About the Author

Hilary Yancey loves good words, good questions, and sunny afternoons sitting on her front porch. She lives in Waco, TX with her husband Preston and her kids, Jack and Junia, while finishing her philosophy PhD at Baylor University. Her first book, Forgiving God: A Story of Faith, is available now!

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  1. I also have a complicated relationship with time, and feel very accountable for every minute as if time were a scarce commodity or an endangered species that needs protecting. By me. Continually, I come back to the Truth that “my time is in His hands,” and every minute is a gift from Him. Thanks for this glimpse of your life with Jack–I look forward to reading more.

  2. Hilary,
    I remember the days of long lists to check off. I admit, I still like to check things off, but I don’t have such high expectations of how many things I’ll accomplish and if some things have to move to the next day, then so be it. I believe our lives are a continuous journey in surrender. Giving birth or adopting suddenly removes us from the self-absorbed centers or our worlds….big time. We surrender our own agendas. I often wondered how something so little could order my days and nights? Trials, unmet expectations, crucibles in life make us let go of self-sufficiency and ask for help. Fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt eventually make us surrender our hearts and trust to God…..or we don’t, and we remain adrift in turbulent seas. Learning to let go and surrender – be it time, our kids, our doubts, or ourselves – I believe that is what this life is all about. Jesus died so that I could let all the things that weigh me down go and I could live…..truly live. Thank you for a spot on dose of Truth.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, there is so very much truth in your words. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you regarding this. God Blees.

  3. Oh, how I struggle with good use of time and guilt. And the struggle is in what is considered “good.” My boys are now 19 & 21 and I still make lists and write things down just to cross them off. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget until the moment it’s important. The struggle causes anxiety, especially when I’m off work in the summer and there is no “schedule.” Then I have to decide each day what is a good use of time. I try to give my time to God daily and I don’t think He is disappointed. It’s my own silly, worldly expectations that disappoint me. I’m not sure how to change that permanently. I have to lean on Him more every day! Praise God for His faithfulness!

  4. Hilary,

    We are a people who want control of our lives. Trusting God with every aspect of it is hard for many. We all want to know what the future holds & how we will accomplish all our life’s goals. I enjoy making lists & telling people how much I’ve accomplished. I have heard talks about time & surrender. God graciously gives us 86,400 seconds in a day. We need to think how best to spend that time. Each day starts a new. You can’t hold over time from yesterday. We need to use it judiciously. Young people think they have their whole lives to achieve their goals. Nothing could be further from the truth. God can take you home any day. As I’ve gotten older I realize God will order our lives. He will show us how best to spend the time He has given us. He may ask us to quit a job & help an aging parent or only work part-time. It can be a delay in your dreams to fulfill what He wants in your life. Like you said “Time and everything we have belongs to God. He asks us to offer it up with open palms. Our prayer should be God how can I best use the time you’ve given me today?

    Blessings 🙂

  5. Today I’m reminded of how great God is. This post couldn’t have been timed any better. As my to do list gets longer instead of shorter and my stress level increases your story reminds me to listen to what God wants me to accomplish and what is really important. Not what I think needs to be done. Thank you all for sharing.

    Barbara

  6. This describes me and my approach to time perfectly! What a beautiful reflection, thank you. I thought I had a great handle on time management all throughout college and grad school, but now I find myself still struggling at times to leave the definition of productivity to God. My oldest is 4-1/2 and we are expecting baby #3. God is so patient with us as he teaches us to entrust our time to him!

  7. Hilary,

    What a beautiful reminder and conviction of my heart and entitlement that slowly creeps in. It’s ironic (not really) that your story and devotion come to my inbox on the heels of making a decision to clear my calendar and commitments for this fall with the exception of one or two things. It was an impression that God had given me and He was requesting this time. It humbles and excites me and scares me all at the same time. So here I am, strangely, with open palms, fear and tears running down my face handing my life and my time to Him – scared of what events may or may not take place but also a bit of hopeful anticipation to see what the Lord will do in this time/with this time. Pray for me to be immediately obedient, strong and courageous.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience. Praying for you and your family now.

    Rebecca

  8. Oh, this is so, so, good. What a beautiful reminder that He who equips us to do His work is the Keeper of time to do such work. I am not a keeper of the time. This is a powerful and sometimes painful reminder I seem to keep needing. Thank you for sharing your heart and story with us!!

