I used to get up at 6:30 am every day, sit on my front porch and drink coffee while I read in my Bible and prayed. Back then, I had 2 small children and my husband was deployed.
Six kids later, mornings are filled with breastfeeding and diapers and preparations for school that day. I hit the ground running and don’t slow down until about 2 pm.
But you’re not allowed to have Quiet Time at 2 pm are you?
Oh wait. It’s not exactly quiet at 2 pm either…or 3 or 4 pm…or even 8 or 9 pm. And once I have the children in bed, there’s time with my husband that needs to find its time slot too.
What’s a busy mom to do about Quiet Time?
Well, first of all, don’t go looking up the words “Quiet Time” in your concordance because they aren’t there. While I understand the reasoning and heart behind Quiet Time as a specific event, I think women have made it a hill to die on.
Wrong hill, folks. Climb down and let’s talk.
Time with the Lord is not supposed to be something you check off a list or turn on and off at will. Quiet time isn’t a measure of your worth or your holiness, and we shouldn’t feel the need to look down at our shoes and mutter something guilt-ridden when asked about our “Quiet Time” by another well-meaning mother.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy
1 Peter 3:15a
Jesus came down the hardest on the Pharisees, who went through all the outward motions of being followers of God, but whose hearts were anything but the Lord’s.
No, I’m not calling people who have a set Quiet Time Pharisees, but I am saying that Quiet Time is not what personifies a holy life.
I believe you should have Quiet Time all day long in order to lead a holy life.
I know a few of you are wondering how in the world you are going to manage that if you can’t even find 2 seconds of quiet in your day. This post is especially for you: the weary mom who feels guilty over not doing the Quiet Time thing right.
No More Guilt
Quiet Time in the traditional sense usually involves reading your Bible, meditating on the Scripture, and praying. The purpose is learning about the Lord, seeking His wisdom, and drawing closer to Him. All of this put together is worship.
Worship Where You Are!
I want to encourage you to learn about the Lord, seek His wisdom, and draw closer to Him all day long. Yes, have Quiet Time all day long! Here’s how…
Moms (and especially homeschool moms) have a unique privilege of teaching Scripture to their children during the daytime hours and in every day life. While I believe a father should be the guiding force of the faith in the home, the mother gets to be the one who nurtures her children in the faith.
As we teach, we learn about the Lord!
Your Bible Time with the children should be deep and rich. Noah’s Ark as a fun story about a flood and a rainbow is totally missing the point and potentially starving you and your children of the meat of the Gospel. Your time spent in the Word with your children can be just as rich and rewarding as a 6:30 am Quiet Time.
Resources for Bible Time:
*You need a good Bible for every child, even the non-readers. Make sure everyone has the same version, so when you read, they can follow along! We like ESV for readability.
*A deep devotional. Feed your kids and yourself meat!
What About Meditating on Scripture?
One thing I am starting back up with my children is memory work. I have not done a good job of this in many years and I need to get back to it. I intend to work on the same Scriptures my children are working on so we can hold each other accountable.
A great resource for Scripture Memory is this series from Grace & Truth Books:
Place Scripture around your home.
Sing Scripture songs.
Listen to Bible teachings during the day.
Ask your husband to read Scripture to you.
What About Prayer?
Someday I will have more time to devote to prayer, but that doesn’t mean my prayers will be any more sincere and heartfelt than they are right now.
I have become adept at seeing or hearing of a need and stopping right that second to pray. I pray as I write, as I send emails, as I bathe the children, and as I cook dinner (remember my apron prayers?). The Lord doesn’t somehow hear me better in a quiet house.
There is No Formula.
Mothers naturally lean toward a guilt-ridden state of mind because we fear doing something wrong. Please know that just because you aren’t following some formula you’ve somehow “messed up”. God is not keeping a tally of how many times you had Quiet Time and how many times you failed to make it out to the porch with your Bible and coffee.
