I woke up hoping to get 30 minutes of quiet time to myself. The smell of coffee trailed through the house. The quiet rain pattered on the window. I relaxed into my chair, wrapping my hands around the warm coffee mug, and released a sigh. It had been a long week, and I treasured this time alone with my Father.
That one word and my quiet morning was gone like a leaf in a downpour. I watched it drift away as I opened my eyes to my youngest son standing in the doorway in his footsie PJ’s.
“Yes, buddy?” I held out my arms to him, and he ran across the room, snuggled into my lap, and laid his head on my shoulder.
As a Mom with 3 young sons, many of my mornings have been some version of this story over the last 8 ½ years. The quiet mornings with God that I treasured almost daily pre-Mom are now a rare treat, but my need for God is even greater in this stage of life than in my previous stage.
What’s a Mom to do? How do we Abide with Jesus regularly with all the distractions?
Over the years I’ve learned 4 tips and tricks to spending time with God, even on the busiest of days.
- Have a Kids Bible Activity Ready. One of my favorites for mornings like the one above is the YouVersion Bible app for Kids. Yes, I’m giving my kids electronics at 6am, but I’m giving them God, too, so I figure it’s permissible. (A favorite Kid’s Bible or activity book would work, too). When my three-year-old joins me during quiet time, he asks for his milk and “Bible.” Then he spends time with the app reading Bible stories on his level, while I grab a few moments with God. No, it’s not the quiet I longed for, but it also allows me to at least get a few moments to sit with God before I begin my day.
- Listen to Music. Another way I Abide in Jesus on busy days is to fill our home with music. Even if I don’t get any time to sit with God in the mornings, singing my favorite praise songs and Christian songs from the radio has kept me going many days.
- Have a Short Devotional Ready. My favorite quick way to Abide with God when I only have 2 seconds is to keep a devotional on my kitchen table. My current favorite is Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional by Brooke McGlothin and Stacey Thacker. This one is quick—5 minutes or less—15 minutes if I have more time to sit and think, but it goes deep and gives me the connection to God I long for on weary days. There are many other good ones out there, too.
- Listen to Podcasts. If you just can’t sit down for even a minute, but do have a lot of hands-on tasks to do, podcasts are another great way to abide and connect with Jesus. Sally Clarkson’s At Home with Sally, is my current favorite. She points me toward the importance of home, even though I’m tempted to put other things first. Glorious Mundane with Christy Nockels, God Centered Mom with Heather MacFadyen, and Chatologie with Angie Elkins are also good ones with God-centered messages.
Whatever way you choose to abide in Jesus on busy days, don’t let guilt keep you from it. One day when I was feeling particularly guilty about not spending regular time with God, he reminded me of the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in John 6:1-15 and Luke 9:10-17. In this story, Jesus slipped away to spend time alone with the disciples, but the crowds followed them. When it came time to eat, there were only 5 loaves and 2 fish available. Despite the deficit, Jesus thanked God for what he had and then used it to serve the people. There ended up being more than enough.
God does the same in our lives with what we give him. He blesses it and makes it more than enough. No matter how much time you have with him during the day, the important thing to keep in mind during this season is that God can do a lot with your little. Just keep showing up and see what he will do!
If you’d like more ideas for spending time with God, click on the image below to join the Abide 5 Challenge. It’s a five day email challenge that gives you more ideas to Abide with God throughout your day whether you’re abiding alone or with your kids. Join us!