Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom: Conclusion September 23, 2021

Filed under: Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom — Amy Scott @ 2:00 pm

I know that was a lot of possibilities to process! My hope is that you’ll take this list home and think about what works for your personality type and your household schedule. Try something new, do something different, see how it works. View your quiet time with God as an experiment. It doesn’t have to look the same every day or in every season. Find what works in your daily life and build momentum.  Don’t be afraid to start small!

Life is full of seasons. Raising kids takes energy and focus. It can be easy to put our souls on the backburner as we take care of everyone else. But for the sake of your family, please prioritize your faith, because your soul matters! Often as moms we can set the tone of the home. Your whole family will benefit from you spending time with Jesus. Building your own faith helps you create a legacy of faith in your family. So do it for you, but do it for your kids, do it for your spouse, or friends, or community. A more Jesus-centered you is better for everyone! BUT… don’t turn that into guilt. Let that be your inspiration. Time for yourself and time with Jesus really is for the good of all!

Thoughts to Ponder:

How do I connect best to God?

Do you feel His presence most out in nature, while reading, while writing, while verbally processing, through creative expression like art or music? Does your quiet time need to be super quiet or would you benefit from audio or even visual materials?

When would my ideal quiet time be?

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Is there is a time in your kids’ schedule that naturally gives you a break (like nap time or quiet time)? Is there any alone time in your day that you haven’t utilized for time with God (like drive time or when you’re getting ready)? If you’re too tired at the end of the day, at what point does your energy level in the day change? Try to find a time before that shift in energy occurs.

What obstacles are keeping me from spending time with God?

Think through distractions or things that have been given too high a priority in your life. Too many commitments? Not enough margins in your day? Waiting for the “perfect” moment that never appears? Netflix? Phone scrolling? What time could you repurpose for quiet time?

Who can support me?

Whether you need accountability or someone to actually hang out with your kids so you can get alone, who can you bring alongside you to encourage you and support you?

Who could you talk with about what’s worked for them and maybe get resource recommendations? Do you have mentors or a community of friends?

What resources could I look into it?

Bible reading apps, reminders and timers on your phone, visual reminders around the house, books, devotionals, Bible studies, podcasts, journaling. There are so many great resources out there!

The End!

Thanks for hanging in there through four posts!


Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom: Part 3 September 22, 2021

Filed under: Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom — Amy Scott @ 2:00 pm

Suggestions of Things You Could Try: Part 2

Use a Journal:

Some people journal about the passage of Scripture they read. You can write out a verse that stood out to you or reference the passage and then journal about what this passage means and how you plan to apply it in your daily life.

Some people like to use a prayer journal. This allows you look back and reflect on the ways that God showed up for you.

If you make a prayer list, you can easily find and highlight prayers that have been answered.

Breath Prayer is a Life Saver: (As in it has saved my kids’ lives and my sanity more than once.) Find a super short prayer that you can say in the moment that draws God into the situation with you. For me it’s “Lord help me” – I say this all-time throughout the ups and downs of kid drama. Calling God into the moment helps me to a more mindful mom when I go to address a sibling squabble. Praying and talking to God throughout the day helps me keep my cool and stay focused on what matter most.

Take or Make a Still Moment:  Create still moments (they won’t happen on their own very often) and invite God into them.  Take a deep breath or two in the closet or the bathroom. Reset your mood and focus your mind. Just a minute of intentional tuning into God can make a big difference.

Use Car Time as Prayer Time: Moms spend a lot of time in the car! Think of all the drive time you have with errands, school drop offs, extracurricular activities, etc.If you drop the kids off at school, say a prayer for them as you’re driving out of the parking lot. Or pray together on your way to school. Simple prayers invite God into our everyday moments. Including your kids in prayer grows your faith legacy.

Other Great Places to Pray:

  • In the shower
  • On a walk
  • Resting on your pillow before going to sleep
  • Resting on your pillow before you get out of bed in the morning.
  • Out and about around your community, prompted by what you see.
  • Anywhere and everywhere

Let the Background Noise Be Praise: Worship music in the background can help uplift your spirit and give you moments to praise God throughout your day.

Light a Candle: This might feel like a hazard in some homes, but lighting a candle can be a visual reminder to pray or think an intentional thought. Maybe you want to remember a specific friend who is going through a hard time, a family member who is ill, or maybe your community, or a certain missionary. When your eye catches the candle flicker, say a quick prayer.

Decorate with Index Cards: Put up Scripture or prayer requests in highly visible places to catch your eye throughout the day.

