I’ve long neglected my writing and this blogging space … My last post was nearly a year ago just before my 45th birthday (you can read my last post here). There have always been 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year, but lately it seems that if I blink I will be hobbling into my 60’s before I figure out how to live well in my 40’s.

When I was a child, the school year was endless and the wait between Christmases felt like an eternity. As I’ve gotten older, days zip by with weeks, months and entire seasons disappearing from my calendar at a dizzying pace.

Perhaps this accelerated time travel is a result of filling my adult life with grown up responsibilities and concerns. Gone are those carefree summers riding bikes in the neighborhood and chasing fireflies with friends. Those days have been replaced by household chores like laundry and grocery shopping and adult things like raising kids, marriage, and work. The only thing slowing down these days is my metabolism.

Time is an interesting thing. My pastor once described it like this: “I can’t save it, stretch it out, borrow it, loan it, stop it or store it up.” Basically, I can use it or lose it.

Last week I looked through old journals and the Lord reminded me of the time when gratitude was my word for the year. I journaled my blessings well into the thousands, and while that continual state of thanksgiving didn’t slow the flow of time, it did help me slow down and pay attention to the many ways God had been good to me.

Air to fill my lungs with.

Cool floor on my feet when I get out of bed on a chilly morning. The ability to rise, to walk, to feel.

Eyes that see God is all around me.

Ears that can hear a baby giggle and birds chirping.

When I think of all the gifts that I treasure most, time does not immediately come to mind. God, family, friends … But time? It is a precious commodity that I often overlook.

I’m still raising one of four kids, and for the past 2 summers our youngest has written a summer bucket list. She takes full advantage of her time away from school by creating a list full of goals she’d like to accomplish before September. Goals like spending quality time with her family and eating crabs (we’re from Maryland, y’all). She’s allowing me to share part of it here.

The one that thrilled me the most was at the bottom.

“Have the B E S T summer.”

She’s already decided it.

Purposed it.

Set her feet to it.

Whether it’s a summer bucket list or having lunch with a friend, time is marching on. Wisdom means making the most of my opportunities before they pass me by.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  — William Arthur Ward

One friend said it well on her Instagram feed a few weeks ago and it has stayed with me. “I can think about what I have to do today or I can think about what I get to do today. Do I have to do dishes and laundry, or do I get to do dishes and laundry?’ That one little word change makes a big difference in how I live and how I will spend my time (thanks Katie K.).

Each new day brings us 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86,000 seconds. Every moment is a precious gift from God. You can’t store it up. You have to use it or lose it. The greatest threat to our time is allowing meaningless things or a poor perspective to snatch it away.

Yesterday is behind us. It can’t be changed.

Tomorrow may not come, so how do I live today and make the most of it?

I decided to write out a bucket list of my own.

Find fulfillment in things that matter. Time spent with God is never wasted.

Pause to notice the gifts around me. Make note of them. Write them and praise Him for them.

Be present with my people. Unplug more from social media and internet.

Eat rolled ice cream with the youngest, guilt free, because is it really even summer without ice cream?

Take care of myself. Soul care.

Help someone in need. Do what I can even if it’s only to pray.

Enjoy all the babies.

How will you spend your summer? Share your “bucket list” in the comments!

Your comments are a blessing to me. I receive each one with gratitude.