Dear Older Lady (question #7) "Is there any time for me?"

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

~Titus 2 (New American Standard Bible version)~

 

Dear Older Ladies~

Here is another question for you, from a young lady on xanga~

“How, with all of life’s busyness, do you find down time? I have no children/husband, and I already have a hard time finding ‘Me’ time.”

and, here is another question along those same lines, from a different lady~

I would like to know from the “older” women how/when/what their quiet time with the Lord was. Especially the homeschoolers, I find it a real matter of discipline to do it first thing in the morning, but boy does it make a difference in my day!
It would be great to hear how others incorporate that into their daily lives!

Thank you for your encouragement each week!!

Love,

Shanda

0 thoughts on “Dear Older Lady (question #7) "Is there any time for me?"

  1. Well I do struggle with the first question on “me” time – and need to really have the Lord lead me in this. The second question is much easier for me to answer. When my kids were babies and my husband was asleep I would ask the to Lord wake me up by 5am so that I could spend time with Him before the kids woke and He always did…there were mornings when I didn’t feel like it, but He would whisper to me “Seek first the kingdom of God” and I would roll out of bed and once I was up I was awake! Sometimes I had had quite a broken night as my children didn’t sleep through the night and I often got up to attend to their needs, but I still got up. I remember one mother asking me how I could get up so early and then still get through the day…well I don’t know except that when I put God first and spent that hour with Him first thing, He always got me through the day! To anyone who doubts this, I challenge you to try it and taste and see that God is good. For me my time with God is always prayer first, then Bible reading, prayer and journaling, time to think and reflect and pray. There are so many ways…what matters is that we just take the time to be with God and commune with Him. I look forward to what others have to share too! ~Colleen~

  2. I don’t consider myself an “older” lady at 34, but I have grown in wisdom. As to the first question ~ “how do you find time’.. I have a simple answer. You have to make that time! It has to become just as an important part of your day, as nourishment for your body, and your soul. If we are drained, we are useless!

  3. I am in the early stages of parenting with a 3 year old and a 2 year old (and one on the way).  The scheduled “quiet time” is a thing of the past for me.  I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit telling me “It’s okay!!!”  But I still throughout the day seek Him–whether it be a devotional reading with a Scripture verse or  prayers over dirty dishes.  I’ve found that incorporating Him into my all-day life has become more meaningful than the tired version of me just trying to keep my eyes open.  I feel His grace is MORE than sufficient for me in this stage of life, and I’ve so enjoyed the new ways He has been communicating to me–often through my children.  So many pictures of my relationship with Him are played out in their little lives.  I cherish these teaching moments between Him and me. 
    As for “me” time, I just make it a priority so that I don’t lose my sanity!  During naptime, I often nap or read or pray.  Sometimes, I will talk on the phone during that time and connect with my girlfriends.  I try to get my housework done (with the help of my babes!) while they’re awake.  We all rest at the same time.  It has also helped that I require a naptime for them as well as a consistent bedtime.  That way, my husband and I have time together in the evenings where it is just us.  Yes, my kids wake early, but I value that time alone and time with my husband enough to walk around in a daze for an hour or so in the morning!  🙂

  4. When my girls were small, I know I felt so guilty some days because I just didn’t have an hour to spend in the word and in prayer. I finally just asked God to tell me what to do. He showed me that I had to be more creative with my time. I learned that I could find “pockets of peace” during the day and use them to draw closer to the One who loves me best. I found that having good worship music playing in the house helped to focus my heart on Him even though my hands were busy with my little ones. I also began to see that I could include my children in some of my devotional efforts. We began to pray and read together in the mornings. I realized that they needed to SEE my devotional life, and there was something so special about holding those chubby little hands and praying together for the day. Of course, this wasn’t always as spiritually enriching as those wonderful times when you have a whole hour to be alone with God, but they helped!
     
    God also gave me a great friend in those years and we would trade time watching each other’s kids. Once a week I would get a whole afternoon to myself to do with as I wanted. It was like an oasis in the wilderness of dirty diapers, piles of laundry and smudged fingerprints on the windows! Sometimes I wandered the mall, blessedly alone! Sometimes I went to the library. Sometimes I took a nap. Sometimes I just prayed and sat on the porch.
     
    To get more spiritual enrichment, I have to admit that I kept a book of short devotionals in the bathroom so I could grab a few minutes of edification then! Hey! I call it multi-tasking! LOL!
     
    The most precious times were when I would wake early, make some coffee, grab my Bible and just enjoy the quiet of a morning and some time with God. I started conditioning myself to get up a bit early. First just 15 minutes, then half an hour, etc. It was so worth it. The bottom line is that if you really want time, you will FIND time.

  5. It has been great reading the comments so far on this topic!  What great wisdom that was shared.  I often wonder how my time with the Lord will be effected once we have children . . . this has been a great help to me!

