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…