24 Hours is Not Enough

“There’s not enough time to do all of this!” or “24 hours is NOT enough!” Do  these phrases sound familiar? Perhaps they are even part of your daily vocabulary; at least, I know that they certainly have been for me.

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I started thinking like this (and saying those phrase often) during my freshman year of college. While I tended to be fairly independent in my teenage years with various responsibilities, this was my first year away from home and “out of the house.” Almost instantly, I felt the immediate pressure that there wasn’t enough time to do the things that I “needed” to do. The following was constantly running through my mind:

grow in your relationship with Jesus, do well in your classes, spend time with Nathan (he was my boyfriend at the time, my now husband),  take care of yourself by eating properly, sleeping, and working out, stay connected  with other believers and the local church, work hard to pay for school, don’t forget to clean your dorm room and do laundry, invest in friendships, family time

              ….and everything else inbetween

While of course all of those things above are good things, I found myself struggling to do it all and often felt on the verge of tears if I was neglecting a certain area (which was always). Constantly overwhelmed, I remember thinking ahead that when I graduated, things would certainly change and become easier. In many ways, it did – but soon that extra time was filled up with new and different things and I found myself in the same dilemma as before – “There’s not enough time.”

Early into Nathan and I’s marriage, we talked about this frustration and we kept thinking, “This can’t be right. God never intended us to constantly feel behind and feel like we’re never enough – defeated even. So, what is this supposed to look like?”

And then the Lord brought us to the book of Genesis where He created the heavens and the earth as our version of time began: 24 hours. He reminded us that He is the Author and Creator of time and that His ways are perfect.  [click to tweet ->] Tweet: He is the Author and Creator of time and His ways are perfect / via http://ctt.ec/PxedI+

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As we began to think on this, we started to examine our thought process:

If we truly believe His ways are perfect, then there is enough time to do the things he Has called us to do. [click to tweet ->] Tweet:

He wouldn’t call us to something and then not provide a way for it to happen.

Furthermore, if we found ourselves overwhelmed – it wasn’t a result of the lack of time. While poor time management often played a role, we mainly felt overwhelmed due to the unrealistic expectations we put on our  of ourselves for that current week or season of life. In other words, instead of asking the Lord what He would have us do – we took things into our own hands and placed certain responsibilities on ourselves that God never intended for us to take on.

So what does this practically look like in response to this new mindset?

  1. First,  I strongly believe that if you have put your faith in Jesus, everything flows out of our relationship with Him and our connection with the local Church. We can be certain that first and foremost, we are called to grow in relationship with Jesus and with other believers. Moreover, spending time with Jesus individually each day and then corporately throughout the week. In John chapter 15, we find that there is nothing of value that can take place outside of “remaining in [Him] vs 4″ and that we are not to get out of the habit of meeting together with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).” These are not just great things – these are the best things. This is how we can keep our attention on Who is most important, and He knows we will thrive as a result of it. And because this is the calling of every Christ-follower, we can be confident that He has provided a way/the time for it to happen.
  2. Next, recognize what season you are in. Are you a new mom? Did you just start a new job that requires more time upfront? Are you a student? Are there more meetings and appointments this week than last week? Did a circumstance change and so now also, there is a shift on what should be towards the top of the list? Allow recognizing and accepting the season you are in release you from the things that currently aren’t meant to take up most of your time.
  3. From there, you can ask the Lord to give you wisdom on how and where to pursue and invest your time in everything else. This might look different from day to day and that’s okay. Instead of relying on habit, or what everybody else does, rely on what Jesus has called you to do, and do it wholeheartedly.
  4. There will always be an area that doesn’t get as much attention – an area you are going to have to say no to. And that’s okay. We can’t do everything all in one day. And sometimes, “no” simply means “not now, but soon.”
  5. It’s about progress, not perfection.  We won’t always get it right. I thank God for His new mercies every morning, and how He has such a way of redirecting our focus on what He’s called us to when we ask Him.

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FINAL THOUGHTS….

While this certainly isn’t a fix-all solution, I do believe that our actions and choices stem from within. With that said, I can’t tell you how much freedom I have personally experienced since adapting this new mindset.

I used to go to bed frantically thinking over all that I didn’t get done that day. Now I am resting much easier, knowing that I invested my time in what He wanted me to do because I asked Him first. Instead of saying yes to everything that jumps out at me, and then regretting it later when the time came, He has given me the confidence to say no to things ahead of time that aren’t needed in my day and schedule without feeling guilty. Instead of trying to figure it all out on my own, asking Jesus what He wants me to do and inviting Him into each day has brought me so much peace. And instead of worrying about what area is being neglected, I’ve chosen to trust God that there is a time and a season for everything. 

Do you ever feel like the 24 hours in the day are not enough? What ways have helped you prioritize what is most important?

