Prayer. Etc. etc. etc.
Have you heard it yet? A list of all you should be doing? It makes my body react as if I'm wearing stilettos and shoving them in the dirt while someone is trying to drag me forward.
Hold the shoulds—I'm just trying to remember to breathe here.
But here's the thing, there was a day, years ago, where waking up early for that time was the best part of my day. I would leave class, or work, and go to a coffee shop, and read my Bible—because I needed that time with God. And yes, I believe the need was real. But truth is, we must change the conversation because truth-be-told, if I need three hours alone (or one...or .5), then I'm not getting what I need and I should just give up (am I the only one?).
Let's change that conversation. Mama, you don't need to do one more thing. God's relationship with you—Christ's relationship, heart, glance, companionship, care towards you will not shift because your quiet time has dwindled. Don't let shame keep you from drawing near when you can ("but it's been too long!" you say? Impossible—He is timeless).
He has fed the five thousand with five loaves, so the Bible tells me.
There was a season where time with God, or time to just let my soul rest, felt impossible. Someone told me that I needed to be in the Word everyday (which, I agree with), and my internal conflict between pride and shame shriveled me—because who has an hour to read the one year Bible? I haven't slept in 9,000 years.
So here's what I got. It's not perfect. My life is full of spots and bruises and warts of all shapes; but I have found some things that have kept my mouth and nose above water in this season, maybe they can help you, too.
Hey Mama, you're doing a good job (in case you needed a reminder):
This devotional. It will take five minutes of your morning, or naptime, to read through the devotional, five more minutes to look up the Scripture of the day, and then however much longer you want to rest on it for. Sometimes I do a good ol' inductive study on the verse (they're no longer than two verses usually), and find some gem in the Greek or Hebrew to reflect on throughout the day. It's by far my favorite devotional, featuring quotes from classic authors who are Christian (like Jane Austen) or from Christian thought leaders (like Mother Theresa), and always relevant, not fluffy.
This podcast. The episodes are about 20 minutes long, perfect for a quick solo Whole Foods run —I've made grocery shopping my time; grab myself a fancy water, hydrate and listen to a podcast, sermon, or favorite worship album on the drive so that I can be more available to pour out (some favorites: This Happy Hour episode ft. Ellie Holcomb, Dear Daughters Podcast, Of Dirt and Grace Live From the Land album).
Load 'em up. This is something I've learned since having two under two...some days are just hard. So, before you lose it on your kids, throw them both in the car, give them an ipad, put on a movie, whatever you have to do to get some quiet and just drive. This has become a saving grace not only just for my sanity, but, at times, mine and Will's marital sanity. Some of our best discussions, best connections, best conflict resolutions have been born out of us throwing all four kids in the car and driving somewhere an hour away.