Monday, August 18, 2008

Motherhood and quiet times

It seems like most mommies struggle with how and when to spend time alone with the Lord.  From your responses to this post, some of you find this time indispensable, some incorporate their own time with God with their children and there are those of us who struggle along for a long time before we find our groove.

Before I got married, it was my habit to spend an hour each morning reading my Bible and praying.  I used a vigorous Bible reading plan which led you through ten chapters a day from different books of the Bible.  

I loved doing this and I learned a lot, but I have to admit that I came to depend on this time to gauge my spiritual fitness.  You know, my day was 'good' if I had my quiet time and 'bad' if I didn't.  I was on good terms with God if I'd read my chapters and prayed, but if I hadn't started my day off this way, I didn't feel comfortable addressing the Lord for the rest of the day.

This 'make it or break it' attitude was based on my pride.  I was trusting in my accomplishments to earn God's favor or at least to earn my prayers being heard.  My husband helped me with this tremendously.  He reminds me of the truth that my quiet times didn't make God happy with me.  God is happy and satisfied in Christ Jesus and Jesus' perfect, Law-keeping sinless life and Jesus' death on my behalf.

So now I value my time with the Lord.  Jesus set an example for us when he met with the Father early in the morning.  God ministers the Word to me, reminding me of the gospel and I find strength and grace and hope before the Lord.  When I pray and read the Bible, I grow in my faith.  In no way do I want to take away from the importance of time with God.  

But we must understand that our quiet times don't make or break our relationship with God.  There are times, like when we have infants and toddlers, when we may need to take what we can get, and what we can get is seldom time alone to even visit the bathroom.  During times like this, take heart that God knows your needs.  He knows just where you are, and he looks at our hearts, not our schedules. 

If laziness is a problem in your life, by the grace of God ask for his help and your husband's accountability.  If you stay up too late to get up early, then seek change in this area.  But if you are exhausted because you have three children under three or your children are sick or you have a nursing baby who needs you through the night- take heart and trust God during this time.  

The Lord continues to keep me humble in this area- my kids will inevitably get up before me.  Or we'll have a really bad night right when I have scheduled to get up extra early.  Or I'll get a migraine.  You catch the drift.

So let's encourage each other to trust in Christ, use the time we have wisely and draw near to God any time of day or night.  Grab a minute to meditate on the Word while you are nursing the baby.  Give thanks to God for his provision while you cook dinner.  Pray with your kids as you put them to bed.  Put on a praise CD while you run errands.  Take the moments that you have and ask God for the strength and wisdom to find more time to meet with Him.  He delights in answering those prayers and you will be delighted when he does.


Renata said...

Thanks for such encouraging words! said...

I appreciated your remarks on how you often thought it was a "good" day if you read your bible and "bad" day if you didn't. I think lots of us fall into this really destructive rhythm when it comes to experiencing God. I love what I read once by a godly woman, "I GET to read God's word today, instead of I NEED to read God's word today". It totally changes the dynamics of it. It's an enjoyment, not a drudgery, a joy, not obligation. It's like marriage. If I say "I HAVE to hang around Lance" instead of "I GET to hang around Lance", it makes my marriage a series of requirements which suck the joy out of it.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister. I hear you on the laziness one. I've been talking to God about that myself.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.


Totallyscrappy said...

Thanks for an encouraging post!
I don't think we will have enough Quiet Time until we get to Heaven. Until then...