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29 thoughts on “24 Hours is Not Enough

  1. Isn’t it crazy when we get that extra time that we’ve been wanting but once we get it we have to motivate ourselves and learn to prioritize all over again. It’s nice to know others out there are learning this too!

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  2. Being a former professional organizer time is something I value and have high regard for. I think the enemy uses our time to rob of us of what truly matters in our life. We must be armed and have trust in our only weapon,Jesus! Great reminder

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  3. I’m reading this at 1 a.m. because I’m so busy that I can barely carve out time to sleep. I painted an entire painting for a baby shower, planned a craft and project for our homeschool co-op tomorrow, I’m packing for a trip, working for my part-time job, homeschooling, housewifing, mothering, dealing with two ailing parents, in-laws, husband, and trying to keep up with three bibles studies and a blog. I’ve got to triage and do what I can with each day. If stuff falls through the cracks, then I have to let it and decide if that is something I have to let go permanently. I’m still trying to figure it out. And I’m traveling three weeks out of this month! SIGH. It is going to be a long APRIL.

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    1. Jennifer, thank you for taking the time read this! It sounds like it has been a busy day/week and looks like it will be a busy month as well. I am praying for you (right now) that the Lord would give you rest and the wisdom to discern what is most needed in your days. May you find rest and peace in Him as you put one foot in front of the other as you play many roles. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life of what I believe is the story of many people (including me), and may you experience the freedom that Christ promises when we submit these tender areas of our lives to Him – xx Anna

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  4. I can certainly relate to the feeling of 24 hours not being enough to get things done. Sometimes, I have to have a talk with myself to remember: I am not God; the world will continue whether I accomplish all of my tasks or not; if I have taken on too much, then I need to prayerful go to the Father and allow HIm to order my steps. No one can do everything.

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    1. Absolutely! One day at a time. I also, have to often stop myself to see where I am in all this and just ask what He really wants me to focus on. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing!! -xx Anna

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  5. You have some really good thoughts here about prioritizing your roles in life. Nicely blended with Scripture. We can’t do it all and sometimes other roles conflict with others. We have to choose which roles are most important and schedule time for each. Put the big rocks in the jar first and then the medium, then the gravel, the sand and then finally the water until the jar is full. Once it is full, your right we have to say no.

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    1. That is a great illustration! Filling our lives with the best things and saying no to things that simply don’t fit is a challenge for many, but brings great freedom. Thank you so much for reading and sharing!! -Anna

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  6. I just had a really drawn out conversation with a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in a while about time management. She went on and on about how upset she’s been lately because all that she set out to do for herself in one day never seems to get done. She is a housewife to a very well-to-do guy, so all that she is really doing is in my viewpoint, “extras.” Here she was telling me about all these things as if they are the worst problem she’s ever had in her life, while I listened on the other end thinking how I wish I had that problem instead of what I was going through. I thought,It would be fantastic if my biggest problem for today was just not getting my living room to look like that picture from Better Homes and Gardens instead of surviving day to day with whatever money is left in our bank account from a recent job loss and sickness in the family. Being in this situation in this season of my life has taught me to look heavenward and stop being too consumed with my own goals. There will come a time, and God has been so gracious to provide this here and there even now, where I am able to do the “extras.”

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    1. Rachel, thanks so much for reading this and sharing what came to mind. It’s amazing how people who have entirely different circumstances can experience the same feelings, no matter how different the situations may be and yet, the Lord loves us all so deeply and wants to be a part of every detail while filling us up with His goodness. I love how you talked about looking heavenword in your challenges. That is our goal in all walks of life and it’s what brings the most fulfillment. I am praying for your financial situation and the healing of your family as you take one step at a time. May you find comfort in Him today! -xx Anna

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  7. I am working really hard on this. Some wise women told me several years ago to pray for the most important 3 things God wants me to tackle each day. I still have to pray throughout the day for guidance. There is always so much to do and my agenda often doesn’t align with God’s.

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    1. Tara, what a great tip! 3 is a great rule of thumb to live by because then each area will be focused on. Sometimes I feel like I have 487539759 things I want to do, yet none of them get done well because I am so distracted and can never focus on just one thing at a time. This is wonderful- and such wisdom from other amazing women! Thank you for sharing this. -xx Anna

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    1. Absolutely! Knowing our limits allows us to truly enjoy the things we do say yes to, instead of rushing through everything with regrets! Thank you so much for sharing this! -xx Anna

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  8. Hi Anna, some days I am plain exhausted. I think one day at a time like that sweet hymn helps me. Relying on God for each day and as you said progress is what matters.
    God Bless

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  9. What a great reflection – I often felt the need to do it all right now when studying the proverbs 31 woman… then one day it hit me that she accomplished all of that over her whole life, not in one day, week, month, year or even one season.

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