Last month I recorded a video with Crossway talking about how busy moms can find time for Bible study. I gave five tips for a mom to think through if she feels like Bible study is just too much for her right now.
As I reflected more on the reality of my own life as a mom of three little kids, I wanted to expand some on what I've already said, just in case anyone wants some additional ideas for how to find time to fill your soul with scripture. These are ramblings I've shared with friends (and implemented in my own life), so I hope it serves you.
I mention in the video that when the twins were born I went through a period of time where I never cracked open my Bible. I do not adjust well to change, and as you know, children are really good about changing your entire life, so it took me a while to catch up to the reality of life with two babies. I couldn't see how I could gain anything from reading Scripture when the twins were screaming, or I only had five to ten minutes in between all the other things that were required of me. So I watched Netflix instead of reading my Bible. And I did this for many, many months. Over time I noticed a difference in my soul, and over time it was harder and harder to see how time in God's word was going to make any real lasting change in my life. I mean, God's word didn't tell me how to make my babies sleep during the day or at night, so it felt really pointless to me.
Eventually I found a groove and started reading my Bible again. Through the encouragement from friends and the examples of others, I began to see my need for Bible intake, and as I saw the need I began to be okay with the interrupted time and the lack of time. I slowly accepted that the days of spending hours reading a book or Scripture were over. I realized I needed to make do with what I had, rather than waiting for my life to slow down or become more "normal." I grew to trust that God would be faithful with even the few moments in my day and I started reading again.
Fast forward a couple of years to the weeks leading up to Seth's arrival. I remembered that dark period in my life and I didn't want to repeat it. So I had a plan going forward. It was a simple one, really. Instead of watching Netflix every time I nursed Seth, I would listen to a sermon (either the one from our church that past Sunday or a podcast of another pastor). I would try to read one psalm during a nursing session and ask God to reveal himself to me even in the little bit of time that I had. And you know what? I noticed a difference in my life. Of course, I was still just as tired. But I didn't feel as hopeless in those sleepless nights and wearying days. It wasn't a grand plan with a lot required of me. I was simply taking the tools that I already had in front of me and using them for eternal purposes, rather than just using them for temporal ones.
Let me be clear, there is a place for the temporal in the wearying days of caring for little kids. We all need rest. But there is also a place for God's eternal word taking root in our souls. I don't know where you are in your season of motherhood, but I hope these tips will be an encouragement to you to assess your situation, utilize the existing tools that you have, and have a simple plan for keeping your soul afloat when the needs are abundant and the sleep not so much. Yes, sleep when the baby sleeps. Yes, rest so you can be replenished for your family after naps or in the morning. Yes, set the bar low when the season is difficult. But also bind all this together with the One who is truly our rest, who will hold us up when we can't go forward, and who will give us everything we need to do this mothering work. God's word will do it's intended work in our lives,. Even if it's sporadic and minimal, his word has power and can change even the most tired momma's heart.