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My sister and I demonstrating how to live with open hands. Literally.

About a month ago, I had a bit of an epiphany.

Bryan preached about how sometimes we’re just grabbing frantically at things we think we want; more money, more recognition. Or, maybe we’re holding on to something in our past that we just refuse to let go of.

Jesus, however, lived with open hands. He didn’t grasp for power, or any of the things we typically view as proof of living a valuable, successful life.

The idea of living with open hands really resonated with me—mostly because I’m pretty terrible at it—especially when it comes to my time.

Up until a few weeks ago, work frustrated me. It took up too much of my time. Work didn’t leave me enough time with Bryan, enough time to do the things I wanted. I held on tightly to my time. I grasped for more. It made no difference; I never had enough time.

In my previous jobs, my schedule had a lot of flexibility. Half of my work day consisted of sitting out at a sporting event. I wasn’t confined to a cubicle all day, like my current job. Lately, the details I was responsible for at work felt like a stack of weights pushing down on my shoulders. I was always thankful to have a job with medical benefits where I’m surrounded by good people. But it still felt suffocating.

After that sermon, however, I knew my perspective needed to change in several areas of my life.

I forced myself to stop freaking out about how much time I spent with Bryan at church events where I couldn’t actually spend time with him (unless you count catching each other’s eye from across the room as quality time). I decided I needed to put my energy towards enjoying the time we have together.

I also put more focus on enjoying time spent with friends too. It reminded me that one of the best ways to show people you care about them is by giving them your time. I had not been generous in this way at all recently…maybe ever.

It makes others feel good, it makes me feel good. Why did it take me so long to let go?

Now I see work, church and being with friends as time well spent.

Not surprisingly, it changed everything.

A couple of weeks ago, I got promoted. Two months ago, I would not have been ready to take on more responsibility. Now I’m excited for the opportunity.

And you know what? After I got promoted, I found out that comes with a little extra vacation time.

So after making an effort to live with open hands and not grasp at my time, I’ve been blessed with a little more time.

Funny how it all works out.