Why I Gave Up Going to Bible Study {From Mommy Guilt to Mommy Grace}

Why I Gave Up Going to Bible Study

I imagine all moms experience it at one time or another–mommy guilt. Today I’m joining three other bloggers–Stacy Makes Cents, Intentional by Grace and Day2Day Joys–in confronting the mommy guilt head on. We hope you’ll join all of us as we strive to put off “Mommy Guilt” and put on “Mommy Grace.”

When I was a working wife and then working mother, one thing I envied stay-at-home wives and mothers on was this: They got to attend daytime Bible studies.

I felt like I was missing out on in-depth studies and fellowship with other women.

Oh sure, I had my weekly prayer time with my co-workers. But I wanted something more.

And, for some reason, I thought that I’d have so much more time to pour over God’s Word when I became a stay-at-home mom.

(Um, what delusional world was I living in?!)

And then my dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom came true. And I signed up for my first Bible study. And I was right: It was absolutely everything I had dreamed it would be.

Until…baby #2 came along. It was then that the tranquil, God-honoring mornings of getting ready for Bible study turned into this:

Toddler Girl is running around half naked. She doesn’t want to eat breakfast, but, boy, I know if she doesn’t she will have a meltdown for her teachers.

The baby has a blow-out diaper…again.

I pack the bag: Diapers. Wipes. Extra outfit. Sippy Cup. Snack. Times two.

I dress the girls, and when it’s wintertime, I put on the extras: Coat. Hat. Scarf.

I glance at the clock: “We’re going to be late!”

And all the while, in my head, I hear this: “I just can’t get it together! I just can’t get it together!”

When we finally arrived at Bible study, I was out of breath and the girls were fussy–not wanting to go into their classrooms. Many, many days I’d have to chase the toddler down the hall when she refused to go into her classroom.

And I think I forgot to mention that I did this not once but twice per week. That’s right: Three weeks after my second baby was born I jumped right back into two in-depth Bible studies.

I smarted up a bit my when the baby turned a year and decided I’d just attend one Bible study per week. But still….Getting two very small children ready to get out the door and travel 25 minutes each way for me to attend Bible study each week left me frazzled–to say the least.

It wasn’t until the end of my most recent pregnancy with my third child that I finally realized that right now is NOT the season for me to be involved in an in-depth Bible study.

This decision did not come easy. I can still remember a conversation I had with a lady in her 40s when I was in the midst of PPD and struggling with all my Bible study commitments when my second child was an infant.

She was chiding me for not taking on a leadership position.

“I see other women leading the studies,” I said. “But I feel like I can barely get us there–much less lead one right now.”

“Well, I had three kids and I never, ever stopped serving. I led the children’s Bible study every single week–with three kids in tow.”

Her words stung.

But since then I’ve realized that everyone has a different threshold of how many commitments they can handle and attending those Bible studies wasn’t really drawing me closer to God.

Instead, it was feeding my Martha ambition to “do it all.”

When, really, the Lord wanted me to just come home and let Him form a Mary heart that sits quietly at his feet.

As I write this, I have different struggles. That Martha ambition? It gets me every time. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to fill that time I was running to Bible study with other things. Lesser things.

With my cell phone. With Facebook. With blogging.

Lord, help me to put off the mommy guilt, put on the mommy grace…and just be still and know that you are God.

How do you take off mommy guilt and put on mommy grace?

From Mommy Guilt to Mommy Grace

Be sure to visit the other posts in this hop!

When Quiet Times Aren’t So Quiet @Intentional By Grace

Making Time for Quiet Times @Day2Day Joys

I’m not Super Mom @Stacy Makes Cents

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  1. Monika says

    Thank you for posting this. I feel like I could have written it and really needed to be reminded to be silent at His feet.

      • Mommyof2 says

        I know this post is over a year old now but I just found it as I was googling. I too had to recently take the step back from bible studies. It was nice to read your post & the feelings you felt bc it was exactly how I was feeling too!!! My husband is the children’s pastor at our church so I felt the double need to be at everything bc of course I’m the pastors wife, aye, what a terrible guilt trip from the enemy. I finally went to my pastors wife and she set me straight that I didn’t have to do what I thought was “expected” of me. She pointed out that we only get one chance to be moms, our kids are only small for such a short period of time. There will be many many bible studies and opportunities to serve and do ministries, but right now our ministry is to be moms. There’s not a lot of fan fare, and I may not always look like a “super mom” who can balance it all, but one day when I stand before God I want Him to be able to say to me, “well done good & faithful mother”. If you enjoy a good book, pick up a copy of “Learning to Fly” by Roxanne Henke. Awesome, awesome book. It’s a fictional story but is stocked full of life lessons in raising kids. Great read.

