When it comes to "quiet time" with God, I often want the ideal.
I want the whole house to be silent so I can have a long string of uninterrupted thoughts. I want my coffee fresh and hot. I want to sit in my favorite chair with a snuggly blanket. I want my journal with a special pen & a well-marked bible. I tend to think that if all these criteria are met, THEN I will have a full & fruitful relationship with God.
But that's rarely how it really looks. Instead, I'm usually creeping through a dark house with good intentions, only to groan with frustration when I wake up a child. I'm sipping coffee that's grown cold, & trying not to let my journal became too smeared with syrup from breakfast. I'm getting up from my reading again & again & again to break-up a conflict or change a diaper. And because my "ideal" wasn't met, I often leave feeling like maybe my time with God didn't count.
However, by God's grace and the wisdom of others, I'm learning that my ideal "quiet time" can't be the foundation of my faith in this season of life. Times of solitude are as important as date night in marriage - it is wonderful & special to sneak away with your husband every so often. But if you are waiting for date night to have an intimate connection with your husband, & neglect day-to-day connection, you probably won't have a thriving relationship.
In the same way, I'm recognizing that my relationship with God is about worshiping him at all times of the day, finding ways to connect with him & know him. It's listening to biblical teaching while I'm cleaning up toys, singing praise songs in the car with my children, praying at times, & remembering to talk about him in the normal moments.
If you are also sometimes stressed & tired, waiting for the perfect time to meet with God, remember that your relationship with him needs to be about more than just "date night". Your sisters-in-Christ around the world in less-than-ideal situations are learning to trust & follow Jesus - maybe without even a full bible in their native language. God can sustain them, & God can sustain you too...even in the loud, chaotic places.
Interested in more content like this? Check out Episode 15 | When Quiet Times Aren't Quiet and Episode 63 | Jen Wilkin: Growing in God's Word as a Mom of Little Ones.