Find Your Spot: Some people have a prayer closet or a favorite, comfy place they like to go to spend time with Jesus. Finding a spot to have time with Jesus can help you build your routine because you know that when you’re in this space, you have a certain purpose. Also, family members might be less likely to interrupt you if they know you’re in your Jesus spot. Or if anything, they can see you having time with Jesus and that is a testimony to how you value your faith.

Find Accountability: One of the biggest ways to make a new habit or routine stick is to have accountability. Include your friends or spouse in your faith journey. Ask them to check in on you – you can even give them specific times you would like them to check in – like once a week or once a month (maybe more frequently if you really need the support).

Ask for Help: Be honest with a spouse, friend, or a support person when you need a break. Sometimes you need to get away to be with Jesus. Say so. Ask someone you trust to take the helm and give you some uninterrupted quiet time. Your family and friends can’t read your mind, so if you don’t tell them what you need, they are likely not to pick up on it. My husband very rarely says “you look like you need some quiet time alone with Jesus. Go.  I’ve got the kids” – but if I tell him that is what I need, he is happy to make that work.

Ask Around: Find a mentor or a community of friends who can share wisdom and insight into what works for them. Find someone with a similar personality type or who you admire and see what habits and routines they have. Ask what resources people have used and loved.

Perfect Attendance Isn’t Mandatory: Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day, a week, a month… you get it! Pick up where you left off and keep moving forward. Don’t let guilt get you down!

What Works For Me

I’ve given you plenty of examples and suggestion and I’ve mentioned my own habits, but here is my ideal routine. Note: it doesn’t happen this way every day and yes, I occasionally forget and miss a day. It’s okay. I’m human!

My ideal quiet time:

Location: The loveseat in my bedroom tucked away from the rest of the house. This is “my” spot and the whole family knows it.

Time: During afternoon quiet time, back-up plan – after the kids go to bed.

What do I do:

  • Take a few moments to close my eyes, take some deep breaths, try to decompress from the craziness of the day so I can show up fully in the coming minutes. Invite God into the moment. I want to be open to see Him and hear Him and do as He says.
  • Read my Bible Reading Plan which is currently the whole Bible in two years.
  • Journal: I write down what’s on my mind and going on in my life. I’ll list things I’m thankful for and what I’m worried about. I find that writing down my thoughts helps me release them. My journal time is part life-processing and prayer. I often look at it like I’m writing a letter to God. Like we’re pen pals.
  • Prayer: I have a set time that I’m reminded to pray with my Bible reading app. I usually take my daily petitions to God and whatever seems the foremost on my mind. I have the habit of praying throughout the day, so as something comes to mind, I pray about it then and there. Also if someone asks for prayer in a text or on social media, I try to pray for them right when I see the message and then when they come to mind throughout the days and weeks that follow. Prayers can be super formal or flowery, but I find that I prefer chatting to God like he is a good friend in the room with me. Nothing fancy, just honest, real, stream of thought.

How long does my quiet time take? Anywhere from 15-45 minutes, but almost always less than an hour. Because I try to find ways to connect with God throughout my entire day, I don’t feel like my quiet time needs to be super rigid when it comes to a length of time. God is always present and ready to connect with me if my eyes are open to Him.

To Be Continued…


Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom: Part 2 September 21, 2021

Filed under: Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom — Amy Scott @ 2:00 pm

Suggestions of Things You Could Try

I tend to be very practical person. I like tools and resources that I can put to use. I’ve brainstormed some ideas and asked some friends about what works best for them to have quiet time with God. These are all things you could try. Not every suggestion will fit with your personality type or schedule, but hopefully you’ll come away with some inspiration and guidance on how to find quiet time with God as a busy mom.

Here we go:

Do what works with your mental capacity and schedule: You might start at 2-4 days a week, instead of every single day. The goal is to build consistency. Like I said earlier, for the first couple years of Graham’s life, I couldn’t swing everyday Bible reading, but I was able to swing 3-4 days a week. I accepted that as good enough for the season that I was in (even though in previous season I was able to do more). Remember every season is different and things will change with time.  Start small to build and grow in your routine.

Consistency is the key! A foundation of consistency will get you through the hard and dry spells. It’s not about checking something off of a daily to-do list, but investing in a relationship. Somedays the relationship feels more vibrant than others and some days are chill. Be okay with the different vibes, but keep showing up.

Use a Bible Reading Plan: Pick a Bible reading plan that sets you up for success. Before I had kids, I read the whole Bible in a year, every year. It was my standard. Now with kids, I read plans that have shorter daily readings. I’m currently using a Bible in two years plan, but I’ve also honed on in plans that focus just on Psalms & Proverbs or the New Testament only. Biting off more than you can chew will lead to discouragement and frustration. It’s better to have manageable victories that create momentum then to give up because you can’t live up to your own expectations.

