So last week, I admitted that marriage is harder than I thought. Looking back, I didn’t give anything concrete and certainly not anything that’s anymore than everyday life. But I know this to be true – sometimes you are in the middle of what is the hardest to handle for you, or the hardest thing you’ve ever handled. That doesn’t make it less than someone else’s hardest thing because it’s different. (I read this in a great article about parenting more than one kid.)
Anyways, my post was inspired by Nina’s post and in her post, she goes through a list of things to do to draw closer to God if your marriage is hard. And I completely agree with her list, especially #3 and how to start having time where you are talking with God.
I remember my own journey to starting daily, planned time in this way. It was a big step – and a difficult one. I felt like if I missed a day, I might as well just give up. I know that’s a lie, right from the enemy, so that I don’t feel like trying is a place to start.
But I also realize this – I am in a season of life where and hour to an hour-and-a-half to myself for quiet study probably isn’t going to happen, unless I stop sleeping.
It’s just really important that you find ways to spend time with your Creator and God of the universe if you are going to learn how to listen to him.
So, humbly, I would like to encourage you with a few suggestions.
1. Do something more than what you are doing now. If you are doing nothing now to have time alone with God, then something is better than nothing. But starting small – 5 minutes in the word, praying in the car – might make the goal more attainable.
2. Where do you get alone time during the day? Is it while you cook dinner or go to the bathroom? Someone recently told me that it’s time we all admit to keeping a devotional in the bathroom. If that’s where you have some time alone, put something in there – a devotional, a Bible, cards to memorize scripture, etc.
3. Come up with a plan for the Word. Usually there is a reading plan in the front of the Bible. Or you can get one this is divided for you. Usually these get through the Bible in a year. What if you miss a day? Read two. What if you miss 5 days? or a month? Just pick up where you left off and don’t beat yourself up about it.
Or you can try this: Proverbs has 31 chapters. That’s one chapter a day for a month. Then you could add the Psalms – 150 make 5 a day for the month (1-5, 6-10, etc.) Then you can a chapter from and Old Testament book. Then a chapter from a New Testament book.
4. Let your technology work for you. I put the Bible on my kindle. That way I can read it where ever and doing what ever. Of course you can’t take notes easily, but it helps.
5. Involve your kids – make them a memory verse book that you can read, and memorize together. Read from their Bible story books with them. Or read out loud as you do your daily reading.
6. Find a way to get some quiet time – put in a short movie, or a show, or during nap time. Then make time with God your priority while the kids are quiet.
7. Pray while you drive. Or show. Or make dinner. Or breast feed all night. Or anything.
8. I read once of a woman who put a Bible on a book stand behind her kitchen sink and would read while she did dishes and cooked. Cool.
9. Try family worship time. There is some great ideas out there for doing this but we keep it pretty simple at our house – Pray. Read a chapter. Discuss. Sing a song. Pray. We have this on the calendar once a week so we can schedule around it. And our daughter is two. We ask her to pray. And be quiet to listen. And she loves when we sing “The Butterfly Song” at the end.
Again, don’t be scared by this list. I so understand where you are in life. But try something. 3 minutes is better than no minutes with God. Please let this be an encouragement to you on your journey.
What are ways that you find time to be with God? What ways especially work with little ones running around?
Dare you to leave them in the comments…