Monday, April 18, 2011

How I spend time with the Lord

Something I have noticed is that a lot of young moms struggle with how and when to spend time with the Lord. Life gets so busy when you have little ones running around. At the end of the day you are so exhausted you can hardly keep your eyes open! Trust me...I know too well.

I remember when I was in college (pre-children) I'd pack a little bag containing my Bible, cd player (pre-mp3), worship music, water bottle, and snack and would head to the lake. I would literally spend hours just feeding on His Word, worshiping Him through song and enjoying His beautiful creation. It was a such a blessing and I cherish those memories! But, I am in a new season of life. I have had 4 children in 5 years and leisurely times in God's Word just don't happen any more. And can I tell you something? I am okay with that! Do I miss them? Sometimes. Would I love to do it again? Of course! But I have noticed there is a certain amount of guilt that comes when one can't spend 1/2 an hour to an hour totally devoted to God. Why is that? Doesn't God know our circumstances? Didn't He give us these little ones? I remember last year I was reading the book "Passionate Housewifes Desperate for God" by Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancey. One of the things that I really appreciated and that was a new thought to me was this:

"Spending time in God's Word is crucial, but don't set yourself up for disappointment by expecting a regular time of peacful bliss in prayer and quiet solitude.
I believe that one of the heaviest burdens well-meaning Christians place upon the shoulders of mothers at home is the mandate of "quiet time". "

I have heard a lot of moms say that they just get up before their children in the morning. And I totally applaud you moms that can do that. I am SO glad you have found what works for you and your family! I managed to get up early for a time and I had some sweet, sweet time with the Lord. But I had some problems with that approach, getting up early = grumpy/tired mommy in the afternoon. Or on several occasions, I would get frustrated and upset if the children heard me get up and got up earlier then usual. Either way it didn't turn out the way I had intended it too. And overall it wasn't good for my family. Enter the guilt.

As I thought about the statement above, I realized that never in the Bible does God command us to "spend at least (insert time here), all at the same time, in prayer and Bible study each day". Doesn't God appreciate my little prayers through out the day just as much as a 1/2 an hour prayer fest? Or my reading a bible verse while I'm nursing a baby and then meditating on it for the next couple hours while I work just as much as sitting on the couch alone and quiet doing the same thing? I had placed an unnecessary burden on myself. It is when I started having these thoughts that I changed the way I spent time with the Lord. I now pray little prayers all day long. While I was dishes, fold laundry, give the children a bath, cook dinner. I squeeze in moments of Bible reading in between busy moments. While I am waiting for someone to finish a test, rocking a sick child, waiting for the children to finish their chores so we can do something else. I then have something to meditate on the next couple hours! Also, my children love to hear me pray and read the Bible to them. I love the fact that I am teaching them that prayer can happen any time and not just at a set time during the day.

All this to say, Moms, get rid of the guilt. We need to spend time in prayer and God's Word. It is SO important. But don't feel like if you aren't having your "quiet time" every day, you are somehow failing. God desires us to pray without ceasing! (1 Thes. 5:17) And to mediate on God's Word day and night! (Psalms 1:2) (Not to say those of you who do have regular quiet times don't do this!) Let's keep our focus on loving and serving Him!

Be blessed!


Andrea said...

LOVED this post. :) It encouraged my heart greatly!

simply His home said...

Wow, I so needed to read this post! I am overcome with guilt much of the time because I can't seem to create an everyday "quiet time" with the Lord. But you are right...the Bible doesn't mandate when, where and how long to spend with God, other than to pray without ceasing and that can happen anywhere at anytime of the day! Thank you for the encouragement!

Carmen said...

Great thoughts, Amanda! I resonate completely, and think that us mommas need many invitations to accept grace!

Erica said...

I needed to be reminded of this again. Last year Father really had me release my "you haven't spent time with me because you haven't spentXX minutes in the word." It was so freeing, but it's good to be reminded of this from time to time. Thanks sweet friend.

Brooke said...

thanks for sharing so graciously amanda! I have began to value scripture memory so much more since becoming a mommy because QTs are so few and far between...having truth stored in my heart has been very valuable.

i so love you blog!!