Why Quiet Times are Difficult for Busy Moms: A confession and a contest

photo by mirranda

Recently I talked about how you don’t need to give excuses for yourself all the time. I’m getting much better at that. Now whenever I defend myself, I at least feel bad about it.

Like now.

I need to tell you before I begin this post about the girl I used to be. Because I don’t want you getting the wrong idea.

I used to have a lot of spiritual discipline. In high school, I read through the Bible entirely each year. That meant I read my Bible every single morning, even on vacation, even on Saturdays. I kept a journal. It even had prayer requests for other people. Then I went to college in the capital of Spiritually Disciplined People, Grove City College. All of us were very good. I would go to the chapel a few mornings a week to pray and concentrate on the Bible. I probably went to four Bible studies a week with different groups of people, and I always had very relevant, recently discovered insights on the passage to share. I’ll leave out the parts about how I was a Young Life leader, went on to teach Bible to seventh graders, went on mission trips, and all that stuff, because that would just be overkill.

Okay, so now do you have a clear picture of how holy I was? Good.

Fast forward.

I’m just bad.

No. Really.

I know what you want to say, about how God loves me more when I’m real, how I was actually really prideful then, how God doesn’t need our time, and blah blah blah.

It doesn’t matter. I know in my heart of hearts that I need His word, and I need prayer.

Are you ready now to hear my excuses? They’re really good. I know you agree, because I bet you have some of the same ones. This time I share them, not to defend myself, but for help. You’re no different from me…You have the same number of hours in the day, the same lack of accountability, the same love of the pillow and hatred for the alarm and on and on. But I need some help.

So I’m having a contest here. Submit to me a Bible reading plan, a good book, a source of motivation, a tip, anything – that will get me moving in the right direction. If your tip is the most helpful, you get a prize. Because that’s what spiritual discipline is all about, right? Prizes? I’m glad we’re on the same page.

So now here are the things I’m struggling with, so you know how to help.

  • I don’t know what to read. I’m a person that is very helped with a plan. I know there are plans to read through the Bible in a year, but often the readings are lengthy, and if I get behind (which is inevitable these days), I get all discouraged and frantic to catch up. Sometimes lately I feel like a brand new Christian who became a Christian on a youth group weekend and was just handed a Bible. I have no idea where to start. So I’ll just flip open and read a Psalm or two, but it always seems a little off.
  • I am afraid if I start praying/thinking about all my problems, I will just end up more worried, more selfish, and more focused on what’s wrong. It’s almost easier to avoid worry by avoiding prayer. I know, it makes no sense. That’s just the stage I’m at.
  • I’m afraid if I sit down to pray, I will fall asleep. See, quiet times for moms are the equivalent of white noise machines for babies = asleep in five minutes. Since you are going all day long, once you settle in on a comfy chair, in a quiet room, with a cozy blanket, no one is screaming your name, etc. etc…the rest is history.
  • I can’t find a good devotional book. I’d love one that was both relevant but also based on Scripture.
  • I’d love a routine, but don’t know the best time to have a “quiet time.” Naptimes feel so precious, and so much I NEED to get done. I try to shower and dress before I get the boys in the morning, which seems like accomplishment enough? Nights, I’m exhausted… When is the best time?

So there you have it: What does God want from a busy, hardworking, overwhelmed mom who desperately needs to lift up her family in prayer, be reminded of God’s truth, and turn over her worries to Him? What’s the best way for her to do that? What has worked well for you?

You can email me, or leave me a comment on facebook or below. {Somebody at least tell me I’m not the only one? 🙂 } I’ll compile the suggestion and post them, along with the winning tip, in a week – next Sunday, Nov. 11.

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8 thoughts on “Why Quiet Times are Difficult for Busy Moms: A confession and a contest

  1. maybe a different strategy for imput is needed. A mother of young children needs rest and rest is one of the most beautiful forms of worship that God commands us to pursue. So fall asleep, with the knowledge that sleep is a way of saying to God, ” I believe you, I trust you.”
    Next is listening to good sermons, or listening to good music. These forms of devotion are more available to your lifestage. The reality is that your life stage doesn’t lend itself to a rigid reading schedule.

