I started my homeschool career with a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, a 1 and 1/2 year old, and a new-born, and quite frankly, I was exhausted. Up in the middle of the night with the infant, trying to keep my toddler from putting stuff in her mouth, whoops, my three year-old just had another accident on the floor, and meanwhile, my 5-year-old needed help with her Phonics and was complaining about the assignment I had given her. My life was not serene; it was chaos.
When life is this busy; when life is so full of interruptions, where and when can a homeschool mom find a quiet time with the Lord?
Here are a few suggestions of times and places I’ve found over the years:
1. Nap Time: If your kids are young, try having devotions when they are napping. Resist the temptation to clean, make some phone calls, or check your email. Your King desires an audience with you; and the meeting starts as soon as the kids are asleep. Run to Him, don’t walk, don’t delay, as soon as the opportunity arises! Ephesians 5:15 “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”
2. Closet Time: God knows us well. He knows how easily we get distracted, and how hard life can be. Find a closet with a good light and some comfy pillows and pour out your heart to your Lord there. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, it can be a rich time. Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
3. Bathroom Time: Keep your Bible in the bathroom. The Bible doesn’t say you can’t read while you’re sitting on the pot! Take every opportunity you can to listen to the Lord through his Word. The times you spend in the bathroom could be your holiest times of the day! Psalm 119:15-16 “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”
4. If you can’t beat ’em; invite them to join you: Unfortunately, I am guilty more than once of yelling at my kids, “I’m TRYING to have my quiet time!!!” My attitude was all wrong. My God doesn’t send the children away; He calls them to Himself. I began to realize if I was praying and a child came in, interrupting, all I needed to do was say, shhh …. I’m praying right now. Come, pray with me! Then I would begin praying out loud. Or shhh…. I’m reading my Bible. Come, listen! Then I would begin reading out loud to them. When children grow up hearing the Word of God and seeing devotional time modeled for them, they are more likely to follow the pattern themselves. Luke 18:16 “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
5. Early in the Morning: Now that my kids are older, I am able to spend time reading my Bible and praying just after I wake up in the morning. Things are relatively quiet, and the kids don’t need me yet. Still, I’m always facing new kinds of interruptions to my time with my King (see next paragraph). Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Take Every Thought Captive: As I sit here writing this in my room, the house is quiet. My children, ages 14 to 9 are busy downstairs. It is a bright, beautiful morning, and my children have only interrupted my devotional time with the Lord of the universe once. Sounds serene, doesn’t it? And yet, my devotions in reality, weren’t only interrupted once. They were interrupted dozens of times – by my own thoughts. (What am I doing today? What errands do I need to run? What is that roadwork they’re doing outside? Is that a mockingbird singing, here in Philly of all places? Why is it so quiet downstairs? What are the kids up to? When will Mr. M. be done with that weedwacker?) My own mind interrupts me! And the Lord reminds me to take my thoughts captive, so I’m not distracted by them. 2 Corinthians 10:5b “… and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
There will always be interruptions, but our God desires us to walk with Him each day. Life as a homeschool mom is busy. Too busy! And yet, to go through such busy days without seeking Him, without His strength and wisdom to guide us, is foolishness. When we make the most of every opportunity He gives us to spend time with Him, we will truly be able to give Him glory in all we do as we teach the Treasures He’s entrusted to us.
Copyright, January 12th, 2012 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)