I know, I know. There is nothing more important than my relationship with the Lord. And one of the best ways to strengthen that relationship is to spend time with Him. Even when I struggle to find time for a decent shower.
Moms like us need time with God to fuel up for the crazy, hair-raising days of motherhood. But who has time with dishes, diapers, and dance classes on the schedule?
It’s time to change our expectations.
This season of life may not be the time for one full hour per day, every day, of in depth Bible study along & prayer. It is, however, the season when you need to give yourself a break. Don’t compare yourself with other moms and the time they commit to spending with God. Don’t compare yourself to your former self, and the way you used to spend time with God. In this season, do what you can as often as you can. Some time, some study is better than none at all.
1. It’s okay to multi-task.
It might seem impossible to set aside time with no distractions whatsoever, clear-minded, completely alone with God. But you might be able to pair God time with another task you already need to do:
- Try listening to sermons (check out OnePlace.com) while going for a stroller walk
- Watch online Bible teaching, like Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourselfor Believing God while washing dishes, folding clothes, or picking up the living room
- Listen to worship music while dusting and vacuuming
- Read a Daily Bible while on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike at the gym (it helps to use a large print book or Bible like the Daily Bible Large Print Edition. A Kindle or Nook could work even better)
- Listen to worship music or sermons while in the shower! All you need is a shower radio or wireless iPod speakers. There are options for every budget at Amazon.com.
It may seem strange at first, but if you always pair these two activities together, the God time will make the other task more refreshing. For years, I read my Daily Bible while walking on the treadmill. It made the workout go much faster, and I was more motivated to go to the gym. Not only did my body need the exercise, but my soul was hungry for my daily reading, too!
2. Always be prepared with a “Quick Quiet Time Kit” close at hand.
As a mom, you never know when those few precious moments of alone time will surface. Maybe you have extra time while waiting in the car for your kids after school. Or maybe you have time while sitting at a dance class. Or perhaps you get stuck with a baby sleeping in the back seat.
Snatch up those opportunities with a “Quick Quiet Time Kit.” Your kit might include:
- Your favorite pen & highlighter
- A small journal like a Moleskine Pocket Notebook
- A pocket Bible
- Small devotional like My Utmost For His Highest Vest Pocket version
- Note cards to work on Scripture memory
Put them all in a cute tiny clutch and there you go! A “Quick Quiet Time Kit” that will fit in any purse or diaper bag, waiting for a few stolen moments with God.
3. If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can download Apps to build a digital “Quick Quiet Time Kit.”
YouVersion is a great Bible App. They have a variety of reading plans. You can even highlight and take notes in the App as you go.
I also really like the Let’s Pray App. It helps me organize prayer requests, set reminders, and send e-mails and texts to those for whom I’m praying.
4. Cancel one appointment to make another with God.
I absolutely treasure my sleep, but after repeatedly waking up with my kiddo at 5:00 am (or earlier) while he was teething, I finally decided to get up early on my own. When he started sleeping a little later, I remained an early riser, so I could snatch an hour all to myself.
I cancelled my appointment with my pillow for an appointment with God.
Maybe waking up early isn’t for you. Maybe you’re better at staying up late. Or maybe you can cancel that daily appointment with the television or Facebook for an appointment with God.
Take a look at your calendar and get rid of something in favor of freeing up some time with Jesus. Jill Savage suggests in her book Professionalizing Motherhood that mothers stick to just one large and one small commitment at a time. A large commitment is something that requires weekly consistent time & effort like hosting a weekly playgroup or teaching a Sunday school class. A small commitment is something that requires only minimal time and effort, like occasionally picking up snacks for soccer practice. If we stick to one large and one small commitment, then we might just be able to find some quiet time with our Lord.
5. Set small manageable goals and stick to them.
Maybe multi-tasking would work for you. Can you commit to spending time with God during every shower? Or every time you wash the dishes? Or maybe it would work better for you to bring a “Quick Quiet Time Kit” wherever you go. Or perhaps it’s time to cut out some appointments or commitments in order to make a new appointment with God.
Think through which one of these tactics might work best for you. Give it a try for a month! Whether you eke out 5, 10, 15 or an ambitious 30 minutes, once a day or once a week, what’s important is that you do it.
First published January 2013.
Marie Osborne is a wife, mom, coffee drinker, loud laugher, & Jesus follower. When she isn't laughing with her husband, texting with her girlfriends, singing with her preschooler, or chasing after her toddler twins, she's probably writing at her blog while binge watching Netflix.