Practical Ways to Spend Genuine Time with Jesus
As the start of my week is filled with community and Jesus centered study, I am reminded to share these practical ways to allocate the much needed Jesus time we all need to grow our personal faith and relationship with Him. As a new mother, this was not as difficult for me, because there were many early morning feeding/pumping opportunities for me to get my quiet time in, without much effort on my part. As my son has gotten older and on a more regular sleeping schedule, I find myself sleeping in, and doing the things I want again, versus spending quiet time with the Lord. These are some of the more practical ways I have found to actually sit down, get in the word and worship Jesus with the time he's given me to do so.
1. Get the Bible App
• get the verse of the day as a notification (I set mine for 9 AM) and/or in image form. It's encouraging scripture every day, laid out in a beautifully creative image. (That's what I've been posting to my Facebook and Instagram.)
• you'll always have instant access to the Bible
• easy to search about any topic
• it has in app programs/studies/challenges you can do.
2. Find your spare 15-30min in the day
• after my son eats breakfast, he watches tv for 30min-1hr. I can't necessarily spend all that time in quiet devotion, but I can spend a portion of it (instead of being on social media).
• during nap/quiet time. I am usually networking on Instagram/Facebook during this time, but if it was the only time available, this is when I would chose to do it.
• after kids go to bed. If you make this a FIRST priority, right after they go down, you will be successful. If you wait until you're in bed and exhausted, it's probably not going to happen.
• get up earlier. This is everyone's least favorite thing to do and probably not an option for many mothers, especially if you've got early risers or 10 kids. BUT it is always an option. You may have to go to bed earlier.
I actually have two groups of women's/moms Bible studies I could attend. One is hosted by my church (which I haven't attended). The other is hosted by another downtown church (this is the one I attend, because I was already plugged into it before I found out my church had a “Moms group”). The ladies at the Bible study I go to are from various churches around the city. This bible study offers free childcare, member rotating breakfast, different/current Bible studies, great conversation/encouragement sessions, opportunity to meet new people, and participation in the church’s fundraisers/charities.
My church gas something called “life groups”. This is like a “small” group within my church, that anyone can attend. They have specific gender ones, (it seems like) married couple groups, families with kids, and a variety/mixture of all the above. They don't base groups on anything that you have in common, necessarily. It's more based on when you joined, your availability and who has availability in their life group to add more people. Our group has single people, engaged couples, married couples, and married couples with kids. It's a huge variety and everyone benefits from everyone's wisdom and unique circumstances. We all do life together and share each other's burdens/struggles/prayers/praises. We meet multiple times during the month for study/reflection, personal events and potlucks!
If your church, or a neighboring church around you, does not offer any type of Bible study groups/classes, you could start your own! Or, you could create an online group (Facebook usually comes to mind) where you, and other people from across the state/nation get together and talk about a specific book/topic/chapter/theme.
One on One/Mentor
If all that seems too overwhelming, pick one or two close girlfriends that you can talk to about spiritual things, your personal relationship with the Lord, and your faith. It would be great if you had someone older you could talk to as well. Learn from their mistakes and take advantage of their wisdom!
**Usually it's a good idea to have some component of all of these, not just for accountability but also for building relationships with other women and encouraging them as well. But, as the way life goes, it's not always an option. If you could just do one, I guarantee it will help you on your walk.**
4. Praise & Worship MUSIC
Listen to Christian music in the car. I know it's harder for me to get upset at other drivers and be frustrated when I'm singing praises to the Lord. Also, when you're cooking, you have a toddler hanging on you and your husband is nowhere to be found, there is a certain peace in being able to sing worship songs. I'm not saying these things aren't still frustrating, but it is harder to be in the mindset of frustration when you're supposed to be singing praises and worshiping the Lord. Kind of puts it all in perspective.
5. Personal Devotional/Studies
You could also do a book/devotional on your own time if you are struggling figuring out what to read in Scripture. Jesus calling is a really good devotional for this situation, and does not require a lot of time/in-depth thought. It has daily truths about Jesus’ love for us and scripture to go along with it. You're getting the best of both worlds. There are also several options within the Jesus calling series. But of course, there are always more in-depth Bible studies/things you can be reading to further your walk with Jesus.
I hope you found at least some these tips helpful and manageable. I know I've been struggling for awhile, in creating quiet/devotional time for Jesus. I know I have the time, I just choose to spend it on myself, family/kids or blogging. But I know that everything in my life will work together and be more fruitful, if I'm focusing on the Lord first and doing what he wants me to be doing, versus what I want to be doing. I thought, if I'm struggling with this, there are definitely others in the same boat (especially full-time busy mamas).
Another thing to consider, is to be genuine in your motivations during your quiet time. We're not doing this to check off a box that says “I'm a good Christian, and I did what I'm supposed to for the day”. It's to gain a deeper relationship with Jesus, and encourage others with gospel centered truths. This post is not meant to judge in anyway - just a simple encouragement that you're not alone, and there are some very practical ways we can be spening our precious time, in huble devotion to our Lord who gave us this life. Do you have any helpful tips that you implement to get in your quiet time or studies you've just loved? Would love to read about them in the comments below! <3 Amanda