My friend, Heather, and I are at different stages of parenting. I have four children in the tween to teenager stage and she has three ranging from elementary to high school. Because I have a blended family, I only have my children at home part of the week. Therefore, I have the opportunity for some uninterrupted conversation. Heather, on the other hand, does not have that unfortunate benefit and there is little time, especially in the summer, for a casual conversation without distraction.
I love to spend time with Heather. She is typically the girlfriend to whom I turn to share my happiest news as well as my most difficult decisions. I would love it if Heather could shut her door, ignore all of the things going on in her life, and give me her undivided attention for at least 15 minutes every day, but that is not possible or practical for her during this time of her life. I love her so much though, and I value the conversation that we have so highly, that I am happy to take what I can get!
Occasionally, Heather does step away from regular life to spend time with just me! That time is absolutely precious to me! Often, we have so much to say that we kind of talk in circles, but it is still very special! Those rare times remind me that, though we are in a busy season of our lives, making a date to spend uninterrupted time together keeps our friendship strong.
I understand the season of life where Heather resides right now because I have been there too. Though it prevents her from giving me her full attention, I treasure the relationship enough to appreciate whatever she has to give. I believe God feels the same about His relationship with me. He would love for me to step away from life and spend long periods of time, meditating on His word and pouring out my heart to Him, but I think He is also happy with the broken, interrupted conversations that I have with Him as I go through my very busy life. I am sure that God truly treasures it when that I set aside special time for just Him, but I think He also loves that He is The One that I run to with ALL of my happy news and difficult decisions, even when they are muttered on the fly or groaned along the way.
We often feel guilty for the lack of time we spend in prayer. I know that God would prefer for us to spend our energy actually talking to Him whenever and wherever we can than beating ourselves up for the time that we can't! Setting aside special for our Lord is important, but He loves us and I know that He is happy with whatever we are able to offer. After all, He has eternity set aside to spend with us.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18