Earlier this year, I had a fairly established quiet time routine. "Established" meaning anywhere from two to five days a week. The kids went down for a nap or their own quiet time, I would eat lunch, pick up the main level from whatever havoc had been wreaked that morning, take a seat at my now-clean dining room table, and dive in.
Then I heard somewhere that I should do my quiet time when the kids were around. Which sounded like an oxymoron but okay. The reason being that the kids would see their Mama in the Word, it's a part of life even if you may be interrupted, did we mention that kids should see their mom reading the Bible?, etc. Sounds great, sure. I can get behind that. So I moved my Bible somewhere more "accessible". Except it wasn't. Because I never took it out. Not once. The kids and the chaos and the normal routine has already been established around here for quite some time and I couldn't figure out what this new rhythm was supposed to look like. So I lost a month.
Someone else told me that I should do my devotions in the morning, starting my day and filling my mind with God's word. Really I've been told this my entire Christian life, that this is the "right" way and time of day to read the Bible. So even though my kids already wake up by 6 o'clock, I set my alarm for even earlier.
This is probably where I should mention that I have never been, am not, and never shall be that freak of nature known as a "morning person".
So - shocker! - this did not work well for me. I think there was maybe a morning or two that I managed to read that day's verses. Y'know, on my phone, still huddled under a mound of blankets, head on my pillow, through half-lidded eyes, well after my alarm first blared. Listen, I am a hard-wired night owl. Had God intended for me to read my Bible reverently at 6 in the morning, he would have given me the desire to go to bed before 11 pm. Scripture read by a bleary-eyed, half asleep mama who hasn't had her coffee yet does not a good Christian make. I lost another month.
It took me awhile to get back on track.
I went back to my old routine.
Why did I stop in the first place? Because I was so busy listening to others tell me I was doing it wrong? Because it felt like just one more way as a mother that I didn't measure up?
I read my Bible during naptime now. Not every day. Two to five times a week. Do you know what that is better than? ZERO. It works for me. Why on Earth did I stop trying to do what works?
I don't know what your thing is, maybe it is reading your Bible, or to read anything, or finding a time to workout. It could be setting aside the time to clean, cook regular homemade meals, or fit in that yoga practice. There is no "right" time to do these things. If something is important to you, you'll find what works. Your friend meditates first thing in the morning while her kids eat their yogurt, but yours run around like crazy people and throw their breakfast on the floor? Don't do it then. And don't worry about it. Maybe you fit it in during naptime, maybe it's while they are distracted by Daniel Tiger on the TV, or maybe you are one of those crazy people who can get up a little earlier in the morning to get your groove on.
There's no big grand conclusion to this. I did something that worked, saw somebody else doing it "better" (emphasis on those quotation marks there), floundered for awhile, and then (duh) went back to what worked in the first-freaking-place. And the bottom line is this: we need to find what works and stick with it. No more second-guessing. No more looking at what this or that mom is doing. I've found what works and I'm staying in my lane. We don't need to make this any more complicated than it needs to be. Being the mama to small kids is already work enough.
(And all the mamas said "AMEN". *all the praise hands to THAT*)
Pssst...while I was trying to figure all of this out, I did treat myself to a new Bible. Surely if I just got a new Bible that would solve my problem, right? Well, not exactly...but now that I'm back in the swing of things it does help, and I do love it! Find the She Reads Truth Bible here. (Not sponsored, I just really think they did a good job!)