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The Boyer Blog: Personal Quiet Times in a Busy Household

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Personal Quiet Times in a Busy Household

I dream of a capacious house full of rooms and lots of storage places. Central in that dream is my “quiet room”- a room with thick insulation and a skylight under which is a big comfy recliner just waiting for me to plunk down in it and read my Bible, pray and meditate, uninterrupted. As I look up through the skylight, I view the puffy cumulus clouds drifting by in the midst of a beautiful blue sky- a perfect scenario for meditating on the riches of God’s inexhaustible Word. Nearby is my bookcase, full of study books and concordances and a spacious desk on which I can leave my books spread out when not in use and ready to pick up again where I left off.

That’s my dream, but it’s not a reality-not in this season of my life! I’m a mom of 14 blessings, yes, blessings! I wouldn’t trade any one of them for all the solitude in the world, but I must confess, there are times I would like to experience, as the song goes “Blessed Quietness”. It happens only at very unusual times in my bustling household-like maybe after 11pm or midnight???

Through the years, I’ve had to adjust my quiet time to Rick’s schedule, the children’s ages and therefore changing schedules. You know how it is-it changes all the time.

I have tried to make a quiet time with the Lord a priority. It’s a precious time where God speaks to me and I speak to Him and draw from His Word and His Spirit gives me guidance and direction I need for my busy life. I need God’s direction as to how to raise 14 unique personalities to direct each one to serve his/her Creator. It’s not an easy task, actually, it’s impossible in my own strength. I know that, but I also know that God cares about all those little details of my life and their lives and my husband’s life much more than I do and He has a perfect plan for all of us. I need God. I need His presence, the washing of His Word, the red flags in my spirit to turn me from the wrong paths and the nudge of His Holy Spirit to keep my focus on His priorities.

Being a Mom is a 24 hr. a day job, but as the years have gone by, I’ve to evaluate and reevaluate my schedule and learn to give God my best time. For some people that’s first thing in the morning and that’s great, but I’ve never been a morning person . I find my mind is sluggish until I’ve been awake awhile. When I had a house full of infant/toddlers/nappers , naptime was my best time. Then for a while Rick worked a night shift and nighttime, right after the boys went down to bed at 7:30 was best for me. Now, my house is a busy place from early morning till late at night. I have 4 kids married, 5, almost 6 grandchildren and a house where all know they are welcome- to come, hang out , entertain friends, etc. Therefore BUSY is a huge understatement. Several of my older girls operate their own business, as does Rick , then there’s our ministry, and the younger kids have varied interests. On a given day you may find Tuck hammering away making designs on his belts, or nailing birdhouses together. Kasey may appear as a multitude of costume clad figures from history, blowing on her fife or banging out a song on her drum. Kelley is practicing the piano. Various grandchildren may be here playing cars or dollhouse and of course they want NaNa (that’s me) to play with them. I long ago determined that I would be the kind of grandma who gets down on the floor and plays with them or reads Bible stories to them to try to influence them positively for the Lord. That’s my goal and it’s a big one, esp since I still have an 8 year old, a 10 year old, a thirteen year old….( nine kids still live at home)!

All that to say, most nights you’ll find me up late at night or even in the wee hours spending my best uninterrupted time with God. (Don’t look for me super early in the morning, however). I get fed, my spirit refreshed and direction set for the new day-tomorrow. Find the time that works best for you-now in whatever season you find yourself in and don’t feel guilty if it’s not what works for others. I’ve found what works best for others often doesn’t fit me –my life is unique. Yours is , too, so ask God to show you your best time and do your best to meet with Jesus and feed your soul.

I’ve also had to find times that work for my children to have their quiet times. Kasey- 8 , Kelley-10 and Tuck-13 have their Bible reading time in the afternoon, after school and lunch before free time . Grace, a morning person gives God the first part of her day. What’ important is that you do schedule it in and do it- experiment a little and find a working plan. My three youngest do Bible studies and verse memorization as a part of their “school” each morning. They are rewarded for learning a certain number of verses, as God is a rewarder of those who seek Him ( Heb. 11: 6).

