Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quiet time? In this house?

Finding time for God can be quite the challenge when you're a mom. We are encouraged to spend daily quiet time in prayer behind closed doors first thing in the morning if we are to grow spiritually. This all-important time allows us to meet the Lord before anyone else, so we'll be pointed in the right direction for whatever comes our way.

This poses quite the challenge for those of us with small children because in my experience, getting to the bathroom by myself without constant knocking on the door and tattling is a coup, much less uninterrupted prayer time.

My mornings are like any other mother's; babies have to be nursed, breakfast made, little people have to be dressed and fed, there's hair-fixing, backpack-checking, and shoe-finding. Add to that those other conversations and monotonous reminders we constantly disperse, "Do you have your homework?" "Where is your coat?" "Is your bed made?" "What time do I pick you up?" "Did you brush your teeth?" and you have a morning full of chaos and disorder, and sadly, finding time for God can be difficult.

I have noticed, however, that sometimes my best talks with God can happen in the most unexpected places and times. Some of my family's frequent, ordinary activities and mundane tasks provide me ample opportunity for talks with the Lord and occasions to be thankful. The trick, I have found, isn't to find the time, it's to make it.

God doesn't hear from me from the confines of a special room one hour before my family rises, as is suggested. No, God gets to hear from me as I sometimes complain and revel and celebrate these things each morning...

Chubby cheeks and pudgy baby thighs, healthy breakfasts, and warm coats that, when found, provide comfort and protection. Older sisters who care and nurture. Little brothers who pick and bully, yet love mightily.

God listens to me while there is cereal on the floor, wet towels on the bed, dirty dishes in the sink, toothpaste on the counters.

God talks to me while I deal with sibling squabbles, misplaced library books, and forgotten homework. Spilled milk, lost socks, and stinky diapers. Morning breath, wake-up hugs, and silly jokes.

These completely frustrating, absolutely infuriating, simply wonderful parts of my morning are what I speak to God about. I ask Him for patience, beg Him for guidance, and thank Him for it all. I talk to God and prepare for my day while getting my family ready for theirs. I may not be holed up in a room with my Bible and my notes but we, God and I, definitely have our special moments. He knows I'm here and I'm sure He is too, probably enjoying the show.

Someday I will have plenty of time to sit in quiet prayer before my day actually begins. Someday my little distractions will be grown up and gone. I'll have a clean kitchen, sparkling floors, and mornings set aside for me. Now, though, I am thankful for all the children, the mayhem, the disorder and the merriment that keep me so busy and, at this special time of my life, so blessed.


Abbie said...

What an awesome thing that God meets us where we are, we don't have to create the 'perfect' scenario for interacting with him. Thanks for the reminder this morning! :)

Annikke said...

I really needed this today. I have a friend who is a prayer warrior, but her life is very different than mine. She doesn't have little ones causing the chaos in the mornings. Lately I have been comparing myself to her, wondering why I don't have the same prayer life she does...So thank you for reminding me I don't have to have the same prayer life right now. One day I will wish I had this chaos! You are right, God meets each one of us right where we are. Thank you!

Andrea said...

So beautiful. So inspiring. So real.

MKHKK said...

It is so hard to find that quiet time to be alone with God. I am ashamed as I say my prayers before bed and fall asleep half way through some nights. Like, you I try to be in constant conversation with Him throughout the day. Thankfully He is an understanding and forgiving God.

scmom (Barbara) said...

What a beautiful reflection. Yes, God is in the busy moments as well as the calm ones. But, we have to be listening. Have a great weekend, Devin.

Miss Millie said...

What a beautiful post. I used to say my morning and night prayers WITHOUT whole life..and then I had a baby..and then I had another one. My morning prayers usually consist of me trying to stay awake over a bowl of cereal. But I know He still hears us, especially His daughters who have children. He prizes us above all. Our work is so important to His kingdom and thankfully He knows our hearts and hears our heartfelt prayers throughout the day.

Thanks for writing and sharing this.

Beth said...

What a beautiful post! I, too, find God in the most mundane moments of my day. I have lots of running dialogue with him. He is the reason I am sane at the end of the day.