Moms Need Jesus, Not Perfection

April 29, 2021  - By Gretchen Saffles

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is all about setting perfection aside to meet with Jesus. This article is adapted from the Dear Mama devotional, which features 31 devotionals written by 25 gospel-centered moms. It is full of practical wisdom and helpful instruction for seeking after Jesus as you raise young disciples. We’ve got a special sale April 26–30 where you can purchase Dear Mama, the corresponding verse cards, and our “Whatever” canvas tote and receive a free 8×10 art print.

The “Perfect” Quiet Time

Lights low, coffee brewing, blanket ready, Bible open, journal and pen waiting … the makings of what I used to think was the “perfect” quiet time. When I embarked on this journey called motherhood, my definition of what it looks like to have a “quiet time” was flipped upside-down. As a mom, quiet moments are hard to come by and have to be fought for.

There are seasons when these moments seem almost nonexistent, when our tired eyes and foggy brains struggle to comprehend even the simplest of verses. The good news is: Jesus knows where you are at any given moment. He knows when your little one has been up all night. He knows when your schedule is nonstop. And he knows where your heart is and where your kids’ hearts are. Jesus meets you right in the middle of your mess, even when it’s loud, noisy, and chaotic.

Longing for Perfection

My soul is prone to long for beauty and perfection over raw reality. God created us with an innate longing for beauty that is meant to point us back to him. This longing roots all the way back to the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2). However, we often allow this desire for the beautiful things of life to overshadow the incredible privilege we have to come to Jesus just as we are each day. As mamas and busy women living our lives in the everyday mundane, we cannot have a perfectly put-together quiet time daily, nor does Jesus ever call us to have a perfectly put-together quiet time. He tells us to come … just as we are, perfection aside (Is. 55:1–2; Matt. 11:28–30). 

Coming with Brokenness

Come in your brokenness. Come with your bedhead. Bring your heavy heart and morning breath before him. Come in your neediness. Lay your to-do lists down at his feet. Jesus doesn’t tell you to pick up the living room, brush your teeth, or comb your hair to meet with Him. He simply tells you to come.

In Mark 1:35, Jesus modeled His own not-so-quiet time: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

When he finally did steal away to be alone, he was interrupted by a needy disciple who was looking for Him. “And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, ‘Everyone is looking for you’” (vs. 36–37).

His response to this interruption is both interesting and completely humbling. He didn’t complain or snap at them for interrupting his “quiet time.” He didn’t grumble about his messed-up morning. Instead, he answered them with grace. Then he attended to their needs. And he directed them in the way they should go and reminded them of his mission. “And he said to them, ‘Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out’” (v. 38).

Purpose Over Perfection

Jesus knew his purpose. He was focused on his mission. He embraced his calling and was faithful right where he was. Quiet time is about walking in a relationship with our heavenly Father. It is about placing our eyes on eternity. It is a discipline of preaching the gospel to ourselves so we can go and preach it to others. And it is filling up on what matters and receiving guidance from the Lord for how we should steward the day. The moments you spend in his presence are holy but remember: they don’t stop there. Jesus goes with you. A quiet time is a perpetual state of the heart stayed on Jesus.

Mamas, rejoice in your not-so-quiet time. And don’t let the longing for perfection or beauty get in the way of you spending time with Jesus each day. Fill your soul to give to those around you. The moments you spend with Jesus in front of your children are true discipleship moments. Celebrate the loud interjections. Speak truth to your soul. Ask God to help you breathe in his grace and breathe out his praise as you go throughout your day living your mission. Your not-so-quiet time just might be how he wants you to learn to embrace his presence, right where you are.

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