Yesterday I woke up at 5 am. I would like to say it was intentional, but, it wasn’t. Honestly, I just couldn’t sleep. So, I did what I am prone to do – I pulled out my phone and started doing my usual routine: Facebook, Instagram, Weather, Headline News. Around 6 am, I thought to myself, this is ridiculous. The house is quiet, the neighborhood is quiet, and I think I just might hear my front porch rocking chairs calling my name. I got my Bible and journal and headed out the front door, primed and ready for “real” quiet time with the Lord.
This year, I’ve been writing Scripture (check out swtblessings.com for more info) and pulling out key truths from the verses I write. As I sat in my rocking chair, I looked at the writing plan and realized, well, that I had a little catching up to do. So, I began with the next Scripture on my list—Deuteronomy 11:13-15. As soon as I wrote the first few words of that Scripture in my journal, I heard a little tap from inside the front door, followed by the quick patter of my son’s feet coming right to me. My heart sank. Once again, quiet time ruined. I welcomed him into my arms, continuing to try to write while balancing him, my Bible, and my journal. I was unsuccessful. He looked up at me and said with a smile, “Be right back, Mommy!” and ran back in the house. I finished my Scripture writing as fast as I could, feeling a bit overwhelmed as I wrote the words of verse 14: “He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil” (emphasis added).
In its season…
There are many different seasons in our lives. Right now, I’m in the throes of motherhood. I’m balancing laundry, picky eaters, keeping the summer days filled with fun activities, laundry, picking up toys, trying to teach my kids manners, laundry, traveling to and from play dates and park trips, lathering kids in sunscreen, packing lunches, laundry, and for some reason, contemplating potty training my son before school starts. Did I mention laundry?
One of the hardest things for me to do is spend dedicated time with the Lord. I want to. I long to. Yet, I am always … always … always interrupted. And, I find myself feeling guilty for not spending "adequate" time with Him. I am extremely hard on myself in a lot of areas. (Just another one of my character flaws.) I don’t hold others to the standards I hold myself to, but I do hold myself to very, very high standards and can be very hard on myself when I fail. I don’t have a lot of grace for myself most days.
Yesterday, I learned an important lesson in giving myself grace. As I was reading and writing, I was challenged to live fully in the season of life God has given me.
My son returned quickly with a large stuffed Tow Mater (think Cars). Crawling into my lap on the front porch, he told me all about his Mater. He had no idea he was interrupting me. He had no idea I had other plans. He had no idea I was trying to talk to the Creator of the world, the Savior of mankind. In that moment, he just wanted me to hold him and talk to him about his toy. He wanted my attention and my love. And, humbly, in that moment, I gave it to him. I gave myself grace to put my Bible aside and spend time, one-on-one, with my little man. In those not-so-quiet-anymore moments, I prayed softly over my son as he carried on.
This season may not afford me time for extensive Bible study and extended quiet times. In fact, there are days I will not open my Bible, but it’s not for lack of trying. Even in the midst of asking my kids for a little time to read my Bible, which I do regularly, inevitably, someone ends up crying or the train track breaks or the non-leaking sippy cup leaks or someone needs to go to the bathroom or the snacks spill … the list is endless. When I wake up early, they wake up earlier. When I go to bed later, someone has a bad dream. And you know what? That’s just the season I’m in. It is, literally, quite messy, but God can and will use this season for His good and His glory. God knows what I need in each season. He will provide ... I just need to trust Him to guide me and rest in the understanding that there will be days ahead when my daily quiet times will be much different.
Do I try to consistently spend time with Him? Yes! Am I successful? More often no than yes. Is that okay? Right now, in this season, I think so. I’m choosing to give myself grace. I’m choosing to allow the times I do get alone with God to count for more. To soak up everything I can in those few moments.
And remember that laundry I mentioned earlier? Maybe, just maybe, instead of complaining about the endless folding and putting clothes away or questioning why I bought packs of the same colors of two different size socks, I can use these moments to pray, to listen, and to learn. Finding God in the mundane, everyday tasks that I have to do sounds like a great way to meet Him consistently. It might not look like your "typical" quiet time, but God can use it.
This season is a good season. It’s a hard season. But, it’s a good season. Sometimes I just need a little boy and his stuffed Mater to remind me to give myself a little bit of grace.