    • Katie says

      This is exactly what I needed to read. I recently had my second baby and I have totally underestimated what I am able to do. I am a part time working mom, but it feels like full time because I feel like I have no time to accomplish anything. And on top of it is commitments to church, and I don’t feel like it’s beneficial to anyone for me to be totally frazzled and frustrated. I need to learn to say no.

  2. says

    I am so sorry that the older lady said that to you! I just want to let you know what an amazing ministry you have through your blog & that in itself is a huge commitment (which I’m so thankful you do). Don’t be hard on yourself about the Bible study ~ there are different seasons in life & you are just in a very busy one at the moment! Please be encouraged that you are doing an amazing job & I love the wisdom with which you end this post (as a more Martha person myself~ something I struggle with every day).
    God bless

  3. says

    Wow, I, too am sorry that lady said that to you!! I believe it is never good to compare and that it was very unfair of her to compare herself to you. I believe that God has DIFFERENT plans for each of us!
    I probably don’t take off Mommy Guilt and put on Mommy Grace as much as I should. But I am learning that “my vision” of what I should do is just not necessarily what God is asking. One thing I do is ask my husband things like, “Should I be feeling bad about such & such?” Every time, he says, “No!” :)
    Christa Upton recently posted..Homemade Refried BeansMy Profile

  4. says

    I SO feel you! I have struggled profusely with Martha Ambition! My church is small, but just about ALL of the women help with a ministry to recovering drug addict women. It is wonderful. But I simply cannot be a part right now. I feel the expectation, but I KNOW that I cannot do it. It’s been a great opportunity to die to my ambition, at which I completely failed the entire past year, and not until recently “Let it go.” I know it will be an ongoing temptation, but I have peace. GRACE!!!

  5. Sheila S says

    I am so sorry that the other woman chided you for not taking on yet more responsibility. I am thankful that you had the wisdom to sort through it and realize what you and your family needed. I am the mother of six. I have heard someone chastising a mother of one, telling her she didn’t have it bad and she should do more. I couldn’t believe my ears. Every mother knows what her own family needs. One of the best things I ever did was work through a book that talked about our seasons of life and our life goals. (I’m not much of a planner, just so you know.)

    In that book, they encouraged you to look at the things you wanted to accomplish and look at your life seasons and see which season that accomplishment would best fit into. Single, married without children, married with young children, married with teenagers, empty nest, widow. It was so much easier to see what fit where in my life. And leave room for those goals to change. Life changes and so do we. One of my goals was to get to attend and to lead a ladies Bible study. I did get to attend one during my Kids are Teens years. Now with 3 out of the home and 3 here, I get to attend a book club. (I love to read.) My plan is to lead a Bible study when my husband and I are empty-nesters.

    I am so thankful that God is so full of grace and knows what is best for each of us. God bless you, sweetheart. What a wise woman your family is blessed to have.

  6. says

    I gave up doing group Bible studies for this season as well… I am going through a study with one friend, but we are very easy-going and often take several weeks on one chapter because it’s all I can get done. It has been a huge encouragement for me. I am still getting fellowship (she usually comes over during nap time to chat) and I don’t have the pressure of getting through anything quickly. :)
    Jenni Mullinix recently posted..Teaching Young Children About God in Everyday LifeMy Profile

  7. says

    I remember a time when I had 3 different people asking me to serve in different ministries that I did not feel God leading me toward at the time. These people did not degrade me when I turned them down, but I did have the guilt. In the past I would have most likely said yes to all 3, trying to people-please, but my wise husband has made me more balanced in that area. I do have to be careful that I am doing what I feel God has for me and not what others expect of me.
    Thanks for a great article and your example of putting God and your family first!
    Jill’s Home Remedies recently posted..Find An Alternative To Drugs and Surgery With NaturalCures.com!My Profile

  8. AineMistig says

    So, basically, I was going to say several things, but it looks like everyone else beat me to it in some form or another!

