My children have been passing a nasty cough back and forth for about ten days now and, y’all, I’m about to lose my mind up in here. I begin the day with, “Oh, my poor baby,” and by noon I’m all, “For the love, could you please take that cough somewhere else?” We’re down to only one sick one but I’m sure the number will rise before I even have a chance to post this message.
For this reason, I am doing something I rarely do. I am reposting something I wrote some time ago. It is my most viewed and most shared post. Since I’ve done nothing but administer cough medicine and hold sweaty babies for ten days, now seemed as good a time as any to share it again.
It’s Monday, again. Let’s all pause for a moment of silence.
For a weary mom, a “quiet time” with God often gets lost amid school schedules, doctor’s appointments, work and the sad realization that the toilet hasn’t been cleaned in a week. We are elbow deep in dirty dish water and we are just looking for a little peace in the midst of the chaos of motherhood. Our prayers end up being pleas for energy as a baby cries in the middle of the night. There is a desire to spend time with the Lord mixed with the shame of not knowing how to make the time. If this sounds like you, please know that you are not alone.
Here are 4 Bible study tips for the busy (and exhausted) mom.
Embrace your current season.
I remember well the days when I could spend an hour, maybe two, at my kitchen table with my Bible and journal. I could spend uninterrupted moments lost in a Beth Moore Bible study. These days, the most time I have sitting in one place is in the bathroom and, let’s be honest, I’m usually not alone. (Is that TMI? So sorry.)
In-depth studies may not work for you right now. Choose a short devotional that can be read while the kids are eating breakfast. Or, don’t laugh, keep it in a basket in the bathroom. Find five minutes. Then, when you realize you do actually have five minutes, go for ten. You’ll find, if you make the effort, God will help reveal extra time in your day.
Take small bites.
Every January, people begin the read-through-the-Bible in a year thing. There is nothing wrong with this endeavor. I have done it myself. (Okay, who am I kidding? I usually tap out somewhere around Numbers.) But, depending on the season you are currently in, you may not have time or energy to read two and a half chapters every day. And, if you do, you probably won’t get much out of it. Then, guilt sets in. The last thing in the world a tired mama needs is guilt.
Pick a book and read through it slowly. If you only have time to meditate on one verse – then just read one verse. Take that one verse with you throughout the day. You will be surprised at what God will reveal to you.
Doodle your thoughts.
What if you only have time for the scantest of notes before the toddler is finished with her pop tart and demands your attention? Doodle your thoughts. I’m serious. Key phrases, little pictures – you will be amazed at how much fun it is and how meaningful those doodles can be to you.
Learn the power of a Post-It note prayer.
Say it with me, “Post-It notes are our friends.” How many times have you told someone you would pray for them? Now, how many times have you actually prayed for that person? Let’s face it, the best of intentions get all tangled up in meal planning, errand running, church activities and life.
Keep a pack of Post-It notes somewhere convenient and use them. Put them on the window over your sink and pray when you wash the dishes. Put them on a mirror. Put them on the monitor of your computer. You will be surprised how often you find yourself praying.
There will come a day when you are back in a position to devote hours to Bible study. But, for now, do not let guilt convince you that the little you feel capable of right now is not even worth it.
Use short devotions instead of long Bible studies. Take small, yet meaningful, bites of Scripture instead of large amounts that leave you overwhelmed. Use the power of the Post-It note prayer.
I promise you – God will meet you where you are right now.