February 26, 2008 by Stacy McDonald
One of my readers pointed out to me in the comments section that there may be ladies who misunderstood the point of this post, so I’ve decided to remove the old post and instead include a segment from Chapter 4 of Passionate Housewives called “Weary Women.”
Moms of little ones need their sleep! We can certainly discipline ourselves to go to bed early enough so that we can wake up with our little ones (or our husband), but to beat ourselves up over our failure to create a worship time that resembles someone else’s isn’t necessary and can sometimes be detrimental.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)
Rain on Your Despair with “Prayer Droplets”
Too many women are in bondage to the man-made myth that everyone should pray in one great big gush early each morning. But rather than praying a river at an appointed time every day, I would suggest a more reasonable and feasible option for a busy mother: pray in “droplets” throughout the day. Not only is this achievable, it is biblical. We are instructed to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and to let our souls follow close behind Him as His right hand holds us up (Psalm 63:8).
What better way to follow close behind Him than to read snippets of Scripture and pray in droplets throughout the day? As you care for your children, interact with neighbors, and chat with store clerks, “let your tongue speak of His righteousness and of His praise all the day long” (Psalm 35:28). God is your refuge—make clinging to Him every moment become a disciplined habit, even as others look on:
I have become as a wonder to many, But You are my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day. (Psalm 71:7-8, NKJV)
When all your children are small, it can be nearly impossible to even go to the bathroom alone, much lessenjoy a half-hour of prayer and contemplation in heavenly, uninterrupted bliss; so get creative! Copy chapters of Scripture or buy small pocket Bibles and place them around your house—in the bathroom, in the laundry room, next to the chair where you nurse the baby—wherever you might have a moment where you’re standing (or sitting) still. You’ll find yourself rising above your trials by God’s sustaining hand when you make His Word a continuous presence in your day (Psalm 119:116-117).
If you have little ones, accept that this is your “noisy season” of life. You’ll have moments for “quiet” time later. Pray in droplets during the day as well as when you’re awakened at night:
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)
Pray with your children, pray when you’re bathing the baby, and pray in the shower— but pray!
Make Room in Your Prayer Closet for Your Children
Looking back to the days when all my children were young, and I desperately sought time alone with God, I recall thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Why does everyone else seem to have it all together, and I can’t seem to have a single quiet time without getting frustrated over being interrupted every five seconds?” I thought I had to spend time with God a certain way for it to “count.”
Then there were the mornings when I sacrificed the extra rest and tried to get up before the children did. Inevitably, I would open my Bible, begin praying, and then hear the footsteps of a toddler plodding down the stairs. “Mommy, I’m hungry.” And so my day would begin in frustration and heaviness without having accomplished my “spiritual time of rest and quiet communion with God.”
Rather than pouring some cereal and reading my Bible with the children while they ate and I sipped a cup of coffee, I would begin my day feeling like a failure, being short with the children—perhaps even secretly feeling like God was unfair. After all, I just wanted to spend time alone with Him; why couldn’t He have kept everyone asleep? I wound up getting angry because I was trying to meet God each day “my way” rather than His, and it wasn’t working.
It took me a long time to realize that I needed to serve God right where He had placed me—and I didn’t have to be in seclusion to spend quality time with Him. I was in His presence with every diaper I changed, every Bible story I told my children, every meal I prepared, every toilet I cleaned, and every math paper I graded. I learned to gather my little ones around me to pray the Lord’s Prayer, for my good as well as theirs.”