    I think society, and thus those who buy into it, lead women to believe they can and thus should do it all — it’s such a load of hooey. And those who buy into that lie and pressure others to “do more” are often even harder on themselves…it’s a sad cycle, really. I think too many forget that just BEING A PARENT is a ministry in itself! When I think of what my non-parent friends are doing and accomplishing, I have to remind myself of that. And it’s a blessing — there are those who go through so many hoops to try and have kids, only to have to accept they can’t.

    As for all those mothers out there who buy into the lie and pressure others to do the same, I think who’d I’d really like to talk to are their kids! Wonder what their kids think and feel about their “gotta do everything” lifestyle?

  9. says

    I’ve been down this road before – a long time ago. My kids are grown and gone but I went through the same thing. No one told me I should be doing more, but I felt like I should be. But I knew what I could and couldn’t do, what my goals were for my family and what worked for us. The thing is, there are seasons. There may be a time in the future when you can do those extra things. But you can’t do everything, and you definitely shouldn’t do things because someone else thinks you should. The bottom line is that you answer to God. If he is leading you to go to a Bible study, then you should. If he is telling you it’s too much, then stay home.
    Patty@homemakersdaily.com recently posted..Butter vs. Margarine: Which is Better?My Profile

  10. says

    This has pretty much been ” season” since having kids. I’ve been a part time stay at home mom- which by no means is a stay at home mom – since havin our first. It has not been till I had three that time would even allow. I remember feeling guilty for not going and talking to friends at church.
    One friend was particularly supportive about this just not being the season to be in bible study. Though I am hoping soon to be able to join some moms from church for an informal one while the children carouse in the kids room!
    Sara Shay recently posted..Why I am Striving for Real FoodMy Profile

  11. Jessica says

    I really appreciate this post. My kids are a little older, which means those extra curricular classes that we’re running to during the week. For a year and a half, we were trying to attend my oldest daughter’s dance class (faith based praise dance that involves her own Bible homework) followed immediately by a Bible study that lasted until bedtime. On those days, I had to have dinner ready and packed before we left. It drove me into the ground. I really struggled with dropping the study. But it was a Martha thing in me too. And I worried what others might say. But in the end, it’s about seasons of life and priorities. Right now, my girls’ dance classes teach them more about praise and worship and Biblical womanhood than I could probably ever do on my own. It’s top priority for us. Dragging everyone around ragged and exhausted isn’t. So now is a season in my life for quiet study and prayer, just me and God. And I have to be okay with that whether I’m meeting everyone else’s expectations or not.

  12. Leigh says

    Thank you so much for this post. This is definitely something I have struggled with since I had my son. It helps to know I am not the only one!

  13. Colleen says

    I have to wonder what the three children “in tow” would say about their mother’s level of service outside the home when they got older. Motherhood is a full-time job all by itself, no one should be chastised for refusing to put their family second. I was always asked to serve or help when my kids were little and now my kids are teens but as a homeschool family we are often asked to “help” during what should be our school time. I have to be mindful of what is really important even after all these years.
    I could serve in many areas; or I can do this one task (wife, mother, homemaker) really well, and without exhaustion and frazzled nerves.

  14. Julie says

    I went through that same thing when my third child was born. It’s crazy the way older women are told in the Bible to help the younger women live lives that are right with God yet we see so little of that these days.

    Right now though, I’m at the point where I feel the need for a Bible study where I can bring my baby with me. I’m fortunate to have older daughters who will watch my two middle children but my baby is only 14 weeks old and I very much feel the need for a Bible study that I can bring my baby to so I can nurse her as needed. When I used to live in NV I knew a lovely group of moms that had a Bible study just like that every Wednesday. Then we’d go to the beach afterward and play. My church also allowed nursing babies in the studies. It was amazing and I had the stability I needed. It’s so sad that we don’t have church communities like that everywhere.

    Most of the time I don’t even make it to church because my husband and oldest girls are involved in the church’s children’s ministry and they leave early and are gone half the day. In order to make it I’d have to get myself and my three younger children fed, dressed and to church on my own. My baby has reflux I think so usually the minute I feed her she spits up all over the both of us.

