Do you find it hard to get alone time to really pray and spend time with God? If so you’re not alone. According to Pew Center Research just 34-percent of Americans aged 30-49 pray daily. That means most of us don’t find daily quiet time.
When I talk with other moms the main culprit for not spending more time with God is well… time. I’m guilty of it too. Somewhere between endless laundry, taking care of our home, working and raising kids, I can easily forget to kneel before our Lord and really get close and connected. Yet it is only when we are connected to Him that we can truly be fueled to face the many faucets and challenges of motherhood.
But do we make it too complicated? Are we expecting more of ourselves than what God expects of us?
Somewhere in my mind getting close to God looks like me curled up on my couch, blanket on my lap, candle lit, cup of coffee, bible and study guide cracked open and me digging in — and if that doesn’t happen then I’ve failed.
Yes God wants us to put Him first, but what mom in this day and age has time every single morning? Was I doing it all wrong? Was I failing as a follower of Jesus Christ by not getting my daily quiet time? Maybe not.
God wants you present not perfect
When my boys were babies I felt like my relationship with God was a rollercoaster. Some days were spiritually stagnant. Our 2 year old and 2 month old kiddos kept me busy to say the least. I would go weeks without taking time for prayer only to look back on my days and wonder where the time had gone.
The loss of spiritual nourishment convicted my heart.
Then I tried getting up early around 4:00 in the morning – before my kids – to spend alone time studying the word. But inevitably my then 2-year-old would wake up. By the way, I couldn’t prove it, but I use to swear we were still connected somehow even after the umbilical cord was cut because every time I was up – he was up, and looking for his mommy. Then of course when my toddler was up, then the baby would wake up and my day would begin.
When early mornings didn’t work, I decided to try nap time. Up until that point during nap time I had also napped. I have Fibromyalgia and nap time always seemed like a great time to fight the brain fog that comes with the autoimmune disorder… but I could use that time for God right? Evidently not. This also ended up not working out. The only way to get my two littles to nap at the same time was if I napped with them. Mom – the human pillow.
I felt like a failure. This feeling of inadequacy dropped me to my knees. I prayed to God and I asked him “what can I do? How can I glorify you and connect with you if I can’t even find time to read and pray?” My heart was heavy. I felt the lump in my throat rising and I knew the hot tears would be next. Then I heard him say “go to your dishes” which made me laugh at this epiphany. The simple answer is to do everything for his glory! Care for my babies, clean and just keep him a part of it all.
So I began to embrace the struggle. I decided not to force myself to get up and try to squeeze time in but rather told myself I was fine with where I was at and simply enjoyed my children. This crazy weight was lifted and because of that lifted weight I was able to be the mom my kids needed me to be.
Instead of trying to get that perfect quiet time, I simple started to make God my constant companion. I didn’t just pray at bedtime, or before a meal or on the rare day that I did get some quiet time. I began to pray constantly in the pockets of my time. A day filled with silent thank you’s and love to our Creator.
“Dear God thank you for this child“.. as I rocked my baby to sleep or cleaned up messes and crumbs for the 100th time that day.
“Dear God thank you for this house that protects us and provides refuge from the world”.. as I paced the floors shushing my baby back to sleep.
“Dear God thank you for friendships“… as I saw the latest meme from one of my friends, a mom who had also once rocked a newborn and understood my level of exhaustion and the state of my mom brain in those days.
“Dear God even though this baby’s cry could peel the paint from the walls, I thank you for the air in his lungs that give him the ability to cry because that means he is alive. He is healthy. Thank you.“… as my colicy baby wailed in my arms, arching his back and I felt helpless….
God was in my every day moments. Glorifying him was as simple as remembering to give gratitude, increase my focus on his love and letting him into my daily life.
“Dear God I’m challenged right now, please help me show grace,” as I stared at my husband who just said something you do now want to say to a new mom.
“Dear God please calm my heart” … as I sit there waiting for our then 2-year old to get stitched up after a bad fall.
Now my kids are elementary school-aged and while some things get easier, other things get harder. A friend once said “the bigger the kids, the bigger the challenges.” I now understand what she meant.
I’d like to say I have it all figured out now. That I’m a seasoned pro at this Christian mom thing and that I plug in and get my Bible Study done every morning without fail. But I don’t. Some weeks I am an amazing rockstar and get quiet time with God every day, other weeks I’m lucky if I get out of the week alive. But regardless of where my week is going, I keep God as my constant companion because He doesn’t need us to be perfect. He just needs us to be present. Call on Him. Repent. Trust. Love.
We all stumble
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Love being perfected
1 John 4:17-18
In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.
1 John 2:5
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
1 John 4:11-12
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.