God doesn’t want your 6:30 am sacrifice. He wants your entire day!
This post has prompted a question for me, which is something I’ve been wondering about for a while – I hope you don’t mind me asking it here! You talk about your husband being the guiding force of faith in the home, but I have heard other people (including in Scripture) talking about Christians being married to non-Christians. The church I go to seems to have quite a different character to the faith you express here, although of course the fundamentals are the same, and it isn’t really something that’s talked about much. How in your view does a Christian woman navigate life with a non-Christian husband? My parents were in this situation and I think it’s one of the things that contributed to their divorce.
I’m not sure where you are speaking of in Scripture, but if you read through 1 Corinthians, there is a lot of good information there about the marriage relationship. If your husband is an unbeliever, then you do have a responsibility to teach the Scriptures much like Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him. But, frankly, you have that responsibility no matter what your husband’s state of faith is. I just believe that if the father of the household is a believer, then he is to be the guiding force of the faith in the home. We are sorely lacking godly men in our culture who are willing to lead a family in their walk with Christ.
Thank you for this post. For a few years, God blessed me with quiet time in the morning, but the last 18 months, it just hasn’t happened. I’ve really struggled with that. I keep reminding myself we’re in a unique season of life that won’t last forever, but at the same time I fear I am simply not being disciplined as I should be and I just need to get up. As I read your post, I realized I do pray throughout my day, and I do study the Bible with my girls, and I do listen to worship music all day. My worship doesn’t look like my quiet time used to, but you’re right and it is still worship. And maybe those prayers offered in the midst of chaos instead of the peace in early morning are the sacrifice of praise He is looking for from me?
If it is laziness, then by all means address it, but if it is a matter of a season in your life, get rid of the guilt that is holding you back from worshiping wholeheartedly! And perhaps one day you will be able to return to a morning quiet time.
Lisa Mather says
Thank you for this!
Michele P says
Great post Amy! I think you are right, sometime we get caught up in the Christian verbage of “quiet time” and forget the main point- a relationship with Jesus! Thanks fort the reminder and thanks for the link up opportunity!
“God doesnâ€™t want your 6:30 am sacrifice. He wants your entire day!”
So true. Thank you!
Thank you for posting such heartfelt posts so often – I really enjoy them and have been blessed! I do encourage you consider that the Word of God is our bread and to just be reading it with the kids might not “fill” you up. I do not encourage being enslaved to a specific time of day but I have found that it so refreshes my soul when I have a set aside time (5:30 am) where I can go deep with The Lord. Sometimes I sleep in and it’s ok. With babies I know it’s different but nursing can be a great time to read your Bible. We have taught our other kids to not come out of their room until 6:30am (they can learn this as young as 3 with a digital clock). Also, getting up early means going to bed earlier but that is a choice we have made in our married life (plus then we have more energy before going to sleep ;). Know my heart on this is not to push for one way to have a quiet time and I totally agree it needs tone an all day lifestyle. However, I so enjoy and reap the benefits from a mostly daily time in the Word – especially before the kids wake up.
A Better Way to Homeschool says
I appreciate this so much! I used to get up at 4:30 to have a 2 hour quiet time. Wow, don’t I sound spiritual. The season of life I was in allowed that kind of “day-spa” time with The Lord. Now, not so much. A few children later life does not afford me pockets of time to sit in a mud bath or to be alone with Jesus for very long. This is a very freeing post. Amy, I am grateful for this sweet message…
Yes, it is all about the season you are in. Some day you may return to that life, but it doesn’t make you more spiritual to be there as opposed to where the Lord has you now. 🙂
Thanks, Amy! Exactly how I’ve been feeling (the guilt part). Definitely the encouragement I needed today!
Phyllis Sather says
Great post. I’m glad to be able to share it.
Kela Nellums says
This is so great, Amy! Its so true. Our lives should be lives of not only daily worship, but moment by moment worship. Getting “alone” with God doesn’t always require still and quiet.