    I thank you for this post too. It is encouraging to know I’m not the only one that gets overwhelmed by church ‘duties’.

  15. Mindy says

    I couldn’t have read this at a more providencial time. I just decided to stop attending my BIble study for the exact same reasons, and this was the encouragement I needed to realize that I can let go of the guilt of finding other meaningful things to do with that time. Thank you!

  16. Kathy says

    As an older mom who is now homeschooling, I’ve had to stop Bible studies. I miss them, but my family comes before outside activities. It took me a while to “get that.” God has given you great grace to know that already. There are seasons. You may again have a season where those Bible studies work for you. You may not. but your service to the Lord is what He calls you to, not what someone else says or thinks. He is the only One you answer to. I can’t imagine how freeing this has been to so many for you to share so openly. What a blessing! May God bless you in return.

  17. Amanda says

    Oh sweetie. I’ve NEVER attended a day time in depth bible study. I have 4 kids. The two olders are homeschooled and we have a small hobby farm to attend. Even evening bible studies that we have done have been ones that the kids stay with us. Until they are comfortable going to class or play with other kids. Usually around 2 years old.

    It’s easy to believe the lies of Satan that others have it more together than we. That we are not “spiritual” enough, obedient enough, etc. But all that stuff, is rules, and not the relationship that God seeks with us. He does not judge us or bless us or love us based on all that stuff. How many verses we read each day, how many minutes/hours we spend in prayer each day, how many bible studies we attend. That’s all smoke screen and distraction.

    Good for you momma for stopping the cycle and simply BEING what and who you have been called to at this very moment. It won’t last forever, but in this time and season, you have a different place and thing to do.

  18. says

    Our first ministry is to our families, amen! The Bible studies, and everything else, will be there when our proper season for them come around again. As mothers, much of our good works are gone unseen, except that our Father DOES see them, and He is pleased! That’s all that matters! Lovely post!

  19. says

    Unfortunate that the older lady offered advice that wasn’t Biblical. It really is up to the older women in the church to take on roles of leadership with the younger women (Titus 2:3-5). Your role as mommy of little ones is to be there for them. Then later, after gaining much wisdom from the ministry you have had with your children, you will be a natural leader for the younger women.

    But may I encourage you to think outside the box and not throw out the baby with the bath water? In the church I’ve attended for 31 years, we now have women’s Bible studies that meet only once per month. It is a study using a relevant book (pertaining to Biblical womanhood) of some kind. Women are encouraged to read the chapters that apply, but there is usually no written homework. There are currently seven seperate studies offered during both daytime and evenings. I am wondering if this might be something your church could pursue somehow. The young moms find this type of schedule more doable than once per week or even twice per month. Many attend an evening study and Dad stays home with the children. The great thing is that women stay connected and encouraged.

    A second option for you could be discipleship with an older woman (whose children are raised) in your home so you wouldn’t have to pack up your children and take them out.

    I’ve found over the years that if I am not connected to other women in the church in a study of some kind, that I tend to lose perspective, get discouraged, or become distorted and unbalanced in my Christian life and walk. Every time I meet with the women in my study, it brings me back to center – to Christ, and trusting Him in the trials I face, etc. This happens in a way that is different than hearing the Word preached on Sundays because, as women, we are free to share our common struggles.

    I hope and pray that God will provide an option for your involvement in a good Bible study.

    • says

      Hi Sharon! Thanks so much for stopping by and giving this encouragement! I agree that it’s the older womens’ role. Unfortunately, it seems so few older women take this on. I am already praying that the Lord will help me not to forget these little years, so I can reach out to younger moms when I am older!

      I do have a mentor I meet with, but it’s very casual and not homework intensive. I also attend MOPS twice/month. I sometimes miss the in-depth studies, but I know it’s not the right season for me right now.

  20. Katherine says

    Thank you for the encouraging post! I feel sometimes like I am not doing enough or serve enough but as the Lord told Martha: There is need for one thing and Mary has chosen the better part. If we can take care of the one thing that is to spend time at the Lord’s feet we will receive Him as the grace we need to do whatever else He calls us to do. Thank You Lord!

