Tag Archives: Mom’s Time with the Lord

Little “Nags,” or Are They “Promptings”?

I had two small areas in my life that were bothering me recently. When you read about them, you may even chuckle and think, “Why would those create a problem for her? They are so insignificant.” For me, these are issues that just “nag” at my mind. They are things that I have felt led by the Lord to do and have planned into my daily schedule.

The first “nag” is my writing time for Mom’s Corners. I have this time set aside in my day, but often I will allow myself to be drawn into answering e-mails rather than writing an article. My scheduled Corner writing time is quiet, early in the morning, before the little children are up and interruptions begin.

The second “nag” has to do with a timeline and a set of wall maps that go with our school Bible time. We just haven’t been doing them lately. Our Bible time is held in the living room, but our timeline and wall maps are located in the dining room. Therefore, we must move into the dining room for this part of our Bible time, get out our materials, sort them, and figure out which ones go up for the current lesson.

Neither of these problems is very big. Solving them has been simple. However, I allowed them to “nag” at me for several weeks, even months. I let myself follow my way rather than the way the Lord had led me in these two areas. They were small things, but left alone, they grew in their “nagging” potential in my mind. It really would have been much better for me to have addressed these difficulties early on and dealt with them, rather than to let them drag on and on.

My problem in staying on task with the Mom’s Corner writing was a character issue. It is one faced by many as they implement and use a schedule. The schedule calls for a particular activity, but we are drawn away by something else to take that scheduled time. How do I feel when I allow this to happen? I am discouraged and disgruntled with myself.

Why does this involve character? It is because the Lord has directed me to use my time in this particular way. When I allow myself to be pulled to other uses for that time, uses that He has not led me to for that hour, I am choosing disobedience to my Lord Jesus Christ. It is as simple as that! Do I usually view it that way? Of course not! I rationalize in my thoughts, “This e-mail answer will only take a minute or two. It will be out of the way and off my mind. Then I will get right back to the Mom’s Corner.” Whether it is two minutes or the fifteen it usually turns into does not matter, it is still disobedience to what the Lord has called me to do.

What is the solution? Prayer. Begin with, “Lord, You have put on my heart the writing of Mom’s Corners. You have even given me the time to spend on them. I have been allowing myself to be drawn into other tasks at the computer rather than keeping my focus on the Corner. Lord, because I know You have directed me to write the Corners, I am really choosing disobedience by doing other things. It is no different from when I tell my children to pick up the toys in their room, but find them playing with those toys instead. They went down to pick up toys; however, they became distracted with the exact thing they were sent to do. Please forgive me, Lord, for following my own way, rather than Your way. Help me to stick with the job You have assigned!”

Then I must look for ways to limit the distractions that pull me away. Just realizing it was disobedience not to spend my time as the Lord had directed was an immense help. Next, I set a specific time in my schedule for doing what was distracting me from my task at hand. In this case, I decided to use the half hour after the little ones were in bed for answering e-mails, rather than fitting them haphazardly in through the day and disrupting other scheduled activities. It really is a perfect time because I am tired by then and don’t have much energy. I am motivated to not let the e-mails pile up so I won’t want to head for bed without addressing them.

My second irritation that “bugged” me, of not keeping up with our Bible timeline and maps, was just as simple to relieve. All I had to do was commit to going into the dining room for part of Bible time whenever we were ready to work on the timeline or map. Doesn’t that sound easy? Why was it such an effort to do this? I think it just shows the depths of my own laziness and enjoyment of comfort. After all, sitting in my living room recliner is much more pleasant than being on the hard dining room chair. Since some of our materials needed to be sorted before we could use them, I took one of our Bible times, gathered the children at the dining room table, handed out the little pieces of numbered paper, and we began to put them in order. We worked together, and it took less than fifteen minutes. Because my supplies weren’t readily available, I kept putting off and putting off this part of our Bible time that really was important to me.

What about you? Are there issues that just “nag” at your mind and heart? Have you taken the time to pray about solutions? “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Are you ready to seek the answer in order to be rid of the discouraging thoughts? “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Remember to first determine whether your “nags” are of the Lord. If they are not what the Lord would have you do, find that out so you can let go of the negative emotions that accompany your perceived failures. Pray about these areas, and consult with your husband before you assume they are from the Lord. If they are from the Lord, deal with them as He directs. Perhaps, rather than naming these areas “nags,” it would be better to perceive them as the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Would we more quickly face the issues if we recognized them as the promptings of the Holy Spirit? I would! A “nag” is something that harasses you into doing what it wants you to do. A prompting of the Holy Spirit is something to follow in joyful obedience.

I expect your little areas that “prompt” you are individual to your circumstances and personality but not that much different than mine. They are small issues. Someone from the outside could look at them and be surprised that you struggle with them or haven’t found a solution for them. However, for me and for you, our personal little “prompts” build and grow daily when they aren’t addressed. Despite this, they truly are insignificant enough that we feel we can continue to ignore them, while their “prompting” pressure discourages us.

The solution may be setting aside time in your schedule to do what has been bothering you. It could be needing to prepare the materials for a specific activity. It may mean writing something on a list that needs to be purchased when errands are run. Perhaps it is writing down an issue that should be discussed with your husband so that a direction is reached. For some reason, these small things can be the ones that undermine us through our day.

Remember Jesus’ parable of the talents? Here is His final word, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21). How we respond to these “few things” in our lives is the basis for how our children will deal with similar areas of their lives. When character issues are important to our hearts for our children, shouldn’t they begin with us? Each of my little “prompts” had to do with character, but because they were so insignificant, they were easy to excuse and ignore. However, I wasn’t fooling the Lord, was I? Had these not been significant to Him, I believe I could be sure they wouldn’t have remained on my mind.

