“Wake up early before everyone else”
“You need an appointed quiet time with God every day”
I’ve heard a lot of well-meaning advice to me as a mom about spending time with God. Saying I need a QUIET time with him every day at the same time for a certain amount of time. I remember thinking, “Well I would LOVE that!” but it wasn’t realistic with a newborn. It isn’t realistic now with a 3-year-old and a 3 month old.
The first year of my first borns life I BEAT myself up for not having “quiet time” with God every day. I felt so guilty. I must be failing at the Christian mother thing. Then an amazing woman reminded me of something. She shared a life changing verse with me.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11
She told me God knows this season is hard. He sees you and isn’t seeing if you have spent your 30 minutes of quiet time with him. He knows. He is gently leading you in this difficult season.
I felt so free. I felt like a burden had been lifted. But as my first-born got older I still struggled with having time with God. I wanted it. As a teenager I spent so much time writing in my prayer journals, playing my keyboard and singing to him. Being involved in so much. Reading my Bible and underlining everything. I missed it. I felt as if I hadn’t grown in my faith since he was born. When in fact I had, just in a way I didn’t expect.
God was using motherhood to gently, and sometimes not so gently, weed out the things in my heart that I didn’t even realize were there.
Motherhood can bring out the best in you, but also reveals the worst in you.
And God had been dealing with me. Weeding out the selfishness, the anger, and dealing with the hurts from my own childhood.
But I realized something… sometimes, maybe we don’t need to grow…sometimes, maybe we need to remain.
Maybe I should stop measuring my relationship by my “growth” but by his grace.
- He is giving me grace to remain in him John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
- To abide in him. John 14:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
- To keep standing when I feel too weak. Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Something I did that helped me remain and hold on during the first year as a new mom was worship music. Pieces by Amanda Cook especially spoke to me. When I felt distant from God and like I was too much of a mess for Him I would listen to this…
Your love is wild
Your love is wild for me
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed
Your love is proud
To be seen with me
You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us”
Now that this isn’t my first child (we also foster, so we have had ages 4-17 in the last year and a half), and this baby isn’t colicky, THANK YOU JESUS, I am more creative with my time with God. I find opportunities better than I did the first time. I value SHORT times with God. The two sentences I get written out in my prayer journal, the half a chapter I read before someone needs me, the prayers at 3 AM. No where in the Bible does it tell you that you need a specific time to be alone with God. No where does it say daily Bible reading is MANDATORY and if you don’t you’re not a true Christian. Of course it’s amazing to read it every day, and I want to, but some days… it doesn’t happen. The Bible DOES say to hide his word in your heart ( I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 19:11) Jesus didn’t die to abolish the law and the regulations for us to become free and then again burden ourselves with made up church/religious laws. This whole Jesus thing is about relationship. Anyone that’s married knows that after you have kids, you miss the time or how things were before a bit…or a lot. You miss uninterrupted conversations and alone time. But you both know you still love each other and you know you are in this TOGETHER and it won’t always be this way. In a year there will be more sleep and alone time. And you do the best you can and enjoy all the moments you get alone together. Well, we are the bride. God is the groom. You’re in this life thing together. ❤ Take heart. Remain, even if you see no growth. Simply remain in Him today.