Why I Won't Count My Hours

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I once had a friend who shared with me that her husband counted up all the hours he put into his work in a given week. Even though he was a salaried employee, he wanted to be sure where his time really went.

I suppose that sort of approach worked for him, but if I started adding up all my hours of work as a mom and life coach, as a writer and ministry leader, as a keeper of the house and a manager of my family’s needs, well I’d crumble in to a messy pile of tears.  

The fact is that the value of my work can't be measured in minutes.

Neither can the value of yours, sweet momma.

Our time devoted to caring for the needs of our family is priceless and can not be measured in hours or minutes nor in dollars or cents. We certainly need to number our days, so that we may gain our heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

If we want to count our hours, however, we ought to do it with the eternal reward in mind.

 

How do you spend your days? How do you choose what is valuable? Keeping track of your time might look pretty different after you read this...

 

On a given day, I may spend more than an hour shuttling kids to various commitments and waiting on them to cultivate their God-given gifts.

That’s time well spent, even if all I feel like I’m doing is serving as a chauffeur.

I may devote a morning to attending Bible Study or going to a Moms in Prayer group and an afternoon bustling through Target picking up soap, bananas, socks and sneakers.

Those hours are racked up with eternal and practical purposes in mind — the value of each is never meant to be compared.

A late afternoon may be spent carving out time to write or meet with a client — these passions that God graciously allows to fuel to my soul while also providing that extra financial support to my family.

This work may give me a title in the way that the word esteems, but that’s not why it's worth doing.

I might whiz through the house right before dinner, unloading the dishwasher, double checking homework, and making sure the dog gets fed and “watered”  . . .  as we like to say in my family.

This mundane but holy work may seem to have little reward, yet when I do it for the glory of God it’s a priceless investment of time.

In the early evening, when I’d rather collapse onto my bed, I rally my reserves to read a bedtime story while snuggling with my boy and planting kisses on my littlest girl.

These moments are sacred! A lesson learned in the wake of regret from time spent running to ministries meetings instead of soaking in my older daughter's quickly passing years.

Just when it seems as though my “counted work hours” ought to be fully satisfied, there is still more needed of me. It is when the house falls dark that my teen daughters have come to want my attention most of all.  

So I pray for God to fill me more, because they need me more than anything else. I pray for the ability to respond with an attentive ear, curious mind, and sensitive heart, because I can nearly touch the impact it has on their life. I can’t explain it. But I see the fruit.

Time is sacred.

It needs to measured carefully but not counted according to the world’s standards.

Yes, we have to manage our time wisely as we number our days. I don't want to be distracted and swayed off course, tending to the material instead of focusing on the eternal. As life coach, I better be living out these principles before advising my clients to do the same!

But this one thing I won’t do: I won’t count my hours for the sake of determining my worth or placing an earthly value on an eternal investment of my time.

The things we mommas give ourselves up for, like serving our children more than 800 hours day, has an eternal value never comprehended in an earthly economy. We are living, breathing, giving the Gospel hope and overflowing Christ's love onto our families when we serve them for His glory. So, we don’t need to waste time counting our hours to prove the value of what we do or who we are, because God is in the business of keeping track for us as He stores up our eternal reward.

Abiding in Him,

 Elisa

elisapulliam.com & moretobe.com

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.

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