Lately I have had a lot of women ask me, "What do you do for a devotion time/quiet time daily? Do you have one? Do you think it is important to have one daily? How do you find the time?" I honestly feel like a giddy school girl when someone emails me questions like this. To think that God has put me on someone's radar screen and that they feel comfortable asking me for spiritual advice or wisdom really blows me away! I feel so blessed, so honored and amazed that the emails come to my inbox daily. Thank you Lord! Thank you for using me. I am a huge testimony that God can use imperfect people. In fact, that's the kind of men and women He longs to use.
Let's go back to the question/questions I am emailed a lot. "What do you do for a devotion time/quiet time daily? Do you have one? Do you think it is important to have one daily? How do you find the time?" I think a lot of women, including myself, put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We have a list in our mind of things we need to do in a month, a week or even just a day. We may compare ourselves to other moms (a dangerous thing to do) and try to do things like them. The problem with that is, God did not create us to be someone else! Some moms homeschool, some don't. Some moms sit down and read books to their kids every single day or they may not allow television or sugar in their children's diet. When we compare ourselves to other women, we will always feel like we have failed. At times I find myself wanting to be the best mother, wife, cook, decorator, fashion expert and bible reading machine there is. But how exhausting is that? When Josiah gets to kindergarten, there will probably be a mom that can make better cupcakes than me! Perish the thought! There may be a better "Room Mom" than me. I pray even now that God will not allow me to get caught up in things like that. It may sound silly, but many moms do. We put so much of our security in this role called "Mom" that we don't even let ourselves begin to think about failing. We do things like make schedules and post them on our refrigerator. I had one once, but I took it down. I am not saying schedules are bad but mine set me up for failure. Professional women have bad days at the office, they miss deadlines, they make a mistake, they are late for a meeting or they may even get called into the bosses office. What about us Moms? Are we not allowed the same kind of day? It's okay for your child to have a day of too much TV. It happens! It's okay if you miss a storytime, a play group or a devotion time with your kids. If you yell or do something that hurts their feelings, it's okay. Your kids will be okay! I am not saying we shouldn't work on these things, we should. But the very fact that you are home with them every single day fulfills a need in their life that no one else can fill. And if we put so much pressure on ourselves as Mom's, you can bet it will spill over into our spiritual life. We do the same thing in our relationship sometimes with the Lord. If we can't read our Bibles daily, if we can't have a prayer time, then we get down on ourselves OR we just choose to not do it because we don't want to feel guilty.
Do I have a daily quite time? I try with every ounce of my being to do so. I do not do it out of guilt or obligation. I do it because I know how much I need that time with my Lord. But here's the deal. My time with Him has changed over the last six months because I realized the pressure I was putting on myself. We have grown up hearing about a "quiet time". We have this idea in our minds that we have to pray for this amount of time or read for this amount of time. That is a dangerous mindset because it's overwhelming, it's a big expectation to put on ourselves. God is not mad when we don't do this. But then there is the opposite side to that. Attending church, having a weekly bible study or home group, is not your personal time with the Lord. How can you possibly win others to the Lord without reading His word? How can you fall in love with him more and more without studying His promises? How can you fight battles without memorizing and meditating on his scriptures? How can you be the best Wife and Mother He has called you to be without eating the bread He gives through the Bible? You can't! You can't soak up everything from others! A bible study with your friends cannot take the place of personal time with him! Church should only help us, it's not there to be our everything spiritually. As women our mindset has to change when it comes to being Godly women. The way we have tried to do it, doesn't work. Something new has to happen.
A few nights ago I watched Beth Moore on the James Robinson show preach a powerful messaged. She didn't speak, the woman preached! As I listened to her, I was in complete and total shock of how much that woman knew the Word of God. She didn't get there over night. It's like I said in yesterday's post, the Proverbs 31 woman had a lifetime to leave the legacy she did. She did not live that life in one day, it was her whole life! Beth Moore has had years of studying His Word, it did not happen overnight. Sunday morning I listened to Joyce Meyer. Another woman that is FILLED with God's Word. Saturday I listened to Lucy Swindoll, Patsy Clairmont, Sheila Walsh, Nicole Johnson, Thelma Wells (my favorite) and many more speak about the things God has done in their life. All of these women spoke of God's Word like it TRULY meant something to them. As Godly women, isn't that what we should strive for? Isn't that what we should work hard at knowing? God's Word?! It's better than any novel, any devotion, any book! It gives us life! And I need it! Oh how I need it!
So this is what I do. Right now I have COMMITTED to reading one chapter a day of a particular book. I also read Proverbs every day too. I try to do it in the morning but sometimes one of the kids wakes up before me. I try to do it during nap time but sometimes I have something else I am doing. I really try to make that time sacred but it doesn't always happen that way. I may have to read in the bathroom while using the restroom or taking a bath. I may have to do it when everyone is asleep. But I do it! When I make it a part of my day, it changes me. Today I started reading the book of Genesis with my best friend and with a lady who reads my blog. We don't see each other when we read, we don't do a bible study to go along with it. We call each other or email each other to communicate that we have read. It's nice to have accountability. As I read, I pray for these women and I pray that God will give us revelation as we read His word. It's powerful! It's amazing the things God teaches me. Also, it helps my flesh come under submission. I would much rather walk in the spirit than walk in the flesh. How about you?
Think about this. If you had a problem or a need that you needed to share with someone, would you want to share it with a woman that his been in God's Word or a woman that has been buried in a Nicolas Sparks book? Seriously. What is coming out of our mouths? What do our words say about who we are as women? As stay at home moms or wives, we have a responsibility and unless you are being fed by the Word of God, you can't expect your home, your children, your marriage, your relationships or even your self esteem to be in order. We have to get our priorities straight and everything else will line up. Everything else will have order! It will not happen overnight, it can't. In the first chapter of Genesis, everything took time. God didn't create EVERYTHING in one day. Each day was something new. He took time to plan it out. The same goes for our life. Each day is something new. It can't happen all at once, not even God works that way. While I would love to have the wisdom that Beth and Joyce, I realize it will take time to get there. But why not start now? Why not try to be all that God wants me to be now? Why not start today? When I get too busy, when my Bible needs dusting, may I start over!
One more thing. (I know this is long! Aren't all of my posts?!) Thelma Wells, one of the speakers at Women of Faith, talked about a woman and her cell phone. It was comical but so true. If we leave our cell phone at home, we turn around and drive back to get it. If we can't find it, we freak out! So we wear it on our hips, keep it in our purse and we never go ANYWHERE without it. Thelma said, "What if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phones? What if we wore it on our hips, carried it in our purses or drove home to get it when it was forgotten? We would never find dust on our cell phones! And we probably read more text messages in the cell phone than we do in our Bibles!"
That got me thinking and I just want to encourage all of you to get out that Word and read it as MUCH as you can! It's worth it! You need it! You will be amazed at how one chapter a day can change your life. I started with Genesis, chapter one today. There is a lot of meat in Genesis. We like to talk to our grandparents about our heritage and where we came from, well Genesis does kind of the same. So If you want to go back with me and read about the beginning, join in! I just started today! His Word will change you, His Word will bring victory, His Word will bring life! Do this and watch how things come together. Make this a priority and everything else will fall into place. This is the only thing that will bring order to your life.