  6. If you have the book, “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God”, Chapter 2 entitiled, “You Mean It’s Not All About Me” really addresses this nicely.  It’s a great book which I’ve really enjoyed.
    Annee

  7. As a mom of 5 I have had to learn that it’s not about “me” anymore, it’s not my “right” to have anything!  I used to get mad at my kids if they got in the way of something I wanted to do.  Now I realize that they are more important than my “rights”.  Motherhood is about the most self-sacrificing role any women can be in. . . .and that’s something to be thankful for!  It makes me even more thankful than ever if I do happen to get a cup of coffee w/out interruptions.   I didn’t have any children ,the Lord would still have to teach me to take my eyes off self and on to Him (and others)
    That said, I still think it’s important to have times of refreshment.  Even our Lord went off alone to pray.  For me, these times became especially needful when Rich and I moved away from our families (when Grace was a baby).  I don’t have my mom’s house to run to anymore to kick back and relax. . .so, I go to the bookstore, or the library, or out with a friend, or just go to bed early.  Rich is very understanding about my needs.  Also, for me it’s not so much being alone that I need, but some QUIET.  🙂 
    About devotional times. . .wow, the best times of all for me have been the “unplanned” times.  The Lord always opens up a period of time in each day when I can read my Bible, and it’s always a blessing.  In the past, I used to sit outside, watch the kids, read my Bible and write in my journal.  It’s also very nice to be creative in your times with the Lord. . sing, journal, paint, pray, copy out verses, pick a Bible topic, or person to study, etc.  You could keep your Bible on the kitchen counter, opened up to whatever chapter you are studying.  Keep nice fresh index cards available to jot down special verses or thoughts.  Use good devotional books, but read the Bible more than any of them.  If you husband is saved be sure to always look up to him as your spiritual leader. 

  8. I’m 55yo, but still have a 5.5yo, 7yo, and 8yo at home. I quit trying to make it “all about me” a long time ago. It’s all about “them” whether that sets well with me at all times, or not. Like DanishDoll said, I’ve become creative and find pockets of time. I grocery shopped (late) last week while the children stayed home with my husband. On the ride to the store, I put in a CD, then changed my mind. I drove in absolute silence and MADE my shoulders relax and my hands, which gripped the steering wheel, relax. It was glorious. A thing I rarely experience – SILENCE!!!Sometimes I stay in the car while Jesse and the girls run in somewhere. Maybe a Dollar Store or to pick up something from a friend. I sit and enjoy the solitude.Rule #1 in my house, when the bedroom door is closed (sometimes I use the restroom and only close that door, not the bedroom door, too) and Mommy doesn’t answer your knock (especially if Daddy is home) DON’T KEEP KNOCKING. GO AWAY! That’s usually when I treat myself to a deep water bath with “Vaseline’s Intensive Care Moisturizing Bath Beads.” I love Botanical Garden – AND, it’s cheap! The most alone time I can suck out of that is less than an hour (which includes dry off and lotion and dressing time) but it’s still MY time.I read at in bed at night. Jesse falls asleep first and has learned to sleep with my reading lamp on. That’s MY time to be fed or ponder the Word. The children are in bed (not always asleep, yet) and I lay in bed with my head soaking in God, how to apply His Word to my life, etc.I keep a Bible in my desk and when I’m on the computer and read something inspiration that one of you has written, I will grab my Bible and read.Other than those times, I am surrounded by children (or my husband) 24/7.HOWEVER, flip side of having no alone time . . . I was single for 15 years and lived alone because my first child was grown. Alone time and finding time to be by yourself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I longed for noise and interruptions. Maybe that’s how I am able to be grateful for the constant interruptions within my days, now.

