Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Walking it out
For the last year God has been drawing my attention to the importance of living a more contemplative life. One that includes meditation, silence, solitude, confession, reflection, worship and prayer on a daily basis. On and off for the last year I've set my alarm anywhere from 5:00 to 6:30 in the morning to begin my day aligning my heart with God's. I've read books, or at least started ones, on practicing spiritual disciplines. Great classics and new takes on the deeper Christian life. The ancient books Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Jeanne Guyon and Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis have challenged me and enriched my pursuit of intimacy with Jesus. But one thing has stymied me over and over. She's short, has a limited grasp of the English language, big blue eyes and a very impatient temperament. At one point I was getting up at 6:00 to be with Jesus but I found that wasn't long enough before the children woke up, so I set my alarm earlier. But Miss Maggie woke up earlier too. I made sure I was tiptoeing, I stopped using the microwave to make a cup of tea, I didn't turn on lights until I got to the living room, I put my phone alarm under my pillow, none of it mattered she still wakes up a few minutes after I do. If I got up at 5:30 I found I typically got up to 45 minutes alone but not always sometimes it was just 20 minutes. I've tried to ignore her but there is something deeply unsatisfying about practicing the discipline of silence and meditation with the background noise of crib rails being shaken and a squeaky voice calling loudly, "Mom, MOM, MOMMMM! I know I can spend time in quiet reflection in the evening, I like to do both, but I find time in the morning with Jesus makes all the difference and I hate to give it up. This morning I told Max since they had gotten up early and interrupted my devotions he could listen to what I had been reading. I told him about Passover and it was a good opportunity for teaching. Still not time alone though. I look forward to the day when I've moved out of the early child rearing years and I'm able to focus more on practicing the spiritual disciplines. In the meantime I need to get creative in finding time alone and remember to include my kids in my own spiritual walk, teaching them to make pursuing God a priority in their lives also.