I have come into my second childhood. I’m 45 years old, and I’ve recently become re-acquainted with one of my favorite childhood games: hide-and-seek. Actually, my preference involves a slight twist on the game. In my ideal version, there’d be hiding and no seeking.

Like that’s gonna happen.

Let me explain. I’m a mom. My children are 11 and 16 … you’d think they’d be past the point of needing me every moment of every day. And they are past that point … but between the two of them and my job and all my other responsibilities; I have a hard time finding any “me” time. Down time.

Alone time.

It never fails. The instant I aim for a moment of solitude, somebody needs something.

As soon as I get on the phone with a dear friend or sit down at the computer to browse my favorite sites, one of my children can’t find clean socks or we’re out of peanut butter or I need to sign a permission slip or somebody needs help on a book report. It’s like my kids have special “mom-time” antennae, and their job is to keep me from having any. Every time I get close to solitude, they know. They just know.

Thus, the hide-and-seek. I’ve recently discovered that my closet is a pretty good hiding place. I created a nice little nook in there, complete with pillow, blanket and comfy chair. I have my Bible, a novel and my laptop computer on a shelf.  I bring my phone with me.

Boom. Instant mom-time.

It worked great for a while, until I was discovered. Then I had to come out of the closet. Literally.

I locked my bedroom door.

They learned to jimmy the lock.

I changed the lock

Now, I still have my closet time. My children know I’m in there, but they’ve learned to deal with it. They know I’ll eventually come out, and the world will still be spinning.

My closet time is sacred.

It’s healing. Heavenly. Holy, even.

In my closet, I talk to friends. I laugh and cry and pour out my heart. I give and receive comfort from people I care about, people who care about me.

In my closet, I talk to God. I read His words, listen as His spirit whispers to my soul.

My closet is a safe place where I find peace and rest and hope.

But I have to be careful about my closet time. After all, those same four walls that hide me from the harsh reality of life, the same walls that encompass me and make me feel safe also entrap me. Enclose me. Keep me from spreading my wings.

If I stay too long in my closet, those four walls will keep me from really loving anything or anyone but me.

Yeah, closet time is a good thing, with great rewards. But I need to come out of the closet, too. And hopefully when I do, I’ll have more peace, more joy, more love to share with the people I care about the most.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. —Matthew 6:6

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