I recently wrote about seasons of life. With kids around, quiet time is precious and hard to find. I’m still waking up throughout the night to nurse a baby or sooth a toddler. Luckily my older boys sleep great! As a matter of fact, they’re the opposite of the little guys. The big boys have officially reached the I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning phase. Having my kids on to opposite ends of the sleeping spectrum makes for a tired mommy. At night, I like to capitalize on my no kid time. After all of my boys go to bed, my favorite thing to do is grab a sweet treat (or air popped popcorn if I’m trying to be good) and a cup of tea, (or glass of wine) and veg in front of the television (or finally have a conversation) with my hubby to decompress. I always end up staying awake for waaay too long! I really love this time to do nothing though! Because I stay up too late and am up throughout the night, in the mornings I always stay in bed for as long as possible!!! I wait until I hear little feet running around until I finally drag myself out of my incredibly comfy, wonderful, soft, warm bed. I love my bed! I also love sleep!
The tricky part about this kind of prioritizing (staying up late and sleeping in) is that I have to find creative ways to fit in other important things that require quiet time. I feel it’s incredibly important to have alone, kidless time with my husband at night. I’m not willing to give that time up for anything. I could wake up earlier than my kids for some personal quiet time, but I just don’t want to. I know that devoting some quiet time to read my Bible and pray is really important. Honestly, this is something I have always struggled at being consistent with. For me, it always seems to be just a phase of reading and prayer. It never turns into a habit that lasts for years. I don’t want my time with God to be a season or a phase. It needs to be something I do without fail, everyday.
During those seasons when I have made God a priority, I see and feel the difference in my life. Taking time to learn about and focus on Him changes my perspective and my mindset for the better. I know that it’s my choice how to think and feel. I choose to have a good day or bad day. We’re sinful beings, living in a sinful world. There will always be lots of things to frustrate me! Spending time with God in the mornings gives me a calmer, clearer perspective. When I start my day focusing on Him, it’s easier to remember to not let all of the negative aspects of life bother me. Spending time with God reminds me to pray continuously, ask for patience when I feel frustrated with my kids, turn to Him when I’m in those moments when I feel like I’m going to blow it. No human is perfect. Of course I still constantly make mistakes. I have to apologize to my boys for overreacting all the time! I feel like it happens less often though when I start my day right. I feel more of a sense of peace when I’ve allowed God to work in my heart first thing in the morning.
Whenever I share about how I struggle in making time with God a priority, I’m given lots of great ideas from friends. My husband wakes up early for work, before anyone else is up! Every morning, he spends about 5 minutes (or more) reading directly from his Bible and praying. He’s had this same routine for years… As a creature of habit this works really well for him. My really good friend Diana is in a similar phase of life as me. She also struggles with finding time to sit down and read, so she listens to her Bible with a talking Bible app. She also listens to podcasts and books. There are so many ways to spend time with God. It could be in the morning, at night, during a workout, with friends. There are devotionals, books, classes, Bible study guides, the Bible… the list goes on.
I have big dreams of one day having time to read my Bible every day. Take notes in the margins, maybe create some beautiful artwork on the pages. Then reflect on my thoughts in writing. In a journal. Right now though, is not that time. Right now, I need something that can become an easy habit that is practical to get done every day. I’m happy to say, that for the first time in a loooong time, I have been consistent in spending time with God everyday. (well, every week day!) I’ve been reading a sweet little devotional called “Jesus Today”, by Sarah Young. Every page has a short, sweet, personal little note followed by a few applicable verses. This daily devotional book has been just the thing for me. I still have to be really intentional about it. Even with how easy this devotional is, I would still forget to do it if it wasn’t sitting on my kitchen counter staring me in the face every morning. I keep my little book on top of a pretty cake stand right next to the kitchen sink. I put my vitamins on top of it, and I’m not allowed to put away the ugly vitamin case until I’ve read my devotional. Maybe a little dramatic, but it’s been working for me!
With so many choices, what do you do? How do you spend time with God? Does it make a difference in your day when you decide to give Him some of your time? Is it worth it to look for the tool that works for you during this season of life that you’re in? I’ve found that spending time with God helps me to be a happier, more positive person. I’m nicer, kinder and more forgiving. How about you?
Let the morning bring me the word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul – Psalm 143:8