If you’re a Christian mom, you may often feel that there’s not enough time to do everything you see on your to-do list. But added to that is finding time for your relationship with God and for nurturing your family’s growing connection to God.
And if you’re like me, stressing out about the time can make those hurried moments even more unpleasant than they would be otherwise. I finally decided that I was going to have to slow down before I alienated myself and anyone else in my orbit during the rush hours.
Here’s what I did…
Quiet Times: I Kept Missing Them
Quiet times were always hit or miss for me. By which I mean, I usually missed them, because I told myself I’d get to them whenever there was time. And as a single mother with a spirited son, that elusive time didn’t show up for me.
When I was able to have a quiet time, I was always so excited it was happening. But I was often too tired by the time I got around to it to do it justice, and I was often preoccupied by whatever still had to be done that day.
It occurred to me that that feeling of disconnection I sometimes felt was because I was neglecting my most important relationship. I couldn’t just leave it to chance.
I decided to have quiet times as the first part of my day, even though my chronic illness made it so hard to get going in the morning, I often waited until my son was awake, and even then, longed for another hour of sleep.
But in spite of my morning struggle, I started getting up earlier than my son so I could have a quiet time that was truly quiet. And I did it first, before it got crowded out by all the things and ended up not happening at all.
I got up early enough that there was plenty of time to spend with God. So that I could linger over a song or prayer or passage, or journal my heart out, without worrying about anything else I had to do.
But that was not a perfect solution. Because I am not a morning person.
So, I also had to add in waking-up time. The “try to come to life” time that Dolly Parton sings about in Nine to Five.
And I gave myself permission to do quiet time imperfectly, promising myself I’d create other quiet moments during the day if I needed them.
One-minute prayers in the bathroom. A moment with the Bible while dinner was cooking. And sometimes, whole pages of an inspiring book I was trying to read while my son watched something on TV.
Doing it that way gets me a quiet time, and often two, or more, every day, without pressure and without rushing.
I taught my son to do the same thing. For a long time, when he first woke up, and before I knew he was awake, he read a devotional book for kids that I had given him. He’s older now, and chooses his own times to connect, but for years, slowing life down, especially those first hours of the day, worked for both of us.
Late to Church & Cranky about It
Church was a difficult challenge, however. I hated being late.
Being late meant finding a parking spot far from the door & walking long enough to make us even later. It meant having much less choice about where to sit and sometimes being down the aisle far enough that I wouldn’t see my son as easily when he was on stage to sing or perform during the service.
But the worst part was that rushed feeling during the journey, and not being able to make the car get there faster.
And it was morning, so I wasn’t having the time of my life to begin with, and on top of that was this lateness.
I haven’t ever been able to become a morning person, but every positive time maneuver has led to liking mornings a little more. What I did about getting to church late was not easy, but it was simple. I started getting up quite a bit earlier!
Early enough to get to church during easy-parking-spot times. With a wide range of seating choices, so I could be near or on the aisle to see my beloved’s sweet face when he sang with such earnestness that it inevitably brought tears to my eyes.
And sometimes, we were even able to get there in time for Sunday school. Eventually, I started getting there in time to teach a Sunday school class.
Yep, it surprised me, too.
But what helped was counting backward from the time I wanted to arrive, and figuring out, realistically, how much time it would take to get ready. Then I would plan to get up at least an hour before that, sure I would end up needing more time than I thought.
I was always right about that.
Do you struggle with time? And when you do, does time win?
Here is a resource that may help…
A free eBook called Make More Margin that is filled with tips about managing time so that you get more of it, get done what you need to, bring peace to your routines and find more time for the things that matter most. I found ideas in this eBook that made a difference for me immediately.
It helped me think through the idea that we are called to find ways to master time. And it motivated me to change my thinking from “there’s not enough time for…” to “how can I create better routines?” and “how can I find more time for what matters?”
To download it, click on the graphic below...
See you next time!