  9. I agree that God uses our children so much to mature us and teach us to give of ourselves.  Even when you are constantly busy….you have time to pray continuously….while washing dishes, holding a baby, diapering, gardening.   God will use that to change you to be more like Jesus. I had to learn to look for those quiet moments in the midst of being a mommy.  It is very different than the days you could sit and have long Bible studies…..but those days come again….and you miss the little ones.Having a verse in  your pocket to meditate on is a great way to keep focused and learning in the midst of life.  I also agree with the little devotionals in the bathroom…..grabbing the few momments of alone time.   I do encourage you to look to the Lord and constantly look to Him.  It is true, you need all His wisdom and strength to be a good mom and to refuel.  My husband also encouraged those occasional mom’s nights out…he saw they gave him a happy refreshed wife!
     When my boys were small I attended Bible Study Fellowship once a week.  The 2 year olds and up can go with you and have their own class which is rich in singing, crafts and Bible stories…they even send home a sheet that gives tips on teaching more about the Lord during the week. Many areas have developed groups that include classes for homeschool children too.  I had a baby at home and hired an elderly neighbor to babysit him.  The classes were such good disapline and fellowship.  You had homework everyday ( could be done in about 20 min….though my MIL had alone time and would take hours   Nice thing is they put you in a discussion group with others with similar family makeup.  On the class days once a week (about 2 hours) we had worship, discussion of homework, a lecture, and took home a commentary on the section.  Good indepth study and time with other women.  I highly recommend this group…they are all over the nation.  (or another group like them called Community Bible Study).  If I had trouble finding the time to do my homework then my husband would play with the boys while I did it. 
    I too found that listening to songs of praise was a huge blessing with the children….both my music and ones recorded for little ones.  At night when we put the boys to bed we always prayed together, then I often would put on instumental praise music as they went to sleep.
    As they grew older and we were homeschooling we always started the day with Bible study.  Even with the older boys being 8 and 10 years older than our youngest we could read and discuss a Bible story as a family.  The older boys would then do some Bible study on their own.  The lessons for young ones would speak to my heart so much.  I learned a lot about my own character and saw how I reacted to the Lord’s instuction while teaching the younger ones. I recommend using a good Bible study story book…with colorful illustrations, Bible story books,Leading little ones to God,  Character bulding for Families I and II by Rubsam ( I used this for my youngest and with another child living with us and it helped so much to define areas of character like Obedience, cheerfulness, contentment etc.  Sometimes children do not know what we are asking.  Then, I would say ….you are not obeying…and they understood and often looked suprised….and changed with no argument.  These lessons often convicted me on my own attitudes.  You can also read stories together that have good lessons and characters in them.  So you see, in those busy mothering years….sometimes you learn together!
    Now with just one home I usually get up in the morning and have my quiet time while I have my coffee.  Though my boy is an active guy he likes to read and have quiet times too.  Getting together with other moms is so helpful.  The children get to play and enjoy one another and the moms get to visit.  Park days, beach days, tea, sometimes an evening together when the men are having a men’s group once a month….we fix a potluck dinner and the kids play while the mom’s visit. 
    hope that is helpful.  God bless you ladies! Jenny

  10. God uses our children to shape our souls. I have learned this the hard way ( as I learn most things) When I yell at my kids, I feel God is somewhat disappointed with me for loosing my temper. I try to keep it cool but sometimes I can’t help it. Lord please help me everyday with my temper. As for my quiet time it is when I can get free or at night before bed.

  11. Wow… there is so much wisdom in all of these comments!
    I’m 19, still at home, and am nowhere near having a husband or children. Even still, I have gained so much just from reading all of these comments. Thank you all so very much for sharing

  12. I love this discussion!
    Purple, you hit on such important ideas regarding the selflessness of motherhood.  In this day, it is not easy to remember we don’t deserve our own as the world is constantly clamoring at us. 
    And our spiritual life must be a priority.  Being creative in keeping it vital and in the fore-front of our day is so essential.  I have found that I must rise up each morning well before my children to have my time with the Lord if I want to start off meditating on Him  – before their demands crowd out His desires for me.  In an effort to turn their thoughts to Him as well, we spend time with Him together, again, after breakfast. I try to spend some minutes during rest time in the afternoon and again in the early evening in reading, meditation, journaling, and prayer, as well.
    I think it is wise to remember we are engaged in spiritual work throughout our day, no matter how meanial the tasks may seem.  Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, how can we mold the next generation?

  13. I’m with your first commenter. I am learning to get up early to be with my Savior, even if the night is horribly rough and somehow, we always make it through our day!   

  14. Shanda, I was thinking along the same lines as you. Maybe it makes a difference what “me time” is. It occurs to me that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Our best “me time” is when we are blessed by giving. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t get burned out and need refreshment ourselves. Even Jesus in his humanity went away awhile and rested. I am sure he went to sleep at night when he could. Young mothers simply don’t need to feel guilty when they fall asleep when they are trying to have quiet time with God. And there are so many ways during the day to have mini-times with God. And the best thing of it all is that “God knows our frames” and He understands. He knows our “labor of love.” What a wonderful God we have!

  15. Life is always a balance – whether raising several small children, the busier schedule of teens coming and going, then when they are all married it is tempting to be busy in other things. 
    I am a morning person and love to focus on God and His plan for me for the day as soon as I wake up.  Our children all seemed to also be morning  people – and sometimes woke up BEFORE me. 
    As they get older, you can also encourage them to have a “quiet” time while you are having yours.  Maybe they can read a good book or watch a movie with godly principles.  It is good for your children to see you reading the Bible and studying the Word.  It does not hurt a child to know that their mother spends time with God each morning or evening.  But if you want understanding children, you must be consistant.  Begin and end within the same time period.  Don’t keep them waiting for your attention by overextending your devotional time.  For instance, let them know that your time with God is from 6:30 to 7:00 – or whatever time you choose – and encourage them to do likewise, according to their age.
    During the day with small children, I also liked to listen to a half hour or hour of Christian radio to help keep me focused.  Too much TV or radio during the day frustrated me when the children were also making a lot of noise.
    Summertime can be easier, as you can sit in a lawn chair outside and watch them play in the yard.  Use the time to read a chapter of a book or just relax.
    Have a disciplined bedtime for them – early enough to give you a bit of down time.
    Discipline is the key.  But, don’ be too hard on yourself.  Some days just don’t go well.  🙂

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