Quiet time in a noisy life.

7:13 AM

I woke up this morning restless, anxious, and not ready to face this Monday.

   Thoughts of identity, purpose, and who-am-I and what-am-I-doing stole in during the night and took up residence, trying to evict peace and reason.  I can't tell you how often I find myself floating...desperately seeking that affirmation and sense of belonging in relationships, family, friends, skill, talents, even my children...when it can only truly be found in Christ.

   For too long now, I've reasoned that I just can't seem to fit my quiet time into this stage of life.  Having two under two threw most of my normal routines and habits out of the window, and one of the ones hit the hardest, was a focused, leisurely quiet time or devotions each day.  But let's be honest, it wasn't at an ideal place to begin with, and so when the babies came along?  Yeah, pretty much stopped happening altogether.

   But as time has passed, and I am no longer in the crunch time of nursing a newborn and taking care of a barely-walking 18 month-old, I am starting to realize some of that for what it was.....an excuse.  Because guess what?  With a 2.5 yr old and 4 year old, somehow, it's just as hard.

  The truth is, prioritizing and maintaining a consistent quiet time is NEVER going to be easy.  Not when you're in high school, not when you're single and working a job, not when you're newlywed or having babies or watching them grow up or entering retirement.  It is just never going to happen on its own.

   I was forced to ask myself....what even is my ideal situation for a meaningful quiet time?  A sunlit balcony overlooking a tropical paradise as the birds wake me from my slumber and I sip on a mango smoothie in my hammock with my Bible and journal? Surely then quiet time would be its most idyllic and worthwhile.....or maybe not. Because even then, let's get real....I'd probably just want to sleep in and then hit the beach.

   So we need to stop waiting on the "ideal" and just make it happen where we're at, wherever that happens to be.  For me personally, that isn't necessarily first thing in the morning.  Or at least I'm sure it could be, if I would only get in the habit of waking before my kids.  But as that has not been happening in any sort of regular fashion, I have had to make some adjustments.

   I usually get up around the same time they do, and I just don't even think about sitting down for some quiet until after the whirlwind of getting dressed, combing hair, eating breakfast, etc.  But after that, they seem to settle down into a sort of temporary lull, content to find things to play with and self-entertain for an hour or so.  And that my friends, is the window of opportunity.

  It's pretty easy to blow right through that time frame, if I dive into the laundry or daily to-dos or get sucked into email or other things.  Sometimes I try to accomplish too much and I try to work out, shower, get ready and start some  before attempting to have quiet time.  But you can't overextend...if you just go straight to your chair, crack open your Bible and dive in, you will have your quiet, they will play happily not even noticing you, and it will be crossed off your list before you even realize what happened.

And just because lists are fun:

1. Carve out some time, at any time of the day.

2. Try not to "idealize" what you'd like it to be (quiet, distraction free, etc.) and just STEAL that time.

3. If it's hard to focus, take a sheet of paper and quickly jot down everything floating around in your brain.....grocery items, reminders, people you need to talk to, etc.

4. Don't get discouraged if it's not a long amount of time, or overwhelming emotional or anything...you still took time to invest in a relationship! That is worthwhile.

5. Tomorrow is a new day.  Don't let the past rob you from a fresh start.

   I hope you all know how much I do NOT have it all together.  Consistent time spent in the Word and prayer has been one of my biggest struggles since.....forever?  And so by talking about it the last thing in the world I want you to think is that I have it mastered.  Rather, I talk about it so that I can sort out my own thoughts and feelings, and hold myself accountable in some small way.

  So now I'd love to hear from some of you...what are some ways you make quiet time happen even during this busy stage of life?

***Side note*** I've had the honor of being published with my thoughts on comparison over here  and with my messy kitchen (eek!) over here at Heart magazine.  I just love the work they are beginning over there!  They have such a heart for authenticity and sharing hope and inspiration with everyone around them.  Check them out!  

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  1. Yes, yes! Quiet time is a must, especially in this stage of motherhood. It's hard to make it happen, but I so desperately need it.
    I have found that early mornings are the best time for me. Carson is an early riser, which meant that I had to learn to get up even earlier than I was normally waking. But I've adjusted to this new schedule, I LOVE it.
    During Lent, I was following along with the study from She Reads Truth - it was so good!

    Thanks for sharing these tips.

  2. Thank you Shelley. I needed to read this. -Amanda Miller

  3. love this!! so practical and life giving!

  4. I need it too! So glad it could encourage you.

  5. So glad it encouraged you, dear friend! Thanks for reading.

  6. such a good post...thanks for the encouragement--daily quiet time is hard but so worth it!

  7. Sounds like our daily schedule is about the same. Thanks for the reminder to make quiet time happen whenever it works.

  8. Thanks, Shelley! Always so happy to be connected with you at Heart <3


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