The Ugly Truth

A sweet friend recently asked me (and several other moms) for some imput on time management for a class she is taking here at NOBTS. She asked about kids, quiet times and all that great stuff. It is a great topic. I am sharing some of the thoughts her question brought to mind. Let me know your thoughts. We’re all in this journey together!

So here’s the truth: I’m often a failure in this area… especially in the are of quiet time and prayer… a failure. (Not bashing myself… just being transparent). No insult intended, but it’s easy for me to give the “right” answer… you know, the “Sunday school” answer… but I’m not living it. I’d like to say I get up before the DH (ha) and the kids (ha for that #5 girlie of mine) have a quiet time with deep prayer time… maybe even serving a home-made breakfast… dishes washed… laundry warm in the basket… dogs walked… the scent of pine-sol lingering in the air… not reality for me.

By nature, I’m an organized person (ha also, if you’ve seen my house). I like order, patterns and such. Nothing makes me happier than to see my large calendar covered in well-written instructions for the week. I find comfort in consistency. The funny game the Lord is playing on me right now is how insane life is with 6 kids and incredibly busy husband. Dr. visits, ministry opportunities, music lessons, sickness,Ā  two little girls 3 and under, music rehearsals, CHURCH :)… make it so hard to PLAN anything. My honest advice for those of us with children who are still small: SURVIVE. That’s it. Do your best to create order, patterns, schedules but you MUST be flexible… or you might just go nuts. Flexibility doesn’t come naturally to me. I make plans- I carry out the plans. End of discussion. HA! I can find myself in a tizzy… shuffling around like that proverbial chicken reorganizing my day… frustrated to NO end that something/someone had the nerve to throw MY plans to the side… haha! You just have to laugh. I’m learning to sit back and if nothing else close my lips… sometimes the re-plans are better than my original plans. (Boy was that hard to admit šŸ™‚

As for my quiet time. I know many would disagree… so I’m ready for the constructive criticism… I have spent plenty of time bashing myself for not having 30 minutes a day of intense Bible reading followed by an hour and a half of prayer… hundreds of verses memorized and so on. I would like to have 35 discipleship books filled with insights, but I don’t. I believe I have allowed the enemy to use the Bible to hit me on the head… I mean, to make me feel guilty about not being a “good” Christian. He tells me things like, “There are so many people, especially MINISTRY wives,Ā  who are more knowledgeable” (and there are :)… You’re so weak (and often I am )”… but I’m learning that in this season of my life, I can shoot up “arrow” prayers throughout the day… it’s ok to drift off to sleep while praying… and my favorite- reading a devotional thought while making use of restroom time (really transparent here :)… I’m by no means criticizing thorough study of God’s word… please don’t misunderstand. I’m in a season of survival. I desire to me more intentional… I also know the Lord knows me better than I know myself. He knows my thoughts from afar. He knows when I sit down and when I rise up (and when I finally made it to bed last night). He loves me perfectly… I’m so thankful!

As moms, we have to do our best with what the Lord has given us… time, talents, resources, children, extended family if applicable… we have to survive- He is the source of my strength. He is my light and my joy. I pray my life will evidence that truth.

Thanks De for asking me about my journey!

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12 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth

  1. šŸ˜‰ Any time!
    One thing that is has taken me a long time to learn is that my walk will not look like everyone else’s. I used to judge myself (mistake #1) because my house wasn’t as clean as one friend, I didn’t have hours to pray like another, etc. etc.
    God created the mommy, and because of that, fully understands how our brains work. I think He blesses our efforts simply because we put that effort first!

  2. Michelle,

    I, like you, would never in a million years criticize the thorough study of God’s Word. After all, it’s one of the ways my husband makes his living;) I will say that first and foremost we are people of the Spirit. We have a relationship with God through the outpouring of His Spirit in us. Praise Jesus my salvation and the security of my relationship with Him are not based on how often I read His Word or how deeply I study it. There are times (many, many times) that I neglect the study of the Word. God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, meets me right where I am and teaches me something in spite of myself. Not because of who I am or what I’m doing (or not doing), but because of who He is and what He wants to do in and through me.

    I am so thankful that I can pray while driving down the road (out loud, if needed, in order to hear myself and to be heard), while washing dishes, while folding laundry, while in the shower. So thankful God meets us where ever we are. Praying can and should be in the moment. That makes it real to us and for our children. And, I keep promising myself that someday, like my mother and hers now, there will be a time when I get to spend time in deep, unterrupted prayer.

    Looking forward to reading more here on your blog! Congrats on your new venture!

  3. Survival is very accurate!!! I often feel like the mom on the movie “One Fine Day”. With my husband traveling,there are times my boys (and there’s ONLY 2 of them) and I live out of my car! Literally dressing them for ball in the car, grabbing snacks out of my purse, doing homework in the parking lot at church etc. But, at the same time– we are inspirations to others. When we show that yes, we do not have enough hours in the day to accomplish such trivial goals, but make sure our children are at church on Wednesday nights we show others our priorities are right. I so agree with Ellen, that I do appreciate that I can pray whenever I need to, to just thank God for loving me unconditionally. And I do believe that He understands that at this point in our life we ARE just trying to survive!!!

    Life is always so much easier when people you know have been exactly where you are. Michelle- you know I love you!!! I have enjoyed reading so far! Good luck and God bless!

  4. I am so proud of you for starting this blog. I know this will get snarles but here goes. I too believe God meets us where we are. Most of the greatest lessons that God has ever taught me was through my husband and children. In His grace He gave us the Holy Spirit that is alive inside us and the Spirits purpose is so that we can bring glory to our Lord. How many times has God whispered to you of His love through a quiet moment with a little one, reflected His unconditional love through Greg, or used a life lesson with one of the bunch to remind you of His forgiveness for you as you forgive them. Michelle, there is a time for being in the Word. We know that is it is God breathed: His very heart, given to us in written form. But He created YOU to be human. You are not a super woman and He knows that. He has blessed you with a lovely family. He refreshes you through praise and worship; as you pray; as you homeschool and the curriculum uses a verse that touches you that day and God says “that is for you Michelle.” Don’t let the enemy steal your joy by shouting unrealistc expectations. God is not legalistic, He sees the truth of our hearts and knows that your desire is to honor Him. Your family, friends and ministries prove that YOU are exactly where He wants you right now.

  5. I’m thrilled that you have started a blog! And in response to your post….at our last student wives event we had a panel and I asked the question: how do you maintain an intimate walk with the Lord when you have young kids? Diane Nix’s answer was music to my condemning ears. I forever (since having kids) have walked around carrying guilt and shame for not having quite times daily. She reminded me that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus! To take the moments when you can. She said unfortunately the church has defined the ‘quiet time’ when in reality they are different in every season of life. And to remember there is much grace. Toddlerville is very demanding….as you know 6x over šŸ™‚

  6. My goodness, what wonderful insights have already been posted. We are on this journey together. I don’t have children at home any more but, still find that I don’t always stop and have a “quiet time” with the Lord. Praying as I go through my day–that trying to “pray without ceasing” when people or situations come into my mind. Reading the Word when preparing music for a Worship Service, using my Pastor’s outline as a guide and trying to listen for the voice of the Father about the direction the music needs to go to enhance the message. Don’t beat yourself up–God knows your heart! He knows your situation–He loves you for who you are because of Him. The most important job in the world is the job you have. Training your children in God’s ways–according to His Word. You seem to be doing that in a tremendous way–Courage to you my sister–my Titus 2 friend. Will pray for you as the Lord brings you to mind. Do the same for me.

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