We are taught how important it is to spend ALONE time with God, but what happens when you are never alone?
We hear how Jesus would run off and spend alone time with God and if anyone can get away with NOT doing that, it would be Him. Although we want to do that, some of us are in a season of life where it just doesn't happen by no fault of our own.
Have you ever made a special effort to have morning time with God? The night before you place your Bible and other items you're using on the table (or wherever you spend your alone time with God), you prep your coffee or tea so you just have to turn it on in the morning and even lay out your clothes? You set your alarm clock off early, get up, sneak around the house getting dressed, get your coffee going, finally you sit down, open up your Bible, and then it happens...
Someone wakes up. Usually it's a little one.
This happens more than I care to admit. Can I be honest for a second? I get really mad at God when that happens. I mean, I'm trying to have some alone time with HIM and He has the power to keep these kids asleep, so why wouldn't He?
It got to the point where anytime I was truly desperate to be with Him ALONE someone always caused it not to happen. Not too long ago, I gave up with the whole concept. I was so in need of His presence, I really needed Him...one on one...so I got up...at 2 AM!!!!
And, like I said before, I spent almost an hour the night before prepping. As soon as I sat down, took my first sip of coffee (again at TWO IN THE MORNING), touched my Bible, my youngest woke up. And I mean he was up, up. He was up and ready for the day. I had a few choice words with God and I haven't had my morning time since. I was very angry and bitter.
And it only got worse because I kept hearing teaching and messages about the importance of spending alone time with God. I'd scream at God "HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE ALONE TIME WITH YOU IF I'M NEVER ALONE??!!! AND *YOU* ARE CAPABLE OF KEEPING THESE KIDS ASLEEP!! IT'S NOT LIKE I'M NOT PUTTING IN AN EFFORT TO TRY!!!
Now I have relatives living with us for a few months. They are up at 5 am. My older son gets up at 6 for school. To have morning, alone time, I would have to get up at 4! However hubby is now home on workers comp (possibly for a year or two) so we don't go to bed until 11 or so (since we barely get alone time to ourselves either)...that means getting up at 4 would mean consistently not getting enough sleep...and I'm not guaranteed of it actually being time alone with God. I swear kids have radar for when their mama wakes up.
So what to do...
Well I prayed about it and God showed me a lot through all this
First and foremost...God is not sitting up there, like an ogre, ready to smack ya. He is a loving God who understands your situation and season of life. He knows your heart.
This is what He was teaching me during these consistent frustrating events:
When you learn to seek Him in the chaos, it helps us learn to spend time with Him when situations aren't perfect. If we can only sense His peace, His presence, and guidance in a perfect environment that we created and planned for, how in the world can we seek Him when we are drowning in a storm? How can we hear Him through the thunder and lightning life throws at us?
He has used my own life situations, including my own family, to teach me to hear His voice in the chaos and to be led by Him when I can't find my way in the darkness. Not only that, but to really dig in and seek Him
You don't have to have the perfect scenario to seek Him and read His Word. The bathroom can be a very holy place! Lol
Here are some ideas God has shown me how to have "alone" time with Him when you just aren't ever alone
- Accept you'll never be alone in this season. It's okay!! He's not grading you and there is no set way of spending time with Him. Get whatever picture you have in your head of a godly woman and that picture perfect scenario of how she spends time with God, out of your head. I have finally accepted that in this season of life, I'm not going to have any alone time, or at least nothing consistent. The picture in my head of me reading the Word, early in the morning, is not going to happen right now. But I pray, and look forward to the days where not only can I get up early and do that, but I can do it some mornings in front of a lake or ocean...some place super peaceful. Or even just on my backyard patio while the birds chirp
- Realize there is no certain way to spend time with God. I'm very much a type A personality. I get lost if there is no plan. I always did the same thing every morning. I wrote in my journal. I prayed out of my prayer binder that was divided up into certain sections and certain days and there was always a plan with the Bible. And then I would wonder why I was getting bored with reading the Word. You can just sit with a cup of coffee and talk to God. That works! All spending time with God is, is talking to Him...that's it!
- Get some ear buds! I have a love/hate relationship with theSE things! I like the typical headphones I grew up with...they actually stayed on my ears! lol. But the advantage of today's ear buds is you can keep one out of your ear. Let me explain. I'm not a big TV person. I have to almost mentally prepare to watch a movie. I like my sitcoms and a few religious shows on TV...that's about it. However hubby can watch movies anytime...he can even watch one NOT from the beginning (I can't!). Sometimes I sit next to him and read or crochet while he watches, if I'm not interested. However God gave me another idea and that is to listen to podcasts or religious teaching or music on YouTube, while only having one ear bud in. That way I can still hear hubby talking to me, I can still hear what is going on in the house, but I also get to be uplifted by what I listen to. I leave the ear bud out on the side hubby is sitting on.
- I love the Coffee Cup Bible Studies! Have you ever heard of this series? Click HERE to see them on Amazon. I love them because they are one of the few Bible Studies out there that include ALL the Bible Verses needed. Why is that important? Because you don't need to have the book AND your Bible to do the study. That means you can do a Bible study while going to the bathroom, while you're on hold on the phone, while you're waiting for something to defrost, while you're at the doctor's office...anywhere. The books aren't that big and they are spiral bound. Perfect to put in your purse or bag, or to fit in the slot in your car door.
- Keep books that inspire you readily available. I always have a "bathroom book." Basically a book that I will only read while in the bathroom. It's amazing how far you get just reading a couple pages a day. I'm now working on keeping one in my purse at all times and one in the car. A little goes a long way and sometimes just that quick reading sets your mind back on God. Even keeping one near the computer for when it lags can be helpful.
- Listen to music while cleaning and really sing and communicate with Him. I just love having the Christian radio station playing while cleaning, and then a song that my heart loves so much comes on. It's one of those that, when you hear the melody, you're instantly connected to God. This encouraged me to purposefully listen to music and talk to God while I clean. Just because I'm not sitting at a table, with a Bible in front of me, doesn't mean I can't, or I'm not, spending time with God.
- Take advantage of the random times you do get alone. When you're life consists of no regular alone time...meaning none you can count on...you never know when "alone time" may appear. Maybe your hubby takes the kids with him to the store. Maybe everyone takes a nap (it happens! lol). I strongly suggest you devote even 2 minutes to God right off the rip. I started doing this and I notice that I get more windows of alone time for Him than I did before. I think it's called sowing a seed :)
- Get spouse's help if possible. If your spouse is understanding and open about this (not all are), see if he would be willing to watch the kids while you get some time alone with God.
- If you have family or friends close by, have them watch your kids for a few hours (not every day of course, but maybe once a week or even once a month). I personally don't have this luxury but I would love it if I had a friend that we could swap watching each other's kids while having a few hours to ourselves to be with God. Whether at home or out some where.
So those are the ideas God showed me. They have really become helpful for me and I hope help you. Getting mad at God because people wouldn't stay asleep, although understandable, was stupid. God uses things and situations to teach us, whether we realize it or not!