How to have a 9-hour quiet time

by | Aug 25, 2014 | Quiet Times | 0 comments

School begins today, and I’m officially the mom of a 2nd grader and a Kindergartner! We had a fantastic summer, and I’m sad to see it end. Aside from going on a glorious family road trip, I also learned how to rock my morning quiet times! Seriously, even with my kids at home, my quiet times were ah-mazing. I’m talking 8 to 9 hours long – regularly!

So if you want to learn from my wisdom, get a pen a paper ready. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to take notes on this one!

 

How to have a 9-hour quiet time

7:00 am Hear alarm clock. Begin prayer. “Oh Lord, it’s morning already?! Help me, Jesus!”
7:25 am Begin prayer of forgiveness: “Sorry I fell asleep while we were talking, God. Thanks for sending the Holy Spirit to blast through my snooze button.”
7:26 am Do some holy arithmetic to calculate how much time you have to read your Bible. Husband will be taking a shower and getting ready for about 30 minutes. Kids won’t wake up for awhile. Score! A half-hour of reading time!
 7:30 am Open up your Bible and begin reading. 
 7:32 am Get interrupted by your daughter who has just appeared in your room with bed-head and a need to snuggle. Give her kisses. Ask her if she slept well. Pull her into your bed and under your covers and cuddle her close because she’s not a teenager who hates you yet and she’ll still let you. 
 7:42 am Decide to read your Bible one-handed since the other hand is trapped underneath your little girl. Pick it up. Read a few verses.
 7:45 am Answer your daughter’s questions about what you’re doing. Tell her why it’s important to read the Bible. Get into discussion about Heaven. Tell her how wonderful it is. Reassure her that she does not have to go there today after she has a melt-down about not wanting to leave you. Ever.
 8:02 am Ask your daughter if she’d like to watch TV in the living room. Turn on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for her and go back to your bedroom alone. Pick up Bible. Open it. Get interrupted by your sons who come in asking for breakfast. Fix breakfast for your kids and coffee for yourself. Tell your husband goodbye as he leaves for work.
 8:27 am Sit down with hot cup of coffee and try to remember where you are in your Bible. Find your place. Hear your youngest son yell “Mommy!” on the baby monitor and feel guilty that he is still in his crib. Go get him, change his diaper and fix him breakfast. 
 8:42 am Go back to your room and open your Bible. Sip your coffee. It’s now cold. Take it to the kitchen to reheat it in the microwave. See the dirty kitchen table and remind your children to pick up their dishes. Tell them to unload the dishwasher. Referee the fight that breaks out between the two middle children about who gets to put the silverware away this time. Get the youngest out of his high chair. Realize that if you want to get laundry done today, you must start now. You’re already behind! Gather up the towels and laundry baskets from downstairs and bring them upstairs to start your first load.
 9:31 am Discover that your children only did about half of what you told them to do and repeat instructions for dishwasher chores. Take away electronics. Enlighten children with a lecture about how good they have it, even though they don’t know it. Remind them that they can live without Minecraft. Tell them about the Atari you had when you were young. Tell them about life before the Internet. Really ruin their innocence with the knowledge that there are kids in our country who still don’t have Internet access. Then tell them about third-world countries and poverty and entire people-groups who still have to fetch water from a well. 
 10:14 am Sit down with your Bible (again) and immediately feel convicted for manipulating your children with guilt. Question your entire existence as a mother because you just used TV as a babysitter for two of your kids and then banned the other two from all things electronic. Realize what mixed messages you’re sending them and lament the years of therapy they’ll need. Whisper a short prayer of forgiveness and vow to become a more proactive parent rather than a reactive parent for the rest of the day. Pick up that awesome parenting book that’s been on your nightstand for four years. Read the back cover for the 47th time and promise yourself that it will be the next book you complete because you obviously need it. Declare that you need a do-over for the day, and decide to re-start by reading your children a great book with wonderful spiritual message.
 10:22 am Emerge from your bedroom to find your kids, but get sidetracked by the kitchen. Since the dishwasher is finally empty, load all of the dirty breakfast dishes into it and quickly straighten up the kitchen. Reheat your coffee once more and sip it as you straighten up.
