By: Velvette Williams
Carving out time to spend with Jesus is essential. Sacrificing our own schedules and busy lives to honor the Lord is what most of us strive for and practice. In those moments away, we pour out our hearts and invite Him to fill us up. There are seasons in our lives where the word ‘time’ doesn’t even make sense, and it can be extremely difficult to manage. This summer, I have been met with some difficulties in managing my time. My heart longs to get away with Jesus, and maybe yours does too. My hope in sharing is that you will know you’re not alone.
I’m a girl who loves to talk, whether over the phone, in person, or sipping on some coffee and having quiet time with Jesus or friends. I enjoy the organic flow of conversations and just being present. Conversations and quality time fill up my love tank.
At the ripe age of 37, I now realize that interruptions can leave me feeling defeated. See, I am a mom of 3 kiddos and understand that it’s natural for children to interrupt conversations or agendas. Like me, if you have children, you do your best to teach manners and respect. Some of us know those interruptions, but interruptions can come in different forms aside from talking or “butting in.”
You may have experienced ones like; health scares; that lead your life and attention to an unfamiliar path, a change of family work schedules, a broken water heater that destroyed your new wood flooring, random panic attacks that halt your routines, a flat tire when you are on your way to your first hair appointment in over a year. Big and small things like that can make life feel a little more complicated and unfocused.
As a working mom and teacher, I get the privilege of being at home with my children for the summer. I have to add that this summer is a little different because I am healing from a recent surgery. I can manage to do a lot of the small tasks around the house and cuddle and have fun with my kids. But what has been hard for me is the change in our routine; my husband’s extremely tough work schedule, a toddler who is all of a sudden allergic to sleep, and most frustrating is being so worn out, not being able to spend solid one-on-one time with Jesus. What I like to call “Jesus Dates.” It never seems to fail that I have this expectation that Jesus and I will bond; I will grow and be saturated with so much wisdom and change from reading His Word and sitting in His presence. Of course, I am off for the summer; I have loads of extra time to experience all He has!
Let me be real honest here. Even a slight change of routine during school seasonal breaks leave me riddled with emotions of spiritual lack. I am sharing this with you because I have this feeling that I am not alone in my Jesus date morning expectations. When I picture this perfect “away from everyone quiet time with Jesus schedule,” I imagine other women of God sitting in their office nooks while their kids peacefully sleep or play, gleaning out of a crisp morning window, with their withered Bibles, 8 different highlighters, concordances, journals, uninterrupted, all while listening to the birds chirp with their fresh cupa-joe in hand.
And here I was, the beginning of summer, ready for my Jesus date routines to ensue, only to be met by my adorable toddler, “Mom, help me in the bathroom. Mommy, sissy is taking my play-doh. Mom, let’s go to the park.” One particular morning, feeling very optimistic while reading my YouVersion Bible app, one of the kids jumped on the couch, and my hot coffee spilled on my phone. Frantically cleaning up the mess, my mind was telling me, “Velvette, this isn’t good enough, you trying to juggle it all, it’s not quiet enough, it’s not honoring Him enough, other moms are doing it all, just stop, there are too many interruptions.”
So for a few sad days beginning my summer vacation, I sat on the couch with a full cup of coffee, no time for Jesus dates (because it wasn’t perfectly laid out in my nook, and I’d hate to be interrupted), and ended the days feeling empty. On one of those spirit-depleted late nights, laying on my toddler’s bedroom floor trying to sleep train her, God spoke to my heart, “Velvette, I am here; I see it all. You can spend time with me just like this; taking breaks to tend to your babies is okay. I see you want to honor our time together. I’m here. Just sit with me. Let me fill you up.” So that following day, I grabbed my Bible and journal and a good cup of blonde coffee and soaked in lots of interrupted time with Jesus and my babies. Freedom in the Lord is a sweet gift!
I was also reminded of the many dates I have had with family and friends that naturally had interruptions. And none of those interruptions would be met with the same defeat I felt with the Lord. The quality time was so valuable and filled me up regardless of distractions. So, I hope you are encouraged to step into time with Jesus wherever you are right now. It could be in the car, sitting on the couch, in your peaceful nook, or on your toddler’s bedroom floor. He sees you and is just waiting to fill you up!
John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.””
In John 4 (my ABSOLUTE favorite chapter in the Bible), Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well while she was doing her everyday task of collecting water. He told her many things about her life and that he was the Messiah. This was the longest conversation with a woman recorded in scripture. How precious is that? I bet she wasn’t expecting the Messiah to meet with her that day, just like I wasn’t expecting him to meet with me that night on my baby girls’ bedroom floor. She allowed Him in, “interrupting her schedule,” and became an influential evangelist. Like Jesus tells her, I want you to know that the Lord fills us. Our expectations, lack, or “holiness” will always leave us empty. Jesus fills us. Meet with Him in your everyday life, and ….you will never need coffee again. No just kidding, 😉 but you will be filled with growth, the best conversations, and perfect love.
Even if you can schedule alone time with the Lord or you are like me, and it happens in the chaos of life. Know that He meets us right where we are. I believe He is saying to all of us as He said to me. “I am here; I see it all. You can spend time with me just like this; taking breaks to tend to your babies is okay. I see that you want to honor our time together. I’m here. Just sit with me. Let me fill errrrr up.”