Friday, May 1, 2009

Did You Get Your Seven?

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Somewhere in the back of my mind there is always the thought that when I have my quiet time it must be just that: QUIET. No distractions. Nothing.

You might remember that I have four children generally running around and acting all crazy-like.

Quiet time is fairly non-existent in our house. And by the time of night that it generally does exist...there are so many excuses, because I just don't have the time {except to email, maybe blog, watch a show on tv...}. Those lovely priorities hit you every time, don't they?

I've been reading The Mentoring Mom by Jackie Kendall and the last chapter (or two) brought up some things that I've personally struggled with front and center.

And generally I don't care much for 'ouch' moments, but I know that they are needed and also can bring about great things too. Kendall made a few points that just hit me:
  • Don't let your children or life circumstances sabotage your time with God each day.
  • I have been challenging moms for years to at least get her seven minutes with God.
  • Having devotions does not keep a person from sinning, but having devotions helps one respond properly when one has sinned.
  • Are you modeling for your {children}the significance of a consistent, daily growing relationship with Jesus through God's Word?
Kendall talks about when her kids were younger she made a point to let them visibly see her having her 'quiet time'. They may have played nearby on the floor while she read her Bible, etc...but she felt it was important for them to see her modeling studying God's Word. If they needed something, she marked her place, helped out if needed and returned to her studies. often have my kid's actually seen me doing that? {Ouch point number 1}. The modeling ~ not so much.

Time to take action.

Our kids are awake fairly early in the morning and continually come out of their rooms for little things {even though they are awake we ask them to stay in their rooms until 7:ish, but there are bathroom breaks, meandering here and there}. I sat down with the girls and explained to them that at 7:00 every morning, I needed them to stay in their rooms so that I could have 10 minutes to read my Bible and pray ~ my start for the day.

My goal was to have at least 7 minutes at 7am. The result ~ the last few mornings have been uninterrupted {mostly}, but if they are I just pick right back up where I was.

When I went in the girl's room to get them up the first day, they were both laying on Laurianna's bed together. Reading their Bibles together and having their own devotions.

Because Mommy was doing the same. Modeling 101 in action.

{And yes, that makes me cry}.

The neat part of it is, this has been consistent with them every single morning since. It's both encouraging and frightening at the same time to me, because it gives me another glimpse into the gravity of my actions ~ both positive and negative.

There are four little sets of eyes watching me. Learning from me. Modeling my behavior.

Seven minutes isn't nearly enough.


  1. Wow! How awesome was that! It is so amazing how the kids pick up on every little thing that a Mommy and Daddy do (good or bad). What motivation for me to take that time for God!
    Thank you

  2. Amen! I sure need to get with the modeling program...thanks for a great post!
    :) Carisa

  3. awww so sweet.. its tough to get that time in. Glad the girls are modeling it.. even if its not exactly what you had pictured.

  4. Oh I have been where you are! In fact, I wrote my own thoughts on this matter, too! Come by and check it out. :)

    I completely agree that our children should see us engaged in reading our Bibles throughout the day. For my children, they often pull their Bibles out right along with me. It is a wonderful example to them!

  5. I enjoyed this post... motivated me to get consistent with my quiet times again.

  6. First off, your kids are so adorable!!!

    Second, I loved your post. I don't have kids yet, but we're planning to, and I've already started collecting my thoughts on how I want to raise my kids. Everything you said made so much sense to me, yet I hadn't really thought of it in the past. So awesome that your little girls started doing their devotionals while you were doing yours. It is amazing how God works, isn't it?

  7. I love this. So much of the time I read my Bible in private, I have my prayer time in private. My kids don't even know I"m doing it. Maybe that's why they gave me a strange expression when I told them I wanted them to start reading their Bible on their own. Maybe I've kept it too private. The need to see me doing this. I love that you saw a change in your children so quickly :)

  8. Perfect post for me right now. I've been struggling to get my quiet time in (and I only have ONE at home during the day). It seems as soon as I start he immediately wants me to come read to him, or play something. I will have to work more on the modeling behavior.

  9. Oh what a precious family you have!
    I can so relate to the quiet time issue. I have 5 chlldren ages 13,11,8,3,16mos. It is so hard to find the time and the "right" time at that. I love your encouragement to give God 7. That's a great start. I'm guilty of having an all or none mentality.
    Great post! Thanks for hitting right where I am!
    Have a great weekend! I'll look forward to visiting again soon!
    Lydia Cate

  10. You know, the way you put it, it makes it seem so much simpler than we make it. Like you, I'm always searching for actual "quiet" but maybe just the act of setting aside 7 minutes is enough to get me to find little pockets of time.

    What a great encouragement!

  11. I try but with a baby and a 2 year old, sometimes things get so busy. I know it is sooo important though. I think 7 minutes will be my new number!

    Right now I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and spend much time praying but I wrote a post here about how you can pray for an hour in one day:

  12. Funny you should talk about this topic this week! I was talking with my bible study leader and she asked me how I manage to get my quiet time in with 5 kids at my feet. I told her that my kids know that at 7:00am they are to play quietly or read on their own because that's when mommy reads her bible and prepares for the day. At first I felt like "quiet time" had to be alone time too. But after a while I realized that it is good for them to see how important it is for me to get that time in the Word every day. :)

    Good for you!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. Such good ideas you gave us today...thank you very much.....I pray that your week goes well.

  14. Can I say C-O-N-V-I-C-T-I-O-N!!!! Thank you so much for this post. The part about the kids modeling what they see really hit home with me today. There are things that I do want my kids to model...need to do more of those. And, unfortunately there are some things I DON'T want them to model...gotta get rid of those!

  15. Wonderful ideas. How easy it was for me to give up quiet times when my children were young...I could kick myself, but it wouldn't help. It is time to get into a pattern that they can see. Actually, 2 of my 4 will NOT go to bed at night without doing their devotions. I suppose they are now setting the example...

  16. That's good advice--I feel better when I take a bit of time for meditation. Especially early in teh morning before the kids are at me.

  17. Wow. Convicting.

    I was in the habit of letting the girls see me do devotions...I need to begin that again.

    I am often reminded that an alarm in the AM would really kick this off around here ,but I need to get to bed at night...

  18. I think about this all the time. I do let my children sabotage that time way to often. And when I do get that time, it is often when I am children to witnes it. I do discuss with them that reading the Bible is important, but they haven't seen me do it. I need to be a better model!

  19. Thank you for this post!! I have four little sets of eyes watching me, too....ages 5 months, 2 1/2, 5 and 6 1/2...all boys! I grew up seeing my grandmother starting every day this exact way. In college I remember sitting at her dining room table beside her when I visited one weekend. It was so neat to do that together. We didn't talk much because we were each reading in different parts of the Bible, but it was powerful to sit beside my grandmother who was born in 1913 and had experienced so much in her sweet life. I'm very convicted about this post you posted. I have tried over the years to have some time with God in front of my guys...but I usually end up have a less than lovely attitude with someone when they interrupt me. (How crazy is that?) Thanks for this encouragement!!! I so want my boys to know what's MOST important to me. I want them to come home from college and join ME at the table in the morning!!!


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