As a mum of five, there’s rarely a quiet moment in our home during daylight hours. And I’ve learned over the years to adjust; to get used to noise, mess, tantrums, and most importantly, to keep a quiet heart.
It wasn’t a comfortable lesson to learn – and some days I continue to struggle – but in a world where the perfect Instagram-worthy “quiet time” is often portrayed as THE method of connecting with God and His Word, those of us who can’t quite manage that hot coffee, colour coded highlighters and sticky notes, beautifully journaled Bible and elusive quiet and cozy space, it can become so disheartening, that sometimes we ask ourselves, “why do I even bother?!”
Don’t get me wrong, there’s NOTHING wrong with a purposeful and beautifully set up quiet time to read the Bible, I really do believe it’s God honouring and soul replenishing. Yet, in our striving to force a perfect quiet time, I wonder if we’ve made it an idol?
I’ve had friends say to me, “I just CANNOT survive without my quiet time. It fills ME up. It sets ME up for the day. I need alone time so I can be a nicer person. If I don’t get it, I’m horrible”… and so on.
Time spent with Jesus does fill us up, it does set us up with a heavenly perspective for the day, and does, over time, sanctify us. But our “quiet time” is actually not about US.
When we meet with the Lord to read our Bible, our heart posture should be one of seeking Him. Desiring to know more about the God who created the heavens and the earth, the one who loves us beyond measure, the one who died so we could live… it’s not about getting a moment’s peace and quiet amongst the chaos of mum life.
When we come to our Bibles and quiet time making it all about us, we’re actually missing out on the true joy of experiencing who God is! We also run the risk of letting our feeling dictate our Bible reading habits. When we FEEL God’s comfort, peace and presence, we’ll meet with Him.
But, how about those seasons when we read our Bible day in and day out, not feeling much or not having yet seen the fruit? Where is our motivation? Do we keep going, knowing God is doing a good work in us? Or do we give up because it suddenly doesn’t “feel” like it’s recharging us for the day?
I know for myself, I’ve often thought I deserved a quite time. I wrongly thought God should bless this time because I was gracing Him with my presence (oh, my prideful heart!), yet why would God, who ordained motherhood and called it good, make it something it’s not (quiet!) just because I had pridefully believed I was doing Him a favour by being a good Christian by sitting down to read my Bible.
When we decide in our hearts that we want simply to adore the Lord, suddenly the atmosphere around us, whether quiet or loud, doesn’t matter so much. “Quiet time” becomes more about a quiet peace within (amongst our noisy lives!), instead of a tangible quiet in our homes which may just escape us during the season we’re in!
And so, in rejecting the quiet time idol, I’ve learnt to keep a quiet heart. I’ve learnt amongst noisy children and busy homeschooling days, to settle my heart and receive the gift of God’s story in the Word, the revelation of who He is, and no longer do I crave a quiet time or get mad at my children for interrupting what was supposed to be “my time”. And so, instead of saying “I just need MY quiet time”, we declare, ““Lord I need YOU. Reveal more of yourself to me!”
I thank God that He meets me exactly where I am, noise and all. And on the off chance that my time in the Word is miraculously quiet, my coffee remains hot and I find my highlighters where I left them with the lids still on, and I am not interrupted by requests for snacks, I can rest knowing that it is a rare gift to enjoy.
Busy mum, when and how do you read God’s Word? I’d love to know! Share your experience in the comments