Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quiet Times and Motherhood - Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 of this series, please read that post before getting into this one.

So, what are quiet times?

I was taught that a quiet time is a portion of your day which you set aside to sit quietly before the Lord, to read your Bible, pray, and maybe spend time journaling. People often had suggestions for the amount of time one should spend on each of these components - the longer, the better, many would say.
And for some reason, it seems this "quiet time" was most frequently prescribed for the morning hours - which, for most mothers of young children, means very early morning hours.
So, I'm wondering. Who made up these "rules" for quiet times? And who decided on the time limits? If I don't read my Bible for 15 minutes, does that mean I haven't met with God?

And why do we have quiet times, anyway? What's the purpose? Does God need this time with us?
No. We are the needy ones!

I have thought about why we have quiet times, and I think I can boil it down to three things.
* We have quiet times because we need to have fellowship with God.
* We have quiet times because we need to grow spiritually.
* We have quiet times because we need to have God pour His love into us.

But, do we have to have 30-45 quiet minutes of Bible reading and prayer, and maybe some journaling, to accomplish those goals? Each of those components is a good thing, I encourage you to engage in them. But for all you mothers of young children, I want to offer you a different perspective on quiet times.
Because as a mother of young children I am willing to bet most of the times at your house are anything but quiet. And the hope I want to hold out to you is this: Even if you don't have "quiet times" you can still have fellowship with God. You can still grow spiritually. He can still cover you with His love.

Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about fellowship.

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luvmy4sons said...

I love it that you are addressing this. So much pressure we put on ourselves to fit into that cliche look that we feel Christian mothers must have. Our God is creative and amazing and there are many many options out there for the various seasons of our lives. good stuff!

Chatty Kelly said...

Amen! After a night of multiply "ups" with your child, how can you wake up early for quiet time. It isn't possible. I pray when I drive. Sing praise songs in the car, or in the house. And know that this season will pass. They don't stay little forever.

The Redouteys said...

Yeah, Karen! Thanks for the constant reminder. It's especially rough with a sick baby in the house. I've been playing my favorite calming worship cd's lately to keep my sanity. :)

Mrs. Sidney said...

I use to get so upset when I would set my alarm to get up early for quiet time and my son would end up sitting next to me asking me a million questions. I would walk away from quiet time annoyed and frustarted. Now when I have my time in the morning my son bring books into my bed and lays next to me when I read, journal and pray... the only rule is when mommy is on her knees he has to wait patiently and he has begun to use this time to pray on his own **grin**!! I am still a work in progress yet I know my quiet time will one day be quiet so I have to enjoy this non quiet time as long as I have it.. right?

Jennifer said...

I am struggling with consistent quiet time like crazy lately. I would love to have it in the morning but my kids start waking up at 6am and I am not a morning person so I just can't see me getting up before them. Then every day brings a different schedule so I am not always home when they are all finally on the bus. This is when I would like to have it every day but many days I need to bring the youngest to school and then volunteer at school or church. By afternoon I am always in catch up mode and find it hard to pull myself away from daily tasks to sit quiet. Then in the evening my oldest kids don't go to bed until 10pm and I am usually turning off my light at the same time. I know it is a lot of excuses but it is a struggle. I need to prioritize because that is really what it boils down to. If I have time to be on the computer WHY don't I have time to sit quietly?
Time to go sit quietly now. Wink!

My ADHD Me said...

Even with older kids it is easy to get out of the habit of quiet times.
I'll be back tomorrow!

Edie said...

Ok I haven't had kids in the house in years but have just started babysitting my grandaughters on the weekdays. It has been my experience that quiet time is always an area of spiritual warfare so there must be deliberate plan or mindset to make it happen. That said, I don't believe that God gives more credit if you show up first thing in the morning.

Looking forward to tomorrows post.

Melissa said...

I don't think God cares when we spend time with Him - there are days when it's a prayer in the car or at my desk - but if I don't do it first thing in the morning, chances are, it won't get done. That's just me - I work full time, so when I get home in the evenings there's always way too much to get done.

If I could just get the same mindset with my exercise routine, I'd be in much better shape!