Friday 2 March 2012

Don't Tell Me What You Love, Show Me!

Let me ask you a question.

Where do you spend your time?

Look at your average week and see how your time is taken up. Some of that time will be spent on tasks that really are a necessity, such as sleeping, eating, personal care, childcare, housework and maybe paid work.

Other tasks will be those things that you choose to undertake - reading, exercise, blogging, playing with the kids and such like. How much time you actually spend on each tasks will be a very personal thing.  For some you may have a contract with your employer that says you will undertake 20 hours paid work per week but because your work ethic is high and you think that paid work is very important you may actually put in 40 hours instead. Or you may be the kind of person that feels a pristine house is the height of importance and thus you spend 20 hours a week making sure it is really nice.

Recently I read this -

Time is the treasure of life. Time IS Life.
Time is the willing sacrifice that you offer up to
The worship of what you love.
Don't tell me what you love. Tell me where you
spend your TIME and I'll tell YOU what you Love.
(Martha Kilpatrick, Adoration, 1999)

and wow it sure did make me think. The book I was reading was a Christian one and the emphasis here is that I say I love God but how much of my time do I actually dedicate to spending with Him? But don't tune out if you are not part of the God squad as this poem runs true across all of life. If you say you love your spouse more than anything else in the world, how much time are you spending with them? Sorry, What is that you said?  'Not as much as you would like'. 'They are at work in a very important job?'  I am not asking you to make excuses or to defend yourself.  All I am saying is stop and think about this. I personally think it makes amazing food for thought.

I started to think about my children and that other amazing poem, Children Learn what they Live -

If a child lives with criticism,
He learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
He learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
He learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
He learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
He learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
He learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
He learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
He learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world.
(Dorothy Law Nolte, 1969)

and realised that it applies in regard to time too.  If I am telling my children loads that I love them but I am not showing them that in time, then how does that work?  Actually as it turns out I am pretty happy with the time I spend with them but it has really made me wonder how much I am showing my husband that I love him, as we do not spend that much time together, just being.  We are in the same room often but of course that is not enough.

I decided I really ought to take a good look at where I am spending my time.  Here we go....  7 days in a week, 24 hours each day.  That is 168 hours in a week
  • 51 hours - Sleep
  • 26 hours - Paid work including commuting
  • 4 hours -   Personal care (showers etc)
  • 20 hours - Preparing food for all family & eating myself, assisting children
  • 5 hours -   Voluntary work/ befriending
  • 10 hours - Housework, gardening, household organisational tasks (bills/ appointments etc)
  • 4 hours -   Visiting friends and socialising
  • 5 hours -   Exercise
  • 4 hours -   Church & prayer meeting
  • 10 hours - Spending time with the kids - playing, relaxing, chatting, cuddling, homework
  • 7 hours -   Childcare tasks - Bathing, dressing, room tidying, clubs, school walks etc
  • 1 hour -    Time with my husband (maybe 4 hours a month!)
  • 5 hours -  Family weekend timeout and about
  • 4 hours -  Bible study, reading my bible, quiet time with God etc
  • 3 hours -  Emails and general online administration
I make that 155 hours accounted for.  So what have I forgotten?  Well there is what I am doing right now, blogging and yes that takes up about the other 13 hours a week.  Sometimes I do watch TV while I blog or read but as for read a book (except my bible or current study book) that does not seem to be happening too much right now.

So according to this I love blogging 13 times as much as I love my husband.  Think I need to think hard about my priorities and pretty quickly.

What about you, are you game?  See how your time is spent over an average week, it does open your eyes.
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