A Woman Seeking to Know Her God in a Season of Slowing Down
Laura is a friend and roommate from my college days at Elon University in North Carolina. I have been privileged to watch as her seasons shift as she has gotten married and started her own family. She has been through a lot and has pressed in close to the Lord, and even from afar, it has been a joy to watch. Her own faith quietly but firmly encourages all around her to trust the God she knows so well. Thank you, Laura, for living a life that points to Jesus and for sharing a few of your wise your words here!
I'm Laura, and I live in a house full of boys! My house consists of myself, and my husband, my 1 year old and 3 year old (both boys), 10 year old stepson, and our dog (the only other girl around)! I’m the director of a church preschool, have two small business (one handmade, one direct sales) and I love to read and create!
After a summer filled with days at the pool and lazy days at home, myself and my two little ones recently headed back to preschool! As the director of the preschool, you can imagine that back to school also means BUSY! And as a mom, back to school means BUSY! So while our schedule is ramping up into new routines after the lazy days of summer, I am consciously trying to slow down.
I've always been busy. I like having projects and tasks, I like being involved, and I love to check things off a to do list. If there is time in my day, I feel like I should fill it with something. But more and more I am feeling God call me to slow down. One of my favorite verses is "Be Still & Know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10), but it's much easier said than done. Being still is hard. I don't particularly like just sitting around with no plan in mind. I don't really like watching tv, unless I'm also doing something else, and I don't like spending a lot of time driving, because it feels like wasted time to me. For most of my life, I have filled up every free minute with something or another.
But I'm starting to find so much joy in slowing down and leaving more margin in my life. I am learning to find ways to simplify my life so that I can enjoy just being at home without feeling stressed that the sink is full of dirty dishes, I’m behind on laundry, and have no idea what is for dinner. I'm learning to purge things, whether those things are cluttering up my home or my schedule to make room for the things I really care about.
How does your time with the Lord look different than it did a year ago?
About a year ago, I really started to feel God leading me to focus on being intentional on how I spend my time. It has been a process to really look at my life and think through the things that I spend time on (and it is an ongoing process). I'm learning that some things just have to wait, and to prioritize instead of feeling like I need to do it all, and I need to do it all today. God is teaching me more and more to be fully present with whatever I am doing, and to enjoy the moment. In taking time to really seek out what God wants me to do with my time, overall I don't feel "busy" anymore. There are days, yes, that are busy, but at this point, overall I would describe my life as full, but not busy. All of my obligations, whether they be work, family, or church, are things that I have really thought through, and prayed about, and that I feel like God is calling me to do in this season. Though I have lots of thoughts and ideas of things I would like to do, I'm learning to take time to be still and listen to whether or not that thing is something God is calling me to do right now, or if it is an idea or interest I need to jot down and come back to at a later date - because I'm also learning that "not right now" doesn't always mean "never". I’m also starting to do a better job of looking at my calendar overall and seeing what will tip the scales to being over-committed and too busy before I say yes to something.
I know that in a blink of an eye, my sweet snuggly boys will be sitting in the drivers seat instead of being buckled into car seats, and I know I am going to miss these days. I'm going to miss the bedtime stories and the baby giggles and the fact that my super independent three year old likes me to carry him up and down the stairs. So as I have listened to God call me to make more space in my life, it is space I am ever-so-grateful for, as it is filled with so many sweet moments of being mom (and yes, moments of total chaos too).
As we work on establishing our school year routine, I'm purposefully leaving margin. I know with kids, things are always unpredictable, so I don't hold our routines too tightly, but planning our routines with purpose makes a huge difference in my day. My quiet times haven't been terribly consistent over the last year or so, as with a baby, everything is so unpredictable, but now that we have made it through the first year, I'm looking forward to establishing consistent quiet times as a daily routine. And I'm also okay that some days "quiet time" looks like me jotting down a few things I'm praying for and trying to read a few Bible verses while my 3 year old tries to take my pen because he needs to “write” something down RIGHT THIS SECOND and my 1 year old is throwing all of my clean laundry out of the laundry basket and onto the floor. God can speak even in the midst of the chaos, and even on the days when I can’t make a picture perfect quiet time happen, I can still spend time with God!
How can we pray for you?
Something that has been so encouraging to me recently, is the way that Scriptures I memorized years and years ago have popped into my mind at just the moment I needed them, and I want to be intentional this year about committing more Scripture to memory. I would love prayers for continuing to be intentional with my time, setting aside consistent quiet time in my day, and being committed to memorizing Scripture.
by laura bass
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.