A lovely lady with an infant child has recently been asking for prayer to know God on the same level and intensity during her years of singleness (those marked days of solitude and times for worship). I am so humbled by her earnest desire for our Maker and also yearn to know him in this way.
However, I do have a few thoughts (which are in no way prescriptive; rather my own personal opinions and experiences) which might prove helpful for the spiritual relationship transition into motherhood. I’ll endeavor to reiterate them here for any others who might be inclined to listen.
-Pray and ask for wisdom! The Lord gives generously to those who ask.
-For me, I think the biggest priority is to preach the gospel to yourself every day. It is easy (at least personally) to get into a checklist of knowing God (i.e. God is best pleased with me when I have a solitude amount of time with him every day- and now that I’m a mom, I don’t have this time, so God must not be pleased or close). The gospel eliminates this falsehood by reminding ourselves that even our best attempts to please God are seen as filthy rags and we come to Christ on account of HIS righteousness, not ours! Live in grace, walk in freedom, let go of condemnation and unnecessary burdens.
-For this season (season talk is also really helpful). It’s good to try to spread time out to know Christ rather than one long marked time. Namely, try to do activities throughout the day to know Jesus. Have worship/praise music playing in your home and car. Have a sermon on when you wash dishes or fold clothes. Have verses taped up around the house (on the kitchen cabinets, microwave, bathroom mirror, or anywhere else you spend a majority of time) so you can meditate on truth while you live life as a mother on the go. You can also have Bibles open in every room so you can catch snippets as you do your daily chores. Additionally, consider having your longer period of quiet time with Jesus at a different time in the day from your normal routine to see what works best for you and your children (i.e. morning, naptime, or evening) and re-evaluate as your kids change their schedules (which usually effects you). I really like having an audio version of the Bible (check out these free versions!). This way, when I am too mentally tired at night to read it without getting distracted from the course of the day, I can have someone read it aloud while I follow along.
-Surround yourself with women who talk about the Bible so that you are spurred on and encouraged when you are out at playgroups and other gatherings with your baby/children in tow. I would seriously consider not attending groups that don’t spur you on towards righteousness (unless you are evangelizing) since you are in a season of a more inconsistent schedule for knowing Christ. Just a personal opinion that has been needful for my relationship with Jesus.
-When you are on the internet, limit yourself to consistently reading only a few blogs that push you in righteousness (I have picked four– two personal friends who are godly and encouraging, and two more corporate blogs [http://www.feminagirls.com/ http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog] This way you are filling your mind with truth when you surf the net. I also limit people’s status updates (you just go to their facebook profile and it is in the friends settings; click “only most important updates”) that cause me to compare myself as a mom, or don’t link to things that will build up my mind and intentions for godliness.
-Try to find an accountability partner or at minimum a group where you can confess your sin and know that said person or group will reciprocate confession of sin and push you towards godliness.
-if possible, find a mentor and read a good book together- pick her brain on a monthly or bi-monthly basis about the problems you are facing as a wife/mom. At minimum, hangout with older mums who can speak wisdom into your life if you can’t find one in particular to model after.
-Read godly books which encourage your role as a wife and mom. There are seasons for reading novels and other various pleasure reading, but consider using this season of limited free time to read things that will spur you on in your desire to be a good wife and mother when you spend your time away from them. Consider these books!
-It’s also good to invest in a younger female/female student as well. It reminds you of where the Lord has brought you in your journey of sanctification and encourages your heart that someone desires the wisdom God entrusted to you.
-Involve your husband in your endeavors to know Christ. Personally, Shaun has been able to give really helpful insight for intentionally know Christ when I feel like some days are spent half-haphazardly in the cares of the home. He is able to share what he is learning in Scripture, or direct us to learn something together at that time. This also enables him to know how to better pray for me and our children.
-Essentially, I’ve just tried to build my schedule around things that glorify God, so that way, when I don’t have consistent time to spend with Jesus (an hour or more like I used to)– I am getting challenged throughout the day and week with the good fruits of scripture through the body of Christ.
I hope this is helpful. Let me know if anything was unclear or needs explanation. Obviously it’s whatever works best for you and your family during this unique time of unpredictability. I’m interested to hear any other insights if you would like to leave a comment!
thanks for reading!