For the month of November, we get to hear from a handful of women as they discuss, practically, what it looks like to seek God through his Word, daily. As they share some of the tips and tools they have implemented in light of their own situations and seasons, the hope is that God would meet you, powerfully, in your own.
By Randi Peck
The most recent season I have been walking through in my life could be condensed quite simply into a couple of words: little ones. Lap-occupying, ballerina-twirling, tantrum-throwing children… Sweet stretchers of my patience, stretchers of my body, stretchers of my heart…And I don’t think any young mother would argue that these oh-so-lovable kiddos will flip a quiet, uninterrupted world upside down, and completely transform your walk with the Lord.
If my focus in seeking God, prior to children, were to be summarized as “learning the art of quiet time”, my focus, now, would be labeled “learning the art of no quiet time”. While there are varying ups and down within the season of small children, full, loud days have affected my Bible-time the most, as of late.
Full, loud days, meaning I don’t have that guaranteed 30-minutes each morning, to sit down with God’s Word, receiving one sacred sentence at a time. Meaning I’m unable to drop whatever I’m doing and take prayer walks. Meaning when I’m trying to pray while driving, I often can’t hear my own thoughts over the “Mommy, mommy’s” echoing from the backseat. I’m confident that even those without young children experience similarly crazy busy, can’t-seem-to-get-a-moment-in with the Lord stretches.
Often, these muddled, bustling days start to blur together, and I find myself struggling for motivation to rise early and open my Bible. And while I greatly anticipate this newest addition to our family, I also tend to be a tad emotional and, sometimes, depressed through portions of my pregnancies (“the fog”, anyone?). This contributes to those feelings of “I don’t want to get out of bed”, and “I’m not getting anything out of this Book I’m supposed to be living by”. Once again, these brain-blocking, joy-sucking spells happen to all of us, babies or no.
But God has shown me and continues to show me how these perceived obstacles are actually blessed opportunities to discover more of Christ in my life. The following list are some of the ways I’ve learned to press into his Word amidst this all-precious, ever-demanding time in my life:
Set apart morning time. There are ten-zillion excuses why not to start your day with the Lord… But, please consider: he is SO worth the sacrifices necessary to get up early! I so often find that when I offer him the first fruits of my day, he offers me all the strength and joy I could have hoped for.
Set apart any time. There is also a place to accept that time in the Word is going to look different than it used to… and that’s totally okay. On those days your newborn finally falls asleep just as the sun comes up, or the flu strikes your household, or you honestly just pushed the snooze button too many times… God doesn’t hold it over your head! Satan would love us to believe that lie of condemnation, that we have one chance at each day. But God would love us to believe Isaiah 40:11, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd… and gently lead those that are with young.”
My legalistic tendencies were challenged as I discovered the sometimes-grueling schedule of motherhood. But then God broke through the self-made boundaries I had constricted “devotions” to. Seasoned mothers encouraged me to find God in the nap-times and midnight feedings of my newfound life. Sure enough, I discovered a new depth of the Lord’s grace, beauty, and omniscience.
Sing worship songs as you rock your littles to sleep. Flip a podcast on as you fold your laundry. Seek out kingdom-minded audiobooks- or an audio-Bible!- to meditate on as you prep dinner. We are blessed with so many God-inspired resources, today; tools to help us fix our eyes on truth, continually.
Gather. When you feel unable to hear from God, whether due to depression or dizzying busyness, place yourself in the company of those who are in saturated seasons of encouragement. Sit down and discuss Scripture with your spouse or a close friend, or join a Bible study! I totally get that when you are so exhausted, and perhaps discouraged, you’re tempted to isolate yourself… But resist the urge, and you will find that God speaks through the body- there’s a reason we’re instructed to gather together.
Cleanse your lens. Even if you are in the Word regularly, you need to understand that everything else you’re taking in will also affect your perspective and heart. James 4:8 invites us to, “Draw near to God”, but not without warning us to, “Purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
What we look to, we will inevitably look through. Everything from mommy blogs, political talk shows, reality TV and medical articles can cause my life-lens to cloud with fear, anger, or covetousness if I’m not careful.
If you feel the Scripture isn’t moving powerfully in your life, take a good, hard look at what may be filtering out his voice. And then replace the unhealthy influences with what is pure and lovely. In every way, stir up love in your heart for Jesus, and for the people in your life he’s given you to serve.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” Luke 11:34
DO what the Word says to do. I was just discussing with another young mom how raising babies makes many spiritual disciplines and regular quiet time become much more difficult— and yet, motherhood gives us constant opportunities to apply the very selflessness and servitude that Scripture calls us to.
God’s Word is “written on our hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33), not inhibited by the covers of your Bible. Therefore, each sippy cup we fill, each disciplinary action we gently exercise, each late-night shushing back to sleep… they are all ways to experience God.
Model the gospel to your family, and model the gospel with your family- you will begin to see the pages of your Bible take living shape around you.
Pray Scripture over your home. Sure, our hands and schedules may be filled to the brim. But I find that posting a short verse, promise, or phrase on my cupboard or children’s doors, makes it so easy to lift up one-word prayers throughout the day. These prayers remind me of the mission of our household- the mission of our short life. Rather than letting difficult toddler phases or missed naps become the theme of my home, these words scrawled throughout the nooks and crannies of my home become the reigning anthem.
Don’t allow the child-rearing years to symbolize a “sabbatical” from time in the Word. Don’t miss out on the treasure of the present. Christ will show us those ways to press into truth every day, and to apply his Word to each bustling, volume-packed moment.