Find Him in the Margin
There are a few things that have taken a backseat since I started having babies four years ago. Reading, having straight hair (because straightening this thick curly mane takes at least an hour), buying new clothes for myself, aaaand taking time to read the Bible and pray. I'm such a heathen. It's not something that I intentionally decided to do, but over time, my priorities shifted far away from making time for my faith. The shift in priorities absolutely affected my life in ways that I didn't even realize until I started prioritizing my spiritual life again.
A few months ago, I had a "come to Jesus" moment where I realized how far I'd walked away from my faith. I was so comfortable with where I was at and told myself things like, "Jesus will always be there." "He gets it. He knows what it's like to be tired." "Jesus knows what's up." And that made me feel better about the fact that I had turned away from Him. I got lazy. Now, don't get me wrong. I know there are seasons of life when you don't take as much time to pray and read the Bible and walk the walk and talk the talk and that's ok. I truly believe that we are given grace in those seasons and we can always turn things around and get our priorities back in line. But the longer you rest in that season, the harder it is to change. Complacency is a dangerous trap.
I'm in that season right now. I have a new baby with two other kids that need me nonstop. The only time I get a break these days is when the older two are asleep for the night and the baby takes a nap before the all night nursing buffet begins. I'm stretched so thin. I haven't found the three kids balance. Something always needs to be cleaned, no matter how much laundry I do every day, the hamper is still full when I go to bed, meals need to be cooked, dishes need to be washed, diapers need to be changed, more diapers need to be changed ... it's truly an endless cycle. But I've learned to find the margin.
I have to fight for my margin : that blank space in the day where I can sit and be with Jesus. It doesn't always look the same. In fact, it's different every single day. Sometimes I find that margin when the boys are taking a nap and I'm feeding Anna. Sometimes the margin is when Zach is watching the kids so I can cook dinner. Sometimes I find it in the shower. Sometimes the margin is in the middle of the night when Anna is restless and cranky and wants to eat, but won't eat, and all I can do is cry out to Jesus and ask him for grace. No matter what, though, I have to find the margin. Every day.
My first instinct is to use that blank space to browse my social media, to respond to comments, to send an e-mail, to watch another episode of Parenthood, to sleep, to read, to whatever. It's not easy to choose the hard thing and for me, reading the Bible and praying is the hard thing. It's not the easy thing. It's not the brainless thing. But it's the thing my soul and my heart and my brain need.
It's so easy to get caught up in the chaos of having small children. It's easy to say "I don't have time." But I know and you know that time is not the problem. Distraction is. Why do we convince ourselves that everything else is more important than sitting with our Creator? Nothing is more important and it's crucial to the survival of this mama's heart. Find your margin. It will look different every day, but you have to find it. Whether it's 10 minutes, or 5 minutes, or 30 seconds, find it, cherish it and fight for it. You need it. He'll be waiting for you there.