GUEST POST “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
These are the words that carry me as I navigate life as an individual – who loves spontaneity and, at times, a little bit of control – when it comes to what I do with my time. My life, as I’d come to somewhat know it, changed on the 13th of January 2020, when my daughter was born. I knew at the back of my mind that things were going to be a lot different but I didn’t realise to what extent! I had my routine all “figured out”, but what I didn’t anticipate was the flexibility, fluidity and discipline I’d need to have to continue cultivating a living and loving relationship with God, while getting to know, nurture and raise a newborn.
I will be honest right now and tell you that I didn’t have a single moment of quiet time for as long as 6 or so weeks. It’s honestly all a blur. I know that we prayed for and over our daughter, but I don’t recall ever taking the time to just hang out with God for my own sake. It was when the so-called “Baby Blues” didn’t subside that I got a little bit worried. I was on edge, I was miserable. I was horrible to my husband and I just couldn’t stand having to sit for half an hour or more to feed a helpless baby whom I loved so much but didn’t seem to have the energy for. We went to go see a professional about my persistent bad mood and the lady we saw was a believer and she encouraged me to pray while we were on the journey of processing all my feelings: the trauma of having given birth and not experiencing a rush of overwhelming love for my baby who didn’t have a heartbeat for the first few moments of her life outside my womb, as well as how helpless I felt in it all. I heeded her advice because I craved the relationship I used to have with God; I craved how effortless it had been before our lives changed.
It took a lot of effort from my side to be honest about where I was and to seek help, and this turned out to be better for all of us. By the time our daughter was 3 months old, I’d managed to forge a new flow for myself. My husband had returned to work and it was just baby and me. I made a concerted effort to vocalise during my time with God. I had to reacquaint myself with the person of the Holy Spirit, I had to get it out of my head that there was only one correct way of doing it, I had to allow God to show me what He desired from me, and I had to learn to see myself as His child all over again. And so my desire to spend time with Him, even with my new, demanding role, grew because my perspective changed.
It isn’t always possible for me to be chirpy and excited about my day but I decided to wake up every day at the same time – no later than 07h30. This way I can be productive because I’ve had enough rest and I can start the day right for the little one who currently thrives on routine.
I don’t see quiet or alone time with God as a chore or something to be ticked off my to-do list; instead, my to-do list needs to be borne out of the time I’ve had with God. I also don’t limit Him to speaking to me only in the mornings and so I have quiet time as and when I’m led. In the same way that I’m able just to be around my husband even when we don’t have a set-aside time to be together on our own, I see my time with God, and that has helped me to seek Him out even with an infant who, as she grows, needs more and more from me.
I don’t have a strict routine, but some things need to be done for me to be at my best as a child of God, a wife, and a mother – and this is honestly the order of how I view myself and how that translates into how I serve my family.
The routine is that:
- Our bed must be made (by the last person to get out of it).
- My teeth must be brushed (or, at the very least, take a swish of mouthwash because some days are just that crazy).
- Our daughter must be settled – whether she is awake or not, I must fulfill her needs because that, too, is my true worship unto God.
- And I must be intentional about seeking and hearing from God.
Some days my alone time is at 23h00 in the bathtub and other days it’s out in the garden with a journal and Bible. Not having a strict “this is how it must be done” approach has helped me view this time as a necessity and not as a duty or chore. When I lean on my own understanding, I fail. I come up short. But when I truly seek out God’s way, I receive divine direction and being a wife and mom comes a tad bit easier because I’ve got the advantage.
Surrendering my will in order to flow in the will and purpose of God has allowed me to stop boxing Him [and my relationship with Him] in and instead live from the overflow of His grace and leading.
Do I always think God is right? Haha, nope! Sometimes I think my plans are better, but His patience is such a gift because instead of smiting me for being a know-it-all, He offers up a teaching experience.
Do I always manage to have quiet time on my own? No. Sometimes the best I can do is while I’m nursing a sleeping little person; however, my intentionality is there and I want to hear from Him just as much as if I’d been on a hike on my own.
Seeing myself first as a child of God, then a wife and then a mother, has been a significant game-changer for me because when I am a healthy child of God, I am a healthy wife and a healthy mother. Being with God is a priority and so that governs how I manage to endure, embrace and succeed at the roles I get to play.
Photo Credit: Joseph Redfield Nino
Kabelo is a devoted wife and mom who loves the Lord wholeheartedly. She is a true child of God in the wisdom she shares and the humility she shows. Kabelo is married to Matthew and has a beautiful baby girl. She loves a good cup of something hot and spending time in God’s Word.
Tags: alone time, Bible, children, control, flexibility, God, Jesus, journal, kids, mom, motherhood, quiet time, routine, solitude