Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. If you’re reading this, you are likely a person who will devote time thinking about ways you want to grow spiritually this next year. Maybe, like me, you will prayerfully consult with others to help evaluate the area in which God may want to bring about change, growth, refreshment, or rejuvenation.
I dusted off three books on godly womanhood with this in mind. Two of the three, from my quick perusal of them, strongly exhort the reader to spend time with God in the morning, before the distractions of their day crowd out the possibility of this precious time with God.
And with this notion, I took pause.
I agree that reading God’s Word, praying, perhaps journaling, meditating and/or memorizing scripture is vital to developing and sustaining a robust relationship with God, but I will not advocate the rigid teaching that the early morning hours are the best and only time of day that a truly, godly person seeks God’s face.
I have a particular burden for moms who have consistently heard that they are to rise before their children, seek God’s face before they see any other faces. This can bring profound help and grace to many woman, and the encouragement is needed. But, it can also become a millstone that hangs around the proverbial necks of so many, a yoke Jesus never intended for us to embrace.
In the busy years of raising children, the priority of pursuing relationships takes flexibility and finesse. My children, husband, friends, family and God are all important relationships to be nurtured and maintained.
Between the responsibilities we have to manage and the many changes that developing children present, we moms must grow comfortable and confident in adjusting our expectations and the execution of time spent with Jesus.
In my own journey with this, there has been a wide variety of times and methods I have employed to have consistent time with God.
I have read at night before going to bed. I had a lengthy season when my boys napped a beautiful, three hours every afternoon. It was during that unconventional time of day that I spent quality time with God.
Currently, I do set aside time in the morning, but most mornings it is not before my children wake up. The choice to homeschool allows us the freedom to wake naturally. Sometimes I wake before them; sometimes they are up before me, and still other mornings we are all staggered in our wake times.
Recently, it occurred to me that due to a medication I take at night, my body is simply unable to rise, alert and ready for any kind of meaningful time in God’s word. As such, I am awake for nearly an hour and a half before I dive into my Bible reading and prayer for the day.
And while I sometimes envy my other momma friends who post the instagram pictures of a lit candle, full coffee mug, bible and journal set in the foreground of a quiet, dimly lit home because none of their children are awake when they have their quiet time, I have come to see the up side to the way I implement quiet time.
My children become witness to this daily activity of setting aside time for just me and my Lord. They see me with my Bible open. They are hushed when they try to chat with me while I pen out a scripture or prayer in my journal. They look on as I demonstrate my love for my Savior through my praises offered up.
I believe moms are not the only ones who need this encouragement, however. College students, I remember those days. I remember the crazy schedules that change just as you begin getting used to them. I remember late nights and impossibly early mornings that ran into one another.
For you, a consistent time each day may not even be attainable let alone a consistent morning time. Your quiet times with God may be as sporadic as the timing of summer rain showers in Florida.
What about those who work late night or rotating shifts? I am related to a few nurses who can go an entire month without working a repeating schedule.
The point is that we must stop being dogmatic about the time of day and rather focus on the intention of one’s day when it comes to carving out time to be with God.
He does long to hear from us and be known by us. Our relationship with God is worth the investment of time, whether it happens at morning, noon, night or all three times of the day! Carve out space in your life to hear from and talk to God, but do not take on the millstone of it having to be done in the morning.
“Therefore, let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found…” Psalm 32:6