There I was hiding in a closet with a cup of coffee and a cupcake.

Have you ever had those moments in Motherhood, or days even, when you just want to hide?

When you just want quiet time alone?


Ok, I am just going to be real raw here. Some days, even some weeks, are just hard. On these days, delighting in your moments as a mom, is simply the farthest thing from the reality you are walking in. Today I am preaching this to myself… yet again. Motherhood, is a refining journey. It’s not all tickles, giggles, and sweet butterfly kisses. Sometimes it’s wiping snotty noses, dealing with cranky attitudes {your own included}, and walking like a zombie after a night of taking care of sick kiddos. Today, I am sharing a post from a couple years ago, because frankly… I needed it. I hope it encourages you too.

Our family had been fighting a cold. And you know what that means for a family of eight! If every person in the family gets sick, you can guarantee it will take at least a good two weeks to go through the lot of us.

After six nights of very little sleep from rotating kids in and out of our room, checking fevers and making sure they were still breathing, I was at the end of my rope. To top it off, it was Valentines Day. I had wanted to make it fun for the kids during the day and go on that fantastic date night with my hubs, but nope, the only thing anyone wanted to do was watch movies and sleep.

Just as I was having an personal pity party for myself, my mom and dad brought cupcakes over and my husband brought home a special vase of amazing flowers.

That night, I snuck away with a cupcake and coffee in hand, up the stairs, tip-toeing into my closet. It was the perfect place, right next to my bathroom. If anyone came in looking for me, I could just tell them, “I’m in here, but need privacy.” And they might just assume I was in the bathroom.

Have you ever done that?

Oh, how I enjoyed the quiet, my cupcake and hot coffee. No one wanting a bite or asking me for more, only to sit down moments later to find my coffee cold. Even if it was just for a moment {or 3}, it gave me time to think and gather my thoughts.

As I sat in my closet, I realized just how selfish my heart had become.

I was tired, yes, but my attitude during the day wasn’t just because I was tired. It was because I didn’t take time to truly reflect on my own behavior and heart attitudes. While I was so busy correcting everyone else’s, I hadn’t had the time to truly reflect on my own in light of God’s Word.

As I sat on the floor in my closet, staring at my cupcake and coffee, thinking, “If only I could do this for a whole day?” Just have a day to myself, I thought, that’s not the solution. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a day to ourselves once in a while, or a fun coffee break with another girlfriend here or there. I love those outings and find them to be extremely uplifting. But what I am saying is that time away will not heal our bad attitudes. In fact, it will only grow a desire for more time away. Because when we indulge sin, it grows. {Click2Tweet}

Maybe it’s just me, but if I am having a bad attitude towards serving in my home and I ask my husband to watch the kids so I can “get a break.” Just getting out does not profit me or my family at all. In fact, my attitude is often even more begrudging and impatient. But if my time out, or alone, or even in my closet is spent focused in the word of God and in prayer and worship, then my heart is changed.

You see it isn’t the getting away that is good or bad, it can be either. It’s what we spend our time doing that makes it spiritually, emotionally and physically productive.

As I was reflecting on my own heart these past few days, I remembered Ginger Plowman talking about her struggles as a mother and thought I would find them and share them here:

“Often I have found myself in a rut. My children will do great for weeks and then little acts of disobedience or disrespect start creeping in and I let them go because they have been doing so well. The next thing I know, I’m frustrated, I’m repeating myself, and I’m raising my voice. It’s my fault. It’s because I have not been obedient to God in training them consistently and diligently in righteousness… Tension and frustration have crept into our relationship and robbed us of the openness and closeness that we usually share. We all suffer the consequences of my disobedience.” pg. 122 Ginger Plowman, Don’t Make Me Count to Three

Often times the emotional frustration we have as parents is a reflection of our disobedience to God. We need to recognize this and deal with it, not try to make ourselves feel good on the surface with a cupcake and a cup of coffee.

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Quiet Time?-2

5 Tips for the Mama who wants to hide in the closet {or bathroom}:

1) Create a “quiet time” in your home that you AND your children participate in. I confess, I am guilty of taking this time to quickly get other chores done, but when I make that mistake, my family and I suffer. Every since my first child was outgrowing naps {at age 6}, we have instituted quiet time, aka mama needs Jesus time. Aside from the fact that you NEED Jesus too, this is such a good habit to place in your home, it trains your children in purposing quiet time in their day.
2) Make sure you do get time every now and again to think and reflect on your heart attitude as a mother. Don’t just hide in the closet and keep your issues hidden. Find a mentor or friend to share with, not to have a pity party with, but to hold you accountable and pray with.
3) Adjust your expectations! You are human, give yourself some grace. All of us moms get to the end of our ropes sometimes. No one is perfect.
4) Choose to be Real! Don’t be ashamed of the “hardships” you are experiencing in parenthood or marriage, but rather recognize them and engage them with the intent to grow through them.
5) Ask God to help you to be the mom you want to be. Repent & Confess of any sinful heart attitudes you may have, pray and ask for forgiveness, read and meditate on His word, and get in a community of like-minded moms or parents who can relate and encourage you.

While I do think that we need to model for our children and get everyone on a routine of having “quiet time,” let’s face it, some days/weeks are just harder than others for whatever reason; and it is in those times we are tested. The more tired we get physically, the more easily our spirits are tempted. Those are the times we need to reach out to our community, our family and ask for prayer.

Real faith leads us to choose selflessness in the moment rather than living life focused on ourselves. Hard to hear right?

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

Those circumstances offer the opportunity for refinement, because when you just don’t feel good, it’s easy to be grumpy and make excuses for a lack of self-control over plain old selfish sin. Right? Man, motherhood is sanctifying. Can I hear an Amen?

Have you been there? Maybe you are there RIGHT now and need prayer? How can I be praying for you?

Love to you my sisters! Stay Strong in the Lord and in His Might Power! For He CAN and WILL provide all you need to be the mom He believes you can be.


Angie Tolpin
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