 10:56 am Announce that it’s story time and pull your children upstairs to find a book. See what a mess your children have made in the rooms that were just clean last night and try to hold back the tears. Tell them you can’t read a book yet because you can’t find a clear place to sit on the floor and tell them to straighten their rooms while you check on laundry. Transfer clothes from washing machine to dryer and begin a new load. Go back into your sons’ room to find that a whole box of Legos was dumped on the floor while you were in the laundry room. Try not to scream. 
11:02 am Put yourself in time-out by going to the bathroom, locking the door and checking Facebook for 15 minutes. Read the super-convicting parenting article from some homeschooling, soap-making, Paleo-eating, mommy-blogger of 9 who just reminded you that life is short and that in no time your children will be gone. Imagine what all of her children’s rooms must look like. Convince yourself that they probably don’t have Legos all over the floor because her children probably donated all of their Legos to orphans in Uganda on their last mission trip. Realize that you probably can’t even find Uganda on a map, so it’s no wonder your children have not yet developed more grateful hearts. Google images of Uganda and African orphans and conclude that you could probably be a better mother if you either a) adopt an African orphan, or b) at least put up a poster of Africa in your children’s rooms to give them a more global perspective on life. 
 11:20 am Contemplate blocking your four friends who shared the super-mom article that got you all worked up and curse technology for being so efficient that you can’t even have the satisfaction of slamming your phone down in protest.
 11:22 am Slowly emerge from the bathroom and get assaulted by four children who are already hungry for lunch.
 11:25 am Fix lunches and talk to your sister on the phone while you clean up the kitchen (again).
 11:58 am Sneak back into your bedroom to try to finish your morning quiet time before it’s officially afternoon. Read three verses. Hear your children fighting in the other room and go break it up. Remember the book you had promised to read to them and go upstairs for Story Time, Take 2.
 12:11 pm Help the kids clean their rooms so you can find the book you want to read. Spread your attention between laundry, three messy rooms, two dirty diapers and four children who keep getting “distracted” from cleaning.
 1:48 pm Give up on chores for the day because it’s nap time and if it hasn’t gotten done by now, it’s not going to get done. Give up on group story time all together and opt instead for nap time stories for each child individually. Read Llama Llama to the youngest and marvel at how much of the book you have memorized. Kiss him and put him to bed. Pick out a Berenstain Bears book for the next youngest but only read about one sentence on each page because those books are so stinkin’ long. Kiss her, tuck her in, and thank God that she cannot read yet.
 2:18 pm Go into your oldest kids’ room and offer to read them anything they want without sounding like you’re trying to bribe them into forgiving you for turning into Mean Mommy earlier. Sigh a big sigh when they say they don’t want a book after all; they just want you to play with them. Suck it up and embrace your inner Rainbow Loom-er and Bat Cave aficionado. 
 3:04 pm Lift the sanctions against electronics for your boys so you can try this quiet time thing one… more… time.
 3:07 pm Start over on your Bible reading plan, because you seriously have no idea what you read earlier. Get through Two. Whole Chapters. Open your journal and begin reflecting on what you read. 
 3:31 pm Write two sentences and begin feeling like someone is watching you. Look up to see your daughter who has emerged from her nap and is standing in the doorway waiting silently for an invitation into your room. Push aside your journal so she can crawl in your lap. Cuddle for exactly 12 seconds before your boys barge in and jump onto your bed. Sit back and watch as they wrestle, roll and romp all over your covers and pat yourself on the back for not bothering to make the bed earlier. 
4:00 pm Get up and brush your teeth because, seriously, you should have done that a long time ago and your husband will be home soon and now you hear the baby crying. But as you brush, finish your quiet time by praying: “Well, Lord. It wasn’t a perfect quiet time, but at least it was something. Sorry for my meltdowns. Sorry for my shortcomings. Sorry that we couldn’t spend more time together today. But thank you for these four amazing blessings, and thank you for letting me be their mommy. They may not come to know you because of me, but I pray that they would come to know you in spite of me. Amen!”

Any moms out there? How did you manage your quiet times while the kids were home this summer? What worked? And what didn’t?

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