We all connect with God in different ways. I think this is a beautiful testament to his Grace. That he does not expect us to all be the same, and he meets us where we are. Over the years my quiet time has morphed. Each season bringing new challenges. What use to be a quiet few hours at a coffee shop pouring into a journal has turned into five minutes of scripture here, and pouring out my heart in a 10 minute shower there. Each season is beautiful, and I’ve come to love each of them differently.
As I’ve gotten older and my roles have changed first from student to full time employee, then from daughter to wife, now from working wife to stay at home mother. The changes though welcomed and cherished brought with them a slew of challenges. Particularly with time and how to prioritize.
As a college student (with free time I didn’t know I had) I spent hours studying, listening to podcasts, and journaling my thoughts with God. After college my hours withered away into mere minutes, minutes that now have dwindled to even less. With my growing list of things to do, people to take care of, and errands to run there isn’t enough time in the day to devote hours on end to sitting in a quiet room alone.
Today my quiet time is much different than it was years ago as a college student. Instead of hours devoted its a prayer fit in while I fold laundry and typing a thought or scripture to remember into my phone as I wait for dinner to finish cooking. This new ‘quiet’ time that is not so quiet brought with it a sense of guilt. This time was to be sacred and of utmost importance, not the thing to be shortened on my list. With that came immense pressure to continue doing things exactly as I had been, but also including at least an hour to lock myself into a quiet room and spend time studying like I use to. That hour though well intentioned often turned into stressing over all of the things I SHOULD have been doing instead and I could never focus. My cherished time with God suddenly became another thing on my to do list. The perfectionist in me would stress if I didn’t get to it, and I would often end up missing sleep or skipping a meal to be able to fit it all in. Nothing about this was healthy.
I began to miss my devoted prayers while folding laundry, and the note keeper in my phone suddenly started to look empty and lonely. Everything inside of me longed for those connected moments with God, as short as they may have been. My hour set aside was doing nothing, bringing with it a disconnection and a deep longing for something more. God began to remind me that each season is different and hour long quiet times are beautiful when that is the season you are in, but currently that is not my season. He wants 5 minutes of connection rather than an hour of stress and distraction.
So I have learned to cherish my years of hours devoted, but I am also cherishing my deep intimate five minutes with God. Without those moments of prayer over chores and laundry my day struggles. I look forward to the next season and the changes it brings to my quiet time, but for now I am going to revel in the fact that laundry would probably never get done if God wasn’t there with me in those moments.