How do I find time for Bible study and prayer? I’ve heard so many mothers ask this question, and when I had small children I asked it myself. When you’re drowning in a sea of diapers and toys, it’s hard to find time for God. Yet, it’s absolutely necessary, because a mother sets the tone of the home. You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’ Well, if Mama isn’t getting her quiet time alone with God, she’s not going to be happy and will likely be quite snappy. Nobody needs spiritual food more than a busy mom!
It’s one thing to know this in theory and quite another to put it into practice. What steps can an overloaded mom take to ensure that she remains in close fellowship with the Lord? Is getting up before the rooster crows the only answer? Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me.
1. Keep an open Bible on the kitchen counter. I read that Ruth Bell Graham did this when she had a house full of kids. Throughout the day you can read snippets of scripture when you have a spare moment.
2. Invite the kids to join you. Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me.” (Matt. 19:14). Get in the habit of family Bible study. Even if the kids will only sit still for a few minutes, invite them to join you for a Bible story or to sing some songs. Older kids can color or draw while you read scriptures aloud. Let them see you modeling quiet time with God.
3. Take advantage of naps. When the kids are sleeping, resist the urge to clean house or reach for your to do list. First, practice being a Mary who sits at Jesus’ feet, then you’ll see clearly how to accomplish Martha’s duties (Luke 10:38-42). As the kids outgrow naps, train them to spend some quiet time in their rooms each afternoon.
4. Make the most of midnight. If you still have a baby that wakes up at night, use that time wisely. While your baby feeds, pray, sing quiet worship songs, or read a passage of Scripture.
5. Let music fill the air. When you’re cleaning, cooking, or playing with the kids, keep praise and worship music playing. Inspiring music can drive away irritations and attitudes and do much to bring harmony in the home and in the soul.
6. Get away with God. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to be alone with His disciples. Whether it’s for an afternoon or a weekend, get away with God from time to time. Hire a sitter or let the olders watch the youngers while you take a mini retreat, even if it’s only behind a closed bedroom door.
7. Walk with God. Plop the baby in a stroller and off you go. It will do you a world of good to get some sunshine, fresh air, and exercise while pouring out your heart to God.
8. Meditate. Even if you can’t spend hours reading your Bible, you can choose one scripture and think about it all day. Maybe write it on an index card and slip it in your pocket. Periodically read it and mull it over as you go through your daily routine.
9. Keep a Bible or small devotional book in your purse. If you have a free moment when you’re out and about, you’ll have worthwhile reading material on hand.
10. Think outside the box. God is extremely creative and if you’ll ask Him, He will show you unique ways to grow spiritually without neglecting your family’s needs. Most importantly, realize that God understands this season of life. Look at the beautiful picture He paints in Isaiah 40:11 (NIV): He tends his flocks like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. All you have to do is follow.
Lillie, Bonita. Summer 2007. TeachMagazine.com. Retrieved from