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This morning my alarm went off at 5:45am. I laid there and listened to the pretty harps for just a few seconds, wishing that it would just go away and I could go back to sleep. But I turned it off and lay there, with my face smashed into the pillow, listening to my husband breathe. I quietly got out of bed, put on my robe, and veeeeeeery quietly crept out of my room, praying, practically begging God, that I wouldn’t wake up any children.
I got to the kitchen, made my coffee which was waiting for me, thanks to the timer I had set the night before, and silently padded over to the couch with my coffee, my Bible study lesson, and my phone. I turned on one single little lamp and made sure it was pointing away from the hallway so as to create the least amount of light.
Rustle, rustle, whine, groan.
My youngest child started making noise immediately. I quickly turned off the light. The noise stopped.
I ended up doing my Bible study by the light of the flashlight app on my phone!! Because a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.
Why in the world would I go to so much trouble to get my Bible study done? The main reason is that I really enjoy studying the Bible. I recognize that it’s God’s Word and is so valuable to me – for teaching, for guiding, for encouragement. When I don’t read my Bible I start to feel a little lost and if I go long enough without opening my Bible, well, it’s not pretty. Let’s just say, I’ve learned the hard way that I’m a much better version of myself when I allow God’s Word to be prominent in my daily life.
I can hear some of you saying – Michele, there is just no way that I’m getting up at 5:45am in order to read my Bible. I was awake every two hours with a nursing baby or sick child. I HEAR YOU.
I have been there, done that. During those times in my life, I didn’t get up early either.
How can a busy mom of littles find time to read the Bible?
For many years I would crack open my Bible during naptime in the afternoons. I have been involved in Bible Study Fellowship off and on for the last 14 years, which requires us to have our study questions completed before we go to discuss them each week. So, after I’d lay down children for naptime, I’d whip out my Bible and my questions and work on them for 15-20 minutes. And then I’d conk out on the couch for my own nap. Or sometimes I’d have my nap first and then wake up and work on my study a little bit.
But then, of course, there have been those seasons in my life when the children weren’t quite coordinated in their naptimes yet and so I had older preschoolers going down to nap just about when the baby was waking up, so I didn’t have a block of time in the afternoon when I was child-less. Those were very long days, by the way. Very long.
When you only have a few minutes…
I have found that I need to surround myself with Scripture for those days when I only have a minute, literally. A few years ago I took a Sharpie marker to the walls of my bathroom and started writing Bible verses on the walls. I now have six or seven verses written on the walls of my bathroom. Mommy secret: sometimes I will say that I need to go to the bathroom and just sit on the toilet seat and read the Bible verses. It’s like my own version of time out! I walk out of the bathroom remembering Who I am serving and it’s better for everyone.
When I had a house with a kitchen window ledge, I would write verses on index cards and place them on the windowsill so I could read them while I washed dishes.
I know people that write them on their bathroom mirrors to read while they are getting ready in the morning, or on their laundry room cabinets.
Involve the kids
I know that you’ve probably heard of the Jesus Storybook Bible. It is, by far, my most favorite children’s Bible storybook. We have owned it since it first came out and had to buy a replacement copy because the first was falling apart. I cannot tell you how many times I have been reading that book to a child and ended up in tears because God was speaking to me! That book in particular is so good about pointing the reader to Jesus in every story. Every time I read it I am reminded how much I am loved and treasured. So much so that God has a plan from the very beginning to rescue me. I know that it isn’t a real Bible, but God’s story is big.
What I want every reader to know is that there is not just one way to do this. Do I believe that you should spend time in God’s Word as often as possible? Yes, I do.
Do I believe that it has to be done first thing in the morning? No.
Please, moms, don’t heap guilt upon yourself because you’re not having an official “quiet time” every day. God will meet you wherever you, whenever that is.