About 10 years ago, when my oldest was born, I was told that by well meaning mothers, blogs, and Christian “expert” mothers (you know the ones with like 7 to 10 kids), that in order to begin my day right I had to wake up before my kids and have devotion with God. I tried for the longest time to wake up before my kids for several years. I was frustrated! Where was this alone time?! Where was MY time with God?!
You see two of MY kids do not know what the word sleep means. My oldest hated naps. My second one would take them when SHE wanted. My youngest, ahhh he liked to sleep. (Getting him to get out of bed is our fight!) Sorry, I don’t care want the “experts” say when you have a strong-willed children, YOU CAN’T MAKE THEM DO ANYTHING. (Another lie that I believed is that their strong-willed had to be bent…I’ll talk more about that
later here.) Come hell or high water, my kids can hold out for anything. Oh good Lord, THESE ARE MY MINI-ME’S!!! But I digress…
The lie that to be a good mother and a better Christian mother I had to start the day off in prayer and devotion to God was making me bitter. I was tired because I was up all night with little ones. DH had to be up between 0500 and 0600. My oldest woke up between 0500 and 0630. I was tired already without having to get up to have devotion. I would try to have alone time only to get a few words into the topic and get interrupted. Then I would try again to be interrupted again and again and again. Exhausted mom brain wasn’t helping either.
Finally, I stopped trying.
See, I was wrapped up in being the “Christian wife/mother” that I forgot how to be me. I’m not a morning person. (In the mornings, if I wake up before 0900 it takes me an hour or two to actually get going. This morning I woke up at 0600 to fix DH’s breakfast and lunch before he left for work. Then I tried to go back to bed like usual. Nope. No extra sleep today. However, I didn’t get “up” until 0845.) I’m a night owl. There is actual research that proves some people are best working at night. Digressing again…coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.
I finally realized that God created me the way that He did. He doesn’t required robotic people who are all the same. He created me different from other women. I do not have to wake up before my kids to have devotion time with God. I can have devotion time with God anywhere. I don’t have to have my Bible, devotion book, and notepad for devotion time. (And everyone took a deep breath in total shock…just hold on I’ll explain why below.)
Since I stopped believing the lie, I have went back to college online (yes while homeschooling). I have earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology, Master’s in Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education. This summer I will complete my Education Specialist. This fall I will begin my Doctorate of Education.
I still homeschool. I work part time from home. I try to blog when I can. My oldest is twice-exceptional (gifted with a learning disability). My middle is gifted. My youngest is stubborn and shows similar signs of giftedness (but untested as of yet). If you think homeschooling or even traditional schooling gifted kids is easy, then you have probably heard or been programmed to believe this myth. These kids have special education needs that I have shared on www.giftedandtalentedhomeschooling.com I will make another post about that at another time. I also travel with my boys for martial arts and we visit family as often as we can.
So my life is super busy. I don’t have time to always sit down with a physical Bible. We live in the greatest technological age. We have apps that can help us during our busy lives. I have apps for my Bible, devotions, a notepad, and a voice recorder on my phone. I can get my devotions done while sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s office or waiting at the pharmacy. I can take my kids to the park and do my devotions there. If my husband is driving, I can do them while riding. I can set my phone in the windowsill above the kitchen sink to read while I’m preparing food. I have to use my time when and where I have short bursts of time.
Many people state that they spend 15-30 minutes on devotion and the rest of the time in prayer. I can get devotions done in small increments through the day and ponder these thoughts as they develop. I pray while I am soaking in the tub or folding laundry. (Isn’t it funny how when kids get to school age they suddenly disappear when the laundry comes out of the dryer?)
See time with God isn’t supposed to be in the morning before the kids get up. It isn’t supposed to be in the evening. It isn’t supposed to be two days a week. It’s supposed to be all day. When you life is so busy that you are constantly working (this is just a season for us-doctorate), this makes it easier to consider the things of God throughout the entire day rather than making time with God something to check off the to-do list.