When I w as in college, a godly mother whom I respected greatly mentioned that she loved being with her children. She went on to explain that she really didn’t need or want a babysitter (I must have offered) for “time away” from her children.
Now, it’s possible I misunderstood her or she me; nevertheless, I remember thinking with a mixture of awe and discomfort at the idea that a mother would not (or should not) desire to “get away” from her children. When I became a mother, I found that occasional times away could be refreshing, and even though I might not have gotten a babysitter, I still found I desired regularly some quiet time to myself. I’m not sure that I could have or would have tried to defend such biblically.
I’m reading through the gospels chronologically and once again noticing the significance of Jesus seeking to be alone to pray. Reminds me of Moses’ father who told him that he couldn’t do everything himself and needed to delegate. I suppose I always thought of that relevant to ministry: essential for pastors and such. What I considered for the first time was that the class of “mother” fits the ministry at all hours category. I have ministry crowding all around me, invading my personal space and interrupting me at all hours! It is often exhausting teaching children all day long not to argue or complain! Even when tired, Jesus was compassionate and patient with those who pressed all around him, but I wonder if his example of having time alone was not for our example. He certainly didn’t need that time to help him be “more patient” or “more compassionate,” but I seem to. I am challenged by Jesus’ example.
Somehow think of sitting down with a cup of tea and extra Bible study as a luxury. If I am understanding the Bible properly, this time alone is important. Worth working to keep in my day. Maybe trading babysitting for a whole day with another mother, not for catching up on housework, but for catching up on Bible reading and prayer. Leaving the children with Daddy on a Saturday, not for a pedicure, but so I can spend the morning in a quiet place with my Bible. Worth volunteering to babysit for another mother of toddlers for the morning for this purpose. This is not exactly the same thing as saying, “You need time for yourself, girl!
I wanted to post these thoughts for Wisdom Wednesday, but I haven’t really acted on them. I’ve gotten to bed late all week, gotten up with the children all week, and have had fractured devotions and no coffee. And, I noticed that often when the Bible talks about Jesus “getting alone” he wasn’t completely alone; he had his disciples with him. So I’m back to pondering this idea more before developing any dogmatism. And this morning, while the children are sleeping later than usual, I’ll have a second cup of coffee and some time with my Bible.
2And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.