Some days I really just want to be alone.
I love my babies, don’t get me wrong; staying at home with my wild and crazy little boys is the delight of my life, and I am glad to do it.
I must be doing a halfway decent job as a mom, because my guys adore me so much that they think they need to be with me every second, even when I go to the bathroom. But every once in a while, it would it be heaven to be able to use the toilet in peace.
And maybe spend a few moments praying or reading my Bible.
All my life I’ve been taught that the key to growing as a Christian is to spend time alone with God, praying and meditating on Scripture. In Christian circles we usually refer to this as “quiet time.”
I think whoever coined that phrase must not have been a parent. Regardless, I rarely get time alone, quiet or otherwise. And I struggled with that for a long time, feeling like I wasn’t doing my duty as a Christian.
One day in particular, I had finally gotten a few moments to myself, and was sitting down beside my bed to read and pray. I had no more opened my Bible than I heard my 10-month-old wailing from his crib. Nap time, apparently, was over. And I started to cry.
“I know I asked you for these boys,” I lamented to the Lord, “but now I feel chained to them. How am I supposed to grow in you if I never get a break from being a mom?” For days I was in a funk, convinced that parenting was going to be the ruin of me.
Then one morning, God reminded of a simple truth:
Paul had chains, too.
Do you remember them?
Paul was imprisoned over and over for his tenacious preaching that Jesus was the Messiah. When he was in Rome, awaiting his trial before Caesar, he was watched by members of the praetorian guard, Roman troops assigned to the emperor. But these soldiers didn’t just stand outside a holding cell, or keep Paul hostage with a weapon. The guards and prisoners were literally chained together.
So Paul knew what it was like to be constantly with others, never alone for a moment. He would have had every right to complain. But he didn’t. Do you know what he said about his chains?
“What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14, emphasis added).
Paul recognized that his chains were an opportunity to serve the Lord. His guardians could not leave, so they were a captive audience for his message of reconciliation to God.
Understanding this has changed my perspective about this season of my life.
I still crave alone time. Adult conversation. Moments away from my boys.
But when I adopt Paul’s perspective, the chains become a little easier to bear. My sons are my captive audience. Every day, whether I intend to or not, I am teaching them with my words and my actions.
And at the end of the day, I want to be able to say that “I am in chains for Christ.”
By Amy Reasoner, More Than Rubies
Photo by: Steven DepoloLeave a Comment
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Amy you shared great thoughts. I love how God changes our perspective so often, even when He doesn’t change our circumstances. Serving Christ within the limitations we experience is a powerful challenge. Thanks!
Becky Daye says
Ah, Amy! This is beautiful and such a great perspective. Love the idea of thinking of our kids as a captive audience rather then a burden. Thank you for sharing your heart!!
Thank you for this, it is just what I needed to hear today.
I remember being that mom. I felt like I was drowning, I needed time with Him. People used to tell me to get up before my babies. That was the hardest thing because they wore me out and I felt I needed every bit of sleep I could get. Perhaps sleep was my chain…Things are different now, it’s a different season, and I now have ample time with my Savior.
What an amazing perspective. This has really blessed me today in a time where I am feeling very overwhelmed.
Thank you so much.
Denise Reese (@denisekayreese) says
Beautiful. My kids are all grown now, and I wish I had had this perspective. Like you, I spent far too much time feeling guilty because I couldn’t seem to fit in a “proper” quiet time, and often felt resentment toward my children. Unreasonable, but true.
Jennifer Young says
This is something I never thought of before, thank you for this perspective. I have often felt the same way. I hope I can remember this and change my attitude. Daily. Until hopefully it becomes ingrained in my heart.
Carrie Stephens says
As a mom who only recently has found a little more space between my children and myself, I can see how much God was doing in me as I was chained closely to them when they were little. I have time now to read my Bible more, and I can even ask them to play somewhere else so I can pray. But I have seen a great harvest in my soul as a result of embracing the hard season of babies and trusting God in the midst of the insanity. You are so right. You are in chains for Christ! Beautiful!!
Dana Butler says
Hi Amy! Thanks so much for this! YES – He wouldn’t have called us to motherhood if He didn’t intend to meet us DEEPLY in the midst of it. Grace to you to find a few moments alone with Him today though. 🙂 Blessings!
Beth Williams says
Wonderful perspective. I loved that God can change your perspective of life & the season you’re in.
It has been a little hard for me to get quiet time in lately with work & an aging parent. I do my best to squeeze time in weekly!
Wow.. what wonderful perspective… peaceful thoughts and helps one to see we are not her eon earth just for ourselves.