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Friday, January 27, 2012

Quiet time and the blessings of it

A friend posted on her blog about the benefits of quiet time in her house.  Now, maybe a lot of you are thinking of devotional time.  But in this case, I am not talking about that.  Well, I sort of am.  You'll see as we go along here what I mean.

I wake up in the morning around 5:30 and get breakfast and rush to help my husband get out the door.  We eat breakfast as a family at 6:00 so I'm busy trying to get breakfast ready and his lunch made before he leaves.  Obviously we get his lunch made the night before, but gathering it together and getting it in the cooler is part of my way of serving him.  If I don't get to it before he does, he's fine with that.  I just find joy in getting it done before he gets to the kitchen.

As soon as Dad walks out the door, I start printing off the day's schedules for each one from my on-line school planner that I've mentioned before.  The kids are doing dishes, getting showers, cleaning rooms and we're all hustling to be done before the first child arrives at around 7:20.

Then school has started and it's piano and "Are you where you are supposed to be on the schedule?" "Oh, it's my turn to watch kids." And on and on.  Snack comes at 10:00, but with 9 little ones, snack time is over and still I haven't had my snack, unless I'm on top of things and get snack ready before I call the little ones.

So by noon, I'm lagging, just a little tired, but I know that just around the corner is QT (or quiet time).  Everyone goes to a corner and reads usually.  One of the older boys (today it's Jones) takes the baby and plays quietly with him in my room till baby falls asleep and then Jones will put him in the crib at the end of my bed.  Sharpie is writing a book and working on that today.  Waterman is probably reading.  Bugaboo is reading Mr. Popper's Penguins.  Tank is working on some schoolwork he let slide this a.m, usually that's not allowed but today I'm letting him.  Jules is hopefully looking at books in her bed and Tractorman is probably sound asleep as last I checked his thumb was in his mouth, eyes droopy and blanket tucked firmly in hand.  This despite the fact that after lunch he told me "I'm big now." meaning "I don't need a nap." 

Gently I reminded him that it's not called 'naptime' anymore, but quiet time and the only reason he's in his bed is because that is his quiet place and his big brothers are more than likely on their bed, though only two can be in that room.  We don't have enough rooms in this house for each to have their own.  If we did, each would be in their own room. 

So around 12:45 I rush them through lunch dishes and send them to their places.  Sometimes I have to go upstairs and remind them that it's quiet time, therefore loud noises coming from upstairs are not allowed during this time.  Sometimes I hear some fairly loud thuds. :)

And then, then... what fun!  I sit down at the kitchen table and open my Bible and my study book I'm working on and dig in.  I find it such a joy.  Usually by lunch time I'm a little snappy, just trying to make it.  Today it was 12:08 and I'm griping at the kids to hurry up with the dishes.  But then I looked at the clock and said, "O.k you DO have till 12:45, so you need to be done by then."  I don't want to wait, but it's so much more peaceful to have quiet reign in this house, even for only one hour and 15 minutes.  Because yes, they do read or sleep till 2:00.

And then, it's back to chaos, but my mind is re-focused to where it needs to be and I'm ready for the second part of my day.  Yes, I'm not spending my devotional time early in the morning, but I did forget to say that one of the reasons Daddy wants us to eat together is because we spend time reading God's word together right before he leaves.  So I get some morsels at breakfast and some after lunch. 

The days I don't make time for quiet time are usually chaotic and I don't handle them well.  I don't view these as God punishing me, but my mind has not been drawn back to the truths that God is bigger than all that I am going through.  When I let my mind be filled with thoughts of Him, nothing can be too hard for me. 

Thank you, Lord, for Your Word and it's refreshment to my heart.  A friend asked on Facebook "The psalmist refers to God as "my joy and my delight". (Ps 34:4) What does that mean to you? What does it look like?"  That is what it looks like in a small way.

Steph


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