  2. Pingback: Why Quiet Times are Difficult…Contest Winners! | Smartter Each Day

  3. hey, jessica! i clicked over from your post on keeper of the home this morning to read this and was really touched by your honesty and tickled by your wit. thanks for that. 🙂 so here’s my recommendation:

    a while ago i heard about this book (i’m thinking i heard the author on nancy leigh demoss) called “his word in my heart” by janet pope. anyone could benefit from reading it, but it’s really geared towards busy moms. it’s all about memorizing scripture. (i know, i know! but stay with me here!) she spends several chapters talking about how it has impacted her life and her relationship with the lord and then spends several chapters actually walking you thru the process of memorizing.

    i started with memorizing psalm 1 and then i did proverbs 31 (oy! so much conviction.) and now i’m working on psalm 42. i buy spiral bound index cards, write out (a few verses per card) whatever i’m working on and spend at least 15 minutes each morning running through it. i start with one verse and add the next verse the next day and the next verse the next day until i’ve built up to the entire passage. (if i’m having a rough week i may only add 1 or 2 verses. or i may just go back and review what i’ve already memorized.)

    i’m not terrible at memorizing things, but i’m not great at it either. so this isn’t coming naturally for me. (yet! i hope one day it does.) the student in me has felt like i’m not doing enough. like i need to have a few different bible translations and a commentary and a devotional book. . . but i can honestly say that i’ve never felt more fed and challenged by god’s word.

    even after my 10-15 minutes of memory work are over in the morning, i meditate on god’s word throughout the day! do you know how long it takes to recite psalm one? about 30 seconds. i stay home with 3 kids (5, 3 and 1) and i don’t have a lot of free time. i’m with you on the need for nap time productivity. but i can meditate on god’s word while i fold laundry or sweep the floor or take a shower or run on the elliptical.

    and all this spills over into my prayer life. i pray the scriptures for my husband and for my kids. as i meditate on different passages, it makes me think more deeply about the historic/cultural context and the phrasing and what the original greek or hebrew says. . . so i go look it up!

    sorry about this super long, rambling comment, but i really want that prize. . . uh, i mean, i want to spur you on to righteousness. seriously, though, this method of memorizing/bible study/prayer has been perfect for this season of my life, but also so, so, impactful that i think it’s something i’ll continue even if i have more time on my hands.

  4. Josie, Thanks for your kind words, and for taking the time to relay your suggestion. I honestly think that would be perfect for me! I really do. I hadn’t heard of that book, but I’ll try to get my hands on it soon. You did such a perfect job if explaining how memorizing can be so beneficial. Regarding the prize 🙂 THIS contest actually already ended. 🙂 However, I’ll enter you in the current one, for a Little Bits Blankee! https://smarttereachday.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/little-bits-cuddle-blanket-giveaway/ Hopefully you’ll have some little one to pass it on to if you win! Thanks again!

    • yes. . . moments after commenting i noticed the date was NOVEMBER 4th and not december 4th. sigh. . . but i figured i’d let my comment stand since i DO think it’s good info. thanks for taking the time to respond!

  5. Hi, I know this is not a new post but I clicked over from keeper of the home today and wanted to let you know you are not alone. I have been sort of feeling like this lately as well. I have a “one year bible” that has a reading for each date from old and new testament psalm and proverbs. If I have a hectic morning I try to at least get the new testament and psalms reading in but if I do miss a day I just go to the correct date and don’t try to play catch up. This has helped me with Bible reading but I am still struggling a bit with my prayer life. I do have a prayer list but sometimes I fall asleep even if I’m using that.

    • Aw, thanks for your comments, Lori! I had one of those Bible, too…LONG ago 🙂 and I think you’re right, not playing catch-up is the best plan for busy moms. Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe I’ll dig up that old Bible and give that a try… And I guess January 1 is coming, so that would be a good time to start! 🙂

  6. Pingback: 10 Ideas for Celebrating Christ at Christmas with Young Children - Keeper of the Home

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