Josh 1:9 promises us success in all that we do if we will meditate on His Word. Take it in, chew on it, mull it around in your mind and heart until it becomes part of the way you think and act. Of all the things we can teach our children, a love for God and His Word should be paramount. If it is, God will place His blessing on all we do, including our homeschooling endeavor.


Blogger Cyndi said...

Thanks for sharing this Marilyn.

As I put a points system together to encourage my children in their character I was thinking to myself "Is it right to reward them in this way?". After your reference to rewarding for Bible verses and scripture to go along with it I feel like it is a good thing to do and Biblical.

I love to glean from your and Rick's wisdom!!

God Bless you and your growing family!!

October 23, 2009 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Thank you for this encouraging post. May I ask what kind of rewards you give and for how many memorized verses. Thanks!

October 23, 2009 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this Marilyn.

We are a family with 4 blessings, ranging in age from 16 to 3. Your note has encouraged me. In the busyness of our days it is hard to find a quiet time for prayer and Bible least one that works. I'm glad to hear that others struggle with this. It seems that once I finally find a time that changes.

October 23, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Homemanager said...

Marilyn, Thank you for this very timely post. It is exactly what I needed this morning. The Lord is so good to us!

October 23, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Homemanager said...

Marilyn, Thank you for this very timely post. It is exactly what I needed this morning. The Lord is so good to us!

October 23, 2009 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Hi Marilyn,
I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your wisdom, advice, and insights very much. I find that splitting my "quiet time" up over the course of the day works for me -- sitting alone quietly planning my day over morning coffee, lifting up prayers as needed throughout the day, and reading the Bible in bed right before turning out the light at night. We all have to find whatever works best for us! And I think God delights in our individual creativity.

October 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

I was so blessed to be able to actually meet you in person and hear you speak this past March at our Spokane Conference. Your website is a blessing as well!
Thank you for the encouragement in this area of quiet time. With over 20 years of homeschooling under our belt, and several more to go, I find myself getting a little weary. The encouragement to find what works for this "Season", and not feeling guilty because I am not the early bird that my hubby still is...
(he's amazing :-) was just what I needed to be reminded of.
Thank you! Debbie

October 23, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marilyn
I enjoyed your quiet time comments. We all need quiet time but God and family are a more important priority!
God Bless You and Your Family.

October 23, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marilyn, My son was sitting with me while I finished reading. He noticed the time you sent this out. I wish I could stay up that late and still function the next day. Thank you so much for these thoughts. My life has been out of my control for the past months and I am just now able to try and get it scheduled some. You reminded me I need MY time with God, not others ideas of when.

October 23, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Sharene said...

Dear Marilyn,

I really enjoy your ministry and getting your emails. Thanks for the encouragement! I'm a young mom w/ 2 young children (4 and 10 months). Getting in a daily quiet time has been a challenge but after reading your article, I'm going to make it a priority again.

In Christ,

October 23, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Parunak said...

Thanks for the wonderful encouragement! My house is very noisy and chaotic these days, and this was just what I needed.

October 24, 2009 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger kuhn said...

Marilyn,You are a breath of fresh air. It's so good to find common ground with another mom who has as many children as I have. We are excepting our ninth in Jan. and our kids range from 3-15. I just wanted to thank you for your confirmation, hectic households can destract our time from the Lord. But you really help but things in prospective. Look forward to seeing you at Convention.

October 24, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Bonita said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement
Continue to put the Lord first no matter what
It is so great to have someone who has several kids at home able to write something for others to glean from and be encouraged by

October 26, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Thank you Marylin! What an encouragement to me today!

October 27, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Thanks Marilyn for sharing this. I'm a night owl too, and that has always been when I have my quiet time with the Lord. I've even tried to change it at times, thinking maybe I should be more of a morning person, but it didn't work, it's just not me. I'm glad to hear I'm not the homeschooling mom that gets started a little later in the morning than others :-)

November 4, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

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