I don’t know about you, but our day usually starts somewhere around 7 am, and it’s all hands on deck. The kids roll out of bed, my mom hat goes on, and the rest of the day is spent making sure they eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, wash their hands, don’t run with scissors, learn something, don’t flush anything down the toilet, and the list goes on. In this season of motherhood, magazines go unread, texts go unanswered, and elaborate recipes go uncooked.
Honestly, it’s not even that our house is out of control, or that I’m drowning and unable to add one more thing to my plate. Quite the contrary. God has really worked on my heart and habits to bring more order and peace in our home than I’ve ever had. It’s just that I’ve realized that raising great children takes a lot of energy and time spent intentionally. A LOT. Am I right, mamas?
Our kids are always begging for our time and attention, and need so much from us. They need us to open that sippy-cup and refill their snack cup. They need us to hug them when they’ve skinned their knees on the driveway. They need us to help them find their favorite stuffed animal, which they are sure is lost forever among the piles of dirty clothes in their room.
When you have an infant or sick child, it can literally be a 24 hour a day job, and even when they aren’t sick, by the time you’ve finished cleaning up the house at 10 pm, it’s not far from it! It’s hard to find time to shave your legs, let alone get quiet time in The Word with the Lord.
Honestly, when people used to talk about the importance of spending time with Jesus in prayer and getting into his Word, I saw it as something I would love to do when my kids got older. I saw it like a hobby I’d take up once they were able to get themselves a bowl of cereal by themselves. When one day they were able to sit and finish their math lessons by themselves, maybe then I’d get my hour or even thirty minutes with the Lord. Until then, I’d have to settle for quick prayers in the short moments of quiet throughout the day, or tiny bites of wisdom from the bedtime devotional with my kids.
Does this sound like you too? Does spending time with the Lord sound impossible? Or does it even sound unappealing? Thinking about having to sit...completely still...without doing anything...and just listen. “But there’s just so much laundry to be done! And I’ve got two new episodes of my show to catch up on!”
Wherever your thoughts currently lie on getting time with Jesus, I can assure you that you’re not alone. I know these thoughts well, because they were once my own. But I have found that as I’ve allowed God to reveal to me how to better steward my time so that I’m able to give him my whole heart and time, he has renewed my strength, given me a greater vision for motherhood, and has transformed my character.
Here are a few ways I ensure I am getting my quiet time with the Lord in, even in my busiest seasons.
1. Get up an hour before your kids do.
I know, girl. It sounds dreadful. Especially when you’re a night owl like I was. (Or if your child likes to play rooster and wakes up at the crack of dawn.) But hear me out on this. Giving yourself that extra hour in the morning will give you time to be filled up by Jesus, which means that when your kids wake up, you’ll be smiling and ready to receive them with open arms. It means that you’ll have something to pour into their little hearts. It means that you’ll start your day off from a place of joy and rest rather than exhaustion and grumbling.
Try this for a week. Get up an hour early and as soon as your feet hit the floor, go straight into thanksgiving and praise, prayer, worship, and time in the word. When you do, you’ll begin to experience the joy that Psalm 90:14 speaks of, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
2. Leave your Bible out and open.
Leaving the word out on your kitchen counter or desk at work will remind you to keep reaching back to Jesus throughout your day. As you make those pb&j’s or file that report, you can grab a quick verse to meditate on that will bring your heart back in line with his word. Don’t feel like you need to plow through a chapter to gain the wisdom needed that day. Sometimes just reading a verse or small section of verses is more fruitful than skimming a whole chapter and not remembering much of what you read.
3. Join in the conversation.
Do you know the Lord longs for conversation with you so that you can truly know him? His word says in John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Do you remember back before the days of texting, when people actually called each other? I remember spending hours each week talking to my friends on the phone. It was how I connected with them, and during these talks we would really get to know each other’s hearts. Well this is the same with our relationship with God. He doesn’t want a distant text. He wants a real relationship with open and honest communication. Talk to him when you’re about to totally lose it on your kids because they just took a Sharpie to your new gray sofa. Talk to him when you’re hurt because of the loss of a close relationship with a friend. Talk to him when you’re feeling drained and wondering what your purpose is in motherhood. Just begin the conversation that will in turn bring forth the intimacy he’s wanting so desperately.
There you have it, friend. Three things you can start doing right now to begin to spend time with Jesus even in this season of long days and little sleep.
Ready to jump in? Take the challenge!