Heart to Heart (Ideas to help moms get quiet times with God)
Ever feel like your devotion time is constantly hijacked by interruptions? How about that nagging feeling that you cannot possibly be a good mother because you can’t even seem to be a “good” Christian as your prayer life is seriously lacking or even non-existent? As an older mom, I’d really like to reach out of this blog and give you a big, long hug! Can I tell you that you don’t need to carry this unnecessary burden? Can I help you unpack this bag called “guilt” and sort through what might really be going on in your heart?
I think the first question to ask ourselves is “what am I feeling guilty about?” Is it that I don’t pray long enough or at all? Read enough scripture or none at all? Can I just say that what you might want to be shooting for is quality over quantity. Are you pouring your heart out to God at anytime during the day? Do your prayers consist of more than just asking for things? Are you talking with Him spontaneously? Are you walking away from your time in the Word with one good thing to ponder throughout the day? What exactly does your relationship with God look like…for reals?
One mistake I’ve made is to make my quiet time with God one more thing that I need to check off my list. It feels too much like one more person that wants something from me. As a Mom, that’s the last thing I need and it isn’t what God wants either. He desires true heart fellowship with you.
Take some time to think about how a loving Father, who has your best interest in mind, would respond to your dilemma? I am thinking that He would really be focused on what is in your best interest. Like any caring daddy would. If that means you need more time in prayer and Bible reading, then ask Him to help you find a time each day that is do able for you. Seek Him for specifics along the way because your circumstances will continually be changing over time…so many different seasons. But keep asking. Do you really think He’s going to refuse to give that to you? He WILL make a way. But it might require you to keep asking and following His lead day to day.
I remember as a young mom, how very difficult it was to get “quiet time” with God. I struggled a lot with guilt over it while trying to manage a household with several young children. That scripture that says, “He gently leads those that are with young”, was something that I clung to much of the time. I often would feel irritated with my kids because they seemed to be the source of interruptions, but I’m sure that wasn’t the whole story. I am able to get that time with God more often now and have realized that frequently the interruptions are my own thoughts and distracted heart. God was gracious through those years and He will be with you as well. So, it seems, there will always be something to throw me off, not just the kids.
Some moms get up early and get some time in before the kids wake up. We all know that can be a bit of gamble as kids have an inner alarm that goes off when they think we might be up before them! But sometimes they are still sleepy and can just “chill” while we have a few minutes with God. It IS good for them to see us doing this each day. It shows them that this is an important part of life.
Other moms gather their small children around them to play quietly (in sight or out depending on how much they can be trusted!) and have their quiet time then.
I am going to be real here…I have a great need to be alone for my quiet times. We are all different and have different capacities, so without limiting yourself too much, try to work within these.
For awhile, I would do my quiet time at night after the kids were in bed and I had had time with my husband. It required a little discipline to do it early enough not to fall asleep in the middle of it. But it actually worked pretty well.
I have also benefitted from making it a point to pray while I am doing something mindless like folding laundry or doing dishes or nursing a baby. Grabbing moments here and there throughout the day helps me feel more connected with God throughout the day rather than praying through my entire “list” and then forgetting about prayer the rest of the day. God tells us to “pray continually” and I think that is what this might look like. It’s taking each care that starts to burden me and giving it back to Him as soon as possible.
Acronyms sometimes help me remember to have more facets to my prayer life than just asking for what I need. Here are a couple that might be helpful:
When asked how we should pray, Jesus prayed The Lord’s Prayer. It was a pattern and this acronym follows that pattern.
P raise: Hallowed be the Name of our Father in heaven; for yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. R epent: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us A sk: Give us this day our daily bread; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one Y ield: Thy kingdom Come, Thy will be done (on earth as it is in heaven)
Another one that I have used frequently is:
• A doration means worship. Praise Him for who He is and for all that He has done for you. God delights in your praises! He says He lives in the praise of His people. We invite His presence by worshipping.
• C onfession, the next component, means agreeing with God about the things that you have done wrong. It’s a time to express sorrow about what you have said, thought, or done that is not pleasing to Him. Ask God to forgive you for these things, and then believe that He does so freely. When you confess your sins, you receive God’s cleansing and this helps to remove any barrier in your communication with Him (read 1 John 1:9).
• T hanksgiving basically means being thankful to God.
• S upplication is the final component, and this means praying for your needs and for the needs of others, such as friends, family, your pastor, missionaries, government leaders, and persecuted Christians around the world. You may want to pray for such things as God’s guidance, wisdom, and opportunities to serve.
Lastly, I think it’s really important to be as consistent as we can, but when we feel ourselves in a rut, freshen things up with a little change. Changing WHERE we pray, switching devotionals, etc. Sometimes I go through one book of the Bible at a time and only read until something specific resonates with me, then stop and meditate on it and write it down to help cement it in my heart. Other times I’ll read a Psalm and a Proverb a day or a Psalm and something in the New Testament and sometimes ven just a few verses.
The Busy Mom online has a “Quiet Times for Moms” if you find yourself just needing someone else to inspire you and feed you some of the Word in small, understandable increments. Heidi is real, but offers some great nuggets of truth to ponder and apply. You can have them sent to your email regularly so they are ready when you are!
Just know that when it comes to “devotions”, it’s normal to “fall of the wagon” and have to get back on. Over. And. Over. The important thing is to never give up! It’s a worthwhile investment!