"My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises." Psalm 119:148
"Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this." 2 Timothy 2:7
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
One of the things that has really been impressed upon me lately from several sources is the importance of quiet time, and that we need to find the time to do it. When I talk about quiet time, I'm talking about these verses up above- meditation and reflection time. Quiet time is not the same thing as my Bible reading time, and quiet time is not the same thing as my prayer time. All three things kind of make up my personal walk with Jesus, and I'm just not so good at the quiet time part. The Bible reading I've gotten much better at, I do try and read daily. In fact, lately I've been getting out more than one Bible and reading a few chapters in the New Testament, and then reading them again in a different translation- that makes for a very interesting perspective sometimes! My prayer time is doing pretty good as well. As a homemaker, I have plenty of opportunity to be talking to God. I pray when I do the dishes, when I clean the house, as I fold laundry, and as I tend the garden. I get lots of prayer time in some days. But that quiet time eludes me, because of the mere fact that it's quiet time. As a mom, I just don't have that luxury.
Yesterday though, the kids and I did our night time reading together, and when we were all done, it was time for them to clean up, get ready for bed, brush their teeth, and things like that. All told, they had about 15 minutes worth of stuff to keep them busy, so I flopped back on my bed and just laid there. They took care of their things, and I just laid there, gazing at the ceiling, letting the MP3 player in my head play a praise song or two, and it was just, well, it was nice. It's not something I ever do. And then it struck me. That was the time that God was looking for, that was the quiet time that I needed to find.
As a stay at home mom and homemaker, I think I'm under this impression that I should always be busy- I should be like Ma Ingalls and always have my hands in something and my house should never be in disarray. I do spend too much time at my computer, so most days, I just feel harried and like I will never get everything done that needs to be done. So I flit from task to task, spend time with the kids, spend time with Andy, prepare meals, compute and blog, and at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is fire up my brain and think on God's Word. That was the only time I thought I had available to me. Last night there was a bit of a revelation to me though that when God is looking for quiet time, he'll take what is available. All this time, I've been thinking that I need to carve out a 30 minute block somewhere in my day, and as such, that's just not going to happen. Instead of focusing on that big chunk of time, I need to focus on all the little bits that could be scattered throughout my day.
I think of the days I do laundry, I always take it up to our bedroom to fold and put away, while the kids are busy doing their thing. Why can't I put the laundry away and then just sit for five extra minutes, thinking on scripture I'd read earlier in the day? And why can't I take advantage of the opportunity that the kids are outside playing with the neighbor? I can plop myself on the patio furniture and maybe get a good 15 minutes in meditating on God's Word before anyone needs my attention. Or even when I go up and get myself showered and dressed in the morning. Yes, I need to be available if my kids need me for something, but it doesn't take much to get myself ready and then flop on the bed for an extra few minutes to think.
It definitely was a light bulb moment for me last night. Not only did I find a way to get in that quiet time, but I also felt a real sense of peace and a sense that it was okay for me to take a break to spend that quiet time reflecting on God's Word. It almost felt decadent as I laid there having these thoughts that I am now sharing this morning. And just as I go about my day, pretty much praying without ceasing as I go from task to task, I can insert reflection and meditation time as well, and do that all day long in small bits here and there. And maybe some day, there will be big chunks of time available for the meditation, but for now, I am so blessed that I have been shown where to squeeze in my quiet time. Because I knew I was failing in that area, and I just wasn't seeing where I could do it. Seek, and ye shall find.