  21. says

    I’m a mother of 3 (6, 3, & 1) & in oct, I really felt The Lord pulling me out of almost everything. I’m a pastors kid & being in a leadership role in church was never NOT an option. I found myself in the seat of Martha myself – I was DOING all the right things, but for the wrong reasons. The Lord showed me that instead of it being a joy & a service unto Him, I was doing it out of religious duty & He wanted the relationship not the “religion”. Within a month, my hubby’s work schedule changed & we weren’t able to go to church at all. At first it was really difficult, but now I find it such a joy to fellowship with believers in our home when convenient for both families, doing more family devotions, and ministering to others as The Lord brings them to us. It definately isn’t how I would have done things, but God knew what was best for ME. I truly believe that we are all different & what works for one doesn’t for another.

  22. Anita says

    God has long been teaching me and leading me to not take on more than what HE wants me to take on… his yoke is easy (fits me well) and his burden is light! Plus whenever I do take on more than He intends, I start to resent the things that are most important- looking after my children and my husband.
    I just wanted to share something special that I learnt recently- that the story of Mary and Martha is not just about peace vs. frenzied work, but it is a counter-cultural statement by Jesus that He values women and wanted to TEACH Martha and Mary, in a world where rabbis said it would be “better to burn the Torah than to teach it to a woman!” Isn’t that awesome?! That excites me! Just wanted to share it with you :)

    • says

      Love your insight!! I’ve been “trying” to do this–do only what God wants, but sometimes I still feel myself clinging to a “to do” list that isn’t His… Why would I want to do that when God has something better for me?!
      And that is SO COOL about the Mary/Martha thing!! It hurts my heart when I see people errantly saying the Bible is against women, because it’s not of course. I’d never heard before about the cultural statement Jesus was making, but it makes complete sense and is very exciting!
      Christa Upton recently posted..Where is Summer when you Need It?My Profile

    • says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Anita! That is a really cool way to look at it!! I have heard that, too, that God gives you enough TIME to do what HE has called you to do….when I find that I don’t have TIME for everything (how I feel very frequently), it’s time for me to take a good look at what I’ve put into my life that He didn’t put there. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  23. Cori says

    I have been doing an intensive Bible Study for 4 years now since becoming a mother. Now with baby #2 attending with me, I dread those days, because after Bible Study we are all exhausted and it’s only noon. I have been going back and forth in my head for the last several months about what to do. I keep having that conversation in my head saying “Does God want me to quit or does the Enemy want me to quit?”

    • says

      I know what you mean!! My decision making process changed radically when I read about George Muller (the preacher from the 1800s). There is a quote by him (which you might be able to Google) something about how when asking the Lord which thing to do he “gets his heart into a state in which he does not care what the answer is.” I think it REALLY helps me in hearing the Lord’s voice. Sometimes the way I do that is to list or think of all the good things on each side. That way I am looking forward to whatever good things will come out of the decision no matter which way it goes. :) Then I ask God to help me submit to His plan, also, and I ask Him to help me remember He knows best, etc. I think that these things help me to listen to Him and not my own desires (or the Enemy).
      Christa Upton recently posted..Where is Summer when you Need It?My Profile

    • says

      I SO know that conversation in your head! I think only you can determine that answer–through much prayer. That is exactly how I felt–exhausted by the time we all got home, and the house would just get out of control. My husband wanted me to be at home more–to actually be a “keeper of the home.” I just prayed you will know your answer!

      p.s. I will be so excited for a season when I can go back to intensive Bible study, but I just know it’s not now.

  24. says

    I used to attend Precept Bible studies, and even took the training to be a certified leader. I was just finally figuring out how to do the Bible study with young children. Then we decided to home school, when my oldest was 5 (kindergarden) and I was pregnant with #4. The first year I could do school in the afternoon after Bible study. But it was tough. And by the time she was in 1st grade and #4 had arrived, I knew it was time to not sign up for Bible Study. I felt like a failure, like I should have been able to do it. Just pack school work for the oldest, and get everyone out of the house on time once a week. But it was not worth all the stress! I learned that studying the Bible with my children was a precious time. And when they got older, we did some precept studies for children. There is a season for everything.
    Dee Wolters recently posted..“Les Miserables” Radio Drama, by Focus on the FamilyMy Profile

    • says

      I appreciate your comment. It sounds like you felt the same as I did! I look forward to the season when I can pack us all up and go again, but I am at peace with the fact that now is no that season.