Use a Bible App: If you use a Bible reading app, you can set daily reminders to read your bible or to pray. Using a Bible reading app allows you to listen to your Bible in the shower or while you’re getting ready, folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, or when you’re driving in the car.

You can use an app like Pause to intentionally stop – set reminders for prayer, scripture reading, taking a deep breath, thinking of something you’re thankful for, etc. This can be helpful in creating intentionally mindful moments throughout your day. You can also set alarms on your phone if you don’t want to download another app.

Set a Timer: I used this suggestion all the time with my 4th-6th grade girls. Read the Bible for 5 minutes and pray for 5 minutes. Timers can help you stay focused and not get distracted – and 10 minutes seems way more doable than an hour. You can always set a longer time, but starting with a shorter amount of time can help build the habit.

Use a Variety Resources: Variety can help keep your faith interesting. Read books or listen to podcasts. Growing in your faith doesn’t have to always look like Bible reading and prayer. If you have a devotional you like or an author you enjoy, use those resources. Maybe instead of Bible reading on Tuesdays, you listen to a sermon or a podcast. Mix it up and keep things interesting as long as it doesn’t mess with your momentum.

Join a Bible Study: Time alone with God is irreplaceable, but you can supplement your quiet time by doing a Bible study. You can do these with a church group or just find one to do with friends – you can use Zoom to meet up and keep things travel free and no one needs to host. You can also use a Bible study as material for your quiet time and go through it on your own.

If Something Isn’t Working, Move On: Maybe it’s the time of day you’re trying to make work or the materials you’ve selected. If something isn’t working and you’re dreading your quiet time, don’t hold on to it. Assess what the issue is and adjust.

Minimize distractions: This might seem impossible in mom life, but I’m not talking about the kid crazy in the background, I’m talking about technology or things that might catch your eye. If seeing dirty dishes in the sink distracts or discourages you, have your quiet time in another room. Set your phone on do not disturb or silence it. Ignore texts until after you’re done. Maybe keep a piece of paper on hand to jot down random thoughts that you don’t want to forget. By writing the notes on paper, you’re less likely to be sucked into a rabbit trail on your device.

You Can Say No: I’m not suggesting you say no to God, but to other things. Not overscheduling your life gives you capacity for time with God. When you overschedule your days, not only is finding the time hard, but also your energy is spent. Even if you get a quiet moment, you might feel too tired. Living a life with intentional margins and boundaries will help you avoid burnout and create space for faith at home.

There will always be a million things to do. There will never be a perfect time to get away with God. Evaluate your capacity and prioritize. God wants a relationship and relationships take time and energy to maintain. It might mean putting off unloading the dishwasher until after your quiet time or choosing God over Netflix.  We all have the best intentions with our time and ultimately you decide what fits in your day.

Find an Ideal Time, But Also Have a Back-Up Plan: I’m not a morning person so my ideal time for quiet time is actually during our daily quiet time – an hour a day in the afternoon where my kids are in their rooms to rest. I use this time as personal care for myself (most days). Sometimes our afternoon quiet time doesn’t happen, so I have the back-up plan of after the kids go to bed. It’s nice knowing that if I miss my ideal time, there is still a way I can make it work.

Don’t Be Afraid to Have Your Quiet Time in Front of Your Kids: While not as ideal as complete solitude, I will sit down to read my Bible or journal with my kids present in the room. Usually, I’ll do this if they are actively engaged in something. They still interrupt or distract me, but I think it’s important for them to know that I try to make time every day to read my Bible and journal my thoughts. Now that they are older, they ask me questions about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s a great way to start faith conversations with my kids.

Use a Children’s Bible and Do Quiet Time with Your Kids: It’s okay if this Bible time with your kids constitutes your own quiet time as well for a season. Reading a Bible story and saying a quick prayer is a great starting place for your children and it’s also a great starting place for you.

Use a Family Devotional:  Family devotions are a great way to grow in your faith as a family. It can be as simple as reading the same Bible passage, discussing it, and praying together. Or going through a devotional book together as a family. We can grow in our faith right alongside our kids. We got Owen Indescribable: 100 Devotions about God & Science by Louie Giglio as a baptism gift. He is reading it on his own, but we’ve also read some of the devotions together. It’s been a great conversation starter for us. Don’t look down on kid resources; they are great for adults too!

To Be Continued…


Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom: Introduction September 20, 2021

Filed under: Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom — Amy Scott @ 2:30 pm

As I was working on my workshop for women’s conference, I realized that my notes to busy moms really could apply to anyone who is struggling to find time with God in the midst of life’s busyness. When busyness is a barrier in your relationship with God going to back to the basics and keeping things simple can be helpful. My presentation was about an hour long, so obviously too long for one blog post. I’ll be dividing up my talk and sharing it here in a mini-series this week. I hope your encouraged and maybe even walk away with some new ideas for finding time with God.

