Growing Closer To God In The Midst Of Motherhood
Is there anything in life more overwhelming, all-consuming, tiring, energising,
exasperating and joyous all at the same time, as Motherhood?
Added to the mix of taking care of your children – already the hugest of jobs – there’s cleaning your house, cooking, tackling a bottomless laundry basket, taking them to playgroups/nursery/school, working, reading story after story, grocery shopping, seeing friends and family, discovering that the wheels on the bus really do go round and round ENDLESSLY (does that song even have an ending?)
Trying to find time to spend with the Lord can seem like an impossible task.
If you’re anything like me, the thought may even enter your mind, “The Lord already knows I love Him and that I’m thankful for everything He’s done, so praying to tell Him that isn’t a priority right now.”
The only time I would prioritise prayer is when things seem to be falling down around my ears and I recognise my desperate need for His help.
My attempts at spending time doing ‘spiritual things’ would typically look like this:
I would schedule in time to read my Bible.
The appointed time would arrive and I would fall asleep, or, be distracted by my phone.
I would look at my planner and say, “Right, this is when I’m going to pray”.
Then, instead of praying, I’m ironing the kids clothes or, you know, just sit down for a minute as I very rarely get the opportunity to.
I love Jesus and I love hearing His voice, so why is it SO hard to make time to be with Him?
There is often such immense pressure to be the perfect Mum and to have it all together, all of the time.
This pressure can come from social media, adverts, and our perceptions of others.
We are pushed to ‘have it all’: the perfectly-behaved children, the perfect marriage, the perfect home, killing it at work, killing it in the kitchen, killing it at the gym, and looking flawless while doing all of the above.
The truth is, that we can have it all – just not all at once.
If my living room is spotless, you can pretty much guarantee that the bedrooms are bomb sites. If my hair looks good, there’s probably a mountainous pile of laundry crying out to be ironed and put away.
And, if you see me sitting, reading my Bible and spending time in the presence of Jesus, then I’ll have done my best, but there’s probably still something or other that needs doing.
I simply cannot have everything ‘just so’ simultaneously,
and I’m learning to be okay with that.
If I have 30 minutes free and the options are 1) spend time with Jesus or 2) dust the ornaments, then I’ll go with option 1 every time.
The ornaments can and will wait. Yes, there has to be a balance – and the ornaments do, indeed, need dusting – but when Jesus takes second place (or even lower) on our list of priorities, then our priorities need to be reviewed.
Here’s what the Bible has to say:
…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you
Matthew 6:33, NKJV
We have to decide what will take precedence over our lives.
Mums, setting time aside to cultivate your personal relationship with Jesus is not taking away from time spent on your commitments to your husband, your children, your work or your home.
In fact, doing so will actually help you to move forward in the most effective way in all of these other areas of your life.
Jesus Himself, as in demand as He was by those seeking to be healed, took some time out to first pray and maintain closeness to His Father in order to align His priorities with His Father’s and to be lead by His will.
…the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed
Luke 5:15-16 NKJV
If only there was a wilderness nearby…
Oh well, that armchair or whichever quiet spot you can find before the kids wake up, will have to do.
Dig deep and let the word of God take root. Putting Jesus first is the best way to ensure we’re continually growing closer to Him, even in the midst of the craziness of mum-life.
If you enjoyed this devotion on the theme of growth, you may like to read this devotion by Rachel Birch.