I remember the days. And I remember the guilt.
So let’s just stop a minute and talk together about how to find quiet time to spend with God when your days are filled to the brim with fussy babies, dirty dishes, needy toddlers, muddy preschoolers, full-scheduled teenagers, work and ministry commitments, spilled oatmeal, missed naps, doctor appointments, broken washing machines, unexpected company, puke on the couch, arguing siblings, burned gunk on the stove-top, and poop that didn’t quite make it to the toilet on time.
How do we find time for God when it seems our prayer life consists mainly of, “Help God! I can’t find my keys and please give me patience so I don’t scream at my kids again and could you please make them obey me so that I don’t have to scream again but seriously, I can’t find my keys!!”
It doesn’t help when we read that others are getting up early to watch the sun rise while they have precious devotion time with the Father (after they exercise, spend quality time with their darling husband before work, journal, and balance the checkbook). When?? How?? Do these people never sleep? I must be doing something wrong. My priorities must not be right. I am failing. My relationship with God is not where it should be. Oh, but I’m so tired. Weary. Discouraged.
My dear reader: You are not failing. You are not “less-than.” The other women don’t “have it all together” better than you. None of them. Don’t listen to lies and become discouraged.
Getting a healthy amount of sleep (or at least as much as your season in life will allow) is as important a task as anything you can do. Without sleep, everything else is harder. So sleep. Rest. The dust on the picture frames is not important, nor is it a big deal that your kid occasionally wears the same shirt (with a dried-on booger smeared across the sleeve) two days in a row.
Give yourself grace. God does. If that’s not permission to relax, I don’t know what is.
Understand that time with God happens all day long. He is with you and hears your cry for help. He rejoices with you in your moments of triumph and cheers you on. He understands how full your day is and how hard you are working. He understands your need for quiet, and will provide it for you when you ask.
Did you hear that? He will provide. He wants quiet time with you as much or more than you want it with Him.
Grab hold of those few minutes you might find while you’re stirring the sauce for dinner. Everyone playing in the living room while you’re washing dishes? Sounds like you just found yourself some God time! Taking a quick shower before hubby heads out to work? God’s listening. Nursing the baby…again? Close your eyes, breathe, and spend some time in prayer (if you can stay awake). Running your pre-teen to sports practice? Crank up the Christian music and worship. Or better yet, turn the music off and enjoy the few minutes of silence. Can’t seem to find any time alone, ever? Then read the Word out loud to whoever is in the room with you. Pray aloud. Share that time with your kids.
Some day soon, you might find yourself in a season that allows for pulling up a chair and having regular times of quiet God time. It’s beautiful and it’s necessary. In the meantime, pray for God to provide you just what you need so that your soul will be refreshed and your heart will be at peace.
And if you fall asleep during your prayer again, take comfort, knowing that there’s no better place to find rest.