I was anything but intentional during those days and nights with a newborn and infant. I was in survival mode. Throwing up a prayer (more like a desperate plea for help) here and there while my Bible sat unopened on my night stand.
Things got better when he became a toddler. I wasn’t as sleep deprived. I wasn’t as desperate. I was actually enjoying the moments instead of merely surviving them.
Recently a friend (and mama of three under three) asked me how I managed to have a quiet time with a rowdy three-year-old boy.
She was discouraged by her lack of time in the Word and in prayer. She was frustrated with the constant interruptions and inconsistency.
My first piece of advice to her, and to any Mama in her shoes, is this.
God sees that you’re trying. That’s what matters.
These are the words my husband spoke to me after I complained about the toddler with sticky yogurt hands climbing me like a jungle gym as I tried to spend time with God one morning.
His words were grace washing over me.
God understands the constant demands that our little ones bring. He’s not keeping tabs on how many chapters you read or how many prayer requests you make it through. For Him, it’s all about your heart.
I can no longer spend an hour digging into an in-depth Beth Moore study each day. It’s just not realistic for the season of life that I’m living. My time with God looks a lot different than it did before I was a Mama. But I do want to be intentional in my relationship with Jesus.
This year I vowed to be in His Word every day. It’s not always perfect, I’ve missed a day here and there, but I’ve noticed a huge change in myself since January 1, 2015 – one being that I’m a much more patient and grace-giving Mama.
Here’s what’s worked for me.
I do not get up before Jackson because I am not a morning person. I would fail miserably if that was my answer to having a quiet time each day.
Instead, I fix Jackson breakfast as soon as we roll out of bed. I get him situated at the coffee table and turn on cartoons. Then I spend the next half-hour reading from Jesus Calling, journaling, looking up scripture, and praying in my big red chair just a few feet from my breakfast eating boy.
Do I get interrupted? Yes!
Do I often have a little boy sitting next to me? Yes!
And that’s okay.
God sees that I’m trying. That’s what matters. It’s about my heart.
And Jackson is learning by example just how important it is to talk to Jesus and read His love story to us daily. But most importantly, he’s learning that it doesn’t have to be perfect!
Twice a week we have to hurry and get to early speech appointments. On those mornings, I toss Jesus Calling and my journal in my purse and have my quiet time while Jackson is in his 30 minute speech session. I use the Bible app on my phone to look up Scripture.
My quiet time does not look like it used to, but choosing to be intentional has deepened my relationship with Jesus and made me a much better Mama.
How do you spend time with Jesus when you’re deep in the parenting trenches?
***Today I’m linking up for Three Word Wednesday. You can join the fun here.