Quiet times are the times when we reconnect with God. They hone our ears to hear our Lord’s voice. As Jesus reminds us in John 10:27:
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
But how would we know Jesus’ voice unless we spend enough time listening for it, and to it?
I believe that as we study His Word and wait upon Him, we are finetuning our ears, eyes, and hearts to hear, see, and know Jesus. It is my desire to be so in tune with Him that I immediately know His answer on anything that I have questions on. Wouldn’t that be so cool? I don’t want to seek His face and hear His voice only when I am in trouble.
And yet… quiet times are often the first thing to go when we mothers are busy or tired, aren’t they?
Journey Through Psalms 51-100
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Quiet Time Is Not Compulsory. . . But It’s Necessary
Let me just say upfront that I believe that quiet time is not compulsory. It should not become one more thing on our to-do list: God will not browbeat us if we don’t do it. There is no need to heap more guilt on ourselves if we have not been able to do it.
But . . . it is necessary if we wish to deepen our walk with our Father, and if we wish to walk in alignment with His will for us and our family.
Quiet time is not compulsory. It should not become one more thing on our to-do list: God will not browbeat us if we don’t do it.
Is quiet time for busy moms, however, even possible? How exactly are we to find pockets of time to meditate on the Lord when we are overwhelmed by our duties?
My simple answer is: just do it.
Simply put, we need to find time for what we deem important.
Just Do It!
Whenever I am foolish enough to ever mention the lack of space or solitude in my home to do my quiet time with the Lord, someone will invariably share the example of Susanna Wesley. This mother of 11 children (who included church pioneers John and Charles Wesley) was famously said to carve out quiet time for herself by pulling her apron over her head whenever she wanted to pray. It was a signal to her children that she was not to be disturbed.
Susanna’s example shows me that she “just did it”. She did not wait for the perfect time to spend time with the Lord.
Just fix a time, grab a notebook, pen and your Bible, and start. Personally, I do not like using Bible apps or online resources. Not only do they increase my temptation to check Facebook or email “one last time” before I start, but they also make it harder for me to remember where the verses are located when I want to look it up the next time.
As parents, we need to accept that our quiet time with the Lord will look very different before and after we have children.
I’ve also found it better to do my quiet time in the mornings, as I get sleepy in the afternoon and am brain-dead after dinner. Still, do what is suitable for that particular season in your life.
As parents, we need to accept that our quiet time with the Lord will look very different before and after we have children. We will not be able to spend uninterrupted hours praying and reading His Word—but we can still make use of pockets of time to pray and read His Word. It will again look different when our children start school and are less dependent on us, or if we return to the workforce.
There have been seasons when my quiet times with the Lord were non-existent. Or, sporadic and done in a daze.
But His grace has always been sufficient for me. God sees our hearts and knows the seasons of our lives.
Here are 5 opportunities we can do our quiet time as busy mothers:
1. Kids’ Nap Times and Early Bedtimes
If you have young children who will not leave you alone, you can do your quiet time during their nap times. I used to read my Bible, pray, and then take my own nap during my kids’ nap times. Very productive!
If you have young children who will not leave you alone, you can do your quiet time during their nap times.
Or, you can set early bedtimes for the kids so you can do your quiet time before you space out in front of the TV. Early bedtimes are very helpful; my children had some in-built radar that sensed when I was awake in the mornings, and they would all wake up and look for me—usually crying.
However, they would sleep through whatever noise I made once they knocked off for the night. And since they went to bed by 8 p.m., that meant that I could do my thing. There was a season when I would do my quiet times at 8:30 p.m. . . . though I tended to doze off, too!
2. Kids’ Alone Playtime
You can do your quiet time when your kids are playing by themselves.
3. Before the Kids Wake Up
Work quiet times with the Lord into your day preferably before the children wake up.
Work quiet times with the Lord into your day preferably before the children wake up. When my children were young, my morning routine was to tumble out of bed, jump into the shower, and play catch up all day till nap time. But once the children were older (like now), I would do my quiet time in the morning before the whole house stirred.
4. When the Kids Are in School
This is ideal for those who send their children off to school. Since parents usually drop or send the kids off at a fixed time, you can do quiet time with the Lord immediately after that.
5. While Waiting for Your Child
Why not use those waiting times when you have to send and fetch your children all over the island for their enrichment activities? Remember, we are not aiming for an hour of prayer. We are talking about just reading a passage or a short devotional, and then meditating on God’s Word or journalling down what we hear the Holy Spirit saying to us.
Why not use those waiting times when you have to send and fetch your children all over the island for their enrichment activities?
Some Help for Quiet Time
When I was struggling to get my quiet time going, I found it very helpful to use a devotional. This year, however, I am not using any devotional, but reading through the Bible using what some call the “S.O.A.P.” method.
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. You start by picking a book of the Bible. Start with the first chapter and read through it. As you are reading, be sensitive to any prompting of the Spirit. Pick a verse that speaks to you, then pause to observe and meditate on what God is saying to you. Think about how you can apply it to your situation or season of life, and then pray.
If you prefer online resources, there are several devotionals and Bible apps that you can download into your phone to meditate and pray over.
Let us endeavour to listen to the voice of our Lord and to follow Him, as we make the time to meditate upon His Word and wait upon Him, no matter how busy we may be.
This article was originally published in www.buildingupmoms.com. Adapted with permission.