Oftentimes we think of quiet time as a time to unplug, and do something for ourselves, maybe painting our nails, or taking a bubble bath or watching a movie. We often make the assumption that quiet time means ME time. The reality is that quiet time is anything but ME time…however a quality ME time can and will flow out of quiet time as will many other wonderful benefits.
In the crazy world we live in, there are literally 1000 excuses not to take this sacred space of time. I have lived through most of those excuses having raised four children on my own so I get it. But I also get the benefit of making this sacred time a priority. Setting aside time to plug into the Lord, as opposed to unplugging from the world, is a necessity for living an abundant life.
A few of the benefits of developing the habit of making “Sacred Space” in your life include:
I Become a Better Parent
I soon realized that when I did not have time to plug in with God, to eat my daily Bread from His hand, that I became very empty. My love and the expression of it toward my children and others were as filthy garments. I wanted to offer my children a love that was steadfast, sure, and unchangeable no matter how they behaved. When I committed to time with Jesus and found Him to be the source of my life…I had so much more to give away to my children.
My children used to visit their dad every other weekend. I hated these times away from them; it was agony and I felt the injustice of the divorce rage around me. At one point when my children didn’t want to go, I knelt down, looked in their wide brown and blue eyes and shared; “Mommy wants to be the best mommy I can be…your time with Daddy gives me time with Jesus and that makes me a better mommy.” Out of my mouth came a truth that I hadn’t even realized. I still hated time away from my children; but I knew it was necessary for me to be the very best I could be.
Do you often feel like you are running on empty in the area of emotional capacity? Do you have a short fuse with the kids? Do you feel you are living the abundant life in relation to your interactions and relationship with your children?
Peace Comes into our Homes
YES, really. Consider this: Jesus is the Prince of Peace. That means His kingdom is a kingdom of peace. So when I take time to establish His kingdom within me, His kingdom is expressed through me. His peace comes to me, then through me. There were many times that guests would enter my home and comment about the sense of peace they had. It didn’t mean there wasn’t a mess, or that the kids were perfect…it simply meant that His kingdom had invaded my home and others perceived it as well.
Is there evidence that the Prince of Peace has established His kingdom in your home? What does that evidence look like or feel like?
Priorities Fall Into Place
The Word is clear: Seek FIRST His kingdom…and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
As a single mother, I needed all the help I could get in setting priorities and keeping our schedules and lives organized. When I set first things first, the seeking of His kingdom, everything else begins to take order. My priorities change.
There have been many times over the years where I would become so busy with life. Oftentimes after months of being on the hamster wheel, I would cry out to the Lord, “WHERE ARE YOU? My soul longs for the Living God.” In a quiet whisper He would remind me that He never asked me to take on that extra job, or allow one of the kids to engage in that extra activity. My exhaustion was simply the consequences of my choices to let other things push out the FIRST in my life.
Are you on the hamster wheel of life? Is your schedule and the schedule of your children wearing you out and causing more stress than joy? Are you living life according to what your priorities are?
My ability to have compassion on myself and others increases
Our nature is to run from suffering. But Jesus shows us the way to life is to embrace suffering and walk through the fire so that our cords can be burned off. Taking time to meet with Jesus allows us to confront the places of weakness, brokenness, loneliness and vulnerability within ourselves. We discover in that journey the One who bled compassion. We find we are not alone in our suffering and as a result our capacity to be with others in their suffering increases.
Without these intimate times in the arms of Jesus, we have little compassion for ourselves, which makes us unsympathetic to others. We become a part of the problem of an unkind and uncaring world.
Do you tell yourself to “get over it”? Do you find that when something hurts your feelings or offends you, your tendency is to brush it off? Are you sympathetic to your children’s challenges and places of pain?
Give yourself the freedom to explore different ways to find your sacred space. Different seasons of life will dictate what that space looks like. For me it used to be every other weekend. Sometimes it was once a quarter as a long retreat. Currently it is a daily time of feasting on His goodness. The important thing is to find your pocket of time and go deep with the Lord to discover the treasure He has hidden away for you in the place.
We can become parents who have “all these things added unto us” as we seek Him first.
Seek FIRST His kingdom…
and all these things will be added unto you.
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing son-in-laws (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MO