  25. Brittany says

    I was in your exact shoes with daytime Bible studies 4 years ago. At the same time I also had to step down from helping lead a children’s ministry in our church. It was just too demanding of my time and energy with two (and then three and now four :)) little ones. But the sweet older lady I led with told me, “When my children were young, we were all told that we needed to serve, serve, serve in the church. I gave up too many precious moments with my husband and children trying to be the good Christian. You are wise to adjust now.” That was so encouraging to me. I know that the time will come when my kiddos will be at less demanding ages, but until then I’ll enjoy the season we’re in.

  26. Megan Lee says

    My 3 kids are spread out in age. My oldest es 15 and my youngest 7. I have been doing the Mary/Martha balancing act for 15 years and it DOES get easier. I feel like over the years God has given me more of an understanding of the importance of my job as a mom and has taught me how to prioritize. I have also layed down some pretty serious selfishness. I remember on day crying on the phone to our pastor that I felt like I was living a dual life. On the one hand studying, and I do mean studying, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers with other ladies from my church and on the other hand homeschooling my 6 year old and changing my 1 year olds poopy diapers, still in my pajamas at noon. ” Why can’t I seem to get it together to do both.?” ” Why can’t I be a mom AND take on heady topics, growing and learning like everybody else?” What I took away from that day was that I was taking on heady topics, teaching my 6 year old to read. I was growing, in my understanding of God’s mercy and grace. I was learning, to put down my agenda and quietly listen to what God was teaching me in the day to day. It is true, it is a season and for some of us a very long season but because we cling to Christ, it is a bountiful season.

  27. says

    This is exactly why I gave up normal Bible Study when my third child was born. I decided I couldn’t get out of the house but I knew I needed some accountability so I e-mail someone I kind of new, in the same stage of life I was in and we started an accountability group. It has grown to be a discipleship group as well as some members leave and we add new ones – we always keep it small. I’m a firm believer that while Bible study at church aren’t bad I think it is even better that we disciple others. It is a great way to invest in other’s lives and share encouragement and struggles.
    Gretchen recently posted..Family Night – Guard your HeartMy Profile

  28. says

    That 40 yr old woman might have lead Bible studies and what not, but I wonder how her kids felt about it!!! People who feel the need to display their superiority are rarely really superior!! I’m a 54 yr old mom and I never lead a Bible study. Like you I felt having a peaceful and loving relationship with my babies and peaceful stress free days were more important. I still do! I have a special needs 14 yr old who is still a toddler in many ways and her days need to be as calm, stress free and peaceful as possible! I like your style and am now following you!

  29. says

    :) SO refreshing to read. While I to still attend my weekly Bible study, I quit taking my son to awana. I felt so guilty about it, especially when people ask me why they don’t see us around anymore that night. It was just too much, it interfered with bedtime, and I was always anxious and frustrated on “swans day “. I sometimes feel like I am hindering my son’s Christian walk…but in reality, I know that I am not. Sometimes we moms need to learn when to say “no”.

  30. says

    Erin, thank you SO much for posting this! I just recently gave up my weekly Bible Study, and have been feeling a LOT of guilt over it. I see the looks from the other ladies at church on Sundays, and it cuts me. But I have lupus, and trying to “do it all” sent me into a flare that’s been going for 2 months now, and if I were to make that a priority, I would have nothing left for my kids, my husband, or my responsibilities at home. Instead I am committing to be at church every week and spending quiet time with God on my own. This is not the season for me to make a lot of committments outside of my family and home, and that is where I need to serve. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one out there!

    • says

      Thank you for sharing, Aimee…and I pray you find some relief from your lupus! I hope there is a time when both of us can go back to studies like this!

  31. bonniebeth says

    Your post might rub some people the wrong way, but it needs to be said and I think you said it very well. After my third child , I was still trying to attend a ladies Bible class and I would come home in tears every time. My husband who worked offshore for 7 days and then was home for 7 days told me “If it makes you feel that bad, don’t go”. What a relief when he told me that. I have had plenty of time for Ladies Bible classes over the years and enjoyed them very much – but at that time in my life it was just too much. My most important duty was taking care of my children and I couldn’t do that effectively if I was stressing out about not getting my lesson done or worrying about all of the places I needed to be, > I noticed that by staying at home more, I was having more God moments with my children where everyday things can become a Bible lesson

    • says

      Thank you for the encouragement, and thank you for sharing, Bonniebeth! I do miss my weekly ladies study sometimes, but I know there will be a day when my littles are older–coming much too soon!–when I can go back.

