As a mama of two (going on three) I often have wondered if my daily spiritual life (speaking mainly about devotions and quiet time) would ever go back to normal. I would tell myself yes so that I could justify staying in my rut and therefore give myself the freedom to not care to change. However, God did not let my heart stay in this thought pattern. He prompted me to pursue Him in new ways and I’m so glad I decided to push ahead and purposefully look for those new ways.
I find so often that in the new season of momness, we really struggle to find balance between how we used to connect with God before kids and how we are now connecting with having little ones around. Our control freakness comes out and we end up making God-time another thing to check off on our never ending to-do lists and then we feel guilty that we never got to it.
Looking at mothers in the Bible, I stopped on Sarah in Genesis 16, technically she’s not a mother yet but she knows that God promised her husband a son. Imagine the thoughts that she would’ve had about this, every month not getting pregnant and wondering how it could be. When it doesn’t happen she is convinced she has to help God out. She took the control freak thing pretty far and let her maid servant sleep with her husband so he could have a son. This changed their family forever and even changed history.
Letting go and surrendering is hard. BUT we need to remember that God is there right in the middle of it with us. Remembering that He’s the one who planned the change of you becoming a mom! He knows what new struggles you have, what new schedules you have, what emotions you have. He knows your time with Him is going to look different. He’s on your side. In fact, check out this verse where He specifically mentions us mamas:
Isaiah 40:11: He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
-there, it’s stated! He specifically mentions mothers and he will gently lead us. He knew this journey would be hard and that we need help! How reassuring is that?!
Another verse that applies to motherhood:
Psalm 56:8-9: You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat.
This I know: God is on my side.
The message version states: You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.
How many of you can relate to sleepless nights as moms? Or the amount of tears we have cried throughout those first years?
Here are some others verses I find comforting:
Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to those who are tired and worn out;
He offers strength to the weak.
Isaiah 43:2-3 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, you God, the Holy One of Israel, you Savior
Try replacing the words with things that are applicable to you, such as:
Deep waters: no sleep
Great trouble: no pelvic floor
Rivers of difficulty: sleep regressions, teething
Fire of oppression: terrible two’s
Mama, life does not go back to how it was before kids. It’s time to embrace this new season of life, but more importantly this new season of intimacy with God.
#2. God is hopeful in this change
I now want to highlight another mother in the Bible who literally surrendered her child into God’s hands. Jochebed, Moses’ mother. She is an example of a mother who put her full trust in God to take care of her baby. At three months old, she put Moses in that basket and let him go.
I love how God worked it out that Jochebed would be able to nurse him until he was older, and she even got paid for doing it. What a blessing for surrendering everything to God. So different from Sarah. Her decision changed history too, but this time for better.
So what do we do after we surrender? What does this look like practically? First, stop feeling guilty about your lack of dedicated, focused time with God. Now, don’t get me wrong, you’re still going to have plenty of time with God, but now in new ways. And guess what? God is excited about this! He’s ready to meet you here!! Think about it, all relationships in life change over time. Think of someone who’s been there for you for a long time, maybe your mom or sibling, do you still communicate the same way you did with them when you were younger? I hope not. Our relationship with God is no different. But we need to let go of the guilt of this and start finding the joy in the new and different!
At the time when I was learning to switch my guilt for joy, I picked up a devotional book that caught my attention: The Jesus Interruption by Stephanie Hillberry. This book started to change the way I viewed my relationship with God. It started to help me see that I needed to find new ways to connect with my Heavenly Father. No longer having hour long times, but little times throughout the day. And guess what? God met me!
I want to remind you that God is not only met through the candle-lit, peaceful, intentional quiet times you set up. No, He is there ALWAYS. And if anything, I have met with Him more and He has given me more words in those short ten minutes I have before I have to go handle a sibling dispute.. He knows your life, He’s there for you girl! Meet Him in those little moments!
It reminds me of that verse in Deuteronomy:
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.
Repeat them again and again to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey,
when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.
I know this is talking about God’s commands and not specifically our ‘quiet time’ with Him (because that wasn’t a thing in the old testament for a lay person) but I do notice that it tells us about including God in our day-to-day and to talk to our children about it. Which brings me to my third point:
3. God will use this change to better your family
I think one of the biggest mistakes we can make as mom’s is not including our children in our times with God. If we are intentionally planning all of our God moments to happen during nap-time or pre-morning routine before kids get up, your kids are never seeing your relationship with God in action. Do they see you reading your Bible? Do they ever get to hear you talking with God besides your mealtime prayers?
Once you start incorporating (I’ll steal the title of that devotional book) “Jesus interruptions” into your every day with your children around you, guess what? They’ll start having Jesus interruption moments too! They’ll get to witness first hand what a real interactive relationship with a loving Heavenly Father looks like. What an amazing gift God has given us as mothers (although this goes for fathers too!) that just by naturally shifting our relationship in real-time with God, we naturally develop a full blown ministry in our homes. What a family changer!
Okay, so now you’re asking “well, I see what you’re saying Tiera, but how do I practically do this?”
Stay tuned for the next post to see what practical ways you can start bringing more Jesus interruptions into your, and your family’s life!