[NOTE: Honestly, this isn’t a post I necessarily wanted to write, but mostly it’s because I fear that many will think that I am being judgmental or self-righteous. However, after much prayer and an urging from the Spirit to do so, I must be obedient. Please accept the following words with as much grace and love as I can offer them, because this is truly my heart.]
Over the course of the past year or so, I have noticed an idea floating around social media that absolutely breaks my heart! It’s one that undoubtedly comes from a place of the best intentions, a place of setting busy moms free from guilt.
The idea is this: that busy moms don’t need to strive for that perfect quiet time; that we should be ok with grabbing a verse or two as we change a diaper and just fit God in whenever we can. With everything within me, can I urge you to RUN from this falsehood as quickly as you can?
While everyday and every season will look different, having that intimate time alone with God is the most important thing we can pursue on a daily basis. We should absolutely pray as we go, while we fold laundry and wipe noses, but this isn’t an either/or. This is a both/and.
I don’t want to lay a burden on you that you cannot bear; that would be legalism and a tragedy. What I wish to do is to challenge you, busy momma (that’s me, too!), to push past the struggle and press into Jesus!
I’m reminded of the woman who pushed past the multitude to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment, “For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.” ”- Mark 5:28
Where is our desperation? Where is our desire to push past every obstacle in our lives, if only to land for a time at the feet of Jesus? In solitude, in reverence, in need, in praise, in tears, in laughter, in hunger, in thirst? Where is it? Why do we keep telling ourselves that it’s ok to eat crumbs when the feast is spread before us?
So, how do we do this?
- Make it a priority. The saying goes, “We make time for the things most important to us.” This is incredibly true when it comes to our daily alone time with the Lord. Is it important to you? Do you truly desire to be alone with your Savior each day? If so, prioritize it. There’s one thing for sure in this life: if you don’t make it happen, Satan will keep you distracted enough and busy enough that it won’t happen. Recently when asked what to expect when reading God’s Word, John Piper responded, “Satan hates the word of God and will disincline you, blind you, distract you, bore you. He will fight with all his might to keep this from happening.” So, beat him to it. Put up the fight and prioritize this time! Put down the phone with all the social media and texting; lay aside that book; turn off Netflix, get up early; shut the door; let the dishes and laundry wait. Whatever it takes, but don’t let him steal you away and whisper to you that you don’t have time.
- Evaluate your schedule and find the most “opportune” time. Every day and every season will look differently. Depending on the ages of your children and your daily responsibilities, the time may not always be the same. For instance, when I had a newborn and a preschooler, the best time for me was right after the 4:30am feeding. It was early, but it was so very quiet. I look back on that season as one of the sweetest with the Lord! Today, my “best” (not always perfect) time is after morning drop-off, on most days. I put a show on for my youngest, and go into my room. When my oldest is on break, this can often change. Maybe this season you may have 20 minutes or maybe you have an hour. Be flexible, but set a time.
- Be disciplined to keep at it. Any good habit isn’t developed overnight; it takes time. If the most opportune time for you is early in the morning before your children get up, then keep getting up! It will be worth it! The more consistent you are, the more you’ll desire this time alone with Jesus, and the more natural it will become. There will also be times when it seems difficult to draw near, the Word doesn’t seem clear to you, etc. That will be a journey all its own, but stay disciplined!
- Don’t beat yourself up when circumstances arise that force your time to be shortened or moved. Notice that I said, “when.” It will happen! You’ll have obstacles, sick children, appointments, vacations, circumstances that I can’t even dream of. Be disciplined, but also remember that God isn’t waiting around the corner with a 2×4 to hit you in the head. He knows, and He sees! Grace abounds.
- Finally, stop using “motherhood” as an excuse. Use it as kindle to your fire of desperation to sit before the King of kings, who has the wisdom you so desperately need to raise these warriors for His Kingdom! Can I tell you that some of the most Godly women I know are mothers of three or more children? One of these moms has five kids, homeschools three of them, and she’s the wife of a pastor. But every day, you’ll find her, Bible and journal, (and coffee!) in hand, desperate to be alone with the Lord! She gets interrupted, her time gets shortened, etc, yet daily, she meets, alone, with Jesus!
There’s a story of woman that I often think about in regards to keeping my quiet time with Lord and the challenge it can sometimes be. I often forget her name, but I always remember the image with which it left me. Susanna Wesley, the mother of Charles and John Wesley, had 10 children. Her alone time with the Lord was so important to her that she spent two hours a day, with her apron tented over head, in prayer and scripture reading. Her time alone with the Lord was that special to her. Oh, how I weep for myself and for you; would time with Jesus be that important to each of us! Most of us don’t have ten children whom we homeschool, while simultaneously running a farm and home without electricity or running water. Let this mother’s example encourage us to lay aside every hindrance and seek the things which are above!