God often gives us seasons in our life when we experience what is commonly known as a holding pattern. I’m in one myself right now as I look for a job. While I know moms with multiple kids probably never feel like they’re in a holding pattern, there may be others who in a certain area of life find themselves waiting for the next thing.
As I’ve been in this particular holding pattern for almost two months now, I have wasted a lot of time and have also had very productive days. But you don’t have a job, you may point out. True, but there are other things I’ve found to do that have kept me from feeling useless and have (I hope) honored God, served others and helped myself.
It’s surprising how little time it actually takes to memorize Scripture, if the time is concentrated. While I’ve found trying to memorize verses over the course of a day isn’t very effective for me, spending ten or twenty minutes where that’s all I do can help me memorize several verses all at once. Not only does this help you spend time wisely in the moment, but memorizing Scripture has eternal benefits.
I’m in the middle of a couple theological books and a few works of fiction. When I was in middle school and high school, I was a voracious reader. Until I went to the library a few weeks ago and checked out some books, I had forgotten what an appetite I have. Last week I had an afternoon with nothing to do and read an entire book! It’s certainly a better use of time than watching TV or piddling around online (both of which I have also done in the last week).
Find an alternative source of income.
Other blogs have more wisdom on ways to do this than I do, but since I’ve been out of work I have babysat and also done some freelance work editing. God has used babysitting to help me pay my bills, which has been a huge blessing. I’m also in the process of becoming a guide for ChaCha, which would provide even more income.
Look for ways to serve others.
Because I’m living at home with my family right now, I have lots of opportunities to do this. On days when I’m not babysitting, I try to find at least one thing I can do around the house to help my mom. One day last week I cleaned the bathroom. Another day I did all the dirty laundry I could find. I also try to cook dinner once a week or so. In doing these things, not only do I serve my family and honor God, but I also feel like I’m accomplishing something worthwhile.
There have been times in the past couple weeks when not having a job has really discouraged me, and when I’m down, exercising is the last thing I want to do. But consistently going to the gym has not only kept me healthy (which is good, because at the moment my health insurance is pretty terrible), but it also has kept me energetic and given me something to focus on.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve tried to take advantage of the time God has given me over the last couple of months. What are some ways you take advantange of seemingly “empty” periods of time?