Time and time again, people – mostly mums – ask me, “How do you find the time for a daily quiet time?” If there is one thing that seems to disappear particularly when we become parents, it’s time. Time to ourselves. Time to rest. Just time to be.
Yet the Bible tells us that we need quiet times with God. We are told that Jesus got up very early in the morning, went to a quiet place and prayed. If you’ve ever had a habit of a regular quiet time in the past, you’ll know that it is a real source of growth. In our frantic and busy lives, it can also be a real antidote to the demands and stresses of day to day life.
I don’t always have a formal, daily, quiet time. I pray every day, and I use the Mummy Meditations verse to keep the Word of God in my mind (which is also really good for improving your memory and Bible knowledge). But some days are just too frantic.
A quiet time is when I sit down, make time specifically to spend with God. I read the Bible and write in my prayer journal. I probably do this 3 or 4 days a week, and it’s a practice I’ve been developing over the last few months. Here’s how:
Make it a priority
Before I had children, and especially before I got married, I’d have my quiet time in the mornings, before work. Living alone, without any distractions, I could prioritise this. Now, with 3 other people demanding my time and attention in the morning, I’m lucky if I get five minutes to do my makeup.
Instead, I prioritise it for as soon as I get 10 minutes of quiet. The moment Samuel goes for his nap, I grab my Bible. Often, the housework has to wait. I have to shut the door on the untidy living room and tell myself I’ll get it sorted once I’ve had my quiet time. The quiet time comes first.
Put it into perspective
Most quiet times only take 10-15 minutes. That’s less time than it takes me to do any number of chores, and certainly less time than I spend on Facebook each day! So why can’t I give that time to God?
It does help that I can say to my family that I’m going to have a quiet time, or that I need 15 minutes peace, and Tim will look after the children for that time. Again, it’s only 15 minutes.
See it as a treat
Having a daily quiet time can seem like a chore. It’s another thing to add to the to-do list. Another thing to feel guilty about it you don’t get it done.
But actually, it can be one of the loveliest moments of your day.
Rather than seeing it as a chore, try to see it as a treat. For me, it’s a time when I allow myself just to sit still and to ignore everything else that is demanding my attention. I cannot tell you how restorative it is! Somehow those few minutes of peace and focusing on God can really reset the rest of the day.
Don’t stress if it doesn’t happen
God knows that you are busy. He sees you in every minute of every day. He knows you are tired. I was so encouraged this week by this post from Michelle at Progress not Perfection: Letter to all mums from God. In it, she writes, “You don’t have to earn God’s favour by striving, you already have it because it is who you are in Christ that matters most.”
Having young children is one of the most stressful, demanding times in our lives. We’re juggling motherhood, running a home, working, childcare, church commitments, family commitments and pressures… And it never seems to stop. There will be time in the future. Do what you can, and don’t live under guilt.
Here’s the thing: although it’s a good practice to get into, having a daily quiet time isn’t essential. We’re not saved by the amount we study or the amount we pray. We’re saved by the grace of God.
I know I’ve been blogging about faith a lot recently, and if it’s not something you come to my blog for, don’t worry! I’ve got lots of other non-faith related posts on the way. But I know lots of you do come to my blog to read about faith. I’d love to know if you have a quiet time and how you make it happen – let me know in the comments!