In Search of Quiet Minutes – Psalm 5
Life in the trenches of motherhood is not for the faint of heart. The days are long and on some days the rewards are few.
I press onward though, knowing that the battle I’m fighting is for the very hearts I’m nurturing in my home. I fight by seeking out bits of beauty in the ordinary of life.
And of course the more I train those in my care, the more I realize that I myself am in training as well. As I push through the challenges, I’m refined, sharpened, honed— my own heart is shaped as I do the hard heart-shaping work of raising kids.
Psalm 5 is one of those passages that I can’t help but read to the tune of a familiar old song. One that takes me back to my college days (those days when I thought I was busy).
I can remember learning its easy melody in a living room Bible study, singing with the accompaniment of a worn guitar with decorative etchings, in a circle of worshiping friends.
The words of the song, are simply taken from the King James Version of one of today’s portions:
Give ear to my words, O Lord
Consider my meditation
Harken unto the voice of my cry
My king and my God
For unto Thee will I pray
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning
O Lord, in the morning
will I direct my prayer
Unto thee, and will look up.
Psalm 5: 1-3
I’ve always been a morning person by preference, but as a mom of young ones that priority often has fallen by the wayside, because of the more urgent need— sleep.
But in the last few years, I’ve reclaimed that love for the morning, because I’ve realized how vital it is to me. Time in the morning to connect with the Lord before I start attending to the needs of my family members empowers me to get through the day centered on the Lord, instead of focusing on me and the challenges of my day.
Even just a few minutes of focusing on Him, reading His word, mumbling somewhat intelligible (pre-coffee) prayers in the dark makes a difference. Those minutes with Him are life-giving fuel to get through the day’s hard work, whatever it entails.
Taking time to refocus on Him each day reminds me that it is “through the abundance of [His] steadfast love” (verse 7) that I will go about my day. It’s by His grace, and grace alone, that I’m able to even know Him, let alone attempt to bring up three wild sinners like myself in His ways and to know His truths.
Singing through that section of Psalm 5 seems only natural. The Holy Spirit has ingrained the words on my heart by way of a familiar melody. (Of course, that’s what was intended by David when he penned the words, it was written for the flutes!)
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12 ESV)
In the morning, I’m usually not singing aloud— I’m trying *not* to wake up my kids after all— but I am definitely taking refuge in the Lord. He is my strength, the one who I need to lean on all throughout my (long, exhausting) day.
“Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons. The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not the heart. We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.” ~John Piper
Life happens, and I don’t get my uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. And that’s okay. But it’s my heart’s desire to make it a priority— to prepare myself to be used by Him, especially when it comes to training the little ones who come tip-toeing down the stairs to greet me each dawn.
images by permission: Kelli Campbell and Nicole Bennett
Nicole Bennett writes at Gidget Goes Home, a lifestyle blog exploring the search for contentment, community and creativity… and lots of homemade ice cream. She studied languages & literature at Cal Poly and CSU Long Beach and now spends her days homeschooling and enjoying the San Diego sunshine. Nicole and her husband love serving in church leadership, and enjoy the outdoors and watching baseball with their two daughters and one son.