Friday, November 7, 2014

How A Busy Mom Makes Time For the Word {Plans A,B,and C}


Before having children, almost every morning at breakfast I would sit down with my nice cup of tea and an open Bible, making feeble attempts at seeking the Lord first thing. Even after having one baby I was able to mostly stick with this routine. You know, once my daughter was sleeping mostly through the night, and still taking 2-3 naps a day.

Now I have a 15 month old and 3 year old, and breakfast is a truly chaotic scene around here. My son simply can't be eating soon enough, and clings to my leg through all of my preparations, pleading for real food {a snack cup of cereal just doesn't seem to cut it}. After he's finally had his fill of pancakes and eggs, he spends the rest of the meal trying to give me a heart attack by climbing out of his high chair. My daughter isn't as hungry, but she can be equally dramatic over the many crises that arise first thing in a toddler's daily existence.

All that to say, I have had to make some changes to accomplish daily time in the Word. Because yikes, is it important. I only have so much time in a day, and the demands {as you all know} are relentless... but He has to come first.

Life with small children is very unpredictable. Usually just once you think you've gotten routines figured out and down pat, something changes- a new tooth comes in, the morning nap is outgrown, the weather changes and suddenly everyone wants to be outside every waking hour. Whatever. You know it happens.

When planning for daily devotions I like to have an ideal plan, a back-up plan, and even a third back-up plan. Worst comes to worst, we thank God for His grace and patience with us, and try again tomorrow. But with a line-up of possible quiet times planned, I'm far more likely to actually get into the Word.

Who wouldn't want to wake up to these faces???
Plan A. Wake up before my children. This is easier in some seasons than in others. For example, only in the last couple months have my children both been sleeping decently enough for me to try this again. And now that daylight savings has ended, they are getting up at the time that used to be mine. If I can manage it, I try to beat them out of bed and read and pray first thing. When I'm nursing a newborn, I read my Bible on my phone at the first morning feeding.

Plan B. My son at 15 months is still taking a morning nap {thank you Lord!!!}. Usually S and I spend that time reading together and working on projects. If I wasn't able to read before the kids got up, I set her up with toys she can't use when W is awake {anything with small pieces that he is bound to eat- her magnetic dress up doll, felt boards, crayons and other art supplies, etc.}. She is happy to play quietly for a long time while I can enjoy that cup of tea and silence. This is also when I take a shower if I haven't gotten the chance to yet!


Sometimes during this time I am wasteful- I check facebook on my phone, loiter around, or read blogs. But by God's grace I am seeking to redeem the time and be faithful in these little minutes. Also it can be hard at 10 a.m. to just sit and read Scripture when you can see all the mountains of work surrounding you and how quickly the day is fleeting. Yet I've found if I just take a few minutes to quiet my heart before the Lord and seek Him, the rest of the day is so much sweeter and simpler. So worth it!

Plan C. If all else  fails, during my kid's afternoon naps I spend time in the Word and prayer. I can't recommend to you enough the urgency of getting your small children to nap at the same time {if at all possible}! Some days my three year old doesn't fall asleep, in which case I set a {looong} timer for her and give her a pile of books to look through quietly in bed.

Also I {generally speaking} refuse to do housework at this time. The days that I work and cook through nap time leave me haggard and grumpy for the hardest hour of the day: pre-dinner witching hour. If I've already spent adequate time with the Lord earlier {well, really I guess there is no such thing, let's be honest!}, I use it to nap, read other books, and write here. Anything quiet and enjoyable to recharge my batteries. Time to rest and recoup is so very necessary for your sanity, mama! You will be a more patient and loving mother for it.


At the end of the day, we all have to acknowledge that we had time for what we made time for. If time in the Word is important to you, you can make it happen, no matter the season. While it may not be as long or thorough as your pre-baby days, something, anything, is so much better than nothing. The day is coming when a handful of little people won't be hanging onto your pants leg, demanding the majority of your hours and minutes. Until then, we've got to just grab what we can, amen?

How do you make time for the Word in your busy days? 

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