Thursday, 27 January 2011

Too busy to...

H:     How can I fit in a quiet time with you, God, with so much going on?
I'm a mum to two small girls, I've got lots of other things going on in my life, I'm trying to fit in get fit time so that I can take better care of this body you gave me and last thing at night it's all I can do to stay awake until the children are in bed. When can I fit it in?

G:     How about first thing in a morning?

H:     You've got to be joking. I hate the mornings. (No offence, I mean I hate getting up early, rather than mornings per nothing against the sunrise, or anything) No, can't do mornings. I'm so tired that I leave getting up to the very last minute and then it's a dash to get the children up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, breakfast eaten (ish), snacks packed and so on to get them ready for school. No time in the mornings. I am a blur.

G:     So you don't do anything else in the morning apart from get the children ready for school?

H:     Well, I manage a quick look at the headlines, and a quick check of the email - and a look on Facebook on my iPhone, but that's just to check in with what's happening...makes me feel connected...

G:     So what about after the school run?

H:     Well there's the washing machine to empty, and the kitchen to tidy up, more email to check, and then I'm usually off out.

G:     Where? Down to Church for the morning prayer?

H:     Ah. No, I go swimming, or to the gym, because if I want to get an hour's swim in I need to be there quite early as I need to shower and dry my hair and get back in time to get Katy from nursery, and I can't be late for that as she'll feel abandoned if she's the last one there....

G:     You go to the gym and swim every day?

H:     Well, no, but on the days I don't, I'm either off to the supermarket or now and then I see a friend for coffee. It's good to have friends isn't it? Support one another and so on... and it's such a treat to have a grown up conversation after all the years of having a small person in tow all the time, really cheers me up.  And then the house needs cleaning, and I do occasionally make time for that, especially if I'm having a meeting here...or home group.  That sort of makes me hoover now and again. And I do baking, too, sometimes; my banana cake goes down very well, if I do say so myself...

H:     So what about after lunch?

G:     Well, most days I have Katy with me, and so we're either going somewhere or doing something, and then it's school time and Elizabeth comes home, and then the house isn't remotely quiet until their bedtime, and there's tea to get, and clear up after, and the washing to sort and put away, and bedrooms to tidy...makes me tired just thinking about it.

G:     What about weekends?

H:     Well, on a Saturday it's the children's swimming lessons, and then we sort of all spend time together before I'm out with Mum in the afternoon, and a Sunday, well, that's the day when I sometimes get to have a little lie in before Church and of course it's all a rush when I do get up because I've left it till the last minute again...and then the rest of the day is family time, I suppose you'd say.  Sunday lunch and then something with the children. Family time is important, isn't it?

G:     OK, what about evenings?

H:     Well the girls' bedtime really takes it out of me; after they've had baths and stories and teeth cleaned and so on...

G:     No, I meant after that.

H:     Well, then it's our teatime - I cook something, or warm something up, or on a Saturday more often than not we order something, and put the telly on, or eat in the kitchen, and...there doesn't seem to be much evening left after I've relaxed a bit and caught up on the programmes we've recorded in the week. Good Norwegian drama on BBC4 at the moment - or was it Danish...?

G:     So your evenings are all about food and telly?

H:     Of course not! Sometimes we open a bottle of wine.  Ahem.  That was a joke.  Sorry. No, not always. I hardly watch telly in the week as Bryan is working, and I do things.

G:     What sort of things?

H:     Well, DCC, Home Group, planning meetings, and soon there'll be another course at Church. They're all great things, Lord. All things that need doing...oh and last week I had a wonderful time at the new singing group on a Thursday! Then there's the School Governor's thing that has it's first meeting next week.  That's a bit scary, actually, been meaning to talk to you about that...

G:     I'm sure we'll get round to that another time. We're trying to sort out when you'll have your quiet time. So every evening is busy with a meeting?

H:     No, not every evening. There are some evenings when I don't do anything at all.

G:     Oh good! So what about those?

H:     Well, that's when I catch up on emails, or paying bills, or surfing the internet, or writing stuff, or putting things in my scrapbook, or putting my photos on the computer, or reading, or filing paperwork.

G:     Filing paperwork?

H:     Yes, well, OK. That sort of goes in a pile in the kitchen. But I do keep meaning to file the paperwork. I do have a 'To Do' list, you know. I'm a busy woman.

G:     Am I on your To Do list?

H:     Oh no!  I mean, yes. I mean, no. You're sort of on my mental To Do list.  All the time.  Oh dear, that sounded a bit lame, didn't it?

G:     Yes.

H:     Sorry.

G:     So last thing before you go to bed...I suppose there's no point in asking?

H:     I've usually nodded off on the sofa or I'm very bleary at bedtime.  That's when I do try to fit in a bit of a chat with you, God, but I sort of get comfy, close my eyes.... and... that's about it till morning.

G:     Yes, I've noticed that you rarely get to 'Amen'.

H:     Mmm. Sorry about that. Anyway, that's when I do as much sleeping as I can, and then it's morning and it all starts again.

G:     Oh.

H:     So when do you think I could fit in my quiet time, God?


  1. Thanks for this Helen, a salutary reminder for me when even at theological college its easy to be too busy doing things to simply sit and be with God to talk to Him and more importantly to liten to Him.

  2. Thanks Janet. I'm still working on this one! But I wrote this and realised how pathetic it must sound to God, and so I'm going to make some changes...Hx

  3. Wow Helen...lays it all bare really doesn't it! Need to go away and have my own conversation I think!


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