Maryanne Moncrief says
Thank you sooo much for this reminder! I am no longer raising my child but this still holds true for me.
I try to get up extra early to spend time in prayer and in the evening try to set aside time to spend time in the Word . When I fail to do so I feel so guilty. He doesn’t want my little sacrifice of time,He wants my whole day! That little nugget of truth relieves me of my heavy burden! Amen!
Thanks so much for this post! I needed this reminder!
Susanna Z. says
I love this. Thank you so much for writing!!
Amy, “freeing” is exactly how this sounds. Thank you for this post. I am sure I’m not alone in saying that I have felt “not good enough” for God to hear my short prayers or thoughts of worship because of the things that demand my time. I too have been trying to remind myself that it is His mercy that covers me, not anything that I can do in myself.
Also, missed you at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Spartanburg! Maybe next year? 🙂
Sorry I didn’t get to be in Spartanburg. But, it’s probably a good thing considering I have a terrible cold right now! Perhaps next year! 🙂
Oh, YES! You have spoken to my heart as the guilt about not having a scheduled quiet time was creeping up on me. But like you, I pray all day! As the need arises or my heart is uneasy, I cry out to my Father and know He hears me! Scripture songs fill our home.
Yes, wrong hill to die on and let’s all climb down from it and enjoy our lives as homeschooling, Christians moms investing in our children’s lives for His glory!
Thank you for sharing this today!
Great encouragement! When my kids were younger there were days when I would open my Bible and lay it on the counter. As I would pass by I would stop and “take a bite” of scripture, reading one verse here and there. You know, it’s kind of the same way us moms are able to eat with young ones…. we don’t normally get to sit down and enjoy the whole sandwich at lunch so we take a few bites, help with the kids, then go back and take another bite and so on! It’s a wild season of life but you are still being nourished along the way. 🙂
Thanks. Needed this today.
Thank you so much for this post about quiet time. I’m sitting here at 11:30pm (in my time zone, PEI Canada), getting ready to go to bed, feeling guilty because I didn’t have a ‘decent’ quiet time today. Oh, yes, I read my Bible this morning….but only got as far as Psalm 23, with a two year old in my lap who wanted to help. Yes, I taught her the first verse of the Psalm, had her repeat it after me and told her what it meant. Then she toddled off and I sat there with just one line of that Psalm “He restoreth my soul” stuck in my head and heart. You remember that not long ago my husband died of cancer suddenly, and I got to wondering exactly how the Lord, my Shepherd, was going to restore my soul. I have been wanting to look into that more all day, but from one thing to another did not get a chance, though I have thought about that snippet of verse all day. So I brought my Bible up here feeling guilty, and just before closing my computer, I read your blogpost. Thank you for the encouragement that my ‘quiet time’ does not have to be a perfectly accomplished task, but something I dwell on all day. I greatly enjoy your blog; it is a blessing!
((HUGS)) And Rachel, He will restore your soul. You are loved.
This is just how I do it, and yet I still feel guilty sometimes about ‘quiet time’. But I wont anymore. 🙂
A few years ago, I read about benedictine monks and ALL the services they have together each day. there’s a service for daybreak, morning, noon, evening and sundown. That’s 5 times a day they read, pray, sing, and learn about the Lord. And I think I might still be missing one. Well, shoot, I thought, I can do that too! So I have been reading the bible through in a year, which is three chapters a day, and I do one chapter in the morning, one right before nap time and then one right before bed. I have to make it work, because there is no set schedule with four under four, but it’s great, and I am thinking about what I read for a while afterwards. Toss in the worship music we listen to during the day and praying as the needs arise and we got ourselves a full service, many, many times a day
Oh Heather, what a wonderful plan. Mixed with what we read for homeschool, this is very exciting. We pray all day, like you said as needs arise and as my faults present themselves.
Thank you for this post. Exactly what I needed at the end of a long day and full calendar. Blessings.
Mrs. Sarah Coller says
From the bottom of this mother of 9’s busy, weary, heart: THANK YOU!!!
THANK. YOU! I’m going to re-read this again. I’m just starting to get set free of this mindset that my time with the Lord HAS to be at a certain time every single day (and the guilt/condemnation that has come when it doesn’t happen). Do you know how many times I’ve worshiped the Lord while doing the breakfast dishes and He speaks to me? Or prayed as I folded laundry? Or had a meaningful devotional with my kids? As a person who likes to check things off of lists, I need to remember that God needn’t be a “thing” on my list. Blessings!
Yes and Amen!
Jessica G says
A hearty AMEN, sister!!
“Wrong hill, folks. Climb down and let’s talk.”
I like that. = )
Christina A. says
Thank you so much for this post! I just got down having a quick walk on my lunch hour. I’m a full time working mom. I’ve been praying for this to possibly change however during my walk I was getting frustrated with myself over not spending more time in the word or having that specific time of the day called quiet time. Feeling like a failure because I don’t do enough with my children to study the word or on my own. I’m doing what I can and at least that is better than nothing. I come back to my desk and your post is in my inbox waiting for me to read! So thank you for the advice and relinquishing the guilt that us moms all face at times. It was almost as if God was speaking through your words letting me know it is okay. YES I need to make God a part of every moment of my day.
Have you seen the new Bible Study for busy mom’s by Pam Foster? This is meaty!
15 minutes anywhere in your day for a month, and you will have dug deep into Colossians 3. Her blog goes through 1 Corinthians 13…you may have to scroll down a bit….
I have that study, but have not used it! I’ve been hearing good things about it. Need to just dig it out and use it! Thanks for the reminder.
I won’t tell you how long it’s taking me to get through the month’s study, but dig in…I think you will be glad you did!
I imagine I can guess how long…about as long as it is going to take me. 😉
Thank you so much for your blog. Very encouraging! I was just wondering about the Bibles and young devotionals you recommend; the links are not showing up for me. Thanks again. : )
Hi Michelle! You should be able to click on the photo of the devotional itself and see more about it. 🙂
Thank you, Amy. I realized it is a problem with my laptop. For some reason, those 2 pics don’t show. I used my son’s phone to check, and sure enough, there they were! I guess when I see a colon followed by a blank space I will have to yell for him. lol Have a blessed day.
HA! Glad you figured it out!
I’ve got 8 children ranging from 18 to 2weeks. Ice often struggled with knowing how to have my quite time and time with hubby. We do have a date night Wkly but just like finally getting everyone to sleep then I’m tired and fine feel like doing anything. How do I manage my time well. I also want to make sure in spending time with my teen daughter’s and the toddlers plus new baby. I need two of me sometimes. 🙂
Thank you. Needed this a lot.
Kerry Beck says
Great post, Amy. When I led Mom to Mom with another seasoned mom, we talked about this subject with our young moms. The other seasoned mom said she kept her Bible open on the kitchen counter. Whenever possible, she would read a bit, even if it was only one verse. Then, she would think about it throughout the day.
I wish I had known about this when my kids were home. I’ve told other moms that open Bible is a great example of the importance of God’s Word in your family.
Such a great example! Thank you for sharing, Kerry!
This is everything I needed to be reminded of! Thank you! Really thank you. God and His richness is available all day. And I just need to seek it and receive it. At this point in my life it may not look Quiet Time pretty. But I need it all the more.
Blessings & hugs to you & yours!
You are so welcome!
Kara Fisher says
Thank you for this post today….Quiet Time! I think it’s really important for women to realize it doesn’t have to be a “perfect” quiet time. The Lord knows and hears our hearts and understands our seasons of life. I love your emails and encouragement for us homeschool mommas and families. God Bless You and your family,
With Much Love,
Thank you, Kara!