I am a blessed stay-at-home wife, mother to 5, and homeschooling teacher. I was constantly busy when all of my kids were little and very needy. Now that they are older, my life has ebbs and flows of busyness that look different than before. But over the years I have needed to find ways that have sustained me in keeping myself connected to God.
I know wise mothers who say that spending quiet time with the Lord in the early morning, before all the kiddos wake up, is an anchor in their lives. When I was younger I would get inspired after hearing them say this, and I would try to get up before the kids and repeatedly fail…like fall flat on my face, fail.
And the times that I actually did miraculously awake before the kids and do my quiet time, I would have terrible days. I would be exhausted and cranky the rest of the day to my family, not more godly!
Over the years, I have come to terms with the reality that I CANNOT do this. I love sleep so much and the Bible actually says that “…he grants sleep to those he loves.” (Psalm 127:2). God loves me and I have a high value for sleep. I have no shame.
But spending time with God is so crucial for my well-being and my family’s well-being, so I had to figure out ways to spend with Him, that actually work for ME…not someone else.
How can I grow as a daughter of God if I am not staying connected to Him? And how can I ever teach my kids about God if I am not staying close to Him?
These are some ways that I have found helpful in keeping my heart alive in the busyness and mundane things in my life:
- Worship– I try to listen to worship music or sing and play worship songs on the piano each day. (By the way, I am still learning how to play the piano, so I often use earphones to spare my family from hearing my mistakes.) This really helps my heart connect to God. If I am ever anxious or stressed, this almost always helps realign my heart to the Father.
- Read the Bible, even if it is just one chapter a day– The Bible always feeds me nuggets of His truth that is unchanging throughout any circumstance or season of my life. If I can read more on a given day, that is awesome! But if I can’t, one chapter still helps me see Him for who He is. It helps me to know His heart and it builds my faith.
- Praying throughout the day– I hardly ever get to sit through a prayer meeting. I do however, get to pray throughout my day. When different concerns inevitably come up, I pray. When something cool happens, I like to give thanks. When different people come to my mind throughout the day, I try to throw little prayers up for them. I also like to pray at night when I am winding down for bed. 100 things are usually passing through my head anyway, I might as well pray about them instead of worrying. This is not super holy looking or profound, but I know that God cares and that I get to meet Him in these small moments.
- Listening to life-giving sermons– When my kids were young, I rarely got to hear an entire Sunday sermon. They were never ones who stayed long in the childcare. As they got older, they chose to just sit with my husband and I in the service and they would sit and read. Fast forward to my life now, and even though they actually could sit in youth group or childcare if we lived in America, we don’t have those opportunities available right now. We attend a local church, but I still do not have a good enough grasp of the local language to understand the sermon. So what has helped me grow in these past 3 years without an English Sunday sermon? YouTube and podcasts! What a blessing that we live in such an amazing age of technology. I can hear messages from Colorado, California, Kansas City, the UK, Asia, Australia, or anywhere that is on the internet…at the touch of a button! I have really been hungry for more of the Lord this past year. Listening to sermons each day, throughout my day, has been fueling my hunger in a new way. Now when my kids see me cooking lunch and dinner, they often find me with my ear buds in listening to a new message. When I am grading their school work, I am listening to a teaching. When I am cleaning the house or loading the laundry, I am usually listening to a new podcast.
I confess that I have not done this perfectly over the years. But I am at a point in my life where I am done with making excuses in my life with God and I want more. I want Him to have all of me, including those wasted spaces of my time.
I hope these things will be helpful to you as well, but if they aren’t, don’t despair! You and I are different people, so I really encourage you to keep looking for different ways that help YOU connect to Him.