As a busy mom, you might struggle to figure out how to set aside time to invest in your faith. Here are 7 ways to keep you encouraged and growing as a Christian.
By Kristen Smith, Contributing Writer
Though my Christian faith is extremely important to me as a mom, I struggle often to figure out how to set aside substantial time to invest in it. In fact, I kind of chuckle inside when I hear the phrase quiet time.
Quiet? With five children ages ten and under in my house? Quiet rarely happens here, except late at night.
But no matter how busy I am trying to balance all of my responsibilities at home, I still can’t neglect my spiritual health. Instead, I have to get creative in how I connect with the Lord and grow as a Christian.
I’ve found these seven ways keep me encouraged and growing as a Christian, even when motherhood keeps me busy.
1. Audio Bibles
I rarely have an uninterrupted slot of time to read the Bible at length. Instead, I’ve downloaded some apps on my phone that allow me to listen to the Bible while I’m caring for my family.
Typically I miss sections from whatever chapter I want to listen to, so sometimes I will play the chapter repeatedly while making breakfast in the morning. That way, I am less likely to come away from listening with no remembrance of what I heard.
2. Look for Unique Prayer Opportunities
We don’t own a dishwasher, so I spend a considerable amount of time hand washing our many dishes. When discussing the woes of so many hours spent at the kitchen sink, someone mentioned to me that she uses that time to pray.
I realized that many mundane tasks offer opportunities to pray. Folding laundry, ironing, weeding a garden, and yes, washing dishes are all times to lift our hearts to heaven!
3. Focus in on Family Devotions
Every morning and evening, our family has what we call Bible Time. It’s our family devotions time, and we mostly gear it towards teaching our children.
Rather than thinking of it just for the kids, though, our family devotions can be an important time for me to recharge my spirit! Even if I can grab on to just one Bible verse and say one sincere prayer in my heart, I can walk away more encouraged.
4. Listen to Sermons & Praise
It’s pretty rare that I can listen to an uninterrupted sermon at church. Actually, I take that back. It never happens.
That’s why I like to play a sermon or two through the week. I typically listen while working in the kitchen either making our dinner or washing dishes.
(There are those dishes again. Maybe I don’t have a dishwasher for a higher reason. I still want one.)
Uplifting Christian music can also really help me keep my heart centered on Christ. We all have our preferences concerning style, and depending on my mood, I might play something really upbeat or quite mild and calm. I love that when I play music, my children get to enjoy it and be involved, too!
5. Invest in Christian Friendships
Friendships with sincere Christian women are an incredible way to grow in faith! We were made for community. By sharing prayer requests, struggles, testimonies, and life in general, my heart often has been challenged towards a deeper faith.
That also means that I make myself vulnerable to sharing my genuine weaknesses and failures with them. It’s so therapeutic to open up with a faithful Christian sister, though, knowing that she offers grace, and not judgement.
6. Memorize Scripture
Have you heard the verse about hiding God’s word in your heart? That can be so crucial as a busy mom! Though I may struggle to find quiet time to read the Bible, nothing can stop me from rehearsing verses that I have memorized.
I have some favorite encouraging verses that I turn to when my momma heart is weary, but I also love to use memorized Scriptures when instructing my children.
Memorizing scripture is also a great way to use time that might otherwise be occupied by flipping through our smartphones, like when nursing a baby.
7. Display Challenging or Encouraging Verses
Lots of homemakers put handy reference charts or frequented recipes inside their kitchen cupboards for convenience. That’s also a great place to tuck challenging or encouraging Bible verses!
Another great idea is to display verses, decoratively written or printed, inside picture frames through your home. When you see them, you can read them, meditate on them, and even work on memorizing them.
To help encourage the hearts of Christian homemakers, I wrote an ebook called Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker. It’s filled with 52 printable Scripture cards, journal pages, and devotional guides for 13 areas of homemaking. It’s a great tool to use whether you want to memorize Scripture, display it in your home, or use it to grow in a certain area of homemaking.
Thanks for the Ah Ha moment! The only way I make real reading progress in any other books is to listen to them. I always figured that I had to READ the bible to really connect with it. Why didn’t I think of that?!?!?!
I know! It’s such a blessing to be able to have an audio Bible so readily accessible. Now I just have to be more consistent with using it and tuning in when there’s often a lot of other noise going on in the house. 😉
Glad that was a help to you!
