I was 15 when I started attending church and the idea of a daily devotional time was introduced to me. Taking time to sit down and read the Bible was a new practice and there were so many possibilities for the way to do devotions. When I got home from school I had the freedom go to my room, turn on the Christian radio station and read the Bible. When I was a young single gal and even when I was newly married, I attended BSF ( Bible Study Fellowship) and enjoyed the deep study at home and with a group of ladies each week.
When I became a mom, my idea of daily devotional time was rocky. I have always been a list maker and very task oriented. Because of that, I felt like my physical work had to be totally done before I could do the non-tangible item on my list, “devotions”. My heart was to spend a large chunk of time reading the Bible. The tangible things on my list, though they were many, were usually quick by comparison. So those quick things were what got my attention. But who am I kidding? The work really is never done to completion, there is no end to a mom’s workday. So my quiet time and devotions got pushed later and later.
Being a mom with babies and toddlers, putting off my devotional time until the evening “after work” often ended prematurely by falling asleep. Though I knew that the scripture often suggested rising early, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t expect this simple task to be so complicated. I felt guilty at times that I was not studying the Word as I once did. I questioned my own commitment and wondered if I would ever get back to where I once was. I struggled with finding time to do those devotions! I couldn’t keep up with the homework from BSF. I would go to the local Christian book store and pick up study guides but there were so many and it was so hard to choose! When I did my own study at home alone, I always wondered if my answers were right. I needed some guidance and I needed encouragement that these children weren’t ruining my Christian walk. Devotions just didn’t look like they used to!
Throughout the years, the words of my youth pastor, Steve, rang in my memory. He always said, “It’s more important to be daily devoted than to do daily devotions”. At the time when he said it, it didn’t make much sense to me. I thought that simply claiming to be daily devoted was a cop-out if you weren’t “doing your daily devotions”. But somehow, his words stuck and ministered to me far beyond my years in the youth group. I pondered many times, “What does it mean to be daily devoted? What does it look like?” I set out to live daily devoted to Jesus even if I couldn’t do my daily devotions in the same way I once did.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” This verse gave me encouragement. I wanted to be found by Him, fully committed. I wanted to be daily devoted.
Matthew 5:6says Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Hunger and thirst, two things I commonly need to address as a mom! Sometimes I satiate the physical hunger and thirst with a snack, a meal, and very occasionally a feast. I think that hunger and thirst for the Word of God is satiated in the same way. Some days we just have time to snack on it but we cannot go without it completely.
Living devoted and fully committed to the Lord is something that takes a lifetime to cultivate. Throughout the seasons of my life, I have implemented a few methods to keep God’s Word before me. I find that when I place scripture in places where we spend the most time, we have the most opportunities to consume these little spiritual snacks. I hope that you can find an idea that works for your family to keep growing in the Word even though you have a busy home. What I have found is that even though they may be snacks, they are the sustaining power for daily life.
5 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BUSY MOM’S
Pro tip #1: If you have boys and girls, post scripture both in front of and behind the toilet. It’s amazing how much they will read and memorize while being a captive audience.
Pro tip #2: Use white foam sheets from a craft store and a sharpie marker to write out scripture. With a little moisture, the foam sticks to the walls in your shower and bath stall.
Pro tip #3: Print out any scripture or prayer calendar and run it through a tabletop laminator (I’m a homeschool mom, I have a laminator) these also stick to a bath stall.
Pro tip #4: Pick a verse to work on with your children and read or recite it before each meal or when you head out in the car. It’s amazing how quick we all can memorize with constant repetition. Even if it doesn’t get memorized, you are continually setting the Word of God in front of you. His Word will not return void.
Pro tip #5: Solid pillowcases and colored sharpie markers or fabric markers make a great place to write out verses. Let the kids make their own for a special treasure! (You may want to slide a piece of cardboard into the pillowcase before writing on it so that the ink does not bleed through to the other side of the pillowcase)
When all of your children are little, it may be that your spiritual walk is fueled by a lot of snacks, but when possible, sit down for a meal! If you can, attend a Bible study or do a deeper study on your own at home. And from time to time, go to a retreat or set aside a length of time where you can feast on The Word. Whichever area you find yourself in right this moment, Isaiah 40:11 is a good reminder, “He will feed His flock like a Shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”
The Lord, Our Shepherd, will gently lead you. He knows that you are up late, busy and learning the ropes of being a mom and a wife. He will meet you where you are, invite Him to join you in your snack time, meal time or feasting on His Word. He knows your heart, may you be found fully committed and seeking Him. Being daily devoted.