We try to squeeze as much as we can into a given moment- carrying the groceries in (loaded down like a donkey), calling instructions to the kids over our shoulder, using the tiniest sliver of our index finger (otherwise weighed down with groceries) to open the gate, kicking the gate closed with our feet, already mentally planning which steps need to be done in which order, in order to have dinner prepared in less than 20 minutes, so we can nurse the baby when he wakes up in 25 minutes.
But sometimes there's a tendency to think that we have to have silence and solitude in order to meditate or enter into spiritual truth in a deep way. That the schedule has to be cleared in order to intake spiritual "food". That if we could just get away from daily demands, THEN we'd have time to retreat and find rest for the soul.
But one of the things I've come to know in the last eleven years as a mom is this: silence and solitude and beautiful and rare... but a peaceful heart and calm spirit can happen in any setting, at any time.
Let me keep this short. Basically, I try to (as often as possible) combine one item from list A with one item from list B:
But our minds are not naturally bent toward godliness.
If we perpetually give our minds nothing on which to focus, we will easily drift into self-focus-- replaying hurtful conversations, mentally jotting down a list of things we "never" get or "always" have to do, replaying compliments and reviewing "successes", or replaying hurt and criticism and reviewing failures. Or we can drift into busybodying about others-- reviewing things they did (or didn't) say, things they did (or didn't) do, thinking of things they should (or shouldn't) say, things they should (or shouldn't) do.
Instead, I most often click on my audioBible or head to YouTube (or one of my apps) and turn on a sermon by Chandler, Piper, Chan, Harris, or Driscoll.
Let me encourage you to try it-- or do it more often-- give your mind something on which to focus during tasks when your hands or body are busy doing something otherwise mindless.
Please hear my heart: don't let this be a point of legalism or guilt for you.
By all means, take time to enjoy the silence nursing your new baby... or if the kids have been at it all day, enjoy the solitude and relaxation of a hot, quiet bath. But in moments when your mind craves something to do, or would tend toward self-focus or busybodying about other people, my encouragement for you is to give your mind something to do-- combine list A with list B and let God renew your heart, mind, and soul as you go about your daily activities.