It’s the beginning of a new year – that time when we set goals for the year to come. Often at the top of our list of goals is the desire to spend more time in God’s Word. We find charted out reading plans, buy fresh new journals, organize a prayer list, and eagerly anticipate a deeper walk with God. But it doesn’t take long for our schedules to fill up, the distractions of life to take over, and then we find ourselves feeling defeated. How is a mom supposed to fit in extended quality time with God when it seems like she is needed in some way most of the day? How can we set realistic goals that can successfully be reached without it turning into an overwhelming checklist?
I think that we would all agree that our personal relationship with God needs to be nurtured. Over the years I have found that there are many ways to accomplish what we long for when we set our goals for the new year. I also believe that there is grace given to each of us as we adjust to all the needs of our family, no matter what season of life we might find ourselves in.
The most important thing to remember is that we do not need to live under a cloud of condemnation or guilt. If you are a believer, when God looks at you He sees what Christ did on the cross. God is not in heaven looking down at you with His mental check list, tabulating the amount of time you spend having a “quiet time”. He is always with you, leading, loving, and giving wisdom. (Isaiah 40:11 “He gently leads those that have young.“) As you nurture your relationship with Him in all the wonderful ways that a person can nurture a relationship, you are able to know Him and see Him more clearly.
Nurturing a relationship with God can be accomplished as we go about our day. God meets us through out the day as we fellowship with Him. He will give you truth and encouragement even when your time with Him isn’t what you might want it to be.We are in a battle that we can not fight on our own.
Let me offer a few suggestions that might be helpful.
- Spread devotional books and Bibles around the house. This habit was established when my children were very small. In the bathroom, on the kitchen counter, in the living room, by the bed. I had them close by so I could grab them when I had a few minutes to read. Even one, simple, Scripture meditation helps to put your mind on Christ.
- Listen to worship music. I love Bible based worship music and have it playing through out much of the day. Listening to worship music helps us to focus our attention on God, and best of all, leads us into worshiping the Savior of our souls.
- Have an ongoing conversation with God. Years ago an older woman friend shared with me that when she did the family’s ironing, she would pray for them as she ironed their clothes. You can also pray as you fix a meal, grocery shop, or clean your house.
- Require your kids to have some alone time every afternoon. If your children are young, you can require them to take an hour of quiet time in the afternoon. My children spent time by themselves in their rooms and were allowed to listen to a tape (it was the 90’s!), read books, or play quietly. Sometimes they would end up taking a nap. It gave me an opportunity to take a nap or spend some uninterrupted time in the Word.
- Allow your children to join you. When my daughter was about 2 years old she began to sit with my husband at the kitchen table every morning, bible and notebook in hand, while he had his quiet time. My husband was nurturing his relationship with God and being a living example to our daughter. My daughter continued to join him, just like she did all those years ago, until this past summer when she got married!
- Learn how to go deeper. There are some simple things that you can do to help you “go deeper” in God’s word. Digging deeper doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. There are steps you can take to help you understand the verse or verses that you are reading. ( Read: 7 Things That You Can Do To Help You Go Deeper)
Nurturing our relationship with God, connecting with him, and being in the Word in any way possible, is the most important thing we can do to be equipped to fight this battle we are in. Keep fighting for that time! He will give you strength!
**Gina has a newly updated book entitled: “Grace Gifts”. You can purchase your copy at amazon.com!
“As parents we can be tempted to look for methods of parenting, when what we really need is principles. The principles found in “Grace Gifts” can be carried out a hundred different ways. They can actually be custom-fit to your particular family. “Grace Gifts” is a short book, is perfect for busy moms, and is filled with ideas and practical ways that can help your children understand God’s grace. It is one of those books you will want to reference over and over again.“