"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Thursday, June 15, 2006

 

Seeking God as a Busy Mom

Day three of six
June 15, 2006
Posted by Guest Blogger: Dena Dyer

(continued story from day two)

Once God began calling me back to Him, I began responding. But as a busy mom, I still wasn't too sure how to best fit time with God into my day.

The contemplative in me longed for long, lazy stretches with God. I researched Benedictine retreat centers on the Internet and longed for my hubby and boys to go on a vacation—without me. If I just had a few days alone, I thought, I could rebound spiritually. I could confess of every sin I’d committed over the past few years, spend time fervently worshipping at Jesus’ feet, and pray for every need I’d ever heard about. (I know, I know—I tend to get carried away. My husband can “amen” that!)

The administrative side of me started planning out my days to include at least one and one-half hour of prayer and Bible study. The only problem? I have a rambunctious toddler, a seven year-old who craves lots of attention (and deserves it), a husband whose work schedule changes week-to-week, and a home business that helps pay the bills. My schedule went out the window the same week I made it—because the baby got croup.

Finally, I asked Him for some fresh ideas. And He gave them!

I began to see that it would be wrong of me to neglect my family for the sake of God—and that He wasn’t requiring that. Instead, He was actually pleased with my efforts and my desire to be more disciplined. God also revealed to me that my former “perfect attendance quiet time award” wasn’t something He had required. I had been prideful, and just plain wrong, to think that punching the clock with God would make Him love me more.

So I decided to take pockets of time during my day and put them to meditative use. I prayed while doing the dishes, read a devotional while waiting on my son in the pickup lane at school, and read scripture while working out on the elliptical machine at the gym.

Slowly, by changing my heart, He was changing my habits--because I was longing to be with Him. Just the fact that I missed Him when I couldn't spend time with Him was pleasing to me--and to God--because the desire hadn't been there for so long!

Patiently and lovingly, God reminded me that my carefree days were over—for now. Someday, I would have more free time (the youngest is only—sob!—three years away from kindergarten, after all). Sometimes, it was okay to go away by myself for a retreat—but I didn’t have to wait for that. I could spend time with Him every minute of every day.

In her wonderful book The Velveteen Mommy, Jenn Doucette says, “God wants us to be in constant communication with Him, aware of His continual presence, thanking Him for everything He gives us, praising Him for who He is, and yes, even crying to Him for emergency help. As moms, we can ‘practice the presence of God’ (in the words of Brother Lawrence) as we go through our day by staying in constant communication with Him. I find that the more I do this, the more He miraculously opens up quiet moments in my day or evening when I can sit and truly focus on Him.”

Gradually, I’ve come to the conclusion (and this is difficult for a recovering control freak) that the best “system” for pursuing God just might not be a system at all. So some days, I get up early (okay, that’s rare—but I have been known to attend an early morning prayer group once in a while!), some days I study while the baby naps, and some days I get my sitter to come early so I can spend a couple of hours alone with God before I start writing.

I’ve finally realized that a devotional life—like everything else in life—has its seasons. (Once, a college Bible study teacher told me to “enjoy my singleness” while I had it, because after marriage and kids, it would be hard to find time with God. At the time, I scoffed. I wanted to be married so badly, I didn’t revel in what I had—unlimited time, disposable income, and no one depending on me.)

So as a mom of young kids, I’m trying to re-learn what I should have let God instill years ago…contentment with my circumstances. I don’t want to go back to the place where I ignore God—that doesn’t please Him, or do me any good. But I don’t have to berate myself just because I fall asleep praying once in a while…or because I can’t tackle a Beth Moore study every twelve weeks. God knows where I’m at—He gave me these kids, and this hubby. He understands!!!
What freedom there is in that...especially for a recovering overachiever.

More tomorrow--thanks for reading this far! :)

Dena Dyer
Amazing Grace-land, my blog:
www.denadyer.typepad.com

P.S. from Allison: If something our Celebrity Guest Blogger shared today has touched you, we welcome your comments. Simply click on the comments link below. By posting a comment, your name will automatically be entered into a prize drawing for FREE BOOKS. We will randomly select two names at the end of each month to receive a special gift of GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS books.
Allison
Comments:
Thanks for the trip down memory lane Dena. I can relate to the kids and schedules and such, but have to go back a few years :) Finding a time to talk to God is never a problem, all we need is to do it!
 
Control is such a big issue for mom's (parents)--especially when you have a child that is out of control! After years of micro-managing every detail--I was forced to Surrender! It was a struggle--until I learned to trust the DNA of God.....He is a safe place to land!

I found a great description yesterday while blog-surfing of the difference between giving up and letting go. I have posted it today--with reference to the blogger who originally posted it.

It is an empowering piece of spiritual literature!

Diane
 
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