Anna @ Feminine Adventures
I thought that reading was at least much better than “just listening” until listening to a sermon that helped me rethink how I approach the Bible. Though I still love reading quietly to myself, for most Christians for most of history, they have *only* listened to the Bible. It really made me approach audio version differently!
These are some great ideas. I especially like the one about investing in good friends. I think that when we build good friendships, we have that accountability that keeps us on track in our lives. So so true.
I loved the friend tip, too!
Yes, Keelie! There have been so many times that a visit with a good godly friend, even over the phone, has done wonders for me.
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
These are great ideas. I’m with you on never getting to fully listen to a sermon on Sunday. With three small children with me, it’s just about impossible. I like to listen to sermons and podcasts during the week too. Often, if the sermon is really good, I will listen to it again during the day or the next day because I know I’ve probably missed part of it (those kids again…). Listening to an audio Bible would be a great practice to start too.
I also really love using Scripture and art together as the bulk of our wall decor in our home. My kids aren’t readers yet, but I love the idea of us all being surrounded with encouragement and exhortation just about everywhere our eyes land!
We’ve recently started decorating with Scripture art, too! I love it!
Yeah… listening to full sermons… I’m not sure I remember what that’s like! 😉
I believe God uses being a Mom and it’s challenges( at every stage) to shape us. It’s not being a Mom, Wife, Co-Worker, Relative, Friend and Christian…it’s being a Christian mom, Christian Wife, Christian co-worker, Christian relative and Christian friend. These roles and circumstances are given with a purpose. I understand your points and they are all beneficial but the time is now, not when children are over 10. Every season of life has challenges. Do not let yourself fall into the trap of thinking otherwise. Daniel had lions, David had Goliath, Hannah had no child, Abigail had a fool for a husband…God does not want to be on the back burner during the trials he gives us. Life flows when we depend on his strength and not our own. Saying ‘there is no time’ is a sure sign that God will ramp up the craziness until you are forced to recognize that He is your strength and comfort. Faith comes by hearing of the Word. Faith is what you need.
I think that was her point and to give moms some tangible ways to spend time with God during this crazy season.
You do definitely have a point. There has to be a balance to the busyness of motherhood and the need to simply make time for the Lord. As I said in the beginning of the post, no matter how busy I am as a mom, I have to make time to invest in my relationship with the Lord.
As Erin said, the entire point of the post is to work with the time we have. I don’t believe I ever said in the post that it’s okay to just say there is no time or to put your spiritual walk to the back burner. Can you share why you might have gotten that impression? You said faith comes by hearing, and I agree. That’s why I mentioned audio Bibles and sermons!
I have found that as our family size has grown, I’ve had to get outside of the box that my relationship with the Lord should look a certain way or be worked out in the way it did before children. It simply won’t. And that doesn’t mean that I’m neglecting the Lord (though no doubt that can happen to anyone, including me!), only that I have to be very intentional with the little things I do during the day so I can still connect with Him.
You’re also right, motherhood is not a hindrance to our faith! It’s been the most sanctifying aspect of life for me.
Kristen, I just love this post… and I so relate!
I’m a hugely visual person, so I have to be careful with audio Bibles because I can so easily tune it right out. I do have a Bible Gateway app on my phone and tablet, that way I can easily snatch times to read the Bible throughout the day (while I’m nursing our little guy, soaking in the tub, or any other time I can manage!).
Quite time is something I desperately need but really have to work hard to make happen in my life. I do a few late night and early mornings each week, just to carve out time to connect with the Lord with an undistracted frame of mind.
Thank you for this post, I’m really excited to see you sharing here! 🙂
Thank you, sweet friend!
I’ll be honest, I’m with you on the audio Bibles and listening to sermons sometimes. I find that I try to listen to them, and the children get chattering, and my mind spaces out. But I still try to snap my attention back and get in what I can! I definitely prefer reading, too, but I like the audio option.
I’ve also been trying to read on my Bible app (the same one you use!) before I fall asleep. I can do it in bed, while it’s dark, and try to have God’s Word as the last thing I was thinking of before I fell asleep. I haven’t been very consistent with it, but I like it when I remember!
I appreciate this so much, Kristen! I have felt guilty, and should have, for not making personal Bible time a priority, but have recently come to the same conclusions you have stated here. I’ve been listening to the Bible on tape while getting ready in the morning, cranking it up loud so I can hear it over the shower,:-) snatching quiet moments of mindless activity to pray, writing verses on index cards to post in conspicuous places, and trying to really plug in more in Family Bible Time. Rather than thinking of God as angry with me for not doing things the way I did before children, I have begun asking Him what I CAN do to grow spiritually where He has me in a busy household of 10.
