As women, we are constantly in high demand to fill a variety of shoes and yes, wear many hats. These busy schedules make it challenging to balance our lives and make adequate time for relevant things.
Then to add the wonderful role of mother to our 24-hour resume…
As Christian women we understand how imperative it is to intentionally make time for God in our lives so that we can have a relationship with Him. If we are honest, there are many days that are also challenging to make this necessary sacrifice.
If you are married, you know the benefits of having assistance to help with tasks such as chores and carpooling.
But you also know the stress that comes along with trying to simultaneously be a great wife and outstanding mother.
If you are single, you are appreciative of any and all support that you receive from family and friends.
However, you probably understand the role of Superwoman better than any one else!
Now I recall my single days minus the adorable kids. And as much I enjoy motherhood, I envy the freedom to just be able to peacefully meditate at any time of the day.
With an active 5 year-old and an eight octave range 2 month old baby, I can barely think at all!
God, I need time just to pray!
My devotional time with God has always been something that I treasured since becoming a Christian. I would seek ways to spend more time with God. I miss being able to get up for my 3 a.m. uninterrupted prayer times, hosting my 6 a.m. intercessory prayer line and noon day meditation.
I can’t even recall the last time I was able to do any of these on schedule and definitely not all three in a day!
I started to get frustrated because every time that I would set aside time to spend with God I was constantly being intercepted by, “Mommy!” or cries from a baby that was either ready to be fed, changed or just craving Mommy!!
“…make the most of every opportunity” (Col. 4:5b,NIV).
One day while trying to enjoy a shower, in the midst of my daughter screaming my name for something minor as not being able to find her toy, which then prompted her newborn sister crying loudly from being startled from her nap, I too started crying out to God.
I vented my frustrations. I wined. I even let out a scream!
I asked God why couldn’t I have time alone with Him like I use to? After God allowed me to act out like my children, He clearly entered my thoughts and told me to redeem time by making the most of every opportunity.
Finding Opportunities to Spend with God with Demanding Children
- Do Not Schedule Time. I know how this sounds and I recall teaching a Bible study once that included how we should schedule time with God. And if you have a life that allows you to do so, by all means, please do. But for mothers with hectic schedules, do not focus on a set time. You will continuously be frustrated when that time is interrupted (and it will be) and you will feel unaccomplished. God knows your desire to spend with Him and your situation. Trust God with the time that He has created.
- Do Utilize Any Downtime. This might sound more difficult than it is. Who has downtime with a child and a newborn? You do! For instance, if you are a breastfeeding mom like me, you know that a correctly latched baby is a happy and comfortable baby. Use your nursing time to pray and/or read a Bible passage. Sure, you might want 30 minutes to an hour, but God can speak and do wonders in your life with five to ten minutes. Other opportunities for downtime are while taking a bath or shower, doctor’s appointments, commuting and definitely while the little ones are cat napping.
- Do Not Give into Every Interruption. This is a hard one right? Especially if you are a new mother it can be mind-bottling trying to decipher real emergencies from mere tantrums or crying spells. And for inexperienced mothers, you will learn to trust your instincts. So if it is not an emergency, do not give into the interrupted downtime or feel guilty about doing so. For example, while preparing to take a bath one afternoon, my baby girl woke up just as I placed one foot in the tub. Learning from past experiences, I had already placed her in her car seat and sat it in proximity and where we both could see each other. Instead of giving into her demand and wasting a nice tube of water, I decided to let her cry. After talking to her from the tub and making faces, she soon calmed down and I was able to enjoy my bath and talk with God!
- Do Intentionally Spend Time with God. This is different than scheduling a set time with God. If you intentionally seek ways or opportunities to spend with God, He will honor your intentions. I recall with my first baby when I encountered challenges spending time with God. When I started to just do it, I would find myself having longer intervals. There was a specific time when my prayer led to praise and worship and by the time I had ended an entire hour and half had past! But I was not anxious about what my baby was doing. She had been left in a safe place and God was taking care of us both at the same time. She had slept through the entire experience and even and additional 30 minutes! That reminded me how God is in control of everything.
If you are a new mother and have found it challenging to find time to spend with God, know that this has been a struggle for many Christian mothers. Do not beat yourself up about not praying or reading your Bible during your normal schedule or even not making it to a church service. Trust me, God understands. He designed you to be able to be a Christian while being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and mentor. Allow God to balance your life.
You continue to seek Him and He will allow you to find Him in prayer!