Communing Over Chaos
Whitney Capps

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4 (NIV)

I am out-going and chatty. I like to make fun of myself. I love to laugh. I enjoy being with people – until I don't. You see, at heart I am an introvert. At some point I can sense my energy waning. I begin to crave quiet, silence and solitude.

This is why I cherish quiet time with the Lord. I love the stillness of sitting and reading the Word or a book that turns my heart toward Jesus. My husband knows that one way to fill my love tank is to give me an evening of going out to dinner alone: just me, Jesus and a good book. (All you extroverts just cringed at the thought of eating alone didn't you?) Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, but I need mental white space.

However, with three kids under age four, quiet time with the Lord is an endangered species. I don't often get to go the bathroom by myself. If the water closet isn't a quiet place, you can imagine the chaos that follows me to my prayer closet.

For a few months after our youngest was born I lived in a spiritual desert. My soul was parched. I was desperate for quiet time with Jesus and prayed earnestly for God to help me find time to be alone with Him. Faithfully, He always provided, but often my tired and flesh-wrapped spirit dozed off in prayer or got distracted by other things.

I couldn't consistently make it work. After several months of mostly failed attempts, I cried out to God, "I don't know how to be alone with You!"

"Daughter, you don't have to be alone with Me. Just be with Me. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you."

Rather than give up on being with Jesus because it's not like it used to be, my Savior is asking me to abide with Him all day. God has ordained this season of my life and He knows even better than I do how much my children demand of me. In the clamor of the sword fights and confusion in the playroom, He is my hiding place.

I am learning to seize each moment, and see it as an opportunity to fellowship with Jesus. While my kids recite "God is great; God is good," I have a chat with Jesus. When I feel alienated from girlfriends, I read a magazine article. P31 Woman and Today's Christian Woman magazines are spiritual lifeboats for me in this season. While my kids do art at the kitchen table, I read a psalm or two. Whenever possible I try to have praise music playing in our house. Sometimes singing those lyrics is the closest my heart may come to meaningful prayer time all day.

Please hear me. I am not suggesting that these brief moments should replace consistent, focused times of prayer and Bible study. Those habits are hallmarks of Christian discipleship and growth. I am learning, however, to rethink my ideas on fellowship with Jesus. In this season of my life it's not so much the quantity of quiet reflection as it is the steady communing over chaos. But hey, at least we are together!

Father, Your daughter longs to be with You. Remind me of Your constant presence. May I seize opportunities to enjoy You throughout my day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands by Jill Savage

P31 Woman magazine

Whitney’s blog – Speak When Spoken Through

Application Steps:
Look for ways in your day to carve out time alone with God. Examine first how you spend your free time.

Is it possible that activities like television watching or surfing the internet should be cut back or eliminated to make time for Jesus?

Study John 15. Assign times of your day where you can practice abiding with Christ.

Power Verses:
John 15:7-8, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (NIV)

© 2009 by Whitney Capps. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an introvert and of all things a preacher's wife. I have been there with the children (3), all grown now and it is grandchildren now (11). I always wanted a quiet time alone and it was impossible. I understand the bathroom problem. You just have to make time for yourself. I have time to myself since my husband passed away 9 years ago and I now push my self to be more outgoing and I have lots of time to myself with Jesus.

Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for that reminder to commune with Him all day!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a long time I thought I was all alone with this, trying to find time, it sounds stupid, but it was..reading your status, made me feel much better and also gave me an idea on how to spend more time. Thank you for your input, now I feel much better & will try to follow some of your tatics which I find not hard to do. The world is so Chaos & sometimes family can also be. But I love them, but I love the Lord more who gives me the peace in time of all the chaos. Thank You Again, a Sistah N Christ.

Blogger young wife&mom said...

thank you for your devotion. i am preparing for baby number 3 (all will be 4 or less) and i am aware of the sleepy chaos filled days ahead. and being a structure and organization gal...those busy times can leave me feeling as if I am lost without my time alone with God. so thanks again for the encouragment. we truly can be with Him all day long if we seek those oppurtunities to commune in the chaos!

I am sending this devo to my 29 yr old daughter who is a mommy. I believe you have encouraged so many young mommies out there.

Thank you Whitney!

Lee Ann

Blogger SewingSeedsMama said...

Thank you!! I am so right there with you, and it's so hard to feel like I don't connect with Jesus like I used to. I have 4 kids under 6. Thanks for the encouragement to commune with Jesus in the middle of the chaos.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I discovered your site a couple of weeks ago and have made it a permanent beginning to my day following with prayer. Thanks again! Blessings....

Blogger GEARS said...

I am famous for my "mommy needs a time out" and sending me to my room for a few minutes. Saves the children and gives me a minute for a crisis prayer. I find myself chatting with God all day. Wow what a great colour for a sweater, thank you God that my eyes work and I can love colour. even in traffic. Maybe I have it all wrong, but I would rather be chatting with God than be on the phone. Its definitely soothing. And I need to deliberately search out serenity, it never invites itself in.
I was reading Janet's book last night, and it talked about hectic families and how this is precisely where God wants us to be right now. So He knows how hard it is, and hears your hearts prayer, no matter how harried you are feeling.
God Bless

Blogger Jessica said...

Thank you for this -- this sounds so much like me!! Before I got married and had kids, I would spend an hour or more at a time doing my devotions alone... just thought that was the way that worked best for me. And while I think it did work well during that season, I will soon have 3 kids 3 and under, and that just doesn't happen most of the time! Thank you for the reminder that I can abide in Him all day, even when the kids are around.

Blogger Kathy said...

I was so blessed to read this, Whitney. Thank you.

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Thanks I needed to know that there were others outside like me...
I now have 4 boys 6yrs old and under...and I know exactly what you mean by quiet time :-)

Anonymous Debbie said...

This is SOOOOO good for my heart and soul. I felt like we'd talked because you wrote so clearly exactly how I've been feeling!!! Thank you for writing this - and for encouraging all of us mommies with little ones. Precious stuff here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! With three kiddos, I have been struggling trying to find quiet time lately. Thank you for the reminder God meets us where we are.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a single woman with no kids, so I'm certainly not an expert on this. But I'm surprised that so many of you had your kids so close together.

I realize it's a personal question, but I'd appreciate if if someone in this situation would be willing to share your story.

As someone who'd like to be a wife and mother one day, I'm just curious about it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this!!!! I have been having a chaotic day and I just discovered these devotionals about a month ago. It helps me so much in my walk with the Lord. I have a2 boys, 4 & 8. It helps to know that when I am praying all day that God honors that and I am remaing in him and he in me. I had a preacher once say that God was not a God of chaos and I thought to myself where does that leave me cause my life often feels chaotic and God is my only hope here. Just simply thank you all for doing these devotionals they really help.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Proverbs 31 website is my homepage and I get your e-mails everyday, I don't read it consistently. As a matter of fact, I go more days without reading it than days that I do. Today though, for some reason, I didn't get the email and I noticed it. I went to the website to see if maybe it hadn't been put up yet and it had. I decided while I was there, I would go ahead and read it. Of course, as only God can do, it was what I needed to hear. It spoke to me on multiple levels especially the prayer. I couldn't have written it more perfectly myself.

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