“Rather than thinking of God as angry with me for not doing things the way I did before children, I have begun asking Him what I CAN do to grow spiritually where He has me in a busy household of 10.”
I love, love, love this! Yes, that is so true and so perfectly said.
Those are some beautiful ideas. I do feel like I’m starving when I don’t get Spiritual Food daily…its as important as the 3 meals I MAKE SURE I get every day. Lol! Besides all the snacks in between. =] And as grouchy as I get when my blood sugar is low-so is it when I haven’t had my time with the Lord. ; )
Meditating on the Word as we work is something that I’ve found the Lord using in my life, too. He will bring things to mind from Sermons or Quotes and Scriptures that I’ve read and I know its nothing I could’ve remembered on my own with the Mommy Brain already scattered as it is. Lol It has to be His Spirit bringing it all to remembrance.
I’ve found Spiritual edification through my husband- who seems to be steady in spite of my womanly unsteadiness sometimes due to hormones, etc.
I can also see how my Sisters in the Lord play a vital part too-just like you said. Thanks Kristen for bringing these tips to mind.
Ooo, I like that about getting grouchy when we haven’t had time with the Lord like we do when we’re really hungry (yep, I’m like that, too!). That’s really true and a great way to think about it! Time in prayer and reading the Bible really has a way to sweeten us, doesn’t it?
Kristen, you are so right! Being a faithful follower of Christ who has been called to motherhood is a challenge. We must set Him as a priority, yet as you pointed out, think outside the box! I have a 14 month old and 6 year old. Our family has our own unique challenges with daddy being disabled. However, through it all God is teacheing us to trust Him, live in faith not by sight and live in His grace.
The past two years God has put us in a couple Sunday School class (otherwise known as Connection Group in my church). As I have grown close to these wonderful ladies the more I see God teaching me about the importance in living in His grace, especially as moms of young children. He has shown me the need is so great in a mom’s heart! Striving to live faithfully to Him, yet letting Him define what that is. I know I personally put all these over the top expectations on myself that just aren’t realistic for the season I’m in.
I love this post! It’s reminded me, encouraged me on what I’m doing right and refocusing me where I need it and given me new ideas!
I do have an awesome suggestion for anyone looking for an anointed bible study. It’s called BSF – Bible Study Fellowship. Find details here: www.bsfinternational.org
It’s an interdenominational bible study started by a missionary, an in depth study. It it’s in fact international, all over the world! It it’s only during the school year. The day classes have childcare that is not a day care situation, but where preschoolers learn the same study as mom, but on their level. Even babies in song! There are evening classes for moms with 1st-12th graders as well! Also classes for men with childcare! The whole family can learn through the in-depth bible study!
You only meet once a week, drop off the kiddos, go to the welcome then to a small group where you share your answers to last weeks study and fellowship. After that there’s a lecture like a sermon, but not exactly, on that previous week’s study. It has really helped me understand God’s word and heart more. It’s REALLY opened up the scriptures to me! Next year were studying Revelation for the first year! We’re all so excited!!
These are great tips! I really loved all of it but most especially the fifth tips about investing in Christian Friendships. This is really true because accountability is the best way to align ourselves to the word of God. These are the right people that we can talk with about our struggles and problems in life. Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
Kristen, you know some of the things that you mentioned sure what my wife is wanting to imply on my family. Well, since our plans for the next school year is to enroll our daughter into a christian school. Together we’re thinking about having her start taking some bible courses as well as watch some firesides.
Grace-filled, natural living really does say it all!
It can definitely be hard to listen to a whole sermon or lesson at church when you have kids. That’s why I like your tips to listen to sermons and scriptures so much. You can have scriptures, past sermons, or spiritual music in the background when you’re doing other things, so you can more easily fit worship into your daily life. Thanks for the tips.
I showed this to my wife. Thanks for a great post. We have our hands full with three children, and I definitely see where you are coming from without having a dishwasher. It’s good to use that time for things other than just washing the dishes. 🙂
Thank you for the practical tips! There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to growing as a Christian, so I appreciate the variety of ideas. I know that as I pray for God to increase my desire to know Him and obey Him that He will do just that. 🙂
Great ideas here. It is so hard to make time for important things when life is as busy as it is. Thanks for the advice!
These are some great suggestions!
These are such creative ways to maintain one’s faith in a busy household. I like the idea of displaying verses throughout the house because it benefits you and your family. Thanks for sharing!