Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No More Guilt

No More Guilt!

Dear Mothers,

A mother of six children emailed me the other day and asked a great question. She wanted to know when I had my quiet time with the Lord. Well, I guiltily told her that right now, I don’t really have one. I “fit” reading the Word and praying when I can throughout the day. I thought about how hard it is to find a moment of uninterrupted time when you are going from sun-up to sundown.

The Lord must have known my heart because right before bed I was reading a book called “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” by Jennie Chancey and Stacy Mcdonald. These women have 18 children between them! The heading caught my eye when it said “The Highly Revered ‘Quiet Time’”. Whoa!!! Hold the phone! That’s un-Christian! Or isn’t it?

Stacey McDonald says this, “I don’t have personal quiet time every morning, nor do I know anyone with more than two children who does! Spending time with God and His Word is crucial, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting a regular time of peaceful bless in prayer and quiet solitude.”

She goes on to say, “I believe that one of the heaviest burdens well-meaning Christians place upon the shoulders of mothers at home is the mandate of “quiet time.” Women are continually frustrated and filled with guilt as they try all different kinds of methods. Should they get up earlier, sacrificing already limited sleep? Should they stay up later and sacrifice time with her husband?

Moms of little ones need sleep!!! Let’s not beat ourselves up over our failure to create a worship time that resembles someone else’s.”

Sometimes I feel less then Christian for not having a regular prayer time. Stacey has found a better way. She calls them “prayer droplets”. “This is a more reasonable and feasible option for a busy mother: pray in “droplets” throughout the day. Not only is it achievable it is biblical. We are instructed to ‘pray without ceasing’.”

You can read snippets of Scripture throughout the day. While I’m nursing, I always have something encouraging on hand that is full of Scripture. I have a Bible open on my kitchen windowsill above my sink so I can try memorizing Scripture when I’m doing the dishes. You could have a Bible open in your laundry room.

Stacey says, “If you have little ones, accept that this is your “noisy season” of life. You’ll have moments for “quiet” time later. Pray in droplets during the day as well as when you’re awake at night.”

Have you thought that you had to spend time with God a certain way for it to “count”?

God is BIGGER than that! He is so full of grace! He does not want you defeated, but to live in victory! Are you getting angry with your little ones for interrupting your “quiet time”? I know I am guilty of doing that. I’ve even been mad at God for not allowing me to have my time alone with Him! That’s crazy! Stacey says, “Christ never snapped at those who cried out for Him; he didn’t rebuke them for taking away His “quiet time”. God will provide us with the rest and refreshing we need. He will even provides with moments alone with Him at times. But we’re not to knock ourselves out trying to get away from everyone to meet with God. We need to learn to find Him in the commotion of everyday life. We must view serving our families as acts of service to God, rather than as acts that “get in the way” of serving Him.”

This is balm to my soul, Mothers! Let’s start taking what God gives us! If it is just a few moments, let’s recognize it for what it is. It’s an opportunity to pray or be encouraged by reading some Scripture.

I hope this encourages you and frees you from feeling guilty all the time. Remember, “this too shall pass”…

From One Mom to Another,



Jessica said...

I appreciate the sentiment of this msg. Some women with oodles of kids can actually manage a "quiet time", and some moms with only 1 or 2 cannot, and I agree that none should be judged, for it's not a competition! Nor is there a "minimum requirement"...I like that that point was made. I don't think we moms should seek out tons of excuses, for if our hearts are seeking the Lord, we'll find some sorta way to be with Him---don't we always manage time for the ones we love? But it's freeing to read/hear someone say that it's not necessary to live in guilt and anguish over a changing season in our lives---thanks for sharing this post!

The Park family said...

I remember when mine were very young it was very difficult to set aside time for the Lord. However, what made a difference for me was the realization that it is just another way of dying to self. The only way I can be the best mommy I can be is by spending that time to be filled in order to have something to give out. Here is a very neat article that encourages you in practical ways to fit one in..... No formula is practical but this one gives many ways to keep US from running on empty.
If you are every able to attend one of her retreats they are so much fun and SO REFRESHING!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I agree that we should not be making excuses to noy spend time with God. Sometimes I think I fall under the catagory of thinking that if I didn't get that half hour of uninterrupted time, it didn't count. I should know better of my God!

i hope no one thinks that I am advocating skipping in-depth Bible study. I'm noy. I LOVE the Word, but I just can't study it everyday for hours like I would like to do. I worship im by serving my family.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Can you tell I have a baby in my arms and I'm typing with one hand? LOL!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Let it rain! Praying throughout the day in droplets is the way I survive. Thank you for posting this. This will be one of my all time favorite devotion of yours.

Cat said...

And one of my favorites too, Stacie! I'm older, not children at home, and when I visit my g-children and even take along my Bible study and don't get to it, I've felt the pangs of guilt. I'm praying thoughtout the day...from sprinkles to downpours. God is interested in relationship, not legalism. I'm relieved to be reminded of this! Thanks.

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