Finding a new rhythm

Before I had children, I had a great routine of spending time with Jesus. I would read my Bible before I went to bed at night, pray for a little while when I woke up and carve out other time in my week where I could connect with God. Then, nearly thirteen years ago, one little bundle of joy came along, followed two years and five months later by another.  With sleepless nights, stacks of washing and the crazy, busy life being a new mum brings, that little routine went right out of the window.

At the Kitchen Table Project, we often talk about finding patterns not padlocks and over the past few years I have found a rhythm that works for me. It’s not set in stone, and certainly varies day-by-day but it’s my pattern. Working part time gives me three days a week where I get to read my Bible at lunch time, and my commute to work allows me time to listen to worship music and pray in the car.

Then there are my precious two days a week at home, when the girls are in school. As I clean the house in peace and quiet, I often listen to a podcast or worship music and pray on the go. Or sometimes, after rushing out to get the weekend food shop in on a Friday lunch time, I will carve out time for a coffee and chat with God before the school run – I often found that refreshed me and set me up with so much patience for my kids at the end of the week.

I had enjoyed my new, working-mum-friendly, little rhythm. But March 2020 changed all of that – there’s no longer a quiet lunch break in the office, or even a 15-minute commute each day. My journey to work each morning involves a 60-second walk from our kitchen to a desk I’ve set up in my bedroom. And we are regrouping together at lunch time to eat together and share what we’ve all been doing during the morning. In among juggling home-schooling two children (one with education needs that require extra adult support) and adjusting to the changes working from home brings, I have just lost that rhythm.

A few days ago that left me feeling overwhelmed, the girls were bickering and struggling with school work, and we’d had bad news about a family member’s health. It was 3pm and I felt I hadn’t had a moment to myself all day. So I locked the bathroom door and jumped in the shower. As the water cascaded over me, I ended up falling to my knees as I felt Jesus tell me to rest in his presence and sit at his feet. It was a moment to catch my breath and allow his love and peace to wash over me. I don’t think I was there for even ten minutes before my ten-year-old started banging on the door asking could she play a game on the iPad, but it was precious moment that set me up for the evening that followed. It might not be quite the rhythm I am used to, but maybe from now on I’ll be taking a shower mid-afternoon (or at least pretending to), if it allows me a moment, out of the chaos of family life, just to sit at the feet of Jesus.

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