Finding Time for God When You Can Hardly Find Time to Breathe
With a house full of children, it's generally busy and loud! Finding time for God seems like a monumental task!
But spending time with God isn't really about marking something off a to-do list. It's about being mindful of our relationship with Him. He loves us and he wants to be with us. And when we realize just how much he loves us, we will want to be with him too. When we have a true relationship with God, it will be more about acknowledging his presence with us always; not just a one-time formal event that we might call “devotions.”
When you're a mom with young children in the house, it can be extremely difficult to find time for a designated Bible and prayer time. When I had small children and toddlers, I was busy from the time my feet hit the floor until I finally fell asleep at night – wiping noses, changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and listening to childish chatter. But, oh how desperately I needed the Lord! Most days the first two words I thought of when I woke up were either “Help, Lord!” or “Lord, help!” Managing a household and nurturing young souls is HARD! There is no way I could do what needs to be done with my own strength and wisdom.
I'm sure many, many of you are in the same boat, so I want to share some practical ways I have found to stay mindful of God's presence even when it's not possible to get up earlier than everyone else and have a dedicated quiet time.
1. Memorize scripture – Even if you have only a minute or two of quiet time, you can make that time go further if you spend that time putting scripture to memory rather than just reading it. You can then spend time meditating on God's Word all throughout the day, and you're not confined to whatever quiet time you 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. You can be thinking on the words of Scripture as you see it throughout the house. It only takes 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 – It may only be a few moments, but these are moments of quiet that you can claim to connect with God.
4. Read and pray with your children – If your children are already awake when you wake up, you don't have to forgo reading your Bible or praying. You can simply allow your children to join you. That way you can still learn from the Bible, and your children can learn as well. They'll also see how important it is to depend on the Lord every day and learn to treasure the scriptures for themselves. (See also: How to Help Young Children Develop Their Own Relationship with God)
5. Meditate on scripture as you fall asleep – Rather than letting your mind race thinking about all the things you have to do the next day, meditating on Scripture can quiet your thoughts and keep your focus on Christ rather than on your problems.
6. Keep a Bible handy – If you keep multiple Bibles stashed in different places around your home, you can pick one up in the cracks of your time and read a little bit.
7. Listen to scripture on audio – there are several audio versions of the Bible available. Search apps on your phone for Scripture on audio. You can listen to scripture as you do your work around the house or drive somewhere. We also use these Scripture song CD‘s for our kids to keep scripture going in the house throughout the day.
Can you think of any other ways to stay mindful of God's presence even when life is busy?