In the Word, In Every Season
Before I begin, I want to get something out there: I don't have all the answers.
I am almost two years into this journey of motherhood and four years into marriage. I still have a lot of growing, maturing, and learning to do over the coming years! However, what I do have to offer is my own personal experience over these past few years, and a heaping amount of grace that God has placed on my head and heart as I've sought Him in the highs and lows of marriage and motherhood.
Motherhood has scrubbed the sin out of my soul in more ways than I expected. When I became a mother, I was blind-sided by how little time I had to do the things that I loved. In discovering my new "schedule" (or lack thereof), I felt like I was sinking into an abyss of dirty laundry, late night feedings, and spit up. I could barely get dressed and look presentable each day, and felt an immense amount of guilt and disappointment that I no longer had as much time as I wanted to read my Bible or get things done. Then the season changed as my little one grew older, and I found myself still too tired to wake up early enough to spend an hour in Scripture. Don't get me wrong, I love motherhood and I love my child, but I also used to love my time alone! Motherhood truly is a sanctifying gift and trust from God.
The greatest thing I have missed since becoming a mama is having as much time as I want in the Word each day. Looking back, having this time is something that I think I took for granted pre-children. Once I had Nolan and my hands became full with a little life to care for, I wondered if I would ever get these moments back that I used to have with the Lord. In all honesty, I truly struggled at this point and grappled with how to have a quiet time as a mom!
the grace of flexibility
By God's grace, the change came in my own heart when I shifted my perspective. Instead of looking to the past and sulking in what was "gone," God began to show me the new things that He was doing. Time with Him looks different in every season of life. Prior to getting married I had ample amount of time to do whatever I wanted. Once I got married, I began to learn that I needed to carve out moments to spend alone time with the Lord, which often looks like the early morning. Then once I had a baby, I began to see there were fewer moments to even carve out! I just had to give what I had, which felt like very little, to the Lord.
I remember crying to my mom one day because I felt so depleted and discouraged that I could no longer wake up early to read my Bible, and I used many nap times to catch up on sleep. Guilt became a common companion. She gently encouraged me to give the Lord the time I had, trusting Him that He understood and would provide me exactly what I needed in each moment. He wasn't unaware of my circumstances, my lack of sleep, or my hearts desire. Instead, He wanted me to delight in Him in the new season and learn the grace of flexibility. I wasn't getting as much time in the Word as I used to, but I had the Word living in me and a chance to live it out by His grace and strength.
I started shifting my perspective on how I used my time. During nursing sessions I would listen to worship music, shut my eyes and pray, or read my Bible on my phone. When my little one would be having a rough time I would turn up worship music and dance and sing with him (which usually distracting him and me for a little bit). When I desperately needed to get out of the house I would take him on a walk with my Bible resting on my stroller or verse cards in my hand. Sometimes I wouldn't even be able to read much, but just having my Bible open felt like a comfort and a revival to my tired heart.
new perspective, new seasons
As Nolan has gotten older and has begun to sleep through the night, I've had to determine what my true priorities are in life. My husband and I are continually having to assess our phone usage and our bedtimes. When I go to bed affects when I wake up. How much time I spend on my phone affects my focus and my joy. Since Nolan has gotten older, I've begun the discipline of waking up earlier than he does to get into the Word, but even now I have to do so with a heaping of grace! Some days he wakes up when I do and I have to beg the Lord to give me strength and joy to be a loving, servant hearted mother and wife! Other days I just don't want to wake up and would rather stay in bed. But every time I choose to spend time with Him over sleeping a few more minutes, I am abundantly blessed and wonder why I would ever want to sleep over having time with Him! Then there are days when I know that I need sleep and I trust the Lord to provide another time to read the Word and to be in me all that I cannot be apart from Him.
As wives and mothers, the best thing we can do is to release our unrealistic expectations we have placed on getting into Scripture and place our hopes in our God who never disappoints. Instead of getting discouraged when our child wakes up early, when we are dead tired and just need sleep, or when we try to read but our brains literally won't function, we should praise the God of grace who still provides, still loves us, and still meets with us right where we are. We can be in the Word, Christ Jesus, in every season of life when we come to God with open hands and hungry hearts - right where we are. It may not look like one hour of deep Bible study in this season, and it may not be in the morning, but whenever it is and whatever it looks like, give God your best and your worst moments, and trust Him to redeem them and to show you Who is in motherhood.
Allow Him to redefine what meeting with Him looks like. Open your Bible and set it on the kitchen counter when you are making dinner and your child is at your feet asking when dinner will be done. Pray for your children, your friends, and the world when you are folding what feels to be the millionth load of laundry. Listen to the Bible when you are driving and running errands. Find a podcast that teaches the Word to listen to when you are exercising. Fill your days with words of life and hang Truth on your walls as daily reminders of God's promises and character.
When your child wakes up when you are having alone time in the Word, bring them with you to read your Bible (even if this looks messy and chaotic). Show them how you spend time in the Word, how your journal and pray, and how you walk in obedience to God's calling. Because Jesus abides in us as believers and we are to abide in Him, we can literally be "in the Word" in every season. It may look different from day to day, but one thing we can be sure of: Jesus Christ is always the same, and He gives us exactly what we need.
Bring Him your little and trust Him to multiply it and make it enough. He is enough, and He is in you, mama.
in the Word, in every season,
Read more posts on motherhood and getting into the Word here:
You can also find the "Give Me Jesus" journal, a quiet time journal to study Scripture with over here! I created the 90-day version for mamas to use to get into the Word. There are also several Bible studies that I pray encourage you in your walk with Christ, in whatever season of life you are in!