When Your Quiet Time Isn’t So Quiet - Cultivating Time with God and Littles
The dawn is beginning to pour in through the shutters and they dance in heavenly beams on the pages of my well worn Bible, the words of my Heavenly Father are coming to life in me one syllable at a time, my pen is furiously pouring out its ink onto the pages of my journal in a worshipful prayer to Him. This is my idea of a perfect quiet time with the Lord. One not interrupted by the whines of a toddler or the cries of a baby. One with a warm mug of coffee in hand, not a half drank cup barely hanging on to any of its warmth from the 5th reheating. One not done in the glowing ambiance of toys wildly scattered around me. But this is my reality right now with little ones.
My quiet time isn’t so quiet or picturesque. And I’m sure if you ask my sweet grandmother, she would long for the echoes of giggles ringing in her ear as she tries to soak in some time with Her Savior. It's only by getting His supernatural love that I can even begin to love my daughters through the craziness that accompanies the days with little ones. How can we cultivate a daily quiet time in this season? Here are some tips that might encourage you as you pursue Jesus as a mom:
Make it a non-negotiable: We all have our things that we do each day. Some of us HAVE to take a shower daily to feel functional, others don’t feel the day can start without working out, or maybe its something as simple as making sure your sink isn’t full of dishes. These are the things that we simply feel unable to function without doing each day. Daily time with God has to become such a priority that it's non-negotiable. For me this has come to mean that my husband and girls know that as much as can be helped, momma needs a few uninterrupted minutes to spend in the Word. Some days are much easier than others. Our youngest doesn’t understand this quite yet, but I keep consistently doing it so it's as much a part of their day as it is mine.
Find Him in the cracks
Notice that I said MINUTES in the word. Time is such a precious currency for us mommas. The writing group I am in, Hope*Writers, talks about two different types of time; chunk and crack. We all yearn to have the chunk time to spend with our Savior, the hour long quiet time where we can do lengthy Bible studies, read a devotional, write out prayers, and maybe even listen to a sermon podcast all in one sitting. But we have to realize that is not what is required of us. God sees our heart and knows that we desire these chunk times with Him, however He is able to take the small crack times in our days and fill us up. This could be the minutes we get while nursing a baby, the minutes while the kids are eating a meal, the minutes we are folding laundry. If we are faithful to continue seeking Him in our cracks, He is faithful to seek us in the entirety of our day.
Keep it simple
I have found that more I keep my quiet time simple, the more successful I am. A 10 minute devotional series, reading a single verse and being intentional about praying over it all day, a simple quick to digest bible study (usually a single chapter one that is broken up over several weeks) is much more reasonable for this season. When we are trying to do too much, it will set our hearts up for failure.
Find what works for you
I have spent way too much time and energy trying to force myself to do what other mommas are doing. You have to find what works for you and stick to that. One thing that works for me is using headphones with worship music playing to drown out the noise of my littles and keep me focused. I like to put pen to paper and make notes and highlights in my physical copy of my Bible, but using the Bible app on your phone (from youversion) is a wonderful way to have instant and easily accessible studies and scripture. I often reference it when I find crack time at the park or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. I like to be consistent where I do my quiet time. It sets my mood and I also know my tools are right there waiting for me where I last left them. I also let my girls watch tv so I can get my quiet time in. I’ve had to close my ears to the thoughts of mommy guilt I let myself feel for a long time over that. Whether you are doing a devotion, specific study, reading a book, listening to a podcast - make sure it is centered around scripture. While I love hearing others talk about their thoughts on the gospel, it will never replace the words of our Father. Ask your friends what works for them, try their suggestions, and then craft your own quiet time around what works best for you!
Give yourself grace
Being flexible as a momma is something each of us has had to learn. There will be days and seasons when your quiet time doesn’t work the way you want to. Kids get sick, babies wake up at unreasonable hours, the crankies set in for the littles just as much as they do for us. We have to give ourselves grace when we only get the one verse in a day. And If its been months since you’ve picked up your Bible, make today that day, with no condemnation. The point is to never stop pursuing Him.
God waters the small simple seeds we are planting as mommas to little ones. He is growing them into harvest that we will be sowing well into our children’s children’s ages. You’ve got this momma, even if your quiet time isn’t so quiet.
God, we as moms love spending time with You. We know its the only way we can be the momma You want us to be. However, it feels impossible some days. The weight of being a mom to little ones feels extra heavy some days. The noise can be so deafening. Help us to drown it out as we seek to find the time to spend with You. Multiply these tiny moments we get with You to carry us through each day. We love you Lord. Amen.