Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Neglected Word

Sadly, I have found that the area in my life that has suffered the most since becoming a father is also the most important area: my time with God. Even now, as I write this at 5:48 in the morning, I am on pins and needles as I watch my baby monitor to see if Camden stirs. And in fact he is right now.

I find myself having to wake up earlier and earlier if I want any time with the Lord. My wife and I have this "deal" that since she takes care of Camden all through the night, I get him in the morning when he won't go back to sleep while my wife gets another hour or two of sleep. And when Camden is awake, especially in the morning, he usually needs to be entertained or held or bounced around or something or other. In other words, when I have him in the morning there is little else I can do.

And that's part of the challenge: my devotional life suffers greatly if I cannot spend a huge chunk of uninterrupted time in the Word and in prayer. Some people, I suppose, can spend five minutes here and five minutes there throughout the day and still have a vibrant and thriving relationship with God. I cannot. Unless I have at least a good hour or more in uninterrupted time with Him, I cannot get any momentum going and my whole day gets off on the wrong foot - and just digresses from there.

I am greatly looking forward to the day, hopefully very soon, when Camden gets on a very consistent schedule and I know he wakes up at a certain time. Because, that is the main problem right now: one day he'll wake up at 6, the next day at 5:30, the next day at 5:45, etc. And so I have to go to bed the night before guessing as to which time he is going to wake up, and thus basing my wake-up time on what I think he is going to do.

I wonder what other people have done in their own experience to remedy such a dilemma. Any advice would be timely.


David Hamstra said...

Funny, my wife and I had the same deal. She'd get up at night, and I'd get up in the morning. My boy usually went to sleep early in the evening, so I switched my quiet time to before bed. Not that it worked as well as morning devotions used to, but it worked better than the alternative. And yes, the crazy sleep schedule does not last forever.

Shawn Brace said...

Thanks for the words of empathy David! Hopefully things will settle down soon enough. I hear what you're saying about having devotions in the evening, but if I don't start my day with some good God-time, my whole day is shot. I just totally get going down the wrong path and I can never recover no matter what I try!

Dingo said...

Would "ADLs with God" work? ADLs are activities of daily living - things like brushing teeth, bouncing babies, washing faces (theirs, yours, or both), dressing (both of you) etc. That era of my life is long past (and I am enjoying seeing my son live it now),but I remember praising while brushing hair, petitioning in baby talk, walking the floor as I listened for the Lord's voice, cooing verses from an open Bible on the counter to the baby, then discussing them with God and the kid as we bounced some more, and even confessing on the "can". It did not take the place of uninterrupted God time. But it did help get my real world life and my stressed heart connected better with God in the morning.
Blessings on all of you.

Steve said...

Hi Shawn,

I have a five year old daughter so it hasn't been that long since my wife and I went through this issue. Let me encourage you that the problem does improve over time, especially as Camden learns to sleep through the night.

My wife and I found that the key to making that happen sooner is getting the baby on very good schedule during the day. It may seem a bit rigid at first, but the dividends were worth it for us.

Here are some resources which we found very helpful in maintaining our sanity:

It comes down to a lot of prayer for guidance, learning a lot of different strategies and then finding out which ones work best for you.

God bless,

Morning's Minion said...

It may seem redundant to state that life's situations demand that we be flexible and creative--particularly during the years that a child/children place demands of real need upon our time. I think we all cherish ways of doing and being that have worked best for us, but we can grow through the necessities of change.
Even though I have often balked at changes in schedules and the disruption of preferences I've held dear, I have to say, in retrospect of course, that making adjustments is not all bad. And yes, there are going to be the times when nothing really works.
I rather like the idea of chanting or singing scripture as you go about the baby chores. Your mornings will eventually smooth out, but they still may be "different" than what has been "normal."

Shawn Brace said...

Thanks for sharing everyone! And thanks, especially, Steve, for the references. We have Camden on a schedule during the night - but haven't gotten him on one during the day. Part of our challenge is that we are ALWAYS on the road and going somewhere. Since Camden has been born, he has been away from home more than he's been home. That is not an exaggeration. We simply are not home-bodies, but I suppose we might need to become moreso for the sake of Camden!!