As a mom, how many times have I run out of the house in the morning only to look in the rear view mirror halfway through my errands and realize… I never put makeup on!? I shrug it off and continue on my way thinking, “Well, at least the kiddos are alive and dressed (I hope… As I look behind me to double check.). “
Parenting is hard and most days I am lucky to find time to finish my coffee, let alone spend quality time with God. That need for caffeine and deep thirst I have every morning isn’t just for a steaming cup of joe… but that thirst is for a few moments with God. I NEED quiet time with the Lord otherwise I am not fully prepared for my day. I can survive without my makeup… but I definitely cannot survive without my Lord (or caffeine… but that’s beside the point)!
So how do I find time to spend with God when time seems to be so limited? By including my toddler in my quiet time!! Yes… you read that correctly. Is it really possible???
As a parent, your number one responsibility is to teach your child about God. When you spend all your personal “quiet time” locked up in your bedroom so that you can read your Bible without distractions, you are missing a vital part of parenting… teaching your child what it looks like to talk to God, to learn about him and to crave his presence every day! Your child NEEDS to see what it looks like to NEED God on a daily basis!
The most important step in achieving this is to redefine what “quiet time” looks like for you. Quiet time doesn’t have to be… well, just that… quiet! Allow your child to be engaged in your quiet time. Let them hear you read verses out loud. Even if it doesn’t look like they are paying attention, they are! How many times have you had your toddler regurgitate something you said weeks ago (usually at the most awkward time!) when you thought they weren’t even listening? How cool is it when they regurgitate God’s word because they heard it from YOU first???
Monkey see… monkey do! As you sit and read your Bible, have a Bible that your child can leaf through with you. As they look through their picture Bible, they are learning the importance of Bible time! They may not understand what they are seeing/reading, but they DO know that mommy thinks it’s important, and when you see them leafing through their Bible randomly throughout the day… you’ll realize just how big of an impact you are making! My First Bible Words is a great book to give your toddler to use while you are doing your own quiet time!
Another helpful tool in quiet time (at least in our household) is to do it during breakfast. Full mouths equal quiet mouths. While your child eats their breakfast, read your devotions and pray with them. You need to start your day equipped with God… so do they!!
And remember I said that quiet time needs a little redefining? I think our expectations of quiet time need to be redefined as well. Quiet time can be one verse that you read in the morning while serving oatmeal and making sure the kids are all fed. Quiet time is a mindset. It’s when you allow God’s word to go through your mind and settle on your heart. It’s when you meditate on it all… day… long. When you shower and allow the truth God’s Word to roll over and over in your mind. When you share the meaning of God’s Word with your child. When you allow simple daily tasks to bring to mind the verse you read that morning… those are quiet times with God.
As parents, quiet time isn’t “quiet” and it isn’t hours spent pouring over God’s Word (though I highly encourage that too if you have time!), it is allowing the Word of God to work through your heart and mind continually… even while your child noisily eats their breakfast or leans on you as you read your Bible and asks questions while you are trying to pray.
Be an example of what Godly living looks like… don’t push your child away during quiet time. Invite them into it and you will be inviting them into godly living!
What are your favorite tricks for getting in your quiet time while modeling and teaching your little ones?
Shannon from thesimplemoms.com