Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they who love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
The other week I talked about how important it is to teach our children to feed from the Word of God for themselves, rather than spoon-feed them. “How can I do this?” you respond. “I have all these little children to care for. It’s hard enough for me to find time for my own Quiet Time without having to teach my children to do it.”
As a young mother I also faced this dilemma. Before children came along I would rise at 5.00 am and spend three hours reading the Word and praying before I started each day. I would write pages of revelation as God showed me wondrous things in His precious word. I still have these hard-covered notebooks. But when I entered the new adventure of motherhood, I could no longer find that time. What could I do now?
At first I lamented that I couldn’t spend hours alone with God, but grumbling over what I couldn’t do didn’t help. I came to realize that God was not limited to my quiet hours with Him, but He wanted to be very much part of my life as a mother.
He wanted me to abide in Him and live in His presence as I cooked meals, changed diapers and cleaned toilets etc. I found that I could still get desperately needed nourishment from God’s living Word by grabbing little bits here and there throughout the day. I could read when I nursed the baby (if I wasn’t reading stories to the other children). I could snatch a verse from Psalms when visiting the bathroom.
I remember one time feeling such a need to grab some nourishment for my soul. I took a few toys and the little ones with me into my bedroom and knelt by my bed with the Bible. I was hardly aware of the children climbing all over me when I got a loud knock on my bedroom door with the words, “Can you keep those children quiet?”
Our boarder was home from work as he was sick. He couldn’t sleep because of the noise of the children in the bedroom and yet I wasn’t even aware of it! Your “Quiet Time” may not always be quiet, but we, as mothers, can learn to hear from God even in the midst of children and noise all around us.
I used to put one of my Bibles on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, where I spent many hours preparing meals and doing dishes. I would turn the Bible to the Psalms or the Proverbs. From time to time I could look up for a moment, read a verse and meditate upon it.
I remember one moment in my mothering days in New Zealand. As I washed the dishes at the kitchen sink, I sunk into a self-pity trip. The tears rolled down my cheeks! Suddenly, I looked up. My Bible was open to Psalm 103 and I read, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies…”
I was convicted and immediately confessed my sin. “I’m sorry, Lord. I repent of these deceptive self-pitying thoughts. I resist them in the name of Jesus. I thank you for all my blessings. Thank you for my salvation. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for these wonderful children you have given me. I am a blessed woman.”
As I praised and thanked the Lord my negativity disappeared. It wasn’t my circumstances after all! It was my deceptive thoughts! What delivered me? The powerful Word of God!
As I mentioned, I no longer had time to write pages of revelation--but I could find time to write one verse! This became a life-saver for me and I still continue the practice today. Each new year I purchase a diary that has one page for every day (or two days for a page). You need enough space to write at least one Scripture.
I do not use this diary to write my schedules, but to write one Scripture from the Word of God. When I was in my busiest mothering years, I only got time to write the verse. Now, I am back to writing what it says to me and a prayer of response to the Lord.
At the end of the year I have a full year of Scriptures that God has given to me personally! I love to go back and re-read these Scriptures from previous years. This personal nourishment is more life-giving than listening to sermons.
Dear busy mother, you can find time to write ONE VERSE! It will help you to remember what you read. If you were to ask me at the end of the day what God told me in the morning, I may have forgotten, but I can always check my journal.
I purchased hard-covered journals with a page for each day of the year for our four adopted teenagers for Christmas this year. Every morning we open the wondrous Word together, read, listen to the Lord, write the Scripture God gives to us personally and write what it means to us.
Here’s another great idea. Place in a suitable basket all the things that will inspire you when you have a quiet moment (or not so quiet if the children are around you).
Put in one of your Bibles, a Daily Devotional of your choice, an old hymn book and, of course, your hard-covered diary in which you will write the Scripture God gives you for the day. Don’t forget to put in two or three pens so there is always one when you are ready to write.
Keep your Meditation Basket in the place where you most love to sit with the Lord, or nurse the baby. Pick it up and take it with you anywhere in the house, or outside under a tree while you are watching the children play, or wherever you want to go. It’s all in the basket. You don’t have to run around finding everything when you find another cozy nook somewhere.
May you be sustained by the Lord each new day.
“Father, I thank you for your Word which is life-sustaining. You know I don’t have hours of time to read, but I ask that you will speak to me in the moments I grab to read your Word. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
I will make time to write down what God says to me each day.