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The other day I was reading Jenni's blog over at Live Called, in particular her post 3 Common Misconceptions About Studying the Bible. I felt so encouraged and inspired by what she shared, and I strongly encourage every mother to stop by and read her post, because I am certain it will speak to your heart and encourage you!
Many new mothers have confided in me their guilt or frustration about not getting the time like before for devotions. I have been through this, too. I have felt both guilt and frustration. While I get up pretty early in the morning to spend time with the Lord, it doesn't always happen the way I had planned. Some mornings the boys wake up extra early and my time with the Lord occurs to the tune of Postman Pat, Veggie Tales, or Thomas and Friends. Yea, really deep.
This would often leave me feeling like I hadn't really connected with God.
And yet, while reading Jenni's blog post I was inspired to think outside of the box. And as mothers we have to exercise this ability quite regularly - to think outside the box, that is. Because we all know that with little ones nothing - nothing at all - is ever guaranteed to work out the way we planned. Right?
To place upon yourself the expectation to spend an hour alone with the Lord each morning (or evening - or at any time of the day) is setting yourself up for disappointment. It's not likely to happen - at least not on a regular basis. In fact, I'll guarantee you that there will be days when you wont get any quiet time with the Lord. At all. (Tweet)
And yet we all know how important it is that we maintain a growing and active relationship with Jesus Christ. Neglecting our relationship with Him is not an option. It's not healthy and it opens the door for the enemy to bring defeat into our lives.
As mothers of small children we have a golden opportunity at our fingertips to put into immediate practice what we should have been doing all along.
Remove the time slots & engage with God all day long. (Tweet)
There are 7 ways we can do this
1. Have devotions with your kids. Maybe they wont be deep and super thought-provoking, but after you've read them a Bible story, and as you go about your day, meditate on it and ask the Lord to show you something new in that story that you've never seen before or how you might apply it to your life.
2. Memorize a passage of scripture. Memorizing passages of scripture is not only a good discipline, it also helps to keep individual verses within their proper context. Write the verses down on 3 X 5 cards and keep them with you. Work on those verses while vacuuming, doing the dishes and ironing. While you memorize them, think deeply about them, meditate on them and ask the Lord how you can put them to work in your life. It is ideal to pick a passage relevant to your life right now.
3. Listen to the Bible or sermons on mp3 or podcast while the children nap and you are preparing dinner. If you are afraid of waking them, record them onto an mp3 player or iPod.
4. Join Good Morning Girls. I have found Good Morning Girls particularly helpful because each day we read and meditate on only 1-3 verses. Using the SOAP method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) doesn't take much time and taking only a few verses at a time allows you to meditate deeply on the passage without forgetting what you read the day before. It is excellent for putting familiar passages and verses into their proper context and yet the short amount of time it takes to do the study each day is perfect for moms with small children.
5. Connect with other moms for accountability. Again, you can insert Good Morning Girls here or perhaps a ladies Bible study at your church. This small step can mean so much - especially if you can find other moms who are experiencing the same challenges you are.
6. Replace a cartoon with a worship DVD. Fill your home with praise and worship. My kids love it when I put on a Gaither Homecoming DVD. They sing along with all of the songs and it gives me a break from listening to cartoons. I can't tell you how many times I found myself reduced to tears as I sang along with the songs and the message of the lyrics spoke to my present situation - or my heart just soared in worship to God. Often times I'll just pause for a minute or two, lift my hands and just worship. My kids think I'm nuts - but it puts my focus back where it ought to be. Vertical!
7. Pray while you are doing housework. I blogged about this in my article Where Are You Investing. I think God loves it when we communicate with Him throughout the day, allowing Him to be part of everything we do.
Unpacking our quiet with the Lord is what He wants for all of us to do. Yes, it is good and healthy to have time alone with the Lord; Jesus told us to do this in Matthew 6 and He modeled that for us in His own life. However, He doesn't want to just fill a time slot in your day
He wants to fill your whole day! (Tweet)