When Your Quiet Time is Not So Quiet

It wasn’t like I turned my back on God.

I just couldn’t fit Him in my schedule. The birth of our third child pushed me over the edge – the pages of my carefully crafted day planner fluttering in the breeze. Normally, I spent time in Bible study and prayer in the morning after the kids left for school. But nothing was normal.

I tried getting up earlier for a while, but my sleep deprived body revolted. I tried doing it during naptime, but realized I needed a big dose of Jesus just to get me through the morning.

For two years (Did you read that? TWO YEARS!), I worked to fit my quiet time in whenever I found a moment alone (almost never). But, determined, I began bringing my Bible down in the morning with my toddler and read while she ate breakfast and watched cartoons. I sat at the end of the kitchen table reading God’s Word and praying. She was happy, and I was a better mommy.

My quiet time didn’t exactly fit the title – quiet – but it was time with God nonetheless. Daily, I would pause reading to tickle toes or kiss boo-boos. Sometimes a little girl would crawl into my lap for all of fifteen seconds just to wiggle down again. God didn’t seem to mind the interruptions, and I didn’t either.

Then one day while I read, my daughter Grace climbed into the chair beside me with a hymnal. She flopped it open and slid the pages with her tiny chubby hands. “You reading the hymnal?” I asked as I glanced her way.

“No.” Grace said. “Bible. Bible like Mommy.”

And then I understood. I needed to have my not-so-quiet time in full view of my daughter. She was watching my every move. By choosing to read while my toddler ran in circles around me, I was leaving a lasting effect on my child.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
~Deuteronomy 6:6-8 NIV

Are you struggling to find time to meet with God? Plop yourself down in the middle of it all. You might be surprised who is watching.

23 Responses to When Your Quiet Time is Not So Quiet
  1. Barbie
    January 24, 2012 | 12:37 am

    I love this post Carol. I don’t have little ones anymore, but life is still busy with those who are growing up. And it’s so important that our children see us spending time with God. I am going to have some “not so quiet” time this week for sure.

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Awesome, Barbie! 🙂

  2. Susie Klein
    January 24, 2012 | 12:51 am

    Love this so much my heart is pounding! So many young moms need to hear this. It is a freedom tool, a lovely relaxation of the harsh rules we think God set for us to spend “quiet time” with Him. You win by including your daughter and she wins by seeing that God is part of yours and her daily life!! Yay you!

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Yes, Susie. I wish I had figured this out with the first two kids. It is a win-win. Hooray!

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  4. Meaghan Jackson
    January 24, 2012 | 7:41 am

    I agree with Susan. I am forever trying to get some quiet time but i just never happens. I can’t wait to spend some not-so-quiet time with God. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:23 am

      You are welcome. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Enjoy your not-so-quiet time!

  5. Michelle
    January 24, 2012 | 8:22 am

    I loved reading your message on quiet time. I can think back to days where that information would’ve come in handy, as mother of 3! I relate. I thought I needed true “quiet” back then. What I love most about it, is how that message gives a perfect example of how we do what God needs us to do. He needs us to come to him daily. Grace, when an adult raising her own children will have that secret form ul a on how Mom did it, and did it well!
    Have a blessed day.
    Ps. See ya Friday

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:24 am

      I hope I do leave a lasting impression on Grace. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Rosann
    January 24, 2012 | 9:05 am

    What a fascinating concept! I get up every morning (at 5:30) before the family so I can have my time with God uninterrupted, but I feel very convicted by your words. Maybe I can get some much needed extra sleep and get time with God too! And have my children witness what I’m doing. I love that!! Thank you for your words.


    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:29 am

      I’m not sure why we always think that time with God needs to look a certain way. I always thought what I was doing by reading with Grace running around was sufficient and met my need, but now I see it was much more than that. It was exactly what God wanted. I’ve often been guilty of leading my spiritual life behind closed doors. I need to live it out loud in view of my family! 🙂

      I think Christian moms carry so much guilt these days because we’ve somehow believed the lie (from Satan) that following Christ looks a certain way. But God can’t be put in a box. I’m so thankful for that! Blessings to you.

  7. Leann
    January 24, 2012 | 10:01 am

    I loved this! As a mom of a very rambunctious and attention-demanding 20-month-old boy, this spoke to me. And it never fails…when I get up early to have QT, he wakes up early that day also. I work outside the home full-time and sometimes I read on my lunchbreak, but I like to start out my day with Bible reading. I’ve been trying to read before bed and I enjoy that too but there’s just something about starting your day in the Word. Thank you for this.

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 24, 2012 | 10:32 am

      I hope this works for you Leann. There is no right and wrong way to spend time with God. The most important thing to remember is to spend the time. When Grace was really small and I was struggling with lack of sleep and dealing with two older kids, I would sometimes choose a verse to dwell on, climb in bed and imagine myself climbing in the lap of my Abba Father. With that image I would drift off to sleep in the arms of my God. God knows your heart. Hang in there!

  8. Amy Wyatt
    January 24, 2012 | 12:49 pm

    I love this! and I love you for being such a great mom and friend.

    • Carol
      January 24, 2012 | 12:57 pm

      I love you, too sweet friend! 🙂

  9. Karen O'Hagan
    January 24, 2012 | 2:49 pm

    I needed this right now! Thanks so much.

    • Carol Hatcher
      January 25, 2012 | 3:13 pm

      You are so welcome. Thank you! It’s amazing how God always gives us just what we need. 😉

  10. Dan
    January 26, 2012 | 10:11 am

    Am I the only man who reads “Sheep…”?
    This devotional is one of your best. Everyone has this problem. I have struggled with guilt when I get interrupted or can’t “fit the q.t. into phone calls, ‘honey do’ needs, and everything going on around me. Your point about Grace observing is great. Thanks.

  11. Carol
    January 26, 2012 | 2:54 pm

    Dr. Dan,
    Of course you aren’t the only man. You’re just one of three. LOL. My dad and cousin Glen are some of my greatest supporters. 🙂 Thanks for the comment. It’s great to know that us regular people aren’t the only ones who struggle – pastors do, too. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    January 26, 2012 | 6:39 pm

    Awwww… that is precious and powerful!

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    January 28, 2012 | 8:08 am

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  14. Genny
    February 3, 2012 | 4:16 pm

    Carol – thank you for this! I love it! I usually read my Bible in the morning and I have noticed my kids (12 and 11) noticing that I’m doing this lately. I so pray that them seeing me reading has an impact on their faith and lives!