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This is not a fun thing for me to admit. But it’s true. For a while, I stopped having quiet times.
I never thought this would be me.
In high school, I read the Bible cover to cover each year. In college, I minored in Religion and had long journaling sessions in the college chapel. I’m an avid reader, and I own a gazillion theology books. I taught middle school Bible, and I’m the Children’s Ministry director at our church. I write a Christian blog for crying out loud!
I know all the verses and the answers.
But as a young mom, I stopped having quiet times.
Don’t get me wrong – I never turned my back on the Lord. We faced some hard times in our family, and the Lord was our Rock. I talked to him rocking my babies, scratching my little ones’ backs while they were sick in bed.
But quiet times…with an open Bible, and an open mind, and open thirty minutes…
That was hard.
I want to be very clear. In confessing this, I am not excusing it. Sometimes I think in our culture we have far too much confessing our failures, and not enough embracing of excellence.
The truth is, the Word of God is our life, and we need it.
But I share this because I wonder if maybe I’m not alone. If maybe there are other mothers who struggle with guilt over missed quiet times or unopened Bibles…
If this is you, I have a few things I’d like to share.
- Walking with God looks different in every season. I’ll tell you one thing. I am SO incredibly grateful for my Christian education and personal study as a child. Because I have so many verses in my heart! We all have seasons of growth. Motherhood is a different sort of Walking With God. Part of me feels a little tinge when I hear a new mother berating herself for “not spending time in the Word.” It is a small and sacred time to nurse newborns at night. To be so completely exhausted and sore at the end of the day from carrying toddlers and babies, scrubbing juice stains and faces and toilets. I just don’t think it is realistic to impose a law on yourself of I MUST HAVE A THIRTY MINUTE BIBLE STUDY EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!
- There are different ways to soak in the Word of God. I tread on this ground lightly, but I do think it’s worth noting that it is not a commandment to have a “quiet time.” What I do remember reading, come to think of it, is that we should fix these Words on our hearts, write them on our doorframes, talk about them to our children… Let me be specific. If you struggle to have a daily quiet time, surround your home with the Word of God. Put Scripture prints up. Write it on notecards on the fridge. Have music playing, with Bible verses. Talk to your kids about God’s word.
- Accept that when you do have “quiet times,” they may look different as a mom. They may be shorter. You may have your kids join you, and sip their lemonade while you, your coffee. (I do this!) Also, your brain might be mush.
It’s better to do it, than wait to do it perfectly.
- And that, I think, is the key to this whole thing. I read an article a few months ago that completely changed my thinking on this. It’s called, “Bible Study and Motherhood: Is It Possible?” Prior to that article, I think I gave myself a permanent permission slip to slack off in my Bible study. Because…motherhood.
This article challenged me in two ways.
One – it made me realize that I was neglecting God, my true sense of energy and wisdom.
To quote the author, Melissa Kruger, “When we rightly understand that God’s word is manna for our weary souls, we value it above all else…We prioritize what we prize. If we truly believe time with God is as important as eating or drinking, we will find time in our day because we understand we can’t make it without the nourishment we need. It’s like putting on our own oxygen mask before we help others. We must drink in Jesus or we will have nothing to offer our families.”
And, two – it made me accept the imperfect “quiet” time (perhaps the name should be changed?) that I spend with the Lord.
“There will be days when you leave time in the word and you won’t remember what you read, she says. “You may wonder about its relevance to your life. Your prayers may seem lackluster and distracted. Keep reading. Keep praying. Keep studying. Perseverance is part of the process.”
My quiet times are not so beautifully “perfect” as they once were. They are shorter. I am more tired. They still, I admit, happen without the religious frequency they used to.
And yours may not either.
But don’t give up, friend. His Word is the nourishment we need.
ps. This is the Bible study I’m doing now. I love it. Join me this summer? 🙂
I’d love to know if you’re joining me. Please comment and let me know!
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