Devotion Interruptions

devotion interruptions

It’s 10:30am and I sink into the chair, grab my ESV study Bible, and check my reading plan. I find Isaiah 17 and read the first verse. I hear grunting, followed by sounds of protest as my son Isaiah wriggles himself onto the folding chair. I bring him a few books to look at while he’s at the table. I sit back down and reread the first verse, moving on to the second.

“Up, up!” I hear as Isaiah tries to get down from the chair, (of course he should be able to use the same word to mean “up” and “down,” right?) I help him down from the chair and he toddles into his room. I read a few more verses and hear a strange crash. I spend a few seconds trying to keep reading while simultaneously deciding whether to go check it out. I go back and see him sitting in a pile of Daddy’s board game pieces. I pray about whether to discipline him.

Closing the door to his room, I ask him to go find his ball. He gets distracted along the way with some other toys, and I rush back to finish my reading. As I try to concentrate on the last few verses, he comes over and tries to shut my Bible. I try not to get angry. A few years ago, I certainly didn’t picture spiritual warfare as a little person physically trying to keep me from reading the words on the page.

What does it look like to live a constantly interrupted life for God? When every household task seems to be half done, including putting on a pair of socks? When there are people to call and errands to run, and a husband to welcome home after work?

1I recently talked with a friend from college who became a new mama a few months ago. She asked about how devotional life has changed since having a baby. The word that leaped into my mind was “fragmented.” We reminisced past days of silently reading our Bibles when other interruptions could be ignored. But then she pointed me to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where it says, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I used to think that my pre-baby devotional life would always be looked back on as “better.” But the Spirit is showing me that this season is bringing these verses to life.

Rejoice always. . . when the toys are dumped out right before the company comes.

Pray without ceasing. . . even if I have to take a break to look my son in the eyes and moo with him.

Give thanks in all circumstances. . . when the prayer for him to sleep in a little more isn’t granted.

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. . . to let my little boy hear my broken, sometimes half-finished prayers whispered throughout the day, (and trying to sprinkle in plenty of tickle breaks.)

But maybe it feels like just one more thing to remember.

On those days, I can ask the Spirit to help me:

Thank him for one thing, even if I don’t feel like rejoicing.

Tell Him I feel discouraged and ask Him to help my unbelief.

Confess that I’m not happy with my circumstances, but speaking a word of truth to myself.

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you–to accept His grace as His child and trust the Spirit to intercede on our behalf when we just can’t. (see Romans 8:26-27)

Let’s take moments to forget about everything that’s half-finished, and remember what has been finished–Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection for our sins so that we can live in relationship with Him today and forever.

What’s one way the Spirit has helped you to pray? I’d love to hear. You can click on “leave a comment” at the top of the post.

7 thoughts on “Devotion Interruptions

  1. Oh thank you Alicia! I laughed out loud several times as I read this! Such great perspectives. I especially loved , ” pray without ceasing while pausing to moo with my son”.

  2. Hey Alicia, I’m loving your blog! I’m responding to this because my grandmother went home to be with the Lord yesterday evening. God has encouraged me to keep praying even when you don’t know what the future holds…including Ryan my soon to be husband in 13 days as we finish preparing for are big day! God is good!

    1. Dear Jessica,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Praying for your comfort and all those close to you. Thanks for your words of encouragement. So happy to hear about your upcoming marriage. I’m praying for great joy on your special day and a deep sense of God’s grace as you jump into this adventure of marriage. It really is a gift and an incredible way to learn new depths of depending on God. So good to hear from you!

  3. Alicia,
    Reading the news late seems to be standard for me 🙂 But better late than never. I really enjoyed catching up on the three posts you have so far. Especially the most recent one. The phrase about living “a constantly interrupted life for God” really caught my attention. Recently I have been very frustrated at work by the constant interruptions I face as an “administrative specialist II”. I bemoan the fact that things are never finished, and that I keep being given new tasks or stopped in the middle of old ones. I have been meandering through a Brennan Manning book called “Abba’s Child,” and it has been emphasizing that being ordinary is extraordinarily good. That God loves the ordinary people, that it’s not about doing some really impressive things but about knowing ourselves and believing that we are God’s beloved. Anyway, reading about your “ordinary” struggles and joys and even mundane temptations made me think of that… I am so often searching for glamour and excitement. And so often tempted to be discontent with my frustrating circumstances. Maybe God is caring more about the state of our hearts than our exterior circumstances.
    As I tried to digest and process the Manning book today, I thought about his emphasis on embracing our weaknesses and bringing them into Jesus’ presence. I thought back to some weak moments in my past. Those weak moments have been the moments when I most experienced God’s love. The book is also emphasizing getting solitude and silence time to be able to hear from God. I really think I need to take time alone with God so that I can experience His love. Not sure how He will lead you– solitude is obviously going to be more of a challenge! But He is showing you important stuff… and will tailor gifts for your needs. Thanks for writing and giving your writing gift back to Him. Good to reconnect with you!

    1. Dear Sweet Lynda,
      Thank you for sharing your reflections and how God is leading you in this stage of life. It blesses me so much. And thank you for your encouragement in my writing and daily life of caring for a toddler. It’s so good to be able to speak truth to one another in living our “real lives.” And thanks for the book recommendation!

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