“Get that out of your ear!”
“Don’t poke her eyes!!”
“GENTLE! Gentle touches... see?”
“NO SITTING ON THE BABY- OFF!!!!!”
“Seriously. Stop putting things in your ear! You are going to cause permanent damage, Bud.”
“Please don’t jump on people, guys. That’s owie.”
“Come here and ask me nicely.”
And of course all of the:
“I waaanchu”, “cawwy me”, “I hungwy”, “I firsty”, “Pay wif me”
“V-V” (TV) “Side, SIDE” (Outside), “Mook” (Milk)
Since June I have been the stay-at-home mother of 3 kids ages 3 and under. My kids are usually awake around 5am and are definitely on the “spirited” (read: undisciplined, unstructured, crazy) end of the spectrum.
It. Is. Constant.
The moment my oldest two are playing nicely together or watching something on TV (don’t judge), and I try to “clean” (read: tidy my home in a way that would discourage unexpected visitors from calling Social Services). I occasionally remember to look my poor, neglected 2 month old in her beautiful eyes to tell her how much I love her and actually enjoy her existence. Maybe you don't have 3 kids that are 3 years apart. Maybe you have 3 jobs, or one really demanding one. Maybe you are just plain busy. And maybe you're like me and ask yourself, "how am I possibly supposed to make time for myself in this chaos"?
Usually by the time I am in the middle of lamenting my lack of “me” time, I realize that I have not dedicated any time to God either...
Lately I have been making more of an effort to make God a bigger part of my daily life. Here are some tricks I’ve been using in the midst of my chaos:
- Switch the Station
It can make a big difference to switch your background noise to positive, uplifting Christian music. Katy talks about it more in this post! Sing along and praise God as you wipe off the counter for the 4 billionth time that morning! It will have a positive influence on your kids, too!
Throughout the day, as things remind you, recite scripture you have memorized. Do it out loud or in your mind. You’re probably already multitasking, so challenge yourself to find a verse that applies to one of the things you are doing or see how many in a row you can spout off the top of your head! When you have a hard time coming up with the exact wording of a passage you thought you knew, it may even encourage you to open your actual bible to look it up!
- Kid’s Books & Devotionals
I don’t have to tell you how essential it is to tell your children about God and make sure He is a fundamental part of their lives! When you are reading them books, scan the shelf for some biblical stories. During devotion, make sure the true message is accurately portrayed instead of just a feel-good moral. Challenge yourself to incorporate details from the bible that your kids version may be missing! Also, read this great post:
- Online Sermons & Audio Bible
One of my favorite things to do when I am gearing up to write a blog post is to spend the few days before listening to solid sermons. I usually have to listen to one a few times, and even then I don’t always hear the whole thing, but it helps me get focused. A Reason for Hope is a great place to start! When I’m all caught up on sermons I like to turn on the bible in the background!
- PRAY & Count Those Blessings
You can pray any time and about anything. Pray with your kids. Pray through frustration. Cast your cares on HIM! Pray for forgiveness. Pray with gratitude and count your blessings!
- Scriptural Art
Having beautiful scripture verses or biblical art in your home can also help you refocus. One more place for God to be, and one more reminder to keep him in every part of your life! It is especially helpful to place these reminders in places we spend a lot of our time (read: at the kitchen sink...) www.Corissanelsonart.com has some great printables if you don’t know where to start looking!
- Charts and Planners
For you list makers and planner people, schedule some time for God! Reward yourself with a check mark, sticker, or whatever it takes to put your relationship with Jesus on your list of goals and priorities. (Just be careful that you don’t treat or think about your relationship with God as just another to-do!!)
- There’s an App for That
Becky talked about it in this recent post! Technology is a huge part of our lives, and has a ton of tools to make various aspects of our lives easier. Use it to help you find time for God on your phone or as you take a minute to yourself to check facebook or Pinterest!
- Pocket Reminders
For those days that I am not wearing yoga pants, I sometimes like to scribble a verse or section from scripture onto a scrap of paper and stick it in my pocket (or purse/diaper bag) so that any time I put my hand in my pocket (or dig something out of the diaper bag), I see it and am reminded and refreshed by God’s messages to me.
- Friends & Mentors
There are few things more valuable than a good Christian friend or mentor who will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. Schedule playdates, send texts or e-mails, or do whatever you can do to keep one another mutually encouraged in the faith! Read more here!
These are 10 ways to saturate your lives with scripture when you are struggling to find a minute to even sit down. But here are two very important truths to remember:
- There is absolutely no substitute for carving out time, no matter how crazy things get, to give your undivided attention to God and his Word.
Putting up pictures of your best friend, telling your children about them, or thinking about memories you have shared will never be as satisfying of a relationship-builder as sitting down to coffee together, sharing your life and listening to what they have to say too. We make the the time for the important things in our lives. God does not belong on the list of things to think about if you have time.
- You are a loved and redeemed child of God. You are already purchased and won. Your salvation and His love are in no way dependant on your actions.
Give yourself some grace. God has! God is not an employer who sees that you clocked in late or called in sick, missed a deadline or goofed up a project. He is our loving Father who knows and created your inmost being. He loves you deeply and is a fountain of patience and forgiveness that never runs dry. Go to Him, not to fulfill a requirement, but to feel the loving embrace of a Father who loves you and called you to be His own.
Some days I feel like I am putting out fires all day, but I feel a whole lot better when I am more concerned about growing the fire in my heart.
*Don't forget to participate in our new online Bible study on Facebook!!