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Posts Tagged ‘quiet time’

Fabulous Family Friday–The First R of Relationships

Friday, July 23rd, 2010



I’m alternating between the 3Rs for my posts, in case you hadn’t noticed! ;)

This Friday, I want to address the first R of the “3Rs of Relationships”–your relationship with God.

All other relationships flow from this one–if it is out of whack, so will the others be!

Young mama or older, many children or a few, you cannot afford to skimp on this relationship.

“In Him we  live, and move,  and have our being…” Acts 17:28

Our Heavenly Father longs to have a relationship with us–that is why He created man and woman in the first place.   And that is why He sent His Son to die for us–to restore that relationship.

I have learned how much I need Him, and when I walk out into my day trying to make decisions on my own, it grieves Him.  It says, “I can handle this on my own, thankyouvermuch.” 

Of course, we don’t consciously think that!  But why else would we think we can make all our own decisions without the help of the One Who made us?

There are seasons, of course, when all you may be able to do is read a verse here and there, and offer prayers throughout your day, and a one hour quiet time (or even a 10 minute one!) seems like a luxury!

But that’s what it’s all about anyway–a lifting of our hearts to Him throughout the day.

Brother Lawrence, a monk from the 17th century,  has been an inspiration to me.  In his book, “The Practice of the Presence of God“, he said that he developed the practice of of God’s presence to the point that he was never more than 10 minutes without being aware of His presence!

And that was amidst cooking and cleaning in the kitchen (which were his main duties) and shopping for the food….hmmm….sounds kind of like home, doesn’t it?!

He actually said he felt God’s presence as much or more during his menial duties as when in the chapel or in silent mediation at prayer time.  

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

Nancy Campbell is also an inspiration for mamas–especially young mamas of many!   She is one who encourages you to keep a Bible at the sink you can glance at and read a verse or two while doing dishes.  Or you could write out a verse or two on a 3X5 card and keep it taped up at the window (or cupboard) to read, memorize and meditate on while doing “kitchen duty” making your kitchen a haven and place of intimacy with Him–a place to “practice the presence of God”.

Nancy also shares in her devotionals and writings how she would often run to her room to kneel by her bed for a quick prayer when tempted to say something out of anger or frustration.  

Susanna Wesley threw her apron over her head in her busy household to let the children know mama needed a few moments with God!

Some of this comes down to training your little ones.  Even at an early age they can be trained to be still for a few moments, giving mama a few moments of spiritual nourishment.  Or you could share your “nourishment” with them–reading a Bible story or looking at a picture Bible together.  Instill in them early the desire to be in God’s Word. 

Often when we’re single, we’re used to having these wonderful “feasts” in the Word.   Even when young married, although you have new responsibilities, you may still be blessed to be feasting.   Then comes morning sickness, sleepless nights, fatigue, baby’s needs…..and if you’re not careful, you can let this part of your relationship go.

I’m not putting a guilt trip on anyone here!  I have been in places where I was barely keeping my head above water, and did not always keep this the priority it should have been.  I had too much an “all or nothin’ ” mentality, and that is not good!!!

There were times I posted Bible verses on the bathroom mirror and at the sink.  I would try to at least read a Psalm in the morning, and maybe the Proverb of the day later (naptime….before I drifted off, too! :) )

Looking to the Lord in prayer throughout the day can be a way you stay “in touch”, too.

I think the biggest enemy to our spiritual lives as busy mamas is the idea that it has to be a certain way.   Once you free yourself from that mentality, you can be open to creative ways to meet with the Lord.

In Proverbs 7, we have a picture of the “strange woman” finding ways to meet with her lover.  Proverbs 7:15 has a lesson for those of us wanting to meet with the Lord, “Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”   I actually pray to the Lord that as part of my morning prayer before I open the Word!

How diligently do we seek Him?  There is a difference between being exhausted from sick kids that an SOS prayer is all you can do and that becoming the norm because you allow other things to be more important.

Only you can let the Lord gently probe your heart and see if this is just a crisis season, or if you are letting it become the way you relate to Him.

And if I may offer another area to examine–how much time do you spend reading other books?   “Good” fiction books, books about being a Godly wife and mother, homeschooling books…..or websites….blogs…..all can be wonderful reservoirs of ministry to you, or they could be a distraction from the One Who can minister all to you.

If you have time to check all your favorite blogs, facebook, twitter, etc., but you “don’t have time” to spend with the Bridegroom of your soul, it’s time to do some pruning!

He has SO much for us!  He speaks to my heart throughout the day, not just in the morning prayer closet!   But my heart must be tuned to His voice–through keeping short accounts with Him, cultivating a thankful heart to Him, and praising Him for everything that comes my way!   As the old hymn says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace“!

It’s wonderful to be able to read through your Bible on a plan, read 5 Psalms a day and 1 Proverb, pray through your list without interruption, but reality is, that is not what makes a relationship, any more than going over your to-do list with your husband and talking to him about the events of the day without interruption mades a relationship with him.   What you have with your husband that you have with no other man is intimacy. 

I love Webster’s 1828 Dictionary–the meanings are so rich!

Intimate–one to whom the thoughts of another are entrusted without reserve; to share together; to love entirely;

Intimately–closely, with nearness of friendship or alliance; closely, with close intermixture and union of parts, as two fluids intimately mixed

Our Creator, Sustainer, Shepherd, Savior and Father wants that same relationship with us.  There are times you just lie in your husband’s arms and cry, no words, just tears.   Your Heavenly Father also can be that strong arm and shoulder.   I have cried on His “shoulder” much these past few months since my mom’s death. 

There is something about shared, tender moments that knit our hearts like no amount of flowery words can.   Often my prayers are a silent adoring of Him, or a silent pouring of my aching heart out to Him. 

You cannot impart to your family what you do not have–you cannot impart to them “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) if He is not your joy.

You cannot impart to them “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13) if you are not looking to Him for your strength.

You cannot teach them to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) if you are looking to your own understanding and not His.

As in so many areas of life, you must be what you want them to be!   They will actually surpass you (oh, praise Him!), but they must see you humbly relying on His grace every single moment of the day.

In fact, I believe the most beautiful fragrance we can wear in His presence is the Fragrance of Humility.

Take a few moments when you arise to pour out your worship on His feet, and keep kissing His feet with your life as you go throughout your day.


Helps for my Quiet Time:

Bible :)

Blank  journal and pen

3X5 cards

Come Away My Beloved Devotional Journal

Make Haste My Beloved (or any Frances Roberts’ Books)