Nothing brings more comfort to me than reading God’s Word with an expectant heart. No matter how long I have to devote to my reading, God always speaks into my heart as I read the pages of His Word. But as a mom of three young children, spending more time in the Word can be hard.
I imagine this is true for any of us. We all have life moving at warp speed around us. Even if we’re trying to live intentionally, we still get carried along on the waves of life with more turbulence than we would probably prefer.
We get distracted, we get overwhelmed, we get weary. We get all these things just going through the daily grind of life, and it is such a gift that we have God’s Word to meet us where we are, speaking life into us, and guiding us through with a steady, unchanging, always true Word.
A few weeks ago, I came across Laura Booz’s website. I read this article, and then I found myself lost in her site and watching videos on her Facebook page for days. I left the tab open on my computer and just kept coming back to soak in more and more of her wisdom and gentle encouragement.
In her article on the first 7 years of a child’s life, she said this:
“While your child is young, invest in your own growth as a mother. Don’t let obligations for play groups, story times, co-opts, arts and crafts, car pools, and toy organization distract or exhaust you from the important task of becoming a strong mother. The plan is that mama + baby grow up beautifully and naturally, side by side.”
It struck me that the time to invest in my own walk with the Lord is now. In this weary, exhausting season of motherhood when I can barely get time to take a shower, the time is now for me to make a deep investment into my own walk with the Lord. The time is now for me to build strong spiritual muscles through my intake of and devotion to God’s Word.
I think this advice goes against a lot of what we “young” women find on the internet these days. We hear the messages like: “take a break”, “give yourself grace”, “find time for you”, and countless other things that don’t sound all that bad on the surface, but in the end leads us to more emptiness and more weariness and more defeat. In a lot of ways, we’ve cheapened God’s grace and discounted His sacrifice when we listen and give heed to these messages that have no biblical foundation.
Here is the message we need to hear more:
“Your life is not your own; learn what it means to walk daily with the Lord.”
Our lives are not our own.
Oh, how I wish this would sink in for me. Just when I think I’m laying it all down, living sacrificially and for His glory, I find myself throwing a tantrum that rivals that of a willful three year old. I close my little fists over my plans, plant my little feet, and contort my face into a stubborn glare and say, “I will not lay down my life, God. I will do it myself. This is what I want.”
It’s terribly frustrating. To see the absurdity of it all when you’ve taken time to step back, cry a good cry, and come back to the throne of grace desperate for His help.
Because really? I don’t want to do this life stuff on my own. I want His help. I don’t want to do it my way. I want to do it His way. I don’t want to do anything except live for Him.
God commissions Joshua after the death of Moses with these words:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” ~Joshua 1:8
Now is the time that I build strong spiritual muscles. Now is the time that I shall meditate on God’s Word day and night. Now is the time that I intentionally lay down my life every single day and learn that my life is not my own.
How do I do that?
Among other things, one way I have found is to be in God’s Word more, and I’ve done this by taking Laura Booz’s advice.
I keep a small hand held Bible next to my nursing chair in my daughter’s room. I’ve chosen to turn these quiet moments of stillness into a time of fellowship with my Father. I simply sit and listen to Him.
I don’t have any fancy Bible study tools. I don’t read with a pen in hand and journal by my side. I come to His Word to simply listen, to meditate, and to fellowship with Him.
I am reading through the Psalms and using what I learned from Donald Whitney’s book, Praying the Bible, to turn this time into a time of prayer and worship.
Spending my time reading my Bible while sitting and nursing my babe has been one simple way I have found more joy in motherhood and in the weariness of the days. Reading the Psalms sets my heart to worship. It brings me back to my need for grace and reminds me of where my help comes from.
I think what’s so beautiful about this time is that it’s about simply being with Him. It’s about sitting at His feet and listening to Him. It pushes the pause button on everything swirling around me, and it allows me to choose the better portion for just a moment.
Instead of scrolling Facebook on my phone, making a to-do list in my head, recounting all the ways I’ve already failed today as a mother, this time of sitting with my baby is likened to Moses’ time on the mountain. I come away with my shoulders held a little straighter, my face shining a little brighter, and my heart settled into the arms of my Father so that I can do the work set before me. Because my life is not my own and I want to live for Him.
So, what about you?
Are you nursing a baby? Then, perhaps take a small Bible into the space where you nurse.
Are you sitting in a carpool line? Then, perhaps keep a small Bible in the console of your car.
Waiting for your coffee to brew or water to boil? Where in your day can you place an open Bible?
Can you lift the barriers of needing all your Bible study tools nearby so you can “study” God’s word and simply find a space in your day to just be with Him?
Take some time to day to simply observe your day-to-day life. I’m betting there is somewhere in your day where you can place an open Bible and sit with Jesus for just a few minutes at a time.
I don’t suggest using a Bible app on your phone. It’s too tempting to click away, but if it works for you and you have more self-control than me great. By all means, use your Bible app. But maybe just a small Bible will do better.
Maybe you need to replace the mindless Facebook or Instagram scroll with simply sitting still for a moment with your Father.
Because your life is not your own and I know you want to live for Him.
What about you? What ways have you found to spend more time in God’s Word throughout the day? How do you stay tethered to the vine in difficult seasons? Share in the comments!
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