I have been pondering the last few months my relationship with our creator. Becoming a mum has changed many many things and my relationship with God is one of those too. Let me tell you a bit about this and what I have discovered.....
This academic year I commited to take a journey with God on our church's leadership academy course. Most of the other students knew exactly why they were there but I had no idea - I just knew God wanted me there! The first term lectures focused on self leadership and spiritual disciplines. It was all great stuff, but often I found myself wondering how on earth to apply it to my season of life. When I was young and single I had no problem sitting for hours on my bed connecting with God, and even as a newlywed it was simple to dedicate that first part of my day to God in prayer and devotion. But now as an exhausted mother it is hard. And daily I find myself weighing up the benefit of extra sleep so that I don't snap at everything my one year old does with the benefit of time alone with God.
Yes I will say that I desire to be in that consistent and regular time with God, and I will continue to strive for that (I am all for spiritual discipline!) but I also can accept that God knows and understands our hearts and situations. He would rather we come to him open, willing and in love when it is the baby's nap time (whenever that fight may be won) than regiment a meeting with him that our hearts aren't all in for. And I believe this because our God is not a God of rules but of relationship.
Think about your own earthly relationships. Each one of them is different. You wouldn't be the same with your parents as your husband, and your relationship with a best friend is entirely different again! So it is also with God. He knows each of us in different ways according to our personalities, character, seasons of life and much much more. So even though discipline can be a great starting point for our relationship with him, ultimately we have to find our own personal ways to connect with God and be happy with that.
I am a chatterer. My husband will tell you that I talk his ear off, and I am probably the same with God. I just talk through things with him wherever and whenever. But I have to fight the temptation to compare that to others who are happy to sit in quiet contemplation with God. Neither is right, neither is wrong, they are just different ways of enjoying your personal and unique relationship with our creator.
I think I am just about at the point where I can accept that for the next five years at least, my time and relationship with God is going to be very different than it ever has been. It will be interrupted by screaming babies and toddlers, prayers will be half said in a zombie like sleepless state, and if I have the brain power to read a whole chapter of the bible then Angels will celebrate in heaven! But God knows my heart, and he knows yours too. Just as our relationship with our husbands changes when that tiny baby is handed to us in the delivery room, so our relationship with our creator changes too. But I for one am choosing to embrace that instead of mourning for the relationship I used to have.
So don't copy what I am doing, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, get your own relationship with God!