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When my kids were in the little years, I never felt like I could spend time with God. Before I had kids I was able to spend hours in the Bible, if I wanted, enjoy mentoring younger teens at our local church, and just simply devote a lot of my hours to activity for Him.
All of that shifted when I became a mom. No longer did I have extra time to give outside of my house. I barely even had any time for my own thoughts. I remember all too well the days when hiding away in the bathroom with a devotional book or bible was coveted time.
Somehow, though, those little voices and fingers would find their way to me and miraculously, without a doubt, some epic coloring page would be slid underneath the doorway to me to receive my oohs and ahhs.
I would love to say that I doted on the preciousness of that season. But, I didn’t. It was tiring, and relentless.
I am a happy introvert, and I thoroughly enjoy having ample time to sit and ponder in deep contemplation without any inner drive to connect with an outside world. I don’t even know if I realized this about myself, but It never became more obvious to me than in the season of the little people surrounding me without pause or restraint.
Something had to give.
It took me years to learn how to balance the demands of motherhood with little kids, and still today I do not feel like an expert.
But, I have learned to let go of certain expectations, to not worry about spilled milk, and to simply embrace my need for solitude and reflection when I can spare it.
15 Simple Ways to Spend Time with God when You Have Little Kids
I remember during the throes of this season when a well-meaning, but poorly timed older woman suggested that only lengthy, lexicon-ridden, atlas included, commentary-centric Bible study was sufficient to having an engaged and growing walk with God.
The suggestion pained my heart. I was already as over my head as I could fathom. The suggestion that I was not doing enough to please God because I did not have the time, nor ability to spend hours each day diving into the behind the scenes aspects of scripture burned my soul deeply.
I was hurt. And I felt completely insufficient and inadequate.
But, my Abba rebuked the words. He spoke His peace and revealed this scripture to my aching soul.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” ~ Is. 40:11
And since this time I have deeply appreciated the love and gentility He extends to us mothers raising up little ones for His Kingdom.
It truly is precious work to Him.
I’ve learned a trick or two in these last 12 years of motherhood to seven precious and precocious children. Some have worked for extended seasons, while others were only temporary solutions. This is for sure not an exhaustive list, but some solutions I have personally found and heard from beloved moms on the journey, too.
I hope these are a source of encouragement and refreshment for you, mama.
#1 When rocking a baby or little one to sleep, put down the devices and have a heart-to-heart with God.
#2 While folding laundry, pray a prayer for the person whose laundry you are folding.
#3 Write down onto 3×5 notecards scriptures that you have learned or have spoken to you over the years. Post these around the cabinets or walls near your sink. When you cook or wash dishes, read over and meditate on a few of them as you are able.
#4 Place a small devotional book onto the back of the toilet to read when nature calls.
#5 Set a short daily devotional reader near an area you regularly sit with the baby or little kids. Read this a few minutes during the day when you can.
#6 Wake up 15 minutes early to sit down and read a few verses (or a chapter, if you are able) of Psalms. Pick one to meditate on that day.
#7 Download an audio version of the Bible and listen to it when driving.
#8 Throughout the day turn on some non-children worship music to enjoy alongside of the kids (BONUS for dancing together to it!)
#9 When sweeping, give thanks for your home, especially in its current state, and take time to consider those who are less fortunate than you.
#10 As you walk to your car, slow yourself down enough for a moment to give thanks for the beauty of creation all around you: the blue skies, or soothing rain, aromatic scents, and chirping birds.
#11 Before a meal, stop and give thanks within your heart for the ability to eat and afford a meal to nourish and bless your and your family’s bodies.
#12 When balancing the checkbook, take time to give thanks for the finances you have and for His provision for every single dollar that you have.
#13 As you drive around, or clean up the house, take time to openly confess the struggles that you’ve been having and ask for the Lord’s help and wisdom to navigate them.
#14 Whenever you feel led, pray for the Lord to show you the areas of yourself that need work first, and then for Him to show you how to work on those areas. Make sure to watch and listen for His answers.
#15 As you lay down to go to sleep each night, take the final moments of being awake to pray over needs in the family that have come up throughout the day. Give thanks for the Lord’s protection and provision and for His amazing grace and love that never ends.
The Season of Littles is Tough, but it Passes
I remember stumbling upon a beautiful little reader years ago when in the trenches of the little years, and I still keep a copy on my bookshelves.
It’s called “Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches.”
If you, too, are in the season of littles, I encourage you to grab this book (affiliate link) and keep it in an accessible spot for you to read here and there as you are able.
(And, if you have KindleUnlimited, you can grab it now for FREE!)
It’s Okay to Have Limits
I mentioned before, but I will say it again, put down the devices during these opportunities throughout the day. They don’t feed the soul.
There are a lot of small chances throughout the day to simply spend time with God, even if you can’t dive into an intense bible study. A time will come when this will be more possible.
Therefore, embrace the reality of this season of intensity for what it is; a fast-paced, learning curve for parents and children alike.
Remember, sweet sister, this too shall pass. It doesn’t make it easier, but I hope it brings some encouragement. He will help you get through this time.