  9. Everything becomes beautiful in His time, as they are meant too, as I learn and practice nestling instead of wrestling. Trusting God’s ultimate goodness for the life He planned for me. Truly letting go and letting God have His way, made perfect for me in Jesus.

  10. This beautifully describes the way our life becomes so much better and larger than our lists. I remember those days of rocking away the hours, with nothing but time before me. How I wish to return for just a moment…

  11. Hilary you have expressed time management so meaningfully with your story of love and kindness thank-you. i hope that all is well with your son.
    We can try to fulfill what we consider as important on our to do lists, but that doesn’t mean that they should have priority. After months of travelling back and forth to Children’s with our youngest son he got the clear. But as time wore on he began to fade, and we had to rush him down to Peds. to start a new life. Nothing on my to do lists could of prepared me or us for what was to come, a lifetime commitment of jabs, needles, and a team of wonderful caring people. Throughout this whole new learning experience, we too have been reminded that time does not belong to us, but rather to God who will be there to comfort, strengthen, and guide us.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  12. I needed to read this today. I am struggling to grasp and gather all the time “I have left” with my son as he enters his final year of high school and with my daughter as she enters the final year of being at home before school starts… I cry and worry and fret, instead I should surrender, enjoy and love. Thank you for that reminder.

  13. So beautifully written, Hilary. My husband was born with a cleft lip/palate…back in the ’60s when it was unusual for babies to survive it. Oh how times have changed. Praise God for medical advancements that make this a hopeful process for cleft babies/families of this generation. — Time sure isn’t the same after motherhood, is it? It’s more complicated in an exhausting and beautiful way. And, you’re right…an offering. 🙂

  14. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us! What a blessing it is to know that God is the keeper of our time, not us. May we relinquish control of it over to Him and allow Him to give us peace. Blessings to you!

  15. Poignant, powerful, and jam-packed with gospel truth. The sister/caregiver (to my older brother with brain damage) in me is saying yes & amen to this.

  16. Hilary, fantastic piece! We journey hard to reconnect with former versions of ourselves, only to find we want control more than connection, time more than today. Thanks for pointing me back to Jesus.

  17. Hilary, thank you for sharing. He wants to be in each moment and I understand the desire to plan and direct our own paths. I have found that, too, when I let go and let God, He is faithful to take us in our best direction and He is ever with us along the way. But I do sometimes forget…

    This year all 3 of my kiddos will be in school full time. I started making a list of what I could do with the “extra” time. I needed this story as a reminder to first consider how He wants to use the time. Praise to the Lord for His timing!

  18. This is beautiful truth and you have a lovely way of expressing it. It is moving. I had to come back and read it again today.

  19. Thank you Hilary and everyone for your story and comments. I love that- looking for your old familiar life and you can’t find it. My family has teased me for years about my lists! I thought I was alone in this.
    I read somewhere that Time is a gift not a threat!! Those words have helped me relax so often when I remember them!!

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your touching story. After being myself in a tragic accident at Christmas-time in 2015 the concept of time is so much about letting go of it, for me, too. Trusting God w/ every morsel and season of time. I agree: “It’s hard to remember how I once understood time (before my accident). It’s hard to believe that I once imagined I was in control of it, that I could make it obey me, that I could achieve those sunlit dreams by my own power.” I so relate. Misty eyed reading your story; your loving perspective touched my heart this morning. May God bless you my sister in Jesus Christ. In His love, Lori

  21. I used to think I had wasted it, waiting on Him when I should have doing something, because I was left out of things, health issues, but I read that He never wastes time, He exists in eternity and redeems it, so now I know He holds it in the palm of His hand.

  22. Do I believe I control time? You bet I did, and still believe that lie sometimes. Like you, I had my first child. And suddenly I realized how little I could control. Actually nothing but myself. Which is a pretty hard task. I would rather control my to-do list, or the course of my day, or what’s for dinner, or planning the Ladies Brunch for 500 women, because all these seem easier than controlling myself. But since I am only called to control myself, that’s what I am working on. Controlling my actions and reactions. Do I still have a to-do list? You bet I do. But I am learning to hold it gingerly and make room for different outcomes and cross off dates than I imagine. This way when my husband asks me to sit with him on the porch swing for half an hour, I stress a lot less and can let go of what I had planned to be doing. And when a friend texts me that her baby was born dead, I can drop my plans and grieve with her. Because I am learning that people are way more important than my to-do list and my plans of controlling my day.