Recently the traffic in our community has drastically changed due to road construction. My daily work commute has increased by 45-60 minutes. Last week it took me 45 minutes to get from my house to the high school (1.6 miles away). Most of the side streets I travel look more like parking lots than roads. Let’s just say it has been crazy and very time consuming.
I was venting my frustrations with a co-worker and she calmly said to me, “How can you use that time well?”
How can I use that time? I thought…. if I wasn’t stuck in my car I could use that time to be with my family, be with my friends, cook a homemade meal, exercise. The list went on and on in my head. She noticed my vacant stare and kindly said, “I feel really bad for you but when situations like that happen to me I try to use the time to refresh and be still.” And there it was, the answer to so many of life’s frustrations: how can we use our time wisely and find time to be still?
I’d like to share my road construction musings with you. As the fast paced school year ends it would seem like we could all slow down but we know summer can also be a crazy time. So the question remained 9n my mind, “How can I use my time wisely and also take time to be still?” While stuck in traffic, I have been thinking about ideas to make travel time bearable these summer months.
- Take time each evening to plan out the next day. Make sure you have not over scheduled yourself or the kids. Rescheduling something or finding a ride is much easier the night before instead of the hour before.
- Take a few minutes each morning to be still with God. If this becomes a regular practice over the summer, it will be easier to carry over during the school year and the darker mornings of winter.
- Have a learning tote in the car for the kids when stuck in traffic or are waiting for pick up. This box can include, books, flashcards, games, maps, paper, colored pencils (easier than markers) and coloring books. These items can range for all the ages in your family, even you!
- Rent or borrow books on tape to listen to as a family on long and short car rides. Videos
- Create a survival box for your car. This can include all of those last minute things that you end up rushing around gathering before you leave home. My box includes extra bathing suits and towels (for last minute swim invites), sunscreen, bug spray, baseball hats, rain jackets, small first aid kit, water bottles, healthy snacks, gum, ball (for a little catch to get the wiggles out), and an extra set of clothes for a messy mishap.
- As a family plan at least one vacation together this summer. This does not mean that you have to travel away – you can even vacation at home. Plan at least two days and one night when your whole family is together.
I still do not like traffic and road construction. But instead of letting my anger and frustration take over I am trying to use that time to be still. I use that time to pray. I use that time to intentionally think of things for my life and my family’s life. With the long fun summer months ahead of us this is a great reminder to keep God in the driver’s seat and savor every minute, even while stuck in traffic.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick
Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education: A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)
Megan’s book, Own Your Education:
A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in (And Life)
is a great graduation gift!
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