Here's the simple truth: I'm a busy mom who tries to carve out space first thing in the morning to spend time with the Lord. And I want my time with Him, at the break of day, to transform the way I parent the rest of the day. Pure and simple — I want my time in the Word to work like manna from heaven. If I gather a little or I gather a lot, I want it to be enough to get me through each hectic, mothering day. Trouble is, most of the time it isn't and it doesn't. And maybe it shouldn't.
After all, when I'm feeling weak and hungry, the weakness and the hunger work to remind me to run back for more. For seconds and thirds, and even fourth courses. And isn't that the place we want to be — morning, noon, and nighttime, too? Always running back to the One who saved us eternally, believing He's the One to save us in each moment of struggle with our kids and our spouses and in the line at the grocery store and with the enemy whispering a steady stream of ugly up in our face, his sulfur breath oppressive?
Yes, I'd much rather be a woman who knows how to run back time and again throughout the day, than the woman who gave the Lord 15 minutes in the morning and muscled through the other 1,416 minutes all on her own — sure that those 15 minutes should have been enough, when they weren't.
Nor were they intended to be.
Ya'll, my need for God's Living Word is bigger than quiet time.
Bigger than a Psalm and a Proverb, too. I need more than my child's memory verse for the week to sustain me — though I have to confess that my children's Sunday School studies are always perfectly timed in this mama's life! But I need more! I need more than some songs in the car, and I need more than my pastor's Sunday sermon, and more than my favorite author's books and blog articles.
I need the Word around me and I need it in me — spoken over me, and hidden in my heart.
I need His Word on my mind
and open in my lap
and tripping over my tongue
like a constant dialog.
And isn't that how prayer should be? A constant dialog. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, in its entirety states, "pray without ceasing." But talking to God throughout the day is only part of the good conversation. Back and forth — prayer is only the half of it. The other half of a good conversation comes when we listen. With two ears and only one mouth, shouldn't that mean we do twice as much listening to Him than talking at Him?
One of the chief ways God talks and we listen is through the holy communication of His Word.
Oh, busy mamas, if we are to converse with Him throughout the day, without ceasing, we've got to be listening, too — to make it a good talk. I don't want to hear myself mumble on about all my feelings one more day. I want a dialog that's going to change me, empower me, and go with me into my mothering moments, and my wife-ing, and my friendships, and my laundry-folding moments, too! And isn't laundry much like prayer should be? Unceasing.
Often times when I share a blog article or a short note on social media, women respond, "I just printed up the Bible verse you shared this morning. I stuck it on my mirror, and my fridge, and the dashboard of my car, and all day long I read it and memorized and thought about it."
The Word of God isn't meant to be words we read and leave. We need to take the Word to heart and then take it with us in our hearts.
TAKE THE WORD OF GOD TO HEART,
THEN TAKE IT WITH YOU IN YOUR HEART.
But how do we take it with us into our busy days if it's not yet deeply rooted and bearing fruit? Might I suggest we hide it in our homes as a means to hide it in our hearts? Hang it in our homes as we desire to hang it in our hearts. Frame it in our homes as we frame it in our hearts. Make it the focal point of our homes, believing it should be the focal point of our hearts.
God's Word should absolutely transform our words...so we must hide it in both our hearts and homes.
One of the ways that I keep the Word of God ever before me is by decorating with it. Like the women who write me notes on social media, telling me they print up the verses I share, and hang them around their homes like works of art.
It was because of these notes from readers that I started giving away three prints every season to encourage my friends.
If the fruit of God's Spirit in your life seems to die on the vine in your home by mid-afternoon each day, perhaps it's not that you didn't abide long enough in the morning, it could simply be that you need to abide at noon and 3:00pm and 9:00pm as well! It could be, and I suggest that it is, that you don't need to abide in His Word for one quiet time each day, near as much as you need His Word to abide in the quiet places of your heart all day long. Let's allow Him to speak to us from that indwelling place.
Sign up now and receive this season's gentle parenting prints: complete with a scripture, a song, and a quote to decorate your heart and home. Autumn's vibrant hues are on full display in this series and I hope the words on these pages will sink deep into your heart, transform your thought-life, and eventually bring a fresh breath of love and grace to your daily life.