One of the most common questions I get from young mothers is how to find time for personal devotions. We all know how vitally important it is for having the energy we need to do all that we do, but when you’re up multiple times feeding a baby, awakened early by a toddler, and even chased into the bathroom by your kids, how can you find the time?
I’ve been there. But I had very little distress about my devotional life during that particular season of motherhood (my youngest is now six). Here’s why:
I Redefined Personal Devotions
Is devotional time an hour spent in your quiet spot reading the Bible, completing in-depth Bible study assignments, and praying over every need in neatly organized categories? Sure, but devotions can take many different forms.
Having devotions can also mean taking minutes, seconds even, to connect with the Lord. It can mean meditating on just one Scripture throughout the day. It can mean talking to God out loud while your children observe you. “Help me!” may be all you manage to eek out. It can mean forgoing formal Bible study during this season of your life. It can mean reading a brief devotion online while going through email. Devotional time can be praying with your husband at bedtime. It can be singing or playing an instrument. It can even be devotions that you share with your children. Susanna Wesley is said to have found time to pray by sitting amidst her children with her apron thrown over her head: Susanna Wesley (Women of Faith (Bethany House))
The best thing I can say to you tired, time-pressed mom is not to feel bad. The Lord knows you are in a season of your life that requires much of you. He is caring for you and hearing the Spirit groan for you on your behalf even when your lips aren’t moving.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26).
But What if You are Desperate for More Time?
- Ask for help. Ask your husband to give you some time so you can read the Bible and pray alone. I hired our niece to come and help out one afternoon a week. A moms’ Bible study group I was in often hired sitters so we could study and discuss God’s Word without interruption.
- Pray about it. Ask the Lord to give you more time with Him. He may get you up early, but not the littles! I firmly believe that He answers these prayers–just not always the way we expect.
- Be content. I used to be frustrated that I couldn’t do more of the reading and studying I wanted to do. Now I have more time and I wonder what I fussed about. Even now, though, busy as I am, I pray and read one chapter of the Bible per day and then read Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on it. This process takes me just half an hour. The rest of my devotional time is spent with my family and church.