Finding Time For Quiet Time

As a mother,
finding time for yourself can be difficult.
Before I had kids,
I admittedly thought it was all a little over exaggerated.
How were you unable to have a shower? It takes 5 minutes!
You really didn't get to go pee all day? Please.
Oh how naive I was! 

This is me letting my 3 year old give me 'face paint'.
My attempt in keeping her quiet while on the phone.

Now as a mom,
I understand that not being able to sit down and pee (alone) 
is definitely a real thing. 
I have perfected how to unbutton my jeans,
pull them down, pull up my jeans and button them again
all with one hand! 

Yes, these may seem like small triumphs,
but triumphs they are.
It's all about learning and perfecting a whole new set of skills.
Being a mom is a big learning curve in so many ways.

That being said,
when it comes to carving out time
for yourself, it is a hard thing to do.
If I can't get the basics covered,
 like toileting and showering,
how could I possibly spend 30 minutes 
in alone reading my Bible?
Even painting my nails or shaving my legs
have become luxuries.

It is tough to readjust.
To shift my  priority and mindset,
carving out time for God each day.
The great thing is that God doesn't care
if I am showered in order to meet Him.
He doesn't mind that I may
have a little one on my lap watching
videos on my phone 
so that I can spend some time 
reading His word.
It certainly looks different with children, 
but it doesn't mean it has to stop.

God calls us to spend time with Him,
to study His word and to pray.
There are times for me when this is much easier,
and times when it seems impossible. 
For instance, when my oldest daughter was a baby she would take two,
sometimes three, naps a day.
That seemed easy enough for me to figure out.
The first nap was when I'd make a cup of tea and sit down with
my Bible and journal to have quiet time.
The other naps I would devote to cleaning or exercise.

As she grew older her naps decreased
and I had to choose how I wanted to spend that time.
Would I clean a disorderly and untidy house?
Would I shower, have a cup of coffee and breakfast in peace?
Or would I sit down and open my Bible?
It was a toss up every day.
Often times I chose a combination of the first two.
My devotionals and time with God
kept getting further down my list of priorities.
I'd tell myself it was too hard to sit down 
when there was so much else to be done.
Sure that may have been true, 
my to-do list was always long.
The best times to tackle it was when my daughter was sleeping.

It feels selfish to do something for ourselves.
Even if you don't have a belief system that you want to devote time to.
Just getting out to exercise, read a book,
go for a walk alone or sit and hear your own thoughts.
Using a portion of our day just for us feels foreign,
but it is so important. 
For our sanity, for our souls and for our families.

A solo bike ride at sun set. Peaceful and serene.

Recently, I started going to a fitness class.
I pack up the girls in the van and drive a short distance.
They have childcare there that's fun for the girls.
On the third day, Claire announced she didn't want to go.
That she would rather just stay at home.
The struggle for me to overcome the guilt of taking her anyway was incredible.
I wanted to give her what she wanted, 
a morning at home watching cartoons.
Yet I knew that taking one hour out of my day for myself
would ultimately be better for us all.
I reminded myself that my three year old thinks and expresses
what she wants in that moment.
 I needed to push through it and take her with me.

When I take the time to even spend 15 minutes to sit 
and read my devotional, and hopefully have enough time left over 
to write in my journal, I feel better prepared for the day.
It is almost as if I have a sense of peace over me.
My anxiety decreases, my temper isn't as short 
and I feel as if I can go with the flow of the day easier.
When I choose to take a shower, work out,
or spend a few minutes drinking a hot cup of coffee, I know 
that investing time for myself is also investing time for the my family.
The best version of Mommy is what my kids deserve.

Your time for yourself should be guilt free.
Don't get hung up on the fact that you need to be 
entirely alone, sometimes that just isn't a possibility. 
For the betterment of yourself,
make the time for some cleansing breaths,
a cup of tea and spend some time in the Word
reminding yourself you are a precious child of the King.

A marriage seminar and date night for Spencer and I.
Taking some time to work on and appreciate what we have.

I use the She Reads Truth app on my phone for great devotionals and to always have the Bible at my fingertips. It is a great way to stay connected. You can read it while making dinner, during your quiet time or (gasp!) in the bathroom! Right now I am enjoying the Fruits of the Spirit study. Read me review on the app here.

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