Inside: Simple ways to build your faith and connect with God as a busy mom using three different daily devotional tools.
It’s dark and still this Wednesday morning. I’m groggy, but proud of myself and feeling a little bit accomplished. I’ve won the fight against the snooze button. And for that, I’ll be rewarded for an hour’s worth of time that’s just for me. With each deep, delicious & piping hot sip of coffee, the nighttime fog lifts from my brain and I feel lighter.
Gratitude and contentment settle over me like a cozy quilt.
This? This is my time. Time to reflect on life, anticipate the day and to connect with God. I take a deep breath as I open my devotional bible, bookmarked to today’s lesson. Before I start reading, I pause to enjoy the moment. Gratitude and contentment settle over me like a cozy quilt.
It hasn’t always been this way.
In my pre-motherhood days, I was a believer. But Faith was something I kept tucked securely in my back pocket. I knew God was there for me when I needed Him, but I never thought of Him as an active participant in my day-to-day plans and activities. Seemingly more urgent things consumed my mind…work, my social life, bills.
When everything changed.
It was the Fall of 2012. I had married the man of my dreams the previous October. Together, we’re on the brink of BIG change. The type of change that would take my Faith from my back pocket—and move it front-and-center in my life every day moving forward.
It’s a warm and sunny day in the Carolinas in October, and I’m furiously packing my bag for a business trip. I loathed sitting at the gate at the airport, so I left as little time for it as I could get away with.
“Maybe I should take a test before I go…”
A pesky thought that crosses my mind pretty frequently lately, I have to admit.
Erik and I had just started to try for a baby. And, technically it was too early to test. But my impulsive side got the best of me.
Glancing at the clock, with very little regard for what it had to say, I ran to the bathroom and grabbed the single Dollar Store pregnancy test from the cabinet. The three-minute wait was the perfect amount of time for me to check my flight status and print my boarding passes. Besides, it was going to be negative anyway, so it wasn’t that big of a
I threw my jacket on as I glanced at the results. What I saw stopped me in my tracks.
Two little lines. The second one was faint, but it was there. I quickly snatched the box up from the top of the wastebasket to compare pictures. Surely, it was a fluke.
This would be the day I wouldn’t have a back-up test, I thought to myself. I’ve cut flights closer, though. And, let’s be honest. Not knowing until I got back wasn’t an option.
So, I did what any wanna-be-mamma would do.
I made a mad dash to Target. In a dream-like state, I found myself at the checkout with two boxes (four tests) to know for sure…
Back at home, I found myself right back where I began. Only this time, I got the tests that would make the answer pretty clear. These would read “Pregnant.” or “Not pregnant.”
Alright, “Clear Blue and Easy. Let’s do this!” I thought.
Second test: Pregnant. Third test…
The room started to spin as the realization sunk in. Our prayers were coming true. And at that moment, God was right there with me on the incredible journey of parenthood.
I suddenly felt the
magnitudeof my role as an active participant in His greater plan— a vessel for this incredible person that was being “knit together in my womb—who is fearfully and wonderfully made.”- Psalm 139:13-14
Only the beginning
Fast forward eight months later to a hot and sunny Tuesday in North Carolina. It was June, and my labor with Emerson lasted a solid 23 hours before she graced us with her presence. We weren’t expecting to meet her for another 3.5 weeks anyway—so (in hindsight) 23 hours wasn’t so bad. She was happy and healthy. And she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.
And, in that magical moment where my daughter was placed into my arms for the very first time, I felt a rebirth of my own. Like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly. I came through the other side of this pregnancy as a mom.
Everything was the same, but also incredibly different.
Suddenly, my heart will be forever worn outside my body. And, at that moment, the crazy illusion that I have control over my life