Quiet Time for Eight

Quiet time has been a part of our routine  since our first little one was born. Since she recently turned 13, I can’t remember life without quiet times. Quiet time is really important to children. After a busy morning it gives their bodies and minds time to relax, refresh and refocus.

Snoozing Sam

I love quiet time. I love to see those heavy eyelids finally give in to how tired his body really is. I love to hear the quiet whispering of the child who is reading on her own but still hasn’t mastered silent reading. I love the quiet giggles of the “old girls” as they enjoy a break from their work.

Horse-opoly, anyone?

Quiet time is the perfect opportunity to read aloud. Everyone can find his/her own spot and settled with paper and pencil and drift away to the exciting adventure awaiting them. I am blessed that even my older children still love a good read aloud.

My precious girls!

Quiet time happens after lunch. We eat, clean up and quiet time begins. The generally procedure is: find your spot and then you may read, write or draw. Alone. Quietly. However, sometimes I let them do a group activity but they have to stay quiet or they lose it. On this day, everyone wanted markers. It was also a day I couldn’t read aloud as I had some admin stuff to do for my reviews.

Creative and Quiet. A lovely combination!

So how did I get those little chatty girls to be quiet? Librivox. It is a great resource for when I can’t read aloud. I can find a book that isn’t readily available at the library and let them listen to it. On this day, they were listening to Buster Bear by Thorton Burgess. Sadly, our library doesn’t have Burgesses’ books so this works out great. They loved the story of Buster Bear! My older girls utilized Librivox on this day as well. A cell phone we no longer have coverage for is still used for a variety of things. On this day, the girls used it to listen to Pride and Prejudice on Librivox while they play their game.

Sarah Bear

And if you are a mom with children in a wide range of ages…everyone was either quiet or asleep. Yes! The baby napped during quiet time. It was so quiet in the house that if felt a bit odd. Giggle. Quiet time is about hour and a half. Perfect amount of time to take a break and get ready for the afternoon!

Little Miss so happy after her nap!

And just a note….Caleb wasn’t pictured because when he is able, he works with his dad. So on this particular day he was working. However, he spends quiet time either reading or building with Legos.

Do you have a quiet time? What does it look like at your house?

Closing the Door

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6: 6

What a beautiful picture this scripture puts into my heart. Going into a room….into the quiet…the stillness…the peacefulness.  Moments or hours alone with the Lord, sending praise up to Him, given glory to His name and pouring out the joys and sorrows deep within our hearts. What a precious, sweet time that is….

I know. If you have a little blessing or two or seven running around your house, climbing on you right at this very moment, or…hmmm, I’ll wait while you go find where you 3 year  old is and what she did with the Sharpie.

I understand completely how difficult it can be to find a quiet place to have that time with the Lord. For me, some days it is an accomplishment to have bathroom privileges without a buddy. How will I manage to go into my room and join the Father in the secret place for an hour, 15 min or even 5?

Here is the truth. And I’m not sure how it will hit you, but it hit me hard. I heard the truth come out of my own mouth as I was talking to my children. Guess what I told them? I can’t remember what brought about the conversation, but someone hadn’t completed a task and gave the reasoning that he/she just didn’t have time.  My words of great motherly wisdom? If it was an activity that you truly wanted to do, you would have found the time. If it were a book you wanted to read, you would find the time. If you wanted to create notecards, you would have found the time. In the same way you could find the time to ……

Did you hear that? It was the 2×4 lovingly, encouragingly hitting on the back of the head. If I truly desired to seek the face of the Lord, if I truly desired to lift up praise and thanksgiving to His Name, if I truly desired to fall on my knees and cry out to the Lord for the salvation of my children and the forgiveness of my transgressions, I would make the time. It is that important, is it not?

I make the time to blog. I make the time to sit up until 2am reading a book of no eternal value. I make time to sit and drink my daily dose of Dr. Pepper. I make time to update my Facebook status. I make time for all these shallow, temporal things and can’t find 5 minutes behind a closed door with the Lord? Oh, Father forgive me for me blindness. Laziness. Forgive me for being satisfied with the stale and shallow.

I need to make meeting the Father in a secret place of top importance. Will I not become a better wife and a better mother because I have become a faithful daughter of my heavenly Father?

Will it always be easy? No. And how much more will I treasure that time when it was harder to come by. How will I find that time with seven children? Maybe I will rise up early and in the stillness of the morning, seek a quiet place to meet with the Lord. Maybe I’ll let my shower time  take an extra 10 minutes to hide behind that door. I am blessed with older children who can handle things while I step away for 15 minutes…or 30…. I have a husband, who if I just tell him that I haven’t had time to pray behind the door today that he will tell me to run, right then while he watches over the children.

If it was important to me, I would find a way, wouldn’t I? If it was important, I wouldn’t let anyone come between that precious time. I’d find a room, a couch, a corner to have a moment “behind the door” and meet the Father in that secret place. I encourage you to do the same.