Sunday, January 15, 2012

Susannah Wesley is da bomb.

There is an oft-quoted story about Susannah Wesley that says that in the midst of her many children she would throw the apron over her head and spend time in quiet with Jesus.

Susanna Wesley is probably best known for being the mother of Charles and John Wesley, and many people consider her the Mother of Methodism.

Confession: I am not Susannah Wesley (though I deeply admire her; what an amazing woman!).

Nor did God create me to be her. But, I came under condemnation feeling that I needed alone time and when it was difficult to really connect with God with screaming (or even well-behaving sitting on their blankets playing quietly) children around me.

I think I was under the illusion that I couldn't have time alone. I felt myself shriveling. So, in case it's helpful for you, here's a couple of things I have done the in the past year to help me get the alone time I so desperately need to internally process and connect with Jesus (and my husband).

1. We put the kids to bed earlier. Most nights our kids are in their room by 7:30. Sometimes we have them read to themselves and be quiet. Sometimes, we let them play. We go in later and turn off the light around 8:30. This lets my husband and I have some time to unwind and catch up before it gets too late, and it also lets our children have time to either exercise creativity playing games or stretch their imagination reading books. They love this! And it helps us do #2, which is...

2. We get up earlier. When I get up is irrelevant, because my schedule is different than yours, but last year I decided that it was so important to me to have time alone before anyone woke up that I was going to set back the clock until I had enough time to spend with the Lord, plan, and exercise before my kids woke up. I can't tell you how much this has helped me! I sure am not Susannah Wesley, but I am getting what I need.

Disclaimer: some of you are in a season of life that it seems impossible to do all of that. My advice to you is to do what you think God is asking you to do (for your specific situation). Please don't feel condemnation if you're nursing a baby through the night! AND please don't feel like you have to be me if you're more like wonderful Susannah!

I also wanted to refer you to a wonderful website Inspired to Action, which is really encouraging for practical things like this!

What are some things you have done that have helped you get sanity in the little years? I'd love to hear what you have to say! If you have any practical tips for us, don't be stingy! We want to hear them!


  1. Great post. Sometimes, to get a break from the noise chaos, I declare a "quiet breakfast/lunch/dinner." Usually this happens at lunch time when the kids' energy is up and my stress is up, too! The kids eat without any talking and it is so amazing to me how much 15-20 minutes of quiet is so helpful for my sanity.

  2. When my kids were little I started journaling during my time with God. That way if I was interrupted for whatever reason (crying, needs of the kids or husband!) I could meet their need and start right back where I left off. The habit continues to this day, 20 years later, and has been an amazing tool for spiritual growth! I right down things God is teaching me, things I am praying about, and God's answers to prayer. It is really awesome to be able to look back know and have a record of God's goodness and faithfulness to me!

    Thanks for sharing your story! God bless you and your family in Thailand!

    Laura Shook