This season, transitioning to life with two little ones has been such a sweet time that I’ve seen God working in my heart. More than ever it seems, I have had to be very conscious to find time in my busy days to keep Christ at the forefront of my mind, and to find the time to spend quality time in the word and in prayer.
Some days it doesn’t happen as much as I’d like it to, some days time in the word doesn’t happen at all. Some days I can barely get my 5 minute devotional read. Some days it’s time spent solely in prayer during the slower moments of the day- in the morning before everyone wakes up, at meal times together as a family, while tucking in Collins at night + nursing Tommy to sleep. Dakota and I have not been great at getting into the word lately, between staying up too late, early morning departures for work for Dakota, but all those feel like excuses, honestly.
So, how do you keep God at the forefront of your mind when you’re in a busy season of like, when you feel like there isn’t much time to really dig in? I feel selfish at times when I can’t dig in. I want the time, but the natural interruptions of having little ones makes that time feel choppy and unfinished often for me. If you’ve ever tried to study for a big test, but throughout that time you were interrupted repeatedly by little things during your study session, that you walk out of the coffee shop or library feeling like you hardly got any studying done and didn’t retain anything. That’s how my time in the word feels often during this season of life. I know one day I will long for the days that little voices at my side are interrupting me to come play with them or get just “oooone more snack”, and I try to keep this in mind when I begin to feel frustrated by my own selfishness and pray for God to give me wisdom in that moment to respond with patience and kindness and the other fruits of the spirit as I lovingly sacrificially give up my time in the word to tend to them.
I was at a baby shower for a friend a few weeks ago, and our sweet friend who gave the devotional referred to different objects that a mother uses often with their babies that can point us to Christ. A diaper, a bottle, a rubber duck… all these things that we use that can remind us of the spiritual goodness that Jesus gives to feed our souls, and the blood that was shed on the cross for our sin, making us clean, brand new.
This reminded me that Christ can be at the forefront of our minds, even in the busy seasons. Even in the seasons that at times feel stagnant or dry. Even in the seasons where you feel a lack of digging really deep into the word. I’m so thankful that it is not by works that we are saved, but by the work of Christ alone that justifies the sinner. Titus 3:3-7 has been a passage that continues to grip me and articulates the amazing grace that Jesus poured over me when the good news was revealed to me a little over 6 years ago. It continues to remind me that even in this current season, God continues to work in and through me in other ways, even if that doesn’t include long periods of time being able to study His word. I’m reminded that the amount of time means nothing compared to the quality of that time spent with God.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. -Titus 3:3-7
So, whether it’s what feels like the umpteenth time getting up in the middle of the night or having to stop what you’re trying to accomplish on your to-do list that day to tend to your little ones, you can look to Christ. We can be reminded of how God continually meets us where we’re at, at any moment in time, to tend to our very souls and needs. He never grumbles when we need Him. He is always patient with us. He selflessly serves us over, and over, and over again. We can look at our children in these moments and be reminded that God is using this time to sharpen us, to etch away at us, and gives us the Holy Spirit within us to make us more and more into His image, to give us the fruits of the spirit. We can use these moments in mothering how children to practice being selfless in the times we want to be selfish, patient for the moments you feel like a broken record, show kindness and goodness for the moments we really don’t feel like being kind or having a good attitude about needing to remind that child to “please stop _____” again, merciful for the moments you really don’t want to show mercy, practice faithfulness and trusting that God is using this moment in motherhood for your good, and humility and grace when we fail and need to ask for forgiveness from our children, spouse, and the Lord.
I’m thankful that God understands this season. Nothing surprises Him. He sees and knows these days right now are busy, and even still, He DOES provide me with time to study his word. Maybe not like I used to be able to, but He does. At bible study, in the in-between moments in prayer, in the disciplining of a child and practice of showing forgiveness towards that child you just disciplined, in the reading of bible stories and praying together before bed and at meals, in the patience of tending to a baby in the middle of night, or in the practice of asking for forgiveness from Dakota or Collins when I fail them. He’s there in it all. Those are gracious times from God to obey Him and flesh out His truth… and that is precious to Him. Glorifying Him comes in many forms. I pray that as you care for and love on your children and husband this week that you’d see each moment as a gift from God- that glorifies Him as he is sharpening you and working in and through you to point you to your dependence for Him and His faithfulness to you.
Here is my short list of ways I’ve found helpful in doing just that during this busy season:
- Devotional time- that looks different from day to day, but comes in the form of: early morning reading the word and prayer before everyone wakes up, reading my devotional at breakfast or another meal time.
- Praising time- through song, playing songs in the morning and throughout our day that point us all to Christ as we sing these songs together (we have music playing off and on all day most days!). We typically listen to praise music or I’m listening to a podcast in the car, also when we’re on the road.
- Praying time- praying as a family in the mornings at breakfast, at other meal times, while nursing Tommy, praying for forgiveness when we sin against one another throughout the day, praying for family and friends, praying for daddy, praying with Dakota, praying through our church’s prayer list.
- Community time- bible study has been such a joy for all of us to go to each week. It is a carved out time each week that I get to be with other women to study the word together. As a mommy, we need that time to converse with adults and what better way to spend that than with sisters in Christ, encouraging and equipping one another through God’s word. It’s a wonderful time for Collins to get to interact and play with other children each week, also. I would definitely suggest this for a new mommy who is new to staying home. It is such a sweet time, yes an effort to get out the door, but well worth the it once you get there!
- Teaching time- this has been a sweet time for Collins and I, as I have started to do some “School” work with her each day, usually in the morning. Part of that is saying our fighter verse that I pick for the month, and it has been a wonderful time to memorize God’s word, talk about God’s word, and pray through God’s word together with her. It is a precious part of our morning each day. Other ways teaching God’s word has organically made a way into our days is through the books we read also. We have a favorite bible we often read stories out of, but have found several great books over the past few years that articulate the gospel well through a children’s book that we love to read and talk through together. Finally talking through my bible study questions with Dakota or talking about Dakota’s current bible study, reading through a devotional or book together, and praying together are other ways that we are growing up in God’s word with one another, too.
I pray that as you read through this list above that you see, many of the items do not include a devoted time of sitting and studying the word for long periods of time, and that it would encourage you to see Christ in your every day mundane, that you’d pray for wisdom from God to open your eyes to the opportunities He’s giving you that day to work in and through you, and that you’d love the Lord more as you love and cherish your days with your little ones and husband in this busy season.