Quiet Times in a Busy Household
I dream of a capacious house full of rooms and lots of storage places. Central in that dream is my “quiet room”- a room with thick insulation and a skylight under which is a big comfy recliner just waiting for me to plunk down in it and read my Bible, pray and meditate, uninterrupted. As I look up through the skylight, I view the puffy cumulus clouds drifting by in the midst of a beautiful blue sky- a perfect scenario for meditating on the riches of God’s inexhaustible Word. Nearby is my bookcase, full of study books and concordances and a spacious desk on which I can leave my books spread out when not in use and ready to pick up again where I left off.
That’s my dream, but it’s not a reality-not in this season of my life! I’m a mom of 14 blessings, yes, blessings! I wouldn’t trade any one of them for all the solitude in the world, but I must confess, there are times I would like to experience, as the song goes “Blessed Quietness”. It happens only at very unusual times in my bustling household-like maybe after 11pm or midnight???
Through the years, I’ve had to adjust my quiet time to Rick’s schedule, the children’s ages and therefore changing schedules. You know how it is-it changes all the time.
I have tried to make a quiet time with the Lord a priority. It’s a precious time where God speaks to me and I speak to Him and draw from His Word and His Spirit gives me guidance and direction I need for my busy life. I need God’s direction as to how to raise 14 unique personalities to direct each one to serve his/her Creator. It’s not an easy task, actually, it’s impossible in my own strength. I know that, but I also know that God cares about all those little details of my life and their lives and my husband’s life much more than I do and He has a perfect plan for all of us. I need God. I need His presence, the washing of His Word, the red flags in my spirit to turn me from the wrong paths and the nudge of His Holy Spirit to keep my focus on His priorities.
Being a Mom is a 24 hr. a day job, but as the years have gone by, I’ve to evaluate and reevaluate my schedule and learn to give God my best time. For some people that’s first thing in the morning and that’s great, but I’ve never been a morning person . I find my mind is sluggish until I’ve been awake awhile. When I had a house full of infant/toddlers/nappers , naptime was my best time. Then for a while Rick worked a night shift and nighttime, right after the boys went down to bed at 7:30 was best for me. Now, my house is a busy place from early morning till late at night. I have 4 kids married, 7, almost 8 grandchildren and a house where all know they are welcome- to come, hang out , entertain friends, etc. Therefore BUSY is a huge understatement. Several of my older girls operate their own business, as does Rick , then there’s our ministry, and the younger kids have varied interests. On a given day you may find Tuck hammering away making designs on his belts, or nailing birdhouses together. Kasey may appear as a multitude of costume clad figures from history, blowing on her fife or banging out a song on her drum. Kelley is practicing the piano. Various grandchildren may be here playing cars or dollhouse and of course they want NaNa (that’s me) to play with them. I long ago determined that I would be the kind of grandma who gets down on the floor and plays with them or reads Bible stories to them to try to influence them positively for the Lord. That’s my goal and it’s a big one, esp since I still have an 11 year old, a 13 year old, a sixteen year old….( nine kids still live at home)!
All that to say, most nights you’ll find me up late at night or even in the wee hours spending my best uninterrupted time with God. (Don’t look for me super early in the morning, however). I get fed, my spirit refreshed and direction set for the new day-tomorrow. Find the time that works best for you-now in whatever season you find yourself in and don’t feel guilty if it’s not what works for others. I’ve found what works best for others often doesn’t fit me –my life is unique. Yours is, too, so ask God to show you your best time and do your best to meet with Jesus and feed your soul.
I’ve also had to find times that work for my children to have their quiet times. Kasey- 11 , Kelley-12 and Tuck-16 have their Bible reading time in the afternoon, after school and lunch before free time . Grace, a morning person gives God the first part of her day. What’ important is that you do schedule it in and do it- experiment a little and find a working plan. My three youngest do Bible studies and verse memorization as a part of their “school” each morning. They are rewarded for learning a certain number of verses, as God is a rewarder of those who seek Him ( Heb. 11: 6).
Josh 1:9 promises us success in all that we do if we will meditate on His Word. Take it in, chew on it, mull it around in your mind and heart until it becomes part of the way you think and act. Of all the things we can teach our children, a love for God and His Word should be paramount. If it is, God will place His blessing on all we do, including our homeschooling endeavor.