March’s resolution was a tough one and it took the entire month to finally settle into a groove that worked. It is really important to me that I talk the talk AND walk the walk, no matter the season of life I’m in. I want my children to remember that there is always time for God – whether they are traveling the world, picking their way through their first year of college, facing the real world, getting married, or expecting their first baby.
Ever since Atlas was born I have struggled to find this balance. For me, devotion time has always been uninterrupted and in depth. It was a time for investigation, commentary reference, and comparison to other texts in the Bible. Its been a very tough journey to realize that my Bible study cannot look like that in this season of my life, and that’s ok.
At first I still tried to keep up with a semi-in depth study – one called Jesus by Beth Moore. The problem was that I couldn’t get that much time to myself in the early months of Atlas’ life and left the table feeling frustrated and rushed rather than full and satisfied. Now, on his days of longer than normal naps, I can sit down with that study and enjoy it for all that it is, but I’ve accepted that that can’t happen every day.
The real chore was finding something that I could do every day that would still leave me satisfied – whether I got to do it for 5 minutes or 50. Below I’ve listed some ways I have stayed in devotionals throughout early motherhood. It can be easy to shrug off time with God – to make the excuse that you are too busy. But if you are in this habit and find that everything else in your life is taking precedent over time devoted to God, I strongly urge you to rearrange your priorities. God works miracles to give you the time you need each day to spend with Him. He never gives us more then we can handle – even if it gets harder than we ever imagined it could be, He knows best what we need. Go to Him each day – to rest in Him, rejoice in Him, praise Him, and love Him. Honor His laws. Thank Him for His blessings. Take up your cross, the one He has called you to.
1: I really have enjoyed Beth Moore’s more in depth devotional studies, even though I can’t do them every day. This last month especially I have learned that it is about consistency in the Word, not consistency in one particular devotional – so its ok to bounce around! I try and do one day from her book a week – but sometimes it doesn’t work out and sometimes I do more. Its nice to have one study in my collection that is more of the way I used to study. There are a lot of great authors out there who write books of devotionals – have you had the time to look into any of them?
2: Keep several commentaries on hand. Jared and I really like Matthew Henry’s. This is for days when I have a little bit more time and I want to dig a little deeper. Sometimes I get to finish my investigation of a particular verse, sometimes the baby starts to cry right when I open to the page, but it is nice to have around for those quiet moments that, these days, seems so sporadic and sparse.
3: SheReadsTruth app. Get it. It is seriously amazing and run by women who have a true heart for Jesus. Some of the plans are free, and the rest are a few dollars or less. Another great app is the Bible app. I feel that I need to be more “choosey” about which of those devotional plans I get, but they usually have a diverse selection and include many by pastors that I look up to, such as John Piper. I really appreciate the accessibility of these plans and their brevity. Its more often then not that I only have a few minutes – 20 at most – for some “me time” and having a short devotional right on your phone is super handy.
4: Just meditate. Sometimes I choose a verse that has come to mind as of late – a lot of times I take the verse/verses that were preached on the previous Sunday and I just spend time thinking about and praying on those verses and how they apply to my life and my walk. A time of devotion doesn’t necessarily have to be in a book or on an app – just devoted time to God each day is enough.
5: Pray constantly. This is actually an easier one for me because it feels like I do a lot that allows me to pray easily – even if its just quick snippets. Praying for 10 minutes straight – now that gets hard when Atlas is in a demanding mood, but typically I can sit in prayer while I am feeding him, rocking him, even during bath time.
I hope some of these suggestions help, I know that there are many difficult seasons of life that seem to make time with God feel impossible – but these same seasons can change our lives forever. I believe God will reward us, maybe in the smallest of ways, for carving out time for Him on a regular basis. And even more than our reward is that wonderful feeling of warmth that takes hold of our hearts after spending time with the Lord – and that kind of joy can truly only be found in Him.
How do you constantly devote time to God? Have anything to add to the list?