As a mother of four, quiet time is in short supply. But our faith provides plenty of avenues for reflection, such as prayer and meditation.
“I’m running away.”
Those were the words I said to my husband and kids not too long ago after a particularly stressful week. They didn’t believe me—and rightly so. Between work, school, extracurricular activities, and a whole host of other responsibilities, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere.
I’m a mother of four, so quiet time in my life is definitely in short supply. But when I do find a spare moment, our faith provides plenty of avenues for reflection, such as prayer and meditation. And there is certainly no shortage of prayer and meditation styles from which to choose.
There are quite a few self-directed retreats available through books or on the Internet. So even if I don’t have time to pack my bags and head off to the nearest retreat house or monastery, there is no excuse for me not to take the quiet time I need to enhance both my faith and my life.
Make your own retreat. You don’t need to leave home to go on a retreat. Just schedule some quiet time to be by yourself. Get up an hour earlier than everyone else or stay up an hour longer at night. Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself and reflect. Read the Bible, pray, or just sit and take in your surroundings.
Make quiet time a priority. Not too long ago, following one too many midday meltdowns, I established “quiet time” in our house. During that time the kids could read, play quietly, or sleep (yeah, right) for a designated period of time. I was surprised at what a positive reaction I got from the kids. In fact, my daughter Maddie asked if we were going to keep doing it because it gave her a chance to catch up on her reading.
Encourage a little R&R. When Maddie said that to me, I thought it was odd that she didn’t feel she could just sit down and rest at any time. But then, after looking at our family’s schedule, I realized why. Because of this, my husband, Mark, and I will be encouraging the kids and ourselves—through both words and actions—to take the time to rest.
Take a family retreat at home. Pick a theme, such as favorite Bible stories, the Ten Commandments, or the Beatitudes and structure your retreat around that theme. You can also decide a timeframe for your family retreat. Perhaps it’s a few hours on the weekend. Figure out what works best for your family schedule.