Discover six ways you can grow closer to Christ while you manage your household and raise those little chaos makers you love so dearly.
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With a to-do list a mile long and kids always needing this, that, and the other thing, it can be challenging to keep up with an attitude of worship or spend any time strengthening my relationship with Jesus. I've had days, sometimes a week or more, when I realize that I've barely opened my Bible or uttered more than a "Please, Jesus!" prayer. And I also realize that those are the weeks I feel overwhelmed and at the brink of throwing in the towel.
Remaining in Christ, abiding in His peace and love, is what gives me the strength to face each crazy day. Especially these groundhog days of motherhood! You know those fruits of the spirit? Especially the patience and self-control? Yeah, I need those. But the only way I can produce them is by walking this life with Christ, not by myself and on my own power.
Since I know I need to abide in Him in order to do what He's called me to do - because being a mom and raising the next generation is definitely something He calls us to do - I need to actually have a plan and be purposeful in spending time with Him. Thankfully I've discovered a few easy ways that allow me to get the regular day to day work done while growing closer to Christ.
1. Start the day right
I know, I know, you were up eighteen times with the little one and attempting to get up any earlier seems like absolute torture. I get that! But I've also discovered there is something incredibly helpful about starting the day with Jesus. I'm not saying you need to wake up an hour early and do an in depth study, please don't do think that! But what about five minutes early?
Five minutes may not seem like much but you could read a verse and meditate on it while the coffee brews. You could read a short devotional. Listen to a worship song. Write down a verse you want to memorize. Pray for your day. You will soon see how powerful five minutes can be!
2. Worship music
Music is my jam. I may not have any actual musical talent of my own but it is one of my most favorite art forms. I listen to worship music while I run because it takes the focus off me and what I'm feeling in my body and puts it on God.
The next time you are stuck at the sink washing the eighth load of cups for the day turn on a praise and worship station on the radio or using a streaming service. I will fully admit to raising my soap covered hands when the Spirit moves me. Sweeping the floor? Dance to the music. Turn your chores into an act of worship and they don't seem so draining each day - they may even begin to fill you up!
3. Audio learning
There are days, and let's be honest, seasons of life, when sitting down to spend quality time in the word is HARD. Little ones want to climb in my lap, someone needs their butt wiped, or another meal needs to be cooked/cleaned up/planned. You know.
Hello audio learning!
Did you know that the YouVersion app offers the Bible in a variety of audio versions? NIV, Message, ESV, KJV, and so many others are free to listen to using the app or by going to bible.com. When the bigger kids were younger I used this A LOT while washing dishes or giving baths.
Audiobooks are another excellent way to fit in some time with God when you can't sit down with your Bible. Our library system uses Overdrive and we can check out books to download on our phones. I've listened to many books this way like The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst and Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. If your library doesn't offer digital audiobooks you could check for physical copies or look into Audible. Right now you can get two free audiobooks when you sign up for Audible! You can sign up for a free 30 day trial to see if this service is right for you!
Don't forget about podcasts! There are THOUSANDS of amazing podcasts out there for growing in your relationship with Christ. In fact, many churches will post their weekly sermons as podcasts for you to stream and I've also seen lots of "big name" Christian figures that have their own podcasts. My current go-to is Not Your Pastor's Podcast and I really appreciate their honesty and candor when it comes to possible touchy subjects in the church. Plus they are hilarious and one of the hosts happens to be married to a sweet friend of mine.
The best part of listening to these things? It almost feels like there are other adults in the house with me! It's not just the voices of screeching kids and Paw Patrol - real adult voices are talking to me! Kind of...
4. Strategically placed verses
One of the very first verses I ever memorized after becoming a Christian was Hebrews 11:1
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Want to know how I memorized this verse? It was on a door in the apartment building I lived in and I walked by it every single day, several times each day. Every time I walked by I would read the verse and eventually it sunk in.
Are there verses or passages you would like to memorize but aren't sure how to do it? Write them on a post-it note or find them on a nice little postcard and hang them up around your house. Put them on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, inside a cupboard. Read them each time you pass by to "store it in your heart" as it says in Psalm 119:11.
5. Learn along with the kids
We do a devotional each morning at breakfast. This might seem incredibly crazy to some of you that hate the morning rush but it's what works for our family. Micah doesn't need to be to work until 9am so I try to have food on the table by 730 so we can take our time eating and talking together. I've had lots of luck finding devotionals and Bible studies using the YouVersion BIble app. The topics might not go as in depth as an adult study but I'm still spending time reading God's word and thinking about the discussion questions.
Breakfast time might not work for your family, and that's fine! This is not about doing things exactly like someone else. Find a time that works for your family to sit together and spend time in the Word. You will be setting a great example for your kids by doing this, too! Maybe it can be part of your bedtime routine and you can cuddle up on the couch or in a bed together. Maybe it's once a week when there are no other activities pulling you apart.
6. Pray as you go
This is one I'm still working on but I feel such peace when I remember. When you fold laundry you can pray for the person the clothes belong to! Are you making a meal? Pray for the bodies it will nourish. Sweeping the floor? Pray for the feet that pitter patter across it. Scrubbing the toilet? Perhaps pray for the health and well being of the family ;)
This one will take practice. I fully admit I'm still in the training stages for this. But what's my default attitude if I'm not praying? Grumbling. Grumbling that I just swept the floor this morning and it looks like it hasn't been done in weeks. Grumbling that the four little boys in this house can't seem to aim. Grumbling that I have other things that I'd rather be doing.
I can't be grumbling if I'm praying. I might start that way. I might vent my frustrations or my exhaustion but talking to God has this way of calming those feelings and replacing them with a sense of gratitude and purpose.
These years can be so consuming with all the hustle and bustle of raising kids and managing our homes but without a foundation of Christ we are going to feel the heaviness in an intense way that could leave us drowning. I encourage you to continue strengthening your relationship with Jesus so you can lean into Him during the calm and the chaos.
What is your favorite way to spend time with God during the busyness of life? Do you have any other tips for strengthening your relationship with Christ?