I will admit that before having children, I was inwardly baffled when I heard mothers of young children express that they had difficulty finding even a spare moment to spend with God. “How is that even possible?” I would wonder.
One of my clearest memories from the beautiful chaos following the weeks after my son was born is the moment when I stopped what I was doing, jaw dropped, and came to the realization, “I literally have not had one single second in the past 24 hours to spend alone with Jesus.” Since then, I have battled hard to find the most effective ways to get into the Word with the time and mental energy that I am granted as a mom. One of my greatest fears in writing this post is that the reader will assume that I have this all figured out. In reality, I felt the need to share these tips because it is a daily, ongoing struggle to give my best effort to meet with Him. We cannot, however, afford to give up, since connecting with Christ is the most critical thing we can do both as both a parent and a child of God. The quality of our connection with Christ is the most important part about us. We cannot “outlive” the depths of our intimacy with Him. Though your quiet times may look different than they did before having children, this doesn’t mean that they have to be any less effective or meaningful. I think the most crucial thing to remember for any season of life is that abiding in Christ is a 24/7 activity that occurs whether we are alone with our Bibles and a cup of coffee, or whether we are trying to feed a child with one hand and change a diaper with the other. Motherhood can develop into a wonderful time of remembering that a love relationship with Christ doesn’t just happen in still quiet, moments, but is meant to be an all day, everyday, all encompassing love affair.
Finding that set aside time is going to look differently for everyone. I used to feel guilty that I was never able to have a quiet time in the morning, when it seemed like everyone else chose the morning as their set aside time. It simply doesn’t work for me. It would either be cut shorter than I liked, or I would be too tired to concentrate despite my best efforts. In the evening I am more alert and I find it helpful to meditate on what He’s been teaching me throughout the day. Everyone is different and that’s ok! He made us this way! Maybe you like your lunch break, or enjoy getting up early and are able to stay alert. Maybe you’re in one of those seasons where it’s simply not possible to do any of these. I know that I used to feel guilty about not being able to spend as much time alone in the Word as I did pre children, but we need to remember He understands. He is the One who blessed and entrusted us with our children. Though we can’t use this as an excuse to never meet with Him at all, we can remember that He sees our time constraints and can use the two minutes we give Him today as much as the twenty or forty or one hundred we’re able to give Him tomorrow. The key is giving Him the best that we have.
It’s also important to remember that though it is wonderful to read devotionals written by other more mature Christians, we need to be intentional about spending time with the Word for ourselves. Though the wise words of others may be incredible helpful in our journey with Jesus, it is the Words of Jesus Himself that ultimately change us. It’s His word alone that comes with the promise to, “Never return void, and to accomplish the purpose for which He sent it out.”
I am passionate about sharing this topic, since discovering how to meet with Him literally changed the entire course and direction of my life. I have no idea who I would be or what I would be doing if I hadn’t been given some wise mentorship as a teenager on making time with Him a priority. If I’m starting to get more irritable or find it harder to love others, I can almost always trace it back to a lack of time spent with Jesus. When we’re abiding in Him as we’re meant to, He daily renews our vision and turns our ordinary into an incredible adventure with Him. (Seriously, it’s awesome.)
So without further ado, here are some great resources that I have found to help the busy mom establish a regular, though loud “quiet times” with Jesus.
SheReadsTruth can be looked up online or downloaded as an app, and is a quick and meaty way to get the Word into you everyday. Everyday, the reader is given a portion of Scripture to read and a VERY well written devotional, geared specifically for women, to go along with it. I would HIGHLY recommend, pulling this app up first thing in the morning rather than selecting the Facebook icon. (Which I am totally guilty of) It’s a great way to start the day and let you grapple with some deep questions about how to love Jesus in the sometimes hectic life of a 21st century woman.
YouVersion is the most popular Bible app in the world. Not only does it come with the Bible in nearly every version available, but offers devotional plans on an infinite number of topics. Want to learn about deeper intimacy with your spouse? They’ve got several hundred to choose from. Want to learn how to discipline your children in a godly way? BAM they’ve got it. You can even set it so it will send you a daily reminder to complete your reading plan for the day. For those of us who like to play “Magic 8 Ball” with your Bible and just open up to a random verse, YouVersion can also give you great plans to help your reading stay on track and targeted. On top of all this, they have a wonderful children’s Bible app which can help your kids learn to get into the Word at an early age. This app is a must have!
3) Christian Podcasts
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you simply won’t have a spare moment to sit down and study. That’s why I try to have truth pouring into me through other sources as much as possible. It’s so good for us to be constantly, “renewing our minds” through whatever means we can. I have found that there are an abundance of absolutely amazing Christian podcasts out there, many geared specifically for the mother, that are wonderful to listen to throughout the day. Here's a list of some of my favorites. You can do the dishes and be discipled at the same time! It’s fantastic! You can follow this link for an awesome listing of some great podcasts, but there are so many more out there to explore. When I’m driving, 90.5 FM plays a lot of family oriented programs throughout the day that can be edifying as well.
4) This podcast by “Risen Motherhood”
This podcast basically reiterates everything I said above and shares the personal journey of two young moms and their struggle and victory to spend time with Jesus everyday. Filled with practical tips and hilarious, yet relatable stories, their wisdom is guaranteed to help you in your journey to find time in the Word. There is also an incredible list of resources at the bottom of this page.
5) Daily Devotional Books
When you only have a few minutes to spare, a daily devotional book can be excellent in sharing some life altering wisdom. I know that my life has been totally transformed by some of the books on this list. One of the best features about my iPhone has been discovering its ability to read to me while I go about my day or am driving. This way, I can download a Kindle book and “read it” without ever having to sit down and crack open a page.
-MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST-
The most popular devotional book of all time, this gem literally does not get old. I have personally read through this book possibly half a dozen times, but still find myself convicted and stunned by his wisdom with every reading. My Utmost For HIs Highest is always my failsafe back up plan if I haven’t had much time to spend with Jesus for the day. Each one is so deep I have literally spent hours mediating on individual readings. You can access the daily reading for free at utmost.org.
(This book is also available in an app form) Also one of the greatest classics of all time, this book is composed of letters as if they were written by Jesus to His children. I have found that these letters really help connect me to our Abba’s intimate love for us and His desire for us to find intimacy with Him.
Literally, ANYTHING by Chris Tiegreen is amazing. He has dozens of devotionals but they are ALL awesome. I just went through his “One Year of Heaven on Earth” devotional about the coming of the Kingdom into our lives today, and absolutely loved it.
-PRESSING PAUSE: 100 QUIET MOMENTS FOR MOMS TO MEET WITH JESUS-
I have actually had two friends gift this book to me over the past few years, and it has been a blessing. The stories are deep and relevant to this season of life. A double thumbs up!
Believe it or not, Youtube actually has tons of wonderful material if can sift through the mess and know what you are looking for. When Ryder was an infant and I would wake up multiple times a night for feedings, I would pop on a Youtube video from Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Francis Chan, or Christine Caine. This way, I was being “fed” at the same time as my son.
There are SO many others, I could take up pages and pages just writing about them, but I hope this list is a good start and can help you get a jumpstart on your journey to grow closer to the heart of Christ even in the midst of your beautiful, mommyhood chaos.