are you finding that quiet time?
I wish I could say, "Yes! I'm finding that quiet time everyday...time to spend alone in the Word and in prayer. An hour or two each day with the Lord when my babies are both clean, fed, happy, and sleeping." But that wouldn't be honest. The truth is, ever since Griffin was born, my quiet time has struggled. Finding a quiet hour, or any quiet time for that matter, during my day has sometimes seemed impossible. I remember last summer, when I invited you to participate in a 30 Day Challenge with me, I commented that what was working for my quiet time at that point would probably look different once there were two babies in this house. Boy was that true. I have still been in the Word, but I have lacked consistency. I keep telling myself that when Griffin starts sleeping through the night it will be better...things will be back to normal. I can have that time in the morning again before the boys are up. But I am beginning to wonder if sleeping through the night will ever become a reality for my sweet boy. Surely, he's got to start sleeping through the night before he is five, right!? :)
So I have been struggling with this consistency thing...knowing that I need more quiet time alone with God. I know this is just a stage of motherhood, but I get tired of people making excuses for me and I don't want to keep making excuses for myself...always saying, "I will find more time to pray and read my Bible, I just can't right now". The truth is I need time with the Lord desperately RIGHT NOW.
I was really encouraged by this blog post by Erin Davis at True Woman that I came across a few weeks ago. She talks about how quiet times often seem impossible for busy moms, especially when your children are small and require your constant attention. But she doesn't make excuses for us. (I love that!). The post was full of encouragement and practical advice to make daily time with the Lord happen, right now. Here is what she said...
God's Word never mandates that we spend an hour every day reading our Bible, praying, and journaling the Psalms. Here's what the Bible does say:
"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:2)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
Meditate on His law...
Seek God's Kingdom first...
These instructions are critical, even for busy moms. It will take effort, but it's so important that we find ways to be still and pursue God amidst the chaos of our day.
She goes on to give seven tips for grabbing quiet moments with the Lord as you mother. All seven are so good, but I decided to just pick a few of her tips to focus on right now. So this month I am working on reading a Proverb a day, maximizing meal times, prayer walking, and making it happen. At my house that will look like...
Reading a Proverb a day--Every morning I will read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the date on the calendar. Depending on our schedule that day I will either read it on my own that morning, or I will read it out loud at breakfast with Levi. I have read through Proverbs this way many times before. It is a book full of instruction and a great way to start the day.
Maximize meal times--This one is hard for me. Sometimes those moments when Levi is eating seem like the only moments I can get anything done. I want to be intentional with this time and sit down with my kids. I have been bringing my Bible to the table at breakfast. Sometimes I read a little to myself while Levi is eating and sometimes I read out loud to Levi. This is when I would read the Proverb for the day out loud too. I have also started working on memorizing verses with Levi. Breakfast is a great time to work on them and talk about what the verse means. I am amazed by what his little mind can remember...and it is so good for me too!
Prayer walk--After Cora died I spent hours and hours walking on the dirt roads around our house. I would cry, talk to the Lord, and just listen to Him. It was so good. I can do the same thing with my kids now...especially with my double stroller! If everyone is content, it is nice to be away from distractions and have the quiet time to pray. But somedays Levi wants to talk, so on those days we sing or practice his verse or talk about all the things we see that God made. Davis suggests praying out loud with your kids as you walk, which is a great idea too.
Make it happen--I am always going to have things to do that could easily crowd out what is really important. I can always make excuses and there will always be others that make excuses for me. Davis says, "But they [your kids] need you to be connected to the Vine just as much as you do." So true. I need to be connected to Him before I can be the supporting wife my husband needs, train up my kids in the Lord, and still have energy left to serve and love those around me well. My daily time with the Lord can happen, it just might look a little different at this season in my life. One of the ladies in my Bible study said she plans four different quiet times throughout the day. Little kids are so unpredictable, so she has a Plan A, B, C, and D. If Plan A doesn't work she still has three back ups. Isn't that great? Talk about making your time with the Lord a priority!!
I hope you don't misunderstand me. I don't think we can just throw up prayers throughout our day because we are busy moms. We need to stay connected and that means seeking Him...by talking to Him (prayer), studying His Word, and listening for His guidance. We have to be intentional and purposeful with our time to make that happen. It takes discipline, and I will be the first to admit that discipline is hard work! My Plan A is to start my day alone with the Lord studying His Word and in prayer. But, when one of my kids (usually Griffin!) needs me before my alarm even goes off, I need to find ways to make my daily time with the Lord happen throughout the rest of my day.
What about you? How do you find moments with the Lord throughout your busy day?
Make sure you read the rest of Davis' blog post here. You will find a few more ideas for grabbing quiet moments with the Lord. It is definitely worth your time...so go check it out!
For more encouragement on keeping your time with the Lord the priority of your day, here are a few more links...
30 Day Challenge here and here
Nancy Leigh Demoss' session on our devotional lives here