My Not-So-Quiet Time

November 5, 2015  - By Gretchen Saffles

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14

Lights low, coffee brewing, blanket ready, Bible open, journal and pen waiting…the makings of what I used to think were the perfect quiet time. In June I entered a new season of motherhood and found that my “quiet time” rarely looked this perfect anymore. I had to fight for it. I had to force myself to open my Bible and journal most days. Since becoming a mama, I’ve struggled with the concept of a “quiet” time since my mornings and days rarely are quiet. I can count on one hand the number of mornings I’ve had that could be considered “quiet” since my son was born. But God is teaching me that just because my quiet times are messy and often filled with noise, they are no less beautiful than they used to be.

My soul is prone to long for beauty and perfection over the raw reality of spending time with Jesus just as I am in the mess of my every day life. God created us with an innate longing for beauty that is meant to point us to Him. 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 everyday, nor does Jesus ever call us to have a perfectly put together quiet time. He tells us to come just as we are. Come in our brokenness. Come with our bedhead. Come with our heavy hearts. Come with our morning breath. Come in our neediness. Come with our to-do lists and place them at His feet. Jesus doesn’t tell us to pick up the living room, brush our teeth, or comb our hair to meet with Him. He simply tells us to come.

Candles, blankets, journals, and coffee mugs are beautiful things that the Lord can use to stir our affections for Jesus. However, when we place more importance on the beauty and setup of our quiet time spot over the quality of our time in the Word, we have missed the point. You see, a quiet time isn’t just about the moments we spend in the morning, it is about the way we live our days. Just like we eat breakfast each morning to receive the sustenance we need to work, serve, and give, so do we need sustenance spiritually to live fruitful lives in the abundance Christ came to give us through the cross. We need His truth to be strong when the unexpected comes, to have hope when our longings go unfulfilled, to have an eternal focus when the to-do’s seem endless and to have joy when you feel like you are drowning in a sea of laundry. We need Jesus. Not just in the morning, but every moment of the day. And we need to learn the joy of meeting with Him just as we are, even in the not-so-quiet times.

I think of Jesus who rarely had quiet moments to Himself. In Mark 1:35, we get a glimpse into His 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.’” (verse 36-37)

His response to interruptions is 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. He answered them with grace. He attended to their needs. 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.” (verse 38)

Jesus knew His purpose. He was focused on His mission. He embraced His calling and was faithful…right where He was. This is the purpose of a quiet time, whether it be quiet or not. 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. It is filling up our empty stomachs with what matters and receiving guidance from the Lord for how we should spend our moments of the day. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but it is incredibly beautiful. 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.

My alarm clock these days is a crying baby. 

My spot where I spend time with Jesus usually has a dirty diaper sitting next to it and the coffee table decorations aren’t in order like they used to be.

I have to get up several times in the middle of journaling to give Nolan attention and my journaling pages often aren’t completely filled until later in the day when I realized I had to stop writing halfway.

Some days I get five minutes in the Word, and others I get 30 minutes and am able to wake up before Nolan and the sun. Every day is different, but Jesus remains the same.

This is my season, and it is beautiful and precious in the eyes of the Lord. He has much to teach me in my not-so-quiet time and I want to be faithful to listen and to place my eyes on Him.

My quiet time looks different but I rejoice in the faithfulness of God to meet me right where I am.

I celebrate that even when the world around me is chaotic, I can still have a quiet heart that rests in Him. I lift my hands in worship knowing that the Lord sings over me and will give me ALL I need to love my baby, serve my husband, and share truth each day.

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. You must 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 moments. 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.

Let’s rejoice in where God has placed us by using the hashtag #mynotsoquiettime to celebrate that Jesus meets with you even in the loud mornings. 

Praising Him with you,

Gretchen + my quiet time buddy, Nolan

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  1. Danielle Cooke says:

    Such good truth Gretchen! The Lord has been teaching me this too. I used to get frustrated when my 3yr old would wake up and come into the living room and "interrupt" my quiet time. Especially when I set an alarm and coffee pot to purposely get up before him! 🙂 But now he sees me start my day in the word, everyday! I was looking for practical ways to share the gospel with him throughout the day without even realizing the Lord was providing a way every morning! I just needed to surrender my idea of what it needed to look like.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks for this. It’s spot on for where I am right now. Jesus and I had a talk about "just as I am" this morning and then I came across this article on Facebook!

    PS, where can we get that "bird’s don’t worry…. they sing" mug??

  3. says:

    I was really throwing a fit this morning. My youngest two have started waking up early – when I would like to get up and spend some time in the quiet with God. My attitude was horrible. It’s okay to be interrupted. It’s okay for it not to be perfect. Thanks for this encouragement. Waiting for baby number 5 and I know time will be even more precious.

  4. Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing this it really has helped me today. Im going to go and hug my babies.

  5. says:

    This is absolutely an ANSWER to my long time struggle. Too often I gave up trying to have quiet time because it was so interrupted. Thank you. This is a big help. Pray for me to get back into the Word. 6 kids in 12 years, I have fried but failed to keep going so often.

  6. Sammi says:

    Thank you so much for this. I had been told in front of 40 or more women that I am not making God a priority by not waking before my children – then 4 – ages 2-9….I tried replying about lack of sleep and just fitting it in where I older gal with grandchildren nodded in agreement – but our head pastors wife told me I was wrong. She deflated me and with my perfectionist tendencies I gave up. I don’t know how many other young moms this affected as well. Thank you for this blog!

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