Being a stay-at-home mother is to constantly be in demand.
Depending on which stage you are currently in, quiet time can be elusive. It is easy to be overwhelmed, which can become yet another source of “mom guilt”. You wanted these kids, so why do you need a break from them??
They always need something. They lost the remote (again). They spilled something on your freshly mopped floor. Just when you sit down someone needs their bottom wiped.
This is motherhood.
And it is chaotic.
We are in challenging times. We exist in our own bubble, most of us with limited or no support – and now with the pandemic, it has become worse. We are more connected virtually, yet more isolated than ever. We escape to social media only to see everyone else’s highlight reel – the seemingly perfect families, first days of school and moms that do it all. It makes us feel more inferior.
Time with God is no different.
We know that to grow our relationship with the God of the universe, we need to spend time in His word and in prayer. But how do you do this when you rarely get any peace and quiet? We have all seen the images of the quiet spot with a comfy chair, with a Bible, pretty journal and a hot cup of coffee on the table next to it.
That is just not a reality for many of us.
My kids are up early, and do not nap. Some days I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up. I figured out that if I was going to spend time in God’s word, I would have to find creative ways to do it, in the little pockets of time through the day that appear while working through the never ending to-do list.
Remember, God is always with you – even if you are too busy to think about Him a lot of the time. You can feel like unless you can create that perfect scenario for time with God, why bother?
But the truth is, you don’t have to.
God is there for you, whenever and wherever.
He is everywhere, and he is always ready. Just come as you are.
He is just waiting for you to look up.
In fact, He says that “my power is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He wants you on your knees at the feet of Jesus. Because that is where the miracles happen.
Here are a few ways I have learned to find God, even in the chaos:
- Conversational prayer. A prayer time in the morning is a good habit to try to stick to – as a day hemmed in prayer is less likely unravel (wise words of Charles H. Spurgeon) – but that doesn’t always happen. So converse with God throughout the day. Every chance you get. You can pray short prayers whenever a need crosses your mind. You can pray while you are doing your daily jobs – like washing dishes or folding the neverending piles of laundry. Make sure you ask God for your own wisdom too. Solomon said “Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10 NLT) You may not be leading an entire nation, but you make decisions every day that impact the lives of your family.
- Praise God in the chaos. Don’t forget to praise God for your blessings. Thank Him for blessing you with these children. After all, He picked them out and knit them together (Psalm 139:13) and you are the best mother for them. Remember to pray and thank God when things go right, no matter how small. Did your toddler get in the car without a fight? Praise God! Did you survive a trip to the store with no major meltdowns? Rejoice!
- Listen to praise music in the car.* We spend a lot of time driving around to preschool/school drop offs, errands and sports practices. It is important to listen to good music that helps lift our spirits. “Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.” (Psalms 95:1 NLT). Also, remember that your kids are listening and learning all the time. What do you want them to hear?
- Short devotionals. There are lots of daily devotional books – or pick up a copy of the “Upper Room” or “Our Daily Bread” from your local church. They have a scripture to read, a short devotion and a prayer prompt. Leave copies of these around the house so when you see it you can read it.
- Download the Bible App.* Choose a devotional or Bible reading plan. Some are only a few days, and you can add friends to do the plan together. You can do the daily reading any time and they only take a few minutes.
- Proverbs 31 Ministries sends out an email on weekdays with a devotion and scriptures. You can save them to read whenever you get the chance during your day.
- Listen to a Christian podcast* while you are doing your household chores.
- Find other Christian women who are in a similar stage of life.* Find a local women’s group, MOPS group, or get together with a few other moms from your church or The Connection. It is helpful to have others to turn to who understand. Reaching out when you are struggling can be immensely helpful.
- Attend a church. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important that we worship with other believers. “Because where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20 NLT). Even in this pandemic, churches have streamed services online, or offered outdoor options.
- Meet a need when you see one. If you see a Facebook post that a mom friend is struggling, pray for her. Even better, reach out and check in. Offer to help her if she needs it. Take a meal to a heavily pregnant friend or mom with a new baby. Be the hands and feet of Jesus whenever you get the chance. You will never regret it.
- Allow your husband to help you. If he asks if you need help, let him help. Don’t say, “I’m OK” and resent doing all the work. Let him take care of the kids for the evening and attend a women’s group meeting. Talking to other Christian women and hearing their testimonies can bring a fresh perspective. Or just take a walk and take some time to think and pray.
- Relax! Motherhood can be stressful, the mental load can feel crushing at times, but in Philippians 4:6, Paul reminds us “Do not worry about anything; Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”. Give it all to God, and then go and make the most of it. Enjoy your family, as you will never get this time back. If the laundry doesn’t get folded today, it’s ok. Don’t stress yourself over small things, because “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24)
And always remember – This is just a season. One day the kids will leave you to go out on their own. They won’t want to sit in your lap to read the same book over and over or stand behind you when you are cooking. There will be plenty of quiet time when they are grown for your comfortable chair, pretty journal and hot coffee. Who knows, the house may be so quiet and tidy that your gaze will wander to the pictures on the wall, and you will think back to these days when everything was loud and messy, when you were in the chaos following your highest calling – being a mother. Because in creating life, we get to assist God in a miracle, and how many times in your life can you say that?
I pray for all the parents, especially the ones who stay home with children. It can be challenging and chaotic. Please give them the patience and perseverance to run this race and raise these children in the right way, your way; so that when they are older they will not depart from it. I pray that they will find ways to meet you in the chaos, and that you will provide the wisdom and help that they need.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Music/Youtube – Lauren Daigle, Elevation Worship or just search for Christian Music
Bible app – Search for “Bible app”.
Facebook pages to follow – Risen Motherhood, MOPS, Proverbs 31 Ministries, The Redeemed Mama
Parent Cue app – Age appropriate activities for kids and advice for parents. They also have a youtube channel with praise music and bible stories for kids each week.
- Mel Eyler is originally from the UK, but has been in the USA since 2005. She now lives in Waynesboro PA with her husband and two daughters.