When you have so many people under one roof, finding that peaceful quiet time to focus on God can be fleeting. But I can also say that having just two little ones at home can make this equally challenging. More people does equal more distractions, but that doesn’t mean that two energetic toddlers can’t have the same effect!
But this “quiet time” is so very necessary to caring for these little ones underfoot. How do I make it happen?
I can’t speak for others, and I can’t tell you my ideas will work for everyone, but I can tell you what I have found that works for me. And different things worked at different seasons in my life. I’ll start with when I only had three little ones and I was their world.
When I had three kids, ages 4 and under, my life was constant noise. My energy was drained daily and my patience disappeared occasionally. I desperately needed that quiet time to study God’s word. The Lord was my strength if only I could access it!!
I quickly learned that getting up earlier than they did wasn’t going to be the key to success. If I got up at 5, they were up at 5. If I woke up at 4, they woke up at 4. They have this spidey-sense and know when I have awoken! The second thing I realized, was I needed to lower my expectations. I wasn’t going to have an hour to sit and study and pray.
So like everything else in my life at that time, I had my kids join me in my quiet time. They each grabbed their picture Bible and sat in their own spot on the living room floor, while I curled up on the couch with my Bible and we enjoyed a whole fifteen minutes of study. As they got older, the time stretched to thirty minutes.
This was great for teaching them importance of this time and leading by example. I did have to get creative and only bring out a few picture books each day so they wouldn’t get bored. And it didn’t happen every morning, but you can be assured that the days that this happened were much better days!
As with all things in life, things changed. We moved, had more children, and the hubby changed jobs. As life ebbs and flows, my quiet time also had to give a little.
Create a study corner
I now have a basket that I keep next to my spot on the couch. The basket has sat next to several different couches over the years, but the concept is still much the same. I tried keeping my Bible basket next to my bed, but that just meant the kids destroyed the house while I studied in my room. That doesn’t exactly set the best mood for the day.
This basket contains at least one Bible, my highlighters, a pen or pencil, journal and at least one Bible study that I’m reading. Oh! And there is a head scratcher in there. Not really sure why, but it’s been there so long it is now it’s home.
The teens do their Bible study privately and don’t join me often. The littles watch me study mine. Sometimes I include them in with questions and pique their curiosity, but mostly I enjoy the fact that I can study while I keep my eye on the kids. I’ve used the Busy Mama Bible studies for great discussion questions. Each day ends with a way to include your children into your study.
My littles are mostly boys and found they don’t sit still as well as my girls did many years ago. So trying to keep them still and quiet while I’m trying to concentrate was a no go. We include our character and Bible studies in with morning basket time which starts our school day and allows me freedom to focus on their needs.
I hope you take away this:
- Time with God is crucial!
- Your quiet time won’t always look the same over the years.
- Be flexible and adjust your expectations to match your life.
I imagine one day I will only have teenagers at home and Bible study will look very different.
If you still are in the trenches with littles at home, Belinda Letchford at Live Life with Your Kids has some great tips for incorporating many ages into Bible study. Plus she offers a free downloadable guide to help you on your journey. This is the most important part of your day, make the most of it!