  32. Danielle says

    I felt this when I first started my bible study. I was so excited to go and then when I got there everyone was early and beautiful and home schooled all 4 of their kids. ..I had a one year old and felt like I was never going to measure up to these ladies. then we got into talking and they all lived crazy hectic lives but managed to make it look beautiful. they were never judgmental towards me but very encouraging. I am so thankful to my ladies. But I still feel the guilt and I know it’s in my own head.

  33. says

    I have to say that this was very encouraging to my mommy-heart. I am not really sure I recall the exact events that triggered my ‘mommy-grace’ as you call it, but between my 3rd and 4th babies something ‘clicked’ and I realized that my babies ARE my biggest and MOST important ministry… and if the Lord gives time and energy and grace to do something else during this time, I embrace it, complete it, and then stop. From what I have witnessed in the ministry, I have to say my heart fills with compassion for that older lady’s children, who had such a rude conversation towards you. If she did all that, and expected everyone else to also, it is possible her ministry TO her children suffered. thank you for your reminders that different times of our lives call for different ministry opportunities. and right now, the ministry that CAN’T WAIT FOR LATER is my babies!! {and hubby! :)}

  34. says

    Our church does a fall Bible Study each year, and ours just started. I bought the book, and started the lessons, but I haven’t attended a meeting yet. Why? Even though our kids are teenagers, We are in an unusual season in our family, and I feel that I need to be more present in my family. I serve in other areas in the church, and the Bible seems more like a guilty pleasure at the moment. I feel so badly that that lady used her own experience to make you feel guilty. Even when our situations are similar, we can never truly know what others are going through!
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  35. says

    I can totally relate. I’d like to reply with some opinions and some options, which are worth 2 cents… and you can toss ’em if you like. :)

    1) I think you SHOULD go to study. God wants us there, and the Devil doesn’t. And he will remind you 100 times over why it’s too hard to get there. That said do it WITHOUT guilt. If you are late, you are late. Don’t sweat it. If these women love you, they will understand. Most have been there & will throw you a LOT more grace that you give yourself.

    2) I think you SHOULD step into leading… especially a study. It holds you more accountable to show up. And it affords you the flexibility to work around YOUR schedule.

    3) You are NOT alone. There are many moms, just like you … who WANT a study… but struggle to get to it.

    …. so what do you do…?

    Lead a topical study. This means no book, no homework, etc. The topic changes meeting to meeting. If you have to miss a meeting because a kid is sick… you are not behind.

    Lead a study that meets less frequently. Every week is great, but it can’t be too much. Every other week, or once a month even.

    Lead a study that is at your home, local coffee shop, or local playground (especially if you have an indoor one). The kids can play, while you study. Since you will all me like minded moms, no one will get upset if you have to step away to deal with your child’s needs… or the 100th time the toddlers interrupt mom for a snack, potty trip, drink, or general kisses and hugs.

    Look to your group of friends to make up the study, less pressure. And ultimately in the group there is always a person who would happily open their home, but won’t want to lead… and a person who would happily lead, but won’t want to open up their home.

    Make them work for you & the kids, so they want to come & don’t fight you about leaving. At a park… great. Pajama Party day at friends’ house… YES! Then you don’t have to worry about getting them dressed.

    And, if you know someone in the church that homeschools, that has a teenager… I’d bet you they are looking for some volunteer hours, you may be able to get a babysitter/mother’s helper to wrangle the kids for you, for free.

    Break away from the mold of “what a bible study looks like” & I truly believe you will be able to find a way to fill that desire for a study without inviting chaos & stress in your life.

  36. says

    Hi Erin, I really appreciate this post. I like the idea of progressing from guilt to grace. I’ve battle with ‘mommy guilt’ over going to bible study groups, and managing all the other commitments that come with church, school and preschool too. No one can do it all, but there are big expectations placed on women today. I’ve written about this in my post: http://latteslacedwithgrace.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/i-dont-know-how-she-does-it-from-comparison-to-contentment/

  37. says

    Wow. I needed to read this. It is very true. So many times I ran to church with my four kids, when it would have pleased God more to have had stayed home and praise him. The time it took to nurse baby, get kids ready, drive half hour etc etc. The joy was stolen.

