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Making time for Time with God... when time just isn't there!

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Making time for Time with God... when time just isn't there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making time for Time with God... when time just isn't there!

My girl just sitting on the steps out back a week or so ago.

Villagrande, Bolivia
Summer, 2002

I was there to learn, serve... and grow.

I knew this was going to be hard (and I never even expected the culture shock!).

I knew I needed to root my summer... myself... in God's Word. For strength. For endurance.

For survival!

It was great. I spent such wonderful times reading His Word. Praying. Meditating and memorizing.

In the mornings I would make up my bed (straw filled with bedbugs and all), grab my Spanish/English Bible and sit cross legged on top, leaning back against the side wall.

My church back home was reading through the Scriptures in a year and I determined to keep up while I was away. A link to those people whom I called family.

Beautiful times worshiping in song. Praying quietly. Reading those Words.

Sometimes I could just sit there all morning before I had to be anywhere. The Words were nourishment to my soul. More strengthening most days than the Bolivian bread and coffee (which made me sick everyday) I often had for breakfast with my host family.

No, not everyday was perfect. I'm certain there were days I slept in or was among people all day and didn't get/take the time to get away alone with my Lord. But they were the exception, not the rule.

Pennsylvania, USA
Today, Everyday

Some nights are later than others, whether it's because My Beloved was on a late call and didn't get home until 1:00+ in the morning (last night), or because I'm still learning the discipline of going to bed early.

Mornings come early... most of them earlier than I'm ready for. Sometime before my alarm goes off. Then there are the nights I was up once or twice for various reasons.

Showers get skipped. Sometimes I have a second/ take a second to get dressed. Children flood my morning. I nurse (dozing on the couch many times), change diapers, take potty, make breakfast, feed baby. Somewhere in there we say good-bye to Daddy. The kitchen needs recovering. Breakfast dishes.

Some mornings it's 10 before I settle somewhere. By this time kids want to read books, play on the floor with me, etc. By this time, I'll be honest, settling in for some beautiful "devotional" time isn't even on my radar.

Laundry needs to be started. Dinner figured out. Kids and baby calling out from every direction! Later I settle to do some things I *want* to do, forgetting that what I need got missed today.

Before I know it it's night again and I'm falling into bed.

These two scenarios are so different. On the one hand you have seemingly unlimited time to spend in communion... with no one to communicate with if I wanted to. Not to mention no internet or computer access for a couple miles (walking miles). On the other, "quiet" and "alone" are words only dreamed about most days... and sleep often wins out, waking only to quiet a crying baby or help in the bathroom.

Is there any hope to be back in that place. How can I really cling to God in that same way with so much demanding my attention.

I told you that I've recently realized that this motherhood journey is the hardest thing I've ever had to do (to do it well at least)... and with that I NEED God's power, strength and help! For that I need to be plugged in... need to cling to the rope with both hands.

But with one hand holding baby on hip and the other stirring something on the stove or wiping noses... how can I do that?

Some ideas... (that I plan to work on implementing in my life as well... I have not arrived!)
  • Train yourself to wake up to prayer! From those first moment you are awake, whether by alarm or cries, begin with prayer. Even before you can force your body off that wonderful bed, you can talk to God. About anything. Thanksgiving would be great... but some mornings can start with a plea for the next few minutes. If your heart is sincerely calling out to God to give you the grace to start your day well, I imagine that delights a Father's heart more than forced, scripted thank yous. (Though, don't get me wrong, sometimes those forced scripted thank yous need to come before you are ready to feel them!)
  • Pray throughout! (are you sensing a theme) Instead of thinking or letting your mind wander... learn to focus that energy toward God. Whether worship or asking help for that lady at church who lost her husband, be talking to God... while mixing up those eggs or changing that diaper.
  • Include the children! Some mornings (fewer than I want) I announce "Bible time" and we all grab our "Bibles" and gather on the couch. They "reading" storybook Bibles and I with the Word. At the end I pray quietly by myself (kids are learning that this means they stay quiet) then we read something and pray together.
  • Wake up earlier! This one is on my "to do" list. One of these days I'll do it. I want a shower out of it too.
There are more ideas I'm sure... but I'd love to hear some of yours... what works for you??? Maybe you've got something I haven't thought of yet... and I can use all the help I can get!

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At April 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Blogger Amy said...

Thanks so much for this - it's lovely to know that I am not the only one struggling with purposeful time spent with Him. My goal is apportioning my time in a way that honors Him. Some days I do better than others. I too try to wake with prayer. Some days I am more successful than others, I admit, but it really helps. I am seriously considering setting a timer to go off hourly to remind me to pray. And setting an alarm to remind me to go to bed at night - as I am a night person and find it very difficult to rise early to have time with Him first. But oh, how desperately I need to! Again, thank you for sharing! Smiles -

At April 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Anonymous Rebekah said...

Thank you for sharing this! I don't have any littles yet, but I still let time with my God slip away, and I really needed this challenge.

At April 22, 2011 at 6:32 PM , Blogger mbsouthwell said...

I thought this site had some neat Easter activities you might be interested in. I couldn't find you email address or a "contact me" link to send it to you though.

Megan Southwell


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