One morning last week, I was all set up for the perfect quiet time. It was so early that the light hadn’t even broken past the horizon. The steam from my hot cup of coffee hit my nose as I sat down on our brand new couch, covered my toes with the coziest blanket, and plopped my Bible in my lap. It was an hour before my daughter wakes up, and I was so excited to finish the book of the Bible I had been making my way through.
Then I heard it. The sweetest little squeal made my heart sink.
So I did.
My head fell against the back cushion, and for just a moment, I mourned my old life. I didn’t spend enough time with Him before. I took advantage of my quiet, uninterrupted mornings. And now, now when I need it most, it feels as if I can’t even spare ten minutes of alone time most days.
These little years, they seem to rob me of my little time with God.
Any other mama’s feel me on this one?
Here we are, supposed to set an example before our children, but how?
So I went into her room, picked her up out of her crib, nursed her, and started praying. Lord, give me grace in this moment. I am tired and desperate for your voice. I am pouring and pouring, and I just want to be poured into. I want your cup to overflow into me. This isn’t enough. I am running dry, oh God.
I sat quietly, breathed out my frustration, and picked up my phone.
Wait–what? I asked God to give me more time with Him, and then picked up my device. I stopped dead in my prayer tracks and started doing something else. It’s like I could feel my own inconsistency washing over me.
When my coffee gets cold and the pages of my Bible go unturned because a baby is crying in the next room, it seems that I start to hear the voices whispering, it’s okay. You will have time to dive into your relationship with God in another season. You don’t have to worry about it now; you have enough on your plate.
So I make justifications. I will do it during her nap. Or maybe after she goes to bed. Or maybe tomorrow I will get up even earlier. But somehow, when I actually sit down during her nap, she wakes; after she goes to bed, my mind seems to be unraveling; the next day, she wakes up even earlier.
And so we start again.
These littles, they are a joy. I feel as if I am constantly holding tight to my daughter, as if to keep her where she is. To keep her squishy and soft and snuggle. And yet her tiny-ness sometimes keeps me from even a tiniest amount of time with the Lord.
It’s like I’ve gotten in my head that in order to have productive time with the Lord, I must be in deep study at the same time every day. In order to show my child how to have a faithful relationship with God, she must see me having an instagram worthy quiet time every day.
Like I have fixated on this version of God who doesn’t see my motherhood.
“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
In busy seasons, time with God doesn’t always look like we want it to. Especially when our littles are little. Especially when they are needy. But praise God, our Shepherd gently leads us in our motherhood.
He sees sheep who have young.
This season is hard, mama. It is sweet and all-consuming. It is joyous and draining.
But we have a Shepherd who sees us.
As I rocked my baby and prayed, I was gently reminded by God that His grace is sufficient, and every opportunity to commune with Him is a grace.
Pray while you are nursing, mama. That opportunity is grace from God.
Read your Bible while your toddler eats breakfast. He will see your desire for His Word. What a grace from God.
Listen to audio Scripture while you shower. Let His grace fill the room.
Talk to your littles about what you read that morning. Even when their only response is “Da”, even when they don’t look at you once. It is a grace that we might share the Gospel with them.
And continue to wake up early, even when your little does, too. Continue to fight for alone time with the Lord. What a mercy it is when we can meet with Him in an instagram-worthy manner. There is nothing wrong with enjoying those moments.
But don’t think He cannot work in the scraps of time you gather together to spend with Him.
Scraps add up.
They can be used to nourish your tired soul.
They sure have nourished mine.
So as I rock my baby, I will pray.
As I feed my little, I will read.
I will worship Him in the shower.
I will listen to His Word in the car.
I will thank Him for gently leading me when I am struggling, when I feel as if I am falling behind.
I will fight for time with Him, time in His Word.
His grace is sufficient, even in my motherhood. His power is made perfect, especially in my weakness.
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