Speaking of Quiet Times with Little Ones in the House

by Audrey on April 30th, 2013


Were we speaking of this?  I think we were.  Well, I’ve spoken about it a lot – because there was a time when I had little ones in the house all the time and now I have little ones in the house a lot.    

I like it.
 
And I still have time with the Lord.  I think it was when I was in college that I first heard about a  “quiet time”  - in terms of it being a special time set aside for God. 
 
When I was growing up I never heard my parents using these words unless they were talking about having  quiet in the house.  Like, “Go to your room and sit on your bed and have some quiet time.”  Or “You have too much energy – go run in the yard for 30 minutes, then sit in the rocker in the living room and be quiet for a few minutes.” 
 
My quiet times when I was a child consisted of times like the ones I just described but they also included times of lazy days on a porch swing.  Or breaks in the summer heat when I was drenched in sweat working in tobacco, picking blueberries, or pulling weeds in the garden.  Or Sunday afternoons after a big Sunday dinner when the parents took a nap and told the children to have some quiet time.
 
Or times on a long trip when we children were getting too noisy and we had to play the quiet game.  Or just draw on the Etch-a-Sketch.
 
I didn’t know until I was in college about Christian “quiet times” -  meaning special time with the Lord.  Special time set aside to read God’s Word and pray.  Usually in the morning – at least that’s the time we were encouraged to have a quiet time.
 
So I began to have quiet times.  Special set apart times of seclusion with the Lord.  Wonderful sweet times.  This was easy to do when I was a single college girl.  I would get up early enough to have a quiet time before class.  I could wander out to the grassy area in front of my dorm, or find a quiet spot in the Student Center, or if my roommate was not in the room – I could stay put.  There was always a time and and a place I could find.
 
I used Bible study guides.  I wrote out Psalms and Proverbs.  I copied hymns.  I went back through the passage of Scripture and the notes I had taken from my pastor’s sermon.  I did all kinds of things.
 
Those times were sweet uninterrupted times of solitude.   But it didn’t end there.  I talked to God on the way to class.  As I studied.  When I was burdened.  I just simply poured my heart out to Him about everything.  I asked for wisdom.  Just knowing He was there and that He cared for me was so comforting and reassuring.
 
This habit continued when I got married.  Before children.
 
Then when God added the blessing of children, my quiet times weren’t so quiet anymore.  I couldn’t easily find times of solitude. 
 
What I found is that I had to rethink time with Lord.  Could I only enjoy Him and hear from Him if I was by myself?  With children, I was rarely, if ever, by myself.  Nor did I really want to be.  Suddenly these little people brought out a die to self thing in me.  
 
What God began to teach me very practically is that all of my time was my time with the Lord.  Instead of having extended times of solitude at my choosing, I was beginning to learn that I just needed everyday, every moment, every second times with the Lord.
 
The words to this hymn began to mean so much to me:
 
I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;  no tender voice like Thine can peace afford.   I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
 
I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby; temptations lose their power when thou art nigh. I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
 
I need thee every hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
 
I need thee every hour; teach me thy will; and thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
 
I need thee every hour, most Holy One; O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.

 
I wanted to go to Him – I wanted “quiet times” that didn’t have to be quiet.
 
And I wanted my children to see that all time belongs to the Lord – that I can thank Him and talk to Him before my feet hit the floor in the morning.  I can talk to Him if they come and snuggle with me during the night.  I can talk to Him and grab quiet time when I get up to feed a newborn.  I can leave my Bible next to the glider or on my bedside table.  I can talk to Him and read His word out loud to toddlers when we are eating breakfast or lunch and the Scripture that I’ve memorized?  I can recite it to them when we go for walks or play in the yard.
 
At times when they were small, I did manage to get up before them – but oh, I don’t know, they had radar.  They knew and they would creep into the kitchen or living room or wherever I thought I had hidden – and then they’d see me. 
 
And what was I to do?  Was I to shout, “Hey go back to bed – can’t you see I’m having MY QUIET TIME WITH GOD?’
 
Even then, God was good to me and I knew that I needed to welcome them into my lap and show them what mommy was reading and what I was doing.  That’s why now, when I go back and look at my quiet time journals, I find page after page of toddler drawings – and they make me smile.  I would say things like, “Mommy is writing a prayer – do you want to write a prayer? God loves you so much.  He loves it when we talk to Him and spend time with Him.”
 
See, growing in Christ is about having a heart attitude toward Him.  It’s about taking in the truth of His word as I walk by the way, as I listen to the radio, as I go to church, as I read what I read, as I memorize and just plain share my heart with Him and let Him share His heart with me through His word.  And you know what?  He’ll multiply whatever time you have – He’ll multiply His word . . .
 
I think I’ve grown the closest to the Lord through times with my children.  Praying over them.  Praying with them. Loving them.  Walking through difficult circumstances with them.  Trusting God with them. Holding them close to my heart even now when they are now so many miles away. 
 
So those quiet times without children evolved into children times.  And I learned I could enjoy the Lord in the middle of those times.  He can grow you – He will grow you through it all.  He’s the One who said whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.  Let that sink in.  
 
Children bring noisy times.  They bring praying times.  Reading times.  Crying times.  Laughing times.  
 
Who says you can’t have time with the Lord when you have children?  All our time is His.  He doesn’t compartmentalize our time.
 
What we need is to live everyday – every moment – with a heart intentionally turned toward Him.  He is  the giver of all good things – including special time with Him.
 
Yes – He has provided extended quiet times of solitude through the years – but as a young mother, I began to find out that all my time with Him was special.
 
Every day.  Every moment.  Every second. 
 
And you know what else?  I found that when I searched for Him , rather than searching for time – I found Him.
 
After all, He is the One Who said, "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord . . ."
 
It’s not about the perfect place, the perfect circumstance, the perfect cup of coffee, the perfect journaling book, the perfect quiet . . .
 
It’s about the heart . . .
 
So if you are a mother of young children – live your life calling upon Him.  Go and pray to Him.  He will listen.  Seek Him.  He will be found by you.

Your children might find you too - but that's a good thing.  And they just might scribble in your quiet time journal ~ giving you something to smile about for years to come.



Posted in Biblical Womanhood, Mothering    Tagged with no tags


5 Comments

Erin - May 1st, 2013 at 1:03 PM
I really like this post. It's a reminder to me to let my children catch me in God's Word and that all My time is His.
Abby - May 2nd, 2013 at 7:52 PM
Thank you Audrey. So encouraging.
Peg - September 4th, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Thankful for this encouragement today!
Rose Marie - July 2nd, 2014 at 5:37 PM
"Quiet time with our Blessed Lord & Saviour" has become more & more challenging over the years because of all the 'stuff of life' that we've allowed to 'creep in'* Thank you so very, very much for reminding us of the 'precious moments' of quiet time that our Dear Lord desires so very much for us to have with HIM when we 'crawl up in His Lap', read His Word, talk to Him & then listen'* Thank you so very much for the much needed reminder* Have a blessed quiet time in Christ*
Candida - June 8th, 2016 at 7:46 PM
Love this sweet reminder...thank you!

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