Friday, April 29, 2011

A Mom's Time With God

Do you, like me, find that being a busy mom makes it difficult to cultivate a steady ritual of 'devotional' times?  My Bible is often buried somewhere under a pile of unfolded laundry, junk mail, and grocery lists.  Especially when my kids were preschool-aged, some days it seemed I hardly had time to think, let alone pray.  Spending time with God seemed like just one more demand on my time- another box on the 'To Do List' that wasn't going to get checked off that day.

There are some ideas that I found helpful back then, and still need to relearn now.   Lest I seem a total hypocrite to write this, let me just say: I don't have this figured out!  I need some encouragement and grace!

Back then, I had to change my mind about "time with God"... to begin thinking of Him as a Person, and not as a Task.  The truth is that He is with me throughout the day, whether I'm aware of Him or not.  So I began trying to just remember His presence.  When frazzled, that remembering came out simply as a whisper, "I know you're here, God."  At other times, I could say something more meaningful to him about my circumstance, such as, "Thank you for that beautiful moment!" or "Please help me know what to do about this."  His Spirit's voice in my mind seemed easier to hear, as well.

Mere fleeting thoughts to and about God are not fully satisfying or sufficient, over time.  Times specifically set apart to pray and listen to Him and read the Bible are so vital.    So, what are some ways we can make it happen, moms?  Please share your ideas and encouragement for each other (and me!) in the comments section.  Here are some things I've tried:

  • Don't get discouraged by a 'DAILY' obligation.  Start with one or two day a week: wake up earlier, or stay up later, to find an uninterrupted 1/2 hour while the house sleeps.
  • Set aside your shower/bath to pray and listen to the Lord.  This will give you at least a few times a week.  I sometimes sing praises in there- my family must chuckle...
  • What prayers do you already pray with your family?  Meal-times or bedtimes?  Take a moment longer and say just a little more to the Lord, with your kids.
  • Make arrangements with your husband: 'babysit' the kids for each other, while the other has quiet time.  Pray together before bed or in the morning, or read the Bible together.  Or both.
  • When you're folding laundry, pray for the people who wear those tiny socks or shirts.
  • If you exercise regularly, invite the Lord to jog/bike/pilates with you.  Pray breathlessly!
  • Leave your Bible open on your desk, dining room table or kitchen counter (somewhere central), and glance at a verse or two when a moment comes.  


I once heard a mother say she thought God didn't expect young moms to spend any specific time with Him- that He 'understood' the difficult years those were and would 'meet her on the other side.'  While I agree that God is so gracious concerning difficult seasons of our lives, and that he doesn't have a minimum quota of minutes we must log with Him per day, I would argue that even the busiest of mothers can find some time for spending with God.  We'd never by okay with forgoing all lengthy conversations and 'dates' with our husbands for a few years, just because our kids make our life hectic.  

We might have to get really creative, and be really deliberate, but we will make time for those things that are most important to us.  If I'm honest, it's only excuses that keep me from meeting with the Lord.

What are your suggestions, you wise ladies?  

6 comments:

  1. One thing I do every day is take a shower - and I find that a really good time to spend with my Lord... I never get interrupted!
    The other thing is Brian and I always read a book together before he goes to work in the morning... we've read quite a few books over the past year. In Step with God, So you don't want to go to church anymore, the shack, Crazy for God to name a few - we sometime read a devotion like 'Workplace ministry' or My Utmost for His highest.
    I really love that time we spend together as a couple. Then Faith and I are doing a study in the book of Acts together, (mother/daughter) and in the evening we're reading through the Bible as a family. I just don't see it as 'spending time with God' I see it as spending my life with Him. He's my Rock and Unfailing Lover of my Soul!

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  2. 8lifegr8- I've read a few of those books.
    And you said it- "don't just see it as 'spending time with God, I see it as spending my life with Him." Exactly.

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  3. Well put, blogger friend. I especially echo your first bullet-pointed point. I used to beat myself up over not setting aside a chunk of time daily- which happened very, very often (not getting to it). Relaxing my expectations a bit and finding other times and means throughout the day to talk with God works really well for me- with those chunks of time happening every few days:-).

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  4. Yup, ThyHand- I think that's the biggest thing for me, too. Letting go of that drudgery. Sort of like how I am with my husband. Every few days we have a really long deep conversation and spend some intimate quality time together without the kids around, over coffee or just working side by side at home. It's not necessarily planned ahead, but if we went for too long without that, we'd notice, so we naturally seek it out. But other days it's just snippets of conversation, laughter, affection, (okay- the occasional bicker, too), as we go through life together.

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  5. My 20 minute drives to and from work comprise part of my devotional time. Cecily is included. We often listen to "Jesus music" (as she calls it--usually, MNW--thanks for that one, Ash!--or even Amy Grant's "Tennessee Christmas" which, although it seems weird to listen to in April, has some lovely traditional carols and arrangements with really meaningful lyrics). I also have a Daily Bread at work which I sometimes snatch and quickly read when I need to "re-orient" myself before I start my day. It's often corny, but the Bible verses and poems at the end are great. Still, I find it hard to make time for devotions. Gotta work on that....

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  6. These are good ideas! The car is an excellent place for us as well. When I'm by myself, driving, I can get to praying pretty loud sometimes! Must look crazy to other drivers!

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