  38. Lyndsey says

    I so needed to read this. I am a new(ish) mom in the military. My husband and I have a marriage founded in faith and the church is the first place We turn to make new friends when we move. For this duty station, we are only here for 18 months while I get my masters degree. Masters, military, mom. I feel so guilty bc the other women in our bible study are stay at home moms and happily hand off their children to the babysitter for a quiet uninterrupted study. I, on the other hand, am often coming in with fast food in one hand, bottle in another, and baby in the my third and have no desire to hand off the baby I haven’t seen since his first bottle when I walked out the door earlier that morning. To top it off, our church is very service minded, a good thing, but weekly I’m barraged to serve in the church. Before even moving I had determined this is not my season to serve, just too much going on, but I still enter and leave weekly bible study guilty. I hate feeling like I have to choose between friends and god or precious time with my baby.

  39. K L says

    I totally agree. Even Beth Moore (major writer of women’s Bible Studies) said once that she felt like she didn’t experience a single spiritual moment until her kids were over the age of five!!

  40. says

    I feel this every group meetings that I had to attend with my two toddlers. Half of me wants to stay half says I’m just allowing the kids to be distractions. So I leave the room, hurt but satisfied that instead of allowing my kids to be noisy, I just go out and let my husband stay(like what’s happening now). I don’t want to hire a nanny just because I need to do some spiritual things. I also don’t want to bother sisters to take care of my toddlers, while I enjoy the studies. I really feel bad sometimes, but I believe there’s a season for everything. :( it can be just so frustrating sometimes.

  41. Zedda says

    Oh how well I hear you! I struggle to handle the very basic church related social things, never mind taking in Bible Studies. I’m very, very grateful for two older ladies in particular who understand where I’m at & encourage me to just relax about it and stay home, that that is where my littles need to be. It is especially encouraging since I have friends (my age or close) with more kiddos than me, or at the same place as me, who view these things as ministeries that must be supported at all cost. These two ladies both raised large families & their children are what I hope mine to be. Thank you for writing this & letting moms know it’s ok to not be able to handle what others can. Just handle what God made you to. It’s exactly what your children need. (Im still learning.) God bless you!

  42. Dana says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been feeling overwhelmed myself right now with going to a Precept Bible Study every Tuesday with a 6 year old and 18 month old. You mentioned the heart of Mary and ambition of Martha. Is there a book or blog to reference more about this? I’d be interested in reading about it, especially Mary’s heart. I feel guilty sometimes when I’m not involved in more, which I know I shouldn’t. Read recommendations? Thank you!

  43. says

    I found this by Google this morning and wanted to let you know how appropriate this is for me today. I have been in an intense Bible study once a week since September and I quit last week. This morning I would be going had I not quit and I Googled some randomness about quitting Bible study and found this. Your words spoke directly to me so I know God led me right to this article. I am a SAHM of one 14 year old so I have “time” to go to the study but the over-talking and over-thinking was killing me. Sitting around a table of 12 women for two hours listening to them talk over the tiny details of scripture was killing me. Then the snacks they brought . . .dips, spreads, crackers, cookies, etc. . .for a 2 hour Bible study . . were intense. I didn’t want the pressure of keeping up with the snacks. Then, “the group” began to decide to take up collections to pay someone’s rent . . .then take up collections when someone’s family member passed away . . then it was let’s add a covered dish dinner . .then everyone is going on a weekend retreat together. .. Holy Cow . . then the constant comparing over how many hours such and such served at the fish fry . . how many services they went to . … Agh. My brain was so over taxed that I would think and rethink all this stuff from the time I walked out the door for the next two days. I could not stop feeling like it was all wrong for me. I wanted to be at home getting my house neat and clean and planning dinner. I wanted to be here serving my home and family. So, I quit. A lot of those women spent so much time talking about how overwhelmed and busy they were . . but kept adding more busy things. I just didn’t get it. Your words were comforting for me this morning. Especially the word “threshold” . .I hit my threshold. Thank you so much. Grace and Peace.


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