year we have all been challenged to slow down the rabbit race we tend to choose for ourselves. We have been home more, tightened our circles, and have had the opportunity to get creative with how we spend our time with one another (thank you, zoom). 2020 has been a challenging year, but I feel that this lesson was necessary for all of us. It was a reminder of how important our time is and how easy it is for us to take it for granted. Unfortunately, we often don't recognize how important time is until it is taken away from us. So, let's change that narrative and make it a habit to value time. Let us strive not to be selfish with our time but to be thoughtful, intentional, grateful, careful, and mindful of our time.


You may be thinking, "ok, Vanessa, you are asking me to give the gift of time during one of the busiest seasons of the year; how can I choose to be intentional with my time, yet still adding to the list of to do's?" I understand it can be especially challenging to give the gift of time when it seems as though you are already working with borrowed time. However, the goal is not to see it as something else to do, rather challenge us to be more thoughtful about making the most of every moment.


For example, if you are taking gifts to the neighbors, maybe you bake the cookies allowing for quality time spent in the kitchen with family while also making the neighbors feel special that you took time to prepare something homemade. And while stopping by, you may choose to chat for 5-10 minutes, rather than just leaving the cookies at the door for them to find. This is a simple way to be mindful, intentional, and specific about our time. Some other ideas may include:

  • Encouraging your kids to make a craft or card for someone.

  • Planning a family zoom Christmas gathering.

  • Volunteering to wrap gifts for the giving tree presents.

  • Planning a family movie/game night with no phones or distractions allowed.


I hope you feel challenged with the intention for this week and find fun and creative ways to spend your time. As we celebrate the reason for the season tomorrow, I feel so grateful that God continually has time for us. Not only is God generous with time, but he is specific and intentional. God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the savior of the world, and Jesus showed us so many examples of the gift of time. One of my favorite examples of this was the story of the woman that touched the hem of his garment to be healed. They were in the midst of crowds; Jesus had places to go, people to see, and important business to do. Yet, he stopped, acknowledged that someone had touched his garment, found out who it was, and spoke to her, saying, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 525-34). His disciples encouraged him to keep going, not to waste any time; however, Jesus felt it necessary to take that time and ensure that this woman felt seen and heard. Isn't that beautiful?

God continues to have time for us in that same way, no matter the circumstance. I hope you too feel encouraged by that story, knowing you are loved, you are seen, you are heard, always. May the love of Jesus Christ surround you this Christmas season, and may we all continue to share the love of God with others through time, fellowship, and service.

With love,

Vanessa


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