Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quiet Time or Family Time - One and the same?

Last summer I took my boys to Lake Lansing Park because they wore me out with their begging asked me to. I had gone through a rushed and hectic morning and hadn't been able to have my quiet time with God. Figured once the boys were happily settled with their fishing rods, I could sit and enjoy the quiet with God.
Yes. It all sounded great to me!
Upon arrival at the park, however, while Joshua ran quickly to the fishing dock, Matthew begged asked me to throw the football around with him.

But what about my quiet time??? I whined inwardly.

Throwing the football was not what I had in mind. I wanted to be alone with God. Wasn't that the better thing for me to do? I wanted to pray and draw close to Him!
Sounds all nice and spiritual, doesn't it? But do you see how selfish the above statements are? I, I, me, and I.
The Holy Spirit graciously pointed out my selfishness, and prompted me to put down my Bible and pick up the football. And do you know what happened?
I discovered that I could love God by loving my son. As I threw the football around with Matthew, I prayed for him. I prayed that he would grow stronger in his faith every day. I prayed for myself, as Matthew's mom - that God would use me to reflect His love to my son.
And even though I wasn't quiet, even though I wasn't reading my Bible, I was very aware of the presence of God. I'm sure I saw Him smiling on my son and I. It was a wonderful time of communion with God - playing football with my son.

In what ways have you sensed God's presence by serving your family?



  1. It was shortly before midnight and I was in a local grocery store with my then-toddler daughter, buying milk. My daughter’s clothes were dirty, her face was dirty, and she was wide awake.

    It was impossible for me not to see the many judgmental looks from the shoppers around me. I could only imagine what they were thinking . . . Her child is wide awake and out in public after midnight – what kind of hours does that mother let her child keep? Her child is disheveled – doesn’t that mother care about her daughter’s appearance?

    What those shoppers didn’t know was that my daughter and I had just arrived from the West Coast, where it wasn’t yet 9 pm. Our flights throughout the day had been delayed, and we had grabbed the wrong carry-on bag before setting out that morning. So, we spent the day without a sippy cup or a change of clothes.

    I felt God’s reassurance in the face of strangers’ judgments. Stopping at the grocery store was the right thing to do. I wanted fresh milk in the fridge when my daughter woke up the next morning. I also felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit – Marilyn, this is a reminder not to judge other moms by their children’s behavior or appearance!

  2. P.S. Karen, your closing question really resonated with me. I so believe in Gary Thomas' perspective that raising children shapes the parent every bit as much as parents shape their children.