No matter what phase of life you are in, rolling out of bed is not always an easy task. Let’s face it. The alarm clock can easily become a means of venting your frustration by hitting the snooze button as hard as you can! If you have kids under the age of 5, an alarm clock is not even necessary, as you’re more likely to be awakened by the wails of a crying baby or the tug of chubby little hands, than you are the sound of a buzzer! Once you finally get out of bed, the rest of the morning can be a blur!
Does this morning struggle sound familiar to you? Then so must this question: “how can I possibly have quiet time with God?”
I asked that question so many times during my earlier adult years! Four kids and 17 years later, here is what I finally learned.
Get out of bed. Just do it. It took me years to finally accept that no matter how hard I tried, I would not crack my Bible open on a consistent basis unless I got up earlier than I already was. For a couple of years, that meant I was rolling out of bed at 5:30! (These days my kids have healthier sleep habits, and that means extra zzz’s for me!) You won’t get to read your Bible or have time in prayer if you don’t plan to get up earlier than you are right now!
Prepare the night before. There’s nothing like getting cozy in your chair, open Bible in your lap, only to glance in the corner of your living room at the baskets of laundry needing to be folded! Being an A-type personality, I tend to struggle sitting down for 30 minutes of quiet time with God if there are things waiting to be done. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for your morning with God the night before. Set your timer for 15 minutes before bed, and get those distractions out of your way! Doing so will give you a good feeling when you settle in your chair to meet with God.
Make some GOOD coffee! I used to HATE coffee. However, right after my third child was born I was starting to resemble a walking zombie! I had a desire to spend time with God in the mornings, but I could barely get through 10 minutes of reading before I was nodding off to sleep in my chair. I knew I wouldn’t grow in the Lord unless something changed. So one morning, after I dropped my older kids off to school, I stopped at Meijer. I bought a Bunn coffee maker, and everything I needed to make coffee, including a fancy chocolate creamer. After that, I began to look forward to my mornings! There is nothing like sitting down with an open Bible in one hand and a freshly home-brewed cup of bold Starbucks coffee in the other!
Make a “spot”. Spending mornings with God can be easier if you have a “spot” that is only for that purpose. I have claimed a seat in my living room that has an end table nearby. I keep my Bible, prayer journal, and whatever devotional I’m currently using, in a neat pile on this table along with some pens, and highlighters. This way, everything I need is within easy reach. Throwing a comfy pillow and soft blanket into your chair is an added bonus for comfort. Loving the place you will be meeting with God is essential for success!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BEST-LAID PLANS FAIL
Let’s face it. If you have kids, you can’t always have plans! Did your kids decide they were going to get up an hour earlier with you? Did your baby wake you up every hour all night long? It’s OK. Relax! You are not out of God’s will if you need to feed your children or get another hour of sleep! Here are three things you can do when your plans for Quiet Time with God, fail.
1 – “Listen” to your Bible. When your kids are happily playing, and your baby is finally snoozing, but it’s time for you to get working, plug in your earbuds and listen to your Bible! There are several Bible apps out there, but my favorite is YouVersion. There were many mornings when my children were younger, that I had to listen to the Bible, rather than read it.
2 – Read in the evenings. Exchange that mug of coffee for a cup of tea! Once you’ve put the kids to bed, and the lights are turned down lower for the evening, devote 30 minutes to your Bible reading.
3 – Don’t give up. There were times in my younger parenting days, that I could only spend a couple days a week with the Lord. My heart desired more, and there were days I could feel that I needed more, but I physically could not do more. When you are in this stage of life, it is important to not be hard on yourself, it WILL get better! It is also important to not give up your goals! As your children grow, they need to see mommy reading her Bible, even if it’s not every day. Eventually, they will be old enough to ask, “hey mom, do you think it would be OK if I read my Bible with you in the mornings?” Um, YES!