Moms: Make Time for God
- Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Your life as a mom pulls you in many different directions at once, and it’s easy to let the demands rob you of your quality time with God. But there’s so much more to life than an endless cycle of laundry, dishes, and errands. God wants you to spend time with Him each day so you can have the life you should have.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that you need God’s strength to fulfill your responsibilities well. Decide to make time for God, no matter what, and He’ll give you all you need for the important job of nurturing your family.
Here’s how you can make time for God in the midst of motherhood’s demands:
Be proactive and creative. Don’t worry about trying to follow traditional methods for your prayer times. Realize that it’s okay not to do daily devotions early in the morning if you’ve been up at night with a baby or sick child; fit them in during your children’s naps or in the evening instead. Rather than thinking you can’t read the Bible because you don’t have long, uninterrupted stretches of time, decide to carry a Bible with you wherever you go and read small portions whenever pockets of free time open up for you. Know that you can spend time with God regularly if you’re determined to do so.
Clean up your outer life to get your inner life in order. Realize that a messy home leads to cluttered and disorganized thinking. Understand that you have to get some control of your environment before you can seriously deal with your spiritual growth. Think about the purpose of each room in your house, and write it down. Then, with the purpose in mind, organize each room. Recognize that, while housework is boring, it’s a sacrament of service to your family. Train your children to help you in age-appropriate ways with regular household chores like laundry. Plan your meals at least one week in advance. Set up an efficient system for dealing with mail and all other paper (such as school and church announcements) that comes into your home. Create a family calendar to coordinate and schedule every family member’s upcoming activities. Nurture a peaceful atmosphere in your home. Ask God to help you see your spouse and children not as burdens, but as gifts to you. Embrace God’s grace by just doing what you can to keep a reasonably clean home, but not neglecting other parts of your life by trying to make it spick-and-span clean.
Manage your time wisely. Think and pray about what you value most, and why. Then create a schedule that reflects those values so you’re spending your time on what matters most. Set goals to focus on what God wants you to accomplish. Keep your goals in mind when people ask you to commit your time to something; don’t be afraid to say “no” quickly if you don’t sense God truly leading you to undertake certain activities. Make sure you don’t commit to anything that would take too much time away from God and your family. Ask God to give you His perspective on what a reasonable schedule should look like for you each day. When you create your daily list of things to do, don’t just list chores, but also include pleasant activities you want to make time for, such as reading to your children or playing outside in the yard with them. Clearly communicate your schedule and expectations to your children, but be flexible and prepared for interruptions and changed plans that will sometimes be necessary. Invest time in yourself by pursuing some of your personal interests so you’ll be recharged to serve your family.
Think purposefully. Acknowledge that you can’t operate at peak performance if you have too much, or the wrong things, on your mind. Understand that your thoughts lead to your behavior. Ask God to help you learn to think like Him. Meditate on His Word to understand His thoughts better. Prayerfully choose Scripture passages that relate to a theme you’re interested in right now (such as forgiveness or joy). Then meditate on them whenever you have some small increments of free time, asking the Holy Spirit to transform your mind as you do. Be ready to obey whenever God directs you to change your attitude about something. Post relevant Scripture throughout your house, in your car, on your computer, and anywhere else you can see it frequently. Engage your senses as you worship God, such as by using potpourri or candles and playing praise songs or soft music. Don’t waste time thinking about issues you can’t do anything about or trivial or petty topics. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones that honor God. Guard your mind by refusing to feed it with unhealthy images from the media.
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