Finding Time with God as a Busy Mom Workshop:

My name is Amy Scott. I’m married to Pastor Jeremy, the children’s pastor here at Bethel. I also happen to be an ordained minister as well. Jeremy and I have two boys, Owen who is about to turn 8 next month and Graham who is about to turn 6. In an unexpected twist in my life story, I now find myself in my second year of homeschooling. I am still in the trenches of kids 24/7 at home and balancing my faith in the midst of household chaos.

I grew up here at Bethel Church. My family moved to the area and we started attending here when in 7th grade. While I made a decision to follow Jesus as a young child, I didn’t really fall in love with God’s word until I was a freshman in high school. I joined a youth leadership team and part of that commitment was Bible reading. Weekly, we would have to share what we read and what stood out to us in God’s word. I thought I knew the Bible because I had grown up in church and heard all the Sunday school stories. I was blown away when I actually read the Bible for myself. When I read it cover to cover, I was amazed. My faith took on a whole new vibrancy!  God’s word is powerful!

Throughout my high school years I felt a call to ministry. I knew I either wanted to marry a pastor or be a pastor (turns out I did both). I decided to go to Bible College because I knew I was going to be a church lady and I wanted to be well-equipped. College is where I hit my first snag in Bible reading and quiet time. What I used to do for my own personal faith became homework. After studying God’s word for four years, I definitely had new wisdom and insight, but I also experienced Bible burn out and that led to guilt. I loved God. I wanted to be in ministry. But I had no desire to read my Bible for personal reasons. It felt too much like school. Thanks to wise friends and mentors, I realized that it’s okay to have my quiet time look different in different seasons of my life. I’m a rule-follower and a lover of routine, I had gotten it into my head that my quiet time with the Lord had to look a certain way and I was thrown off when that no longer worked for me.

I’m thankful that I learned this lesson in college because I would learn it again in motherhood and this time I didn’t get tripped up as easily. After having my oldest son, I fell back into daily times with God fairly easily. Owen was a great napper so I often had quiet moments throughout the day and I would spend them with God. My steady routine was harder to regain after the birth of my second son, Graham. While I might have still had quiet moments throughout the day, I felt like my mental capacity was different in the season after having Graham (I’m not blaming Graham. I had new mom brain, a toddler at home, some big life stuff to process). During this season, I embraced having a quiet time with God almost every other day. About 3-4 times a week and it was never a super-lengthy or in-depth study. I will say that Bible reading was harder for me in that time, but prayer became more important – it became a lifeline in that season. Things shift from season to season and that is okay. I’m so thankful that I’ve learned this because it has freed me from so much “I should be doing it like that…” guilt.

Guilt is a common feeling that comes up when we talk about what we should be doing. It’s easy to get caught up feeling bad about the things we should be doing, but aren’t. Side note: as you’re listening to my suggestions in this workshop, instead of thinking I should do that, think I could do that. Give yourself some flexibility, some options, and a chance to experiment. Taking things from a “should” to a “could” in your mind frees you from guilt and opens up more possibilities.

If you’ve been in church for a while you might be familiar with this passage from Matthew 11:28-30 in The Message where Jesus says:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I don’t know about you but being tired and worn out seems relatable to me a mother. And adding heavy religious expectations on to ourselves isn’t the kind of life-giving relationship that Jesus wants to give us. I pray that as you process how to find quiet moments with God in your day; you’ll remember that he won’t place anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. He wants you to live freely and lightly!

This might be a bit of a basic place to start, but I’m going to start with the why we should find quiet moments with God in our daily lives. One of my joys has been teaching 4th-6th girls for over a decade on Wednesday nights. When I talk with the girls in my class about having a relationship with God, I try to have them think of their relationship in light of real-life relationships. Girls know what it’s like to have a BFF or a super close friend. I ask them to think about how often they talk to their friends. How often do they want to see them and hang out with them? A relationship with God is the same way. Friendships are built around spending time together, about communicating, and about listening. Our relationship with God is similar to a relationship with a friend, a spouse, a child, a parent – time matters, communication matters, and listening matters.  This is why it’s a worthy endeavor to find time with God in your daily life.

Also Jesus modeled this for us as well. He often got away from the crazy crowds and the hustle of everyday life to spend time with His Father. I often think of the disagreements between the disciples on the same level as sibling squabbles. It takes energy to lead and guide people. As leaders in our homes, we need to be connecting with the Father to get refilled, renewed, and restored. We can’t give from an empty cup. If Jesus needed quiet time away with God, then we need it too!

To Be Continued…