Finding Time for God When You Can Hardly Find Time to Breathe
As our family continues to be blessed with more children, the amount of time I have to myself decreases.
Thankfully, my children sleep really well most of the time, and I can usually get up early and have a few minutes to spend time alone with the Lord while things are still quiet. But there are seasons when that doesn't happen, such as when I have a new baby , when one of the kids is sick, or when I was struggling very badly with chronic fatigue and would sleep until I heard the kids up running around.
During those times it is extremely difficult to find any time to spend time with the Lord reading his word and praying. From the time my feet hit the floor until the time my body finally falls asleep at night, I am busy wiping noses, changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and listening to childish chatter. But, oh how desperately I need the Lord! Most days the first two words I think when I wake up are either “Help, Lord!” or “Lord, help!” I cannot complete this monumental task of nurturing souls, loving my husband, and maintaining a smoothly running household on my own strength. It is HARD!
I'm sure many, many of you are in the same boat, so I want to share some practical ways I have found to spend time learning from God's Word and praying even when it's not possible to get up earlier than everyone else and have your own quiet time.
1. Memorize scripture – Even if I have only a minute or two of quiet time, I get a whole lot more bang for my buck if I spend that time putting scripture to memory rather than just reading it. I can then spend time meditating on God's Word all throughout the day, and I'm not confined to whatever quiet time I may have the chance to enjoy. (See also: 10 Ways to Help Your Child Memorize Scripture – these will work for you too!)
2. Keep scripture around the house – This goes along with #1. I can be thinking on the words of Scripture as I see it throughout my house. I want my mind (and the minds of my family members) to be saturated with God's Word, and all it takes is a little effort to print out verses and post them all around the house. I can remember memorizing several verses as a child just because they were hung in places where I would frequently look. Over time I just simply knew them without even trying. (Find a free printable of Philippians 4:8 right here.)
3. Pray in the shower or while you're getting dressed – these few moments that I get to spend alone are invaluable. I enjoy having a few minutes of quiet to spend in prayer.
4. Read and pray with your children – If my children are already up when I wake up, I don't forgo my time with the Lord. I simply allow my children to join me. That way I can still learn from his Word, and my children can learn as well. They'll also see how important it is to depend on the Lord every day and learn to love God's Word for themselves. (See also: How to Help Young Children Develop Their Own Relationship with God)
5. Meditate on scripture as you fall asleep – One of my favorite times to review the scripture I've memorized is as I'm falling asleep at night. Rather than letting my mind race thinking about all the things I have to do the next day, meditating on Scripture quiets my thoughts and keeps my focus on Christ rather than on my problems.
6. Keep a Bible handy – I keep Bibles scattered throughout the house and in the car. That way whenever I do happen to find a few quiet minutes, I can pick one up wherever I am and read a little bit.
7. Listen to scripture on audio – there are several audio versions of the Bible available. (I think this is the one we have.) You can listen to scripture as you do your work around the house or drive somewhere. I also really, really like these Scripture Meditations CDs. They are Scriptures on various topics being read with a background of gorgeous orchestral music. (We also use these CD‘s for our kids to keep scripture going in the house throughout the day.)
Can you think of any other ways to spend time with the Lord even when life is busy?