INSIDE: Life is BUSY! Many women struggle with how to spend time with God while juggling all the responsibilities they have in a single day, so they just don’t. But what they are missing out on is the source of strength that can help them juggle all those responsibilities well. Learn 3 easy ways to start making time for God even when you have NO time.
I have this dear friend who has this habit of asking me uncomfortable questions. Things like, “So how have you been treating your children this week? Have you been patient and kind?” or “How are you and your husband getting along? Have you been respectful and deferring to his leadership?” It drives me crazy because she never seems to ask when I have been doing those things. It’s like she knows when I have had a bad week and been selfish and angry and I so I feel like I always end up “getting caught.” This has become sort of a joke between us because I can’t seem to get away with anything. Lol. But when I asked her how she always knew when I wasn’t treating my family well, she just smiled and asked, “Tell me, Alison, how has your time with God been lately?”
U-G-H!!! Seriously?! Do we have to go there?! I am a mother of 5 kids, I run my own business, I support my husband who runs his own business, I manage our families finances, I cook, clean, do laundry…I don’t even know how to spend time with God with all that going on!!
But you know what? She was on to something.
How many mornings have you thought about reading your Bible, but jumped on social media instead? Have you ever started to pray only to let your mind wander to thinking about the messages you need to respond to and errands you need to run as soon as you finish your “quiet time?” When have you had opportunities to listen to a sermon but tuned in music? How many days have passed by in a blur before you find yourself at the end of another week and realize you haven’t been in your Bible at all?!
“Too many,” was my answer for a long time.
And you may be just like me! Thinking you don’t even know how to spend time with God with all that that is going on in your life, but in reality, you are missing out on perfect opportunities.
Do you remember the Bible account of Mary and Martha? As Jesus spends the day, talking and teaching, Martha busies herself with her duties- cooking, serving, cleaning up. She is so consumed by all that she needs to get done, that she doesn’t take the time to visit with her guest. Not only that, but she is annoyed that her sister, Mary, hasn’t been helping her. Of course, Jesus lovingly rebukes her, but I’m just going to admit it right now, I totally relate.
Are YOU a Martha? I know I am!
Martha doesn’t sound all that different than most women I know. She does what needs to be done but that doesn’t mean that she likes it. In fact, she complains to Jesus about her sister sitting at his feet all day and not helping her! It is easy to be hard on Martha. After all, the Son of God is sitting in her home, teaching, and she is essentially ignoring him. BUT, before we judge her, have we not done the same? Have you ever spent the day cleaning the house, putting the groceries away, tidying rooms, doing dishes, preparing food, folding laundry and ignoring your Bible? And maybe even been irritated with someone else who appears to be “relaxing” because they are taking time to read and pray instead of work? I am ashamed to admit it, but this used to happen to me daily.
Was Martha wrong?
If Martha had NOT been doing all that she did all day long, who would have? Probably no one. If Martha had walked away from the distractions of serving, would Mary have taken over? Probably not. The dishes would have stayed dirty, the laundry pile would still have been there, the food would not have been prepared and her house would not be clean. BUT if Martha had decided to sit at the feet of her guest, what would she have gained? Time with Jesus, her Savior.
But then the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one good thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:41
Jesus does not suggest that Mary loves him more and Martha loves him less. So we know that it is not Martha’s heart that is keeping her from sitting at his feet. It is the many distractions on her TO DO List. It is the many distractions on MY TO DO List that keep ME from Jesus too!
If this sounds like YOU too, it is time to MAKE time for God. And here’s how!
1 – PRAY
Here’s the thing about prayer, it does NOT have to be done in any one particular way at any one particular time. Prayer comes in many forms, some are more formal than others, but, at the core, all of them are a conversation with God. He wants to hear from you!
In Session 1 of the Rejoice in our Suffering audio-devotional, I describe this relationship like this: imagine you walk into a throne room and see the king sitting on his throne and you are trembling because, though you have been told He is good, kind king, you are in total awe of his majesty. Now, as you stand there, wanting to approach him, yet fearful to do so, he stands up and walks to YOU and holds out his hand and says, “Daughter, I am so glad you here. How are you? Tell me what you are excited about. Tell me what you are afraid of. Tell me what brings your heart happiness and what makes it ache with pain because I want know. So sit down with me and talk to me.” That is real access to God!
My prayer life has gone through many transformations in the past 10 years. Here are some ideas on how to spend time with God in prayer that made it easier for me:
- Pray aloud as you are going about your day. Why out loud? Because busy women get distracted easily and when we try to pray in our minds, too many other thoughts are competing for that brain activity. By praying aloud, it makes us focus on what we are doing and saying. Think you will sound stupid? It’s okay! God doesn’t care, I promise. That being said, other people may so I usually do this during the few minutes of alone time I have each day like when I am in the shower, washing dishes or even folding laundry in my room.
- Still feeling clueless about where to even start? I spent years using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for myself. After all, Jesus taught the disciples to pray this way so it can’t be a bad way to go! (Click HERE to download this super-easy free template for this. )
- My current favorite way to pray is to write down a single prayer and repeat it all week long. Use a small notebook or an index card and tuck it into your Bible, day planner or purse. You can even stick it to your mirror, fridge or car dashboard. Just put the prayer somewhere you will see it DAILY and then read the prayer back to God. The reason I love this so much is that then I can go back and read past prayers and discovering that God has answered prayers I had prayed months ago! (Need help with this? Check out these Prayer Prompt Cards)
2 – WRITE THE WORD
As I just mentioned, I am totally in writing out my prayers. Well, they stemmed from taking the time to write out God’s word. In general, writing things down is good for us because it helps our brains focus on the content better as well as aiding us in recalling that information later. So just grab a blank notebook and choose a book of the Bible to start writing down verse by verse. (I would suggest the Sermon on the Mount from Mathew 5-7, Proverbs or Psalm 139). When you take just 5 mins during your day to WRITE OUT scripture, you will be amazed at how God will use it to speak to you!! (If you need a little more guidance, check out the Finding Your Faith journal)
3 – LISTEN ANYTIME
Most of the busy woman’s day is spent on the move. Whether you are at work, at home or somewhere else, the fact is that time is precious and we rarely sit down. And if we do, it is because we are in the car commuting, carpooling or running a million errands. Listening to the bible, sermons online, podcasts or audio-devotionals is how to spend time with God when our hands are busy but our ears are not! (The YouVersion Bible app is a fantastic resource. You can also check out my NEW audio devotional Rejoice our Suffering by clicking HERE)
If Jesus were actually in my home, I would love to think that I would give Him my full attention. Guess what? Jesus is more accessible to us now than he even was to the 2 sisters. He is here for us ALL the time! And He is waiting for us to sit down at His feet and listen.
We just have to make time.
If you liked this post or it helps you in some way, please share it! There are other women out there who need to read it too!