The following post is actually a letter Holly Elliff wrote to a frustrated mom who can’t seem to find time to spend with God. Can you relate?
Let me give you a little peek into my life. I have eight children and two in heaven I never got to meet. My kids are currently 32, 30, 27, 23, 21, 18, 15 and 13. I also take care of my mom who has Alzheimers and have four grandchildren age 2 and under! Although I'm not exactly in your shoes right at this moment, I do know what it feels like and I so understand what "tired" means.
When my first four or five kids were all young, I had to focus so much on survival (for me and everyone else), that there were very few holes in my day to focus on time with the Lord. I wish I could tell you that I handled that like a spiritual giant and breezed through without struggle, but then I would just have to confess it the next time Nancy teaches on honesty!
I wish we could sit down together someplace peaceful and visit for a while. Since that's probably not going to happen, I would love to share a few insights that come as a result of years of living where you live and from the perspective of being a little further down the road.
God declares in His Word that your kids are a blessing and a gift. They are not an interruption, a mistake, or a hindrance to God's will in your life; they are God's will for your life.
Since these kids, at the ages they are at this moment, are God's will for your life, does He intend to speak to you in the next decade or so when you don't have free time? Of course He does. So how is that going to happen when you have so little time you can control?
Here are some practical tips on creating space to hear from the Lord:
1. First, think through the last 48 hrs. Any time-stealers come to mind? Facebook, Twitter, TV, email, Internet, phone calls, or texts? Make sure the enemy isn't robbing you of God-moments by offering a "harmless" substitute.
2. Time with the Lord takes intentional planning when you have a full, noisy, busy house. Some days, gather your kids around and read a passage to them. If you can make it interesting to listen to, you might get through several verses. Write a few verses out and leave them in the kitchen, laundry room, or car so you can contemplate as you cook, fold, or wait for your kids.
3. Place Bibles in several spots around your house so anytime you do get to sit down you can snatch a verse or two to ponder.
4. Use the first few minutes of nap time to get rest for your spirit. You probably won't be reading chapters or books at one sitting, but the Lord can use even snippets to instruct and encourage your heart. If you have kids who no longer nap, make a quiet zone where they can read or color while the little ones sleep and you get refreshed. Occasionally, this will actually work!!
5. Escape for a few minutes if you can after your husband gets home or right after dinner. I have had quiet times on picnic tables at the park, in my car at Sonic, on my driveway sitting in my car, and in my laundry room or closet.
6. Practice God's presence "in the midst" of your crazy days. He doesn't leave because your life is hectic. He can minister grace to your heart as you comfort that child or chop veggies for dinner or sort dirty socks. Christ knew what it was like to wash dirty feet. He is not absent when we are surrounded by lots of them! Remember that the Lord had many moments when He sought to draw apart to seek the Father. Sometimes that happened, sometimes He was moved with compassion and returned to the multitudes. His heart was to do the will of His Father every moment of every day, but He didn't live apart, He lived in the midst.
7. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment as you discover what will work for your family. Since it is God's will for you to know Him, ask Him to enable you to creatively pursue that in this season of your life. God's Word is eternal. The lives of those who come to know Him are eternal. Houses, stuff, and even time will all pass away. We won't regret time invested in His Word and in raising our kids to love Christ.
Proverbs 2:1–10 says:
My (daughter), if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.
I hope this helps,