May I encourage each of us to not allow these small “prompts” to go unaddressed and unresolved? If they are “nags,” and not from the Lord, may we learn to discern that and refuse to listen to their “nagging.” If they are His leading and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then may we learn the character, through Him, to move us into joyful obedience.

Tea Time with the Lord

Let me share a part of a note I received, and have permission to use, to encourage you. Marilyn writes,

“Something very fascinating has happened to me. I have discovered the source of my discouragement. My problem is that I was not spending any quiet time with the Lord. I haven’t for years. I wasn’t drawing near to Him, and I had conceded that all of my homeschooling friends had the same problems that I had. We were all just burned out and overburdened. I now have scheduled ‘tea time with the Lord’ in my day, first thing.”

That reminds me of how often moms tell of the excitement they have when they begin using a schedule. Once again they are having daily quiet times, those moments alone with the Lord! This pleasure is real because, sadly, time in the Word is one of the first activities to be set aside when homeschooling days become busy.

Generally, as Christians, we begin homeschooling because the Lord Jesus Christ leads us to this decision. He has first place in our lives, and when we begin to have concerns about other school options, He gently starts putting the homeschooling idea on our hearts. More often than not, we don’t feel “qualified” to homeschool either in the area of patience or as an actual teacher. We know, though, that whom the Lord calls He also enables. So we step out in faith, trusting the Lord to carry out the plans He has set before us.

While this is the way we head into homeschooling, it isn’t long until the demands of school, laundry, meals, cleaning, ministry, and life in general begin to wear on us, and somehow, we give up our personal time with the Lord. We allow the busyness of our days and weeks to drive the way we use our time. Then we wonder why we are discouraged, frustrated, irritable with the children, and short tempered in general.

Consider, for a moment, a few Scriptures with me. Psalms 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Don’t we desire to know the way the Lord has prepared for us personally, and for each of our children? Have you heard, or even said yourself, “If the Lord would just send a letter telling me what to do in this situation, I would be so happy to obey!” God has sent us much more than a letter; He has given us a whole book! The more we root and ground ourselves in His Word, the more we will understand His will in choices we must make. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9). Does this describe the way you feel some days? So how is it that we “show that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,” if we don’t have time in our day to spend with God? Without daily reliance on Jesus Christ, aren’t we working through our day in our own power and strength?

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalms 5:3). Do you? Do I? Or do we only take the time to shoot up arrow prayers during each crisis that occurs throughout the day? Is this truly laying our requests before God, or is it asking Him to be a firefighter for us? Can you keep a record of God’s answers to prayers in your life, and your family’s lives, if you don’t have a consistent time to spend in prayer alone with Him?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Isn’t this another of our hearts’ desires, to be thoroughly equipped for every good work the Lord has for us to do, and especially in the teaching and training of our children? If we don’t spend time daily with the Lord, in His Word, will this be possible?

My heart desperately needs the Word of God every single day! I have a scheduled forty-five minutes early in the morning to have a quiet time. For the most part, this keeps me consistent, but sometimes we are up quite late at night and that impacts my time with the Lord the next morning. I wonder if my family can tell the days I have really met with Him, versus the ones I hurry through my reading, prayer, and memory time, or skip it altogether. They don’t ask me that question, but perhaps on days when my irritation is quick to show through, it would be good accountability for me if they did.

When my youngest child, now three, was a baby, she went through a stage when she wasn’t nursing well at her breakfast time feeding. We decided that I should quit waking her up at 5:30 a.m. to nurse so she would be hungrier at 8:30 a.m. As we began doing this, I found I became very nervous from 6:45 until 7:45, because I would not be available if she happened to wake up and be hungry. I was out of the house walking and someone at home would have to pacify her if she awakened. That time became miserable for me because of my anxiety over the baby. I asked Steve and he agreed that we could go back to me waking the baby up early in the morning. Do you know what happened? Rather than dreading having to get up at 5:30 every morning to nurse the baby, I loved it. I was so happy to again have a peaceful heart during that hour I was out walking, that I didn’t mind in the least the early morning nursing time.

In a similar way, our time feasting on the Word should be so important to us that we don’t care a bit that we are rising earlier than we might otherwise, or that we are taking quiet afternoon time when the children sleep to meet with the Lord.

My husband and I are “best friends,” and we love to talk with each other. Frequently, I gain insight into my own life by discovering what he thinks about various situations that don’t even involve us personally. Recently I found out what he believes a wife who wants to encourage her husband to be the spiritual head of her home should do. Have you ever wondered about this or perhaps discussed it with some of your friends? What did you come up with? Do you know how a man might respond to this?

Steve says the place for a woman to begin helping her husband in his spiritual headship of their home is with her own personal time in the Word with the Lord! Her husband will observe peace, contentment, joy, gratitude, and other fruit of the Spirit that will emanate from her life when she is spending time reading her Bible and praying. He will also be drawn to the Lord and the Word.

Do we want our husbands to be the spiritual leaders of our homes? Could it really be that this begins with our personal time with the Lord in His Word? Remember, this time is for our own personal growth in the Lord. It is not to be used in a “look what I am doing” kind of attitude with our husbands. What fruit will develop in our lives as a result of our investment of this time with the Lord? Am I considering the widespread effect, within my family and ministry circle, that my devotions will have?

How much of what our hearts yearn for in our homes is tied back to this very special time? If you have felt the Lord’s call to homeschool, but have been neglecting to seek Him daily by setting aside a time to spend alone with Him, may I strongly encourage you to not let another day go by before you remedy this situation. May we each follow Marilyn’s example and begin our day with “tea time with the Lord”!