Do you ever wonder how those mom’s who seem to have it all together get time for their own devotions? Are you laughing right now because you thought I had it all together?
Well I don’t…and getting quiet time with my Jesus is something that I struggle with.
However, I figure it must be worth it or it wouldn’t be such a struggle, so I persevere! Some days get started off right and flow so well that I vow to start my day off in the Word for the rest of my life. Then tomorrow comes…and something happens…like the baby decides to take her diaper off and smear poop all over…that cause me to leap out of bed only to land into a day of disasters.
So what does the quiet time of a homeschooling mom of 4 look like? Well, let’s start with my dream scenario. I like dreaming. Plus things always work out in my dreams.
Aaah…I start the day off being awaken gently by the whispering of my husband who has informed me that he’s gotten up with all the children and they are downstairs finishing dishes from breakfast and beginning their morning devotions. He tells me to take a few minutes to myself and spend some time in the Word before I begin my morning routine.
There’s a sweet little red breasted bird outside my window singing a welcoming song to the sun as I crack open my velvety soft Bible, and begin to soak in the richness of Jesus. I spend quality time in the Word with no distractions, then another half hour in prayer.
After that I meander to the shower where I get refreshed and ready for the day ahead. I saunter down to the kitchen where I find all 4 of my children. They are sitting at the kitchen table discussing ways they can be kind to one another today after reading through Ephesians 4:32.
We spend the afternoon as a family sitting beneath a large oak tree, listening to a gentle stream flowing by as we read through the gospel of Matthew. We spend time together, laughing and just having fun before heading home for a wholesome home cooked meal (apparently cooked by fairies since I’ve been by the stream all day).
The kids graciously offer to get themselves ready for bed, then my husband and I spend a few minutes with each child individually asking how their day went and just listening to them as they talk soaking in every minute of our time together. Alas, the day is done and my husband and I have some free time to relax and enjoy each other’s company before the next dawn arises.
I really should just end there, but in the spirit of keeping it real here’s a more accurate account of what actually happens…
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the term “Quiet Time” just may not apply to my life right now. With 4 children (ages 8, 7, 5, and 2) the term quiet just isn’t exactly…uhem…accurate.
Despite my efforts, I tend to stay up way to late at night in order to get out of bed with my little red breasted friend. (I am working on this…) So planning an early morning devotion never seems to work out so well for me. (I know, I know, you have to work at it…and I am…its on my “to-do” list.)
Honestly some days the only devotions I actually get are the ones that I do with my kids. And you know what? I think that’s okay. It’s a season that I’m in and I absolutely get things out of the time we spend together in the Word. Now, I do still aim for my own time alone with God, it’s just that some days it’s hard to come by, and so for me it ends up usually being done at night.
I wouldn’t entirely suggest the nigh-time plan as I often find myself thinking “Well, I really could’ve used that encouragement about 8 hours ago!”. But I take what I can get right now.
I realize that my children are not going to be with me for very long and so spending time with them, especially in God’s Word is precious! Once I came to this realization it really changed my view of “quiet time”! Instead of hiding in the laundry room in order to get just 2 minutes of peace, I’ve decided to include my children in my quiet time. After all I’m to be a model for my children, and if they never see me doing quiet time or leading them in quiet time, how are they supposed to know what to do?
So here are some things that work for us:
1. Every afternoon during the Teeny Tot’s naptime, we all grab our own Bible. Everyone find’s a spot on the couch and we read silently to ourselves. It’s like a corporate quiet time if you will ;o) My preschooler has her own bible and she mostly just looks at pictures and such, but she’s still required to be quiet during this time.
2. Pick a verse for the day, and keep your bible open to it. Leave the bible on your kitchen counter, or somewhere that you frequent. Each time you walk by, read your verse again and think of a way to apply it to your what’s going on today. Feel free to read the passage out loud to your children too, it’s a great reminder to them as well.
3. Write encouraging verses on post its and stick them on the refrigerator, bathroom mirrors, and in your car. Make it a game with your children to see who can find the hidden verses for the day.
4. I have found that there is at least one point of time in each day where I find myself with literally a few free minutes. The kids are playing happily and I’m contemplating my next move. When this time comes, I challenge you to pull out your Bible (make sure you have some laying around in rooms you frequent) and take that opportunity to spend a few precious minutes with your Jesus. I consider this my first fruits, the first time of the day where I’m not overwhelmed with demands. I have a choice to either give that time to God, or to something else.
5. Pray for God’s help. I pray constantly and I know it may sound ironic but I also pray that God will remind me to get into the Word. Some days get so hectic that I literally forget until I crawl into bed at night and start to relax. Suddenly I realize that I’ve not even so much as cracked my Bible! Now I keep a small Bible by my bedside so that I can grab it easily for days such as this. While we’re on the topic, make sure to keep in prayer all through the day. Constant communication with God will make your relationship stronger!
6. Keep a Bible in your car. I know it sounds funny, but I do my best to help myself out. To be my own personal assistant. No I don’t give my faux-assistant a name. So in an attempt to set myself up for success, we have Bibles all over the house and one in our cars. I also have one on my iPhone so that no matter where I am if I find a few extra minutes I have no excuses not to get into the Word, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
(Yes, that sweet little pink thing is my Bible! Hey, don’t laugh this bad boy fits right into my purse!)
Some things on my bookshelf right now that I’m LOVING:
- Ministry of Motherhood – Sally Clarkson
- Reshaping It All – Candace Cameron Bure & Darlene Schacht
- Seasons of a Mother’s Heart – Sally Clarkson
- The Busy Mom’s Guide to Wisdom – Lisa Whelchel
- YouVersion (iPhone app that also has daily reading plans and devotions)
- Sally Clarkson Website (Her blog posts are like daily devotions!)
Looking for more? Here are some Bible Studies I recommend:
- Beth Moore Studies
- Kay Arthur Precept Studies
Bibles for Children:
- NIrV Discoverer’s Bible for Young Readers
- Hands On Bible
- My First Hands On Bible (Preschool)
- The Adventure Bible for Young Readers (ages 6-10)
- The Little Kids Adventure Bible (ages 4-7)
- The Read and Share Bible (Preschool)
And please remember, each of us are unique and what works for one mom, may not work for you, so give yourself a break, find what works for your family right now and go with it. God will bless your choice to spend time with him no matter what time of day it is!
What does your quiet time look like? I’d love to hear what works for you all!
Visit Granola Mom 4 God to see what some other mom’s have said about their time!