Precious Time

Some of you know from a previous post that we just returned from an annual family vacation at the beach. While there I took a photograph of my daughter Olivia and her great-grandfather (who she calls “Dur”) on the beach, looking out at the ocean. It’s the exact same photo I took 6 years ago when she was just 2 years old.

When I look at these photos I am reminded of how precious time is and feel so very blessed that my daughter has had such a special relationship with her great-grandfather for so long. Then, it just makes me think…long…and hard…about how I am spending my time. 6 years went by so fast! 6 years more and she will be a preteen! I shot a wedding this past weekend and it reminded me that next month we will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary! Minutes are turning into years very, very quickly.

Remember the lyrics to the Hootie and the Blowfish song “Time“?


Why you punish me?

Like a wave crashing into the shore, you wash away my dreams.


Why you walk away?

Like a friend with somewhere to go, you left me cryin’

Like all of us, I am constantly fighting time and schedules…to get it all done…to check it off the list…to get it all accomplished, whether it be work, or chores around the house, or taking my kids to and from activities. We are all packing so much in a day and it gets faster and more demanding with each year! I struggle with how I can make my time count more and how to make what I do each day more purposeful and meaningful; yet those heartfelt desires are always squelched by the ever present deadlines. Sometimes I daydream about moving to the country and living on a ranch where things would be slower, and quieter, and calmer because I would be further away from the demands and running around doing lots of errands in a day wouldn’t be so convenient. But that’s me looking for an escape instead of taking responsibility for my decisions.

A dear friend introduced me to another Birmingham mother’s blog called Hands Free Mama. Rachel Stafford is the author and her tagline for her blog is “Letting Go To Grasp What Really Matters”. I haven’t gotten through reading all of her posts yet, but I would like to; and it is certainly a blog that I have bookmarked. When I first linked onto it, all I had to do was read her “Welcome” statement in the right hand column to feel the conviction in my heart and tears in my eyes start to swell. I kept thinking to myself all day…”How do I get there with all the demands of being a wife, mom, business owner and fitness instructor?”

Benjamin Franklin said “Time is Money” and I believe that, especially in business. But Abraham Lincoln said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” I’ve decided that’s the very simple perspective I must embrace so as not to get overwhelmed with everything that has to be done. However, sometimes I wish Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln had had a little glimpse into our fast-paced, technology driven lives in this millennium.

C. S. Lewis said “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” I’m challenging myself to use those minutes for more meaningful moments each day…ones that count for eternity. We all have the same amount of time, but we all have to choose individually how we will spend it. Oh I know I’m not sharing some earth shattering new time management philosophy; but yet wise time management is still a concept so difficult to achieve. I guess saying it out loud in my blog is accountability to my commitment and I know the wisdom I need is found in God’s word. My goal is let some of the checklists go and replace the checkmarks with hearts. Lists don’t matter. People do. Time is precious.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (KJV)

5 responses to “Precious Time”

  1. Hands Free Mama Avatar

    Thank you, Heather, for your beautiful endorsement of my blog and of a simple life that attempts to make the most of every moment. I am honored to be accompanied on my journey to grasp what really matters with extraordinary people like you! Your talent amazes me.

    1. Heather Durham Photography Avatar

      Hey Rachel! Thanks for encouraging and challenging me with yours! I hope one day we’ll get to meet in person since we live so close. 🙂

  2. Dana Avatar

    Heather, such beautiful words and heartfelt thoughts! I think that these are things that we all, as mothers, worry about. Trying to slow down and enjoy the present. That being said, I thought I’d add one more thing to your to do list! ha! Have you read the book, One Thousand Gifts by
    Ann Voskamp? I HIGHLY recommend it! It is fairly short and full of so much Godly wisdom! She is a beautiful writer and also loves photography. Her blog is called The book has been pretty life-changing for me.
    LOVE the pictures of your family at the beach! Family time at the beach is my all time favorite! What truly PRICELESS pictures of your daughter and her great-grandfather!!
    Hope you have a wonderful summer!

    1. Heather Durham Photography Avatar

      Hey Dana,

      Thanks for your comments. I have not read that book, but because you recommend it I am going to get it this week! I know if you have gotten a lot out of it then I need to read it! Thanks for sharing her blog too. Happy summer to your sweet family! 🙂

  3. Laura Black Avatar
    Laura Black

    Beyond words beautiful…

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