“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine…”
Consistency has always felt like a breath of fresh air to me. It adds an element of predictability to life, and I love that. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate spontaneity – after all, variety is the spice of life. Consistency just comes more naturally to me. Routines make life more predictable. Comfortable. Safe. And I like it that way. 🙂
That does not, however, mean that consistency is easy. We don’t live on a silent planet with no one but ourselves to worry about; we’re surrounded by other people, individuals with individual needs, schedules, expectations, and agendas. (As mamas, we all know what that does to our own agendas!)
And now that I think of it, I wonder if that’s exactly why God puts other people in our lives. Aside from the fact that life would be very boring if it were just me, it’s also true that God uses Inconsistency as my teacher more often than He uses my Nice Little Plan for the day. Just like God’s call to Abram to leave Ur for an unknown country, it’s the unpredictable things in life that challenge me to trust God, to love others, and to choose joy in the midst of inconvenient circumstances.
So the inconsistency in my life is a good thing after all. God is using it to make me more like Christ!
But what about the times when the “unpredictable” takes over and crowds out our time with God? (Because believe me, it happens, and I’ve been there!)
What do we do when we forget to set the alarm and sleep late? What happens when the Little Person wakes up an hour before he should have? What happens when your husband calls from work and asks you to add a favor to your to-do list?
What do we do when the inconsistency of our lives steals our time for devos? Especially when that’s fast becoming the “new normal” in our lives?
I can’t claim to have all the answers on this one; on the contrary, it’s something that I wrestle with too. But I’ve learned a few tips and hacks that I would love to share with you. (And I hope you’ll leave the tips and hacks that you’ve learned in the comment section below!!)
Five Ways to Build Time with God into Your Day
Especially as a mom who has no consistency in her day!
“The thing you do first in the morning always gets done.”
A wise older mom shared this piece of advice with me recently, and it has truly changed my perspective on morning routines. We all have routines that we like to keep in the morning, and we all have mornings when that routine goes right out the window. But this woman makes a keen observation – the first thing that we do is the thing that is least likely to be interrupted, isn’t it?
Actually, this piece of advice is why I’m not wearing make-up today… (Time for true confessions!) Yes, we forgot to set the alarm last night and slept an hour later than we meant to this morning. And while my husband has some flexibility in his work schedule, he does need to get to work sooner rather than later… 🙂
So something needed to get cut out of my schedule this morning, but I knew (based on previous experience!) that I’d need time with God for the day to go well. I chose to throw the routine out the window and read a couple chapters of the Bible before spending time in prayer while showering and getting dressed.
We got the necessary things done this morning, and my husband walked out the door only twenty minutes later than usual. But enjoying a long, hot shower? Spending time to put on make-up and check blog stats? Making the bed and putting a few dishes away?
Those normal routines went right out the window, and my day went better because of the time I got to spend with God. I’m still not wearing make-up, and I don’t regret a bit of it!
“But I’m already so busy in the mornings!”
In light of morning routines, the above tip might mean you need to get up a little earlier to spend time with God. If you don’t have the ability to cut anything out of your normal routine, adding a new routine will require more time in your morning.
I know that’s not a popular tip to give. Especially for those of us who function best later in the day. If you have a later time that works for you, a time when you can really focus on God and His Word, that’s wonderful, and you should keep it up!
But honestly? I’ve found that starting my day 15 minutes earlier than usual isn’t a hard habit to get into. It means setting an alarm. It means asking God to help you have joy as you pursue Him at an earlier time in the morning. It means remembering the why of your decision the next morning when you’d really rather stay in bed.
And it means getting out of bed right away. Staying in bed an extra five minutes prolongs the inevitable, and you’re more likely to dread getting up than if you do it fast.
That being said, I’m more of an early bird than a night owl. If you have any tips to share as a night owl to other night owls, please feel free to share!!
Need something to help you take the first step?
“But we just don’t have a consistent schedule as a family…”
I totally understand this frustration. Baby #1 brought some crazy, wonderful inconsistency into our lives when he arrived, and I’m fully expecting the same to happen when Baby #2 makes his appearance.
That being said, inconsistent schedules don’t have to remain the norm. My mornings with Little Person #1 used to be very unscheduled. We’d play, do a bit of housework, play some more, switch rooms, play some more… But lately? We’ve been creating a little routine all our own, and Little Person loves it! It’s just a matter of doing the same thing, the same way, over a few days.
And really, we all do have some form of routine as we get ready for the day – there’s a time to brush our teeth and a way we apply our make-up… And spending time with God works the same way! Build a new routine, and put some Bible time in it!
It’s okay for your walk with God to look different now…
All the routines in the world won’t guarantee that you as a mom will get to spend the same amount of time with God as you did before the kids came along. But here’s thing – that’s okay!
Just because an uninterrupted 30 minutes is hard to come by doesn’t mean that you have to give up time with God. I’ve heard of moms who stream an audio Bible on their phones while they get ready for the day. Others write memory verses on 3×5 cards and tape them to mirrors and kitchen windows. Nursing mommies keep a devotional book next to their chair and use nighttime feedings to spend time with God and Baby.
It’s just fine for your walk with God to change from season to season. Just be creative, and find new ways to spend time with Him!
Get the kids involved!
I know it’s hard to find a time to sit and read the Bible for 15 minutes once the kids are up. I’ve tried that, and my concentration is always scattered, even before I start! But that doesn’t mean that Bible time is gone once the kids are awake…
Little Person and I are starting a new routine this week. (Well, Mommy is starting a new routine; we’ll see if Little Buddy catches on!) The idea is to finish breakfast and move into the living room for a little playtime, just like always. But while Little Buddy plays, Mommy is going to read from a Children’s Bible out loud. And then Mommy is going to pray out loud, thanking God for the story, and asking Him to be with Mommy and Daddy and Little Buddy today.
Whether he listens well or not isn’t an issue right now; I just want these Bible stories to be a regular part of his life, right from the start. And really, I’ve found that reading these simple Bible stories and asking for God’s blessing on our day has been a great reminder for me too!
We’ll see how this goes! I’ll definitely keep you posted on how this little routine works out. You should try it too, and let me know how it works for your family! 🙂 (Need a really good Children’s Bible? Here’s the one we have – I love the simple stories and illustrations and the little summary statements and applications they’ve written for each!!)
That’s five ways to build some time with God into your day, and I don’t think they were too hard, were they? Sometimes all we need is a fresh idea or a new perspective to take the next right step, and I hope these ideas do that for you!
If you’d like a little more encouragement for spending time with God, check out the other posts in our Pursuing God as Busy Moms series below. (Just keep scrolling!) And make sure you sign up for encouragement emails from Little Yellow House Adventures to claim your free copy of our Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge!
I’m praying for you!
With Love, Erin
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