Last month in the Mom’s Corner, I shared with you a key to the treasure of spending time on the priorities the Lord has given each of us. This month I want to give you the key to our success in life as a woman, wife, mother, home teacher, neighbor, and Christian. This key comes from the key we talked about in September, but is of vastly greater value. Despite its importance, this key is often not used because there is not time; other needs seem more pressing. This, though, signals an even greater urgency to use the key.
What is the key I am referring to? It is “time alone with Jesus Christ.” There is a reason this key comes from last month’s key. For us to have time alone with the Lord, we are going to find we must plan that time into our day. If we choose to take it during a free, quiet moment whenever we can, we will probably come to the end of the day and realize it has not happened. We will decide to try again tomorrow. The cycle will be repeated the next day and the next day.
We are foolish women if we think we can get through our days the way the Lord wants us to in our own energy and strength. Where does our dependence on the Lord come from? Where do we get our daily manna? Isn’t it from our private time alone in the Word, in prayer, in memorizing Scripture, and meditating on it? I know how absolutely crucial this time is to me. Is my life busy and full? Could I spend this time doing something else? Absolutely! Is there anything else I could use this time for that would produce more lasting or greater benefits for my family or me? NO!
How, practically speaking, do you find time for quiet moments with the Lord in the midst of all the responsibilities and demands of a homeschooling mom? You pray, look at your day, and are creative. You make your quiet time a planned part of your day and remain faithful to it.
Does it have to be early in the morning? No, but I believe that is the best time. You start your day with your focus on the Lord, your heart seeking Him. If you have little children it is easier to not have disturbances if your quiet time is while they are still sleeping. Will it be hard to get up earlier? Probably. However, why make up your mind that you are too tired to get up and fear it rather than try it?
For years, I felt I needed eight hours of sleep to function well. I also struggled regularly with long sleepless nights. About a year ago I changed to seven hours of sleep at night with a short rest in the afternoon. It has been wonderful. I sleep great at night. Had you told me two years ago that I would have to survive on seven hours of sleep a day, I would have been sure I could never make it.
There have been times when early morning devotions did not work out for me. Did that mean I stopped having devotions? No! I planned time during the little ones’ afternoon naps for that time with the Lord. It was a part of my day just like making dinner was.
Another common feeling about time with the Lord is that you barely get started with fifteen minutes or a half hour, so, why bother? Why not wait until you can find the large amount of time you really want? The reason is that day after day will go by when you never find an hour to spend with the Lord. How much better to consistently, day after day, spend a half hour with the Lord, finding it adds up to three and a half hours a week, than to always look for the hour or two that never appear.
Steve and I go to bed at 10:30 p.m., and the alarm clock goes off at 5:25 a.m. I go in to nurse Mary and then have a half-hour devotion before family morning Bible time at 6:25. I spend ten minutes reading a chapter in the Bible, picking a verse that is meaningful to me, copying it in a notebook, and writing a short prayer concerning it. Then I have the next ten minutes for memorizing Scripture and doing a study on the verse I am working on. The last ten minutes is my prayer time. Could I easily spend more time? Without a doubt! However, I am grateful to spend the time I have and offer it to the Lord for Him to use.
This summer I was battling discouragement over some issues with the children. By early afternoon, I felt like my hands were dragging on the ground. I was so worn out from dealing with these issues! As I was bemoaning my discouragement while sewing one day, the Lord showed me that I needed to spend extra time with Him. My unhappiness with the situations and stewing over them produced no benefit, only negative consequences for my family and me, as I moped around. However, turning those needs to Jesus Christ, the One Who carries our burdens, provides peace and rest through trials, and has direction for working through those difficulties, would produce benefit. I began getting out my spiritual notebook and getting on my knees at 2:00 p.m. each afternoon for another half hour. That extra time with the Lord was like a banquet to a starving person!
Here is a story I think we can all relate to. “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
Our lives as wives, mothers, and home teachers are filled with Martha activities. Let us not give up what Jesus Himself says is better. The foundation for everything you do in and out of your home grows from your relationship with Jesus. Plan that time with Him every day. Be faithful to it. Use the key that will give you the desires of your heart.