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It’s Sunday morning.  The alarm goes off.  A couple extra snoozes won’t hurt, right? Two button taps turns in two hours and before you know it, its 10:00am. Whoops!  We missed last week’s Sunday worship service too so we’ve got a couple episodes, I mean sermons, that we can watch on the web.  

Time is our most valuable commodity.  Like most parents, when the weekend rolls around, we are spent.  We desperately try to claw back the remaining “free hours” of our week before the Monday grind begins.  Church doesn’t always make the cut.  When we look back at the week we say things like “I just didn’t have time”.

A left arm wearing a blue long sleeved shirt is in the center of the screen.  On the arm is a smart watch with a white band.  The right hand of the wearer is on the side button of the watch.  The figer nails of the wearer are polished white.
Why hasn’t the smart watch made us smarter?

Let’s flip the question.  What DO we have time for in our over scheduled lives?  I’ll admit, by Sunday at 7pm, I’m asking myself, “Where did the week go?”  I decided to do a little research.  To be fair, I’ll go first.   I’m pretty sure the plank in my eye is just as big as the splinter in yours.  

The Experiment

The last two weeks I’ve been tracking my days.  Turns out, I spend A LOT of time on my phone.  Approximately 3 hours a day.  Yes, some of it is work related and some of it is listening to podcasts or audiobooks.  But, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I fall into the “scroll hole” every night.  I also check my phone when I wake up in the morning to see my post analytics.  I even will check it when I’m working out.  Last week, I spent 22 hours total on my phone.  *I feel like throwing up*

Actually screen shot from my phone documenting my digital distraction

Fortunately, I’m a master at excuses. If you want to borrow some, here are my favorites, in no particular order:

  • “This is finally MY time”.
  • “After I get everyone to bed, I can use this how I want!” 
  • “I really don’t watch that much TV so this is “okay”.” 
  • “This is how I’m going to drum up interest for my book!” (As if my random videos about my kids acting like Baby Sharks has anything remotely to do with the Easter story).

Turns out, I’m not alone. The average time an American spends on a social platform? 

142 minutes per day according to Digital Information World.

It gets a little scary when we add Netflix and Disney+ to the mix. The US Department of Labor found that we watch TV approximately 2.84 hours PER DAY as well.

We don’t spend time where we say we do…

Are you ready for an even bigger kick in the gut parents?  The average Dept. of Labor also found that Americans with young children spent less than two hours in direct care. This is playing, reading, bathing, etc.  Those with kids in the 6-17 age range? Only 50 minutes.  We all post, and blog, and Insta-story about our babies but that’s not even where we spend our time!  Do the math, 14 hours vs. my 22 hours of screen time.  Who does it look like I love more?

*Random but slightly related sidenote. If you are looking for an incredibly interesting reading on how working women spend their time, you HAVE to read I Know How She Does It, by Laura Vanderkam. Her work blows out of the water a lot of misconceptions how we, especially as working moms, spend our time.

Good Read!

This next one hurts too.  I spend more time in the bathroom than I do praising the Lord.  EIGHT minutes a day is what the American averages just for the shower as reported by the Alliance for Water Efficiency.   My clock came in around 30 minutes per day when the whole makeup and hair routine is added into the count.

A shower head is in the center of the screen.  It is facing the screen and is turned on so that there is water spraying towards the viewer.  The shower head is round.
The average American spends more time in the shower than in the pew

How long is the average Sunday worship service?  60 minutes.  Looks like JC is getting the short end of the stick.  

During my social experiment, I also kept a schedule of two different Sundays.  Here’s the 1st record of our attempt to get to Sunday worship service:

Sample Sunday Morning Worship Service Schedule

Week 1

  • 4:30-5:45a Morning Me Time (workout, reflect, read)
  • 5:45-6:15a Write blog
  • 6:15-7:30a Get carried away, forget that I have kids for a short period of time.  Realize that the sounds that I hear upstairs is a baby crying to be let out of her crib and an unholy war in the living room over the remote.
  • 7:30-7:35a Yell-fest while I holler at everyone for doing stuff they shouldn’t have been doing when I should have been watching them (Lord, I apologize)
  • 7:35-8:00a Throw an assortment of breakfast items on the table, none of which anyone likes
  • 8:00-8:15a Change babies
  • 8:15-8:20a Argue with older children that they have to go change because of the following reasons:
    • I saw you wear those jeans to the barn yesterday
    • It’s snowing and that dress has no sleeves
    • Yes, they are black pants but it’s not a baseball game
  • 8:20a Remember that I haven’t showered yet and ask husband to start packing all the kids in the car
  • 8:25a Hear husband complaining and children yelling “Diaper explosion!”
  • 8:30a Look in mirror and realize that something needs to happen with the whole hair and makeup thing
  • 8:40a Leave for church (it takes at least 20 minutes to get there)
  • 9:00a Arrive at church
  • 9:10a Sit in pew after another diaper change

Week 2

The next week?  I cut out the 6:15-7:30 blogging time.  We ALMOST made it to church on time.  There was one pull over where I had to smash an uprising in the backseat.  It took about 5 minutes for them to change their seats and re-buckle.  We walked in right behind the Pastor. 

Summary?  There’s absolutely NO reason why I should be late to church. No one is forcing me to look at my phone.  In regards to scheduling, none of this should be surprising to me. Kids always eat breakfast, they always need to wear clothes, and the babies usually have some sort of bowel activity around 9am.  Why would Sunday be any different than any other day of the week?

What can you do about your time problem?  Here’s a couple hard-truths that I came to realize.

I have a time management problem.

We don’t make it to church or make it to church on time because we don’t make it a priority.  There’s no other way to slice it.  

My priorities are outta-wack

I have a couple signs in my house that say “Faith, Family, Friends”.  If it were accurate, it would say “Data, Drama, and Dawdling”. If my schedule shows anything about my priorities, I better start redecorating.

I need to start my day differently

Why do we save Jesus for the weekend? Why not start the day out right? I’ve found that when I begin my day with reading scripture, the whole day feels different.  From one sinner to another, it’s been a life-saver.

Here’s my challenge to you:

What could you change next week to get to your Sunday worship service… on time?

PS. Thank you for reading this latest installment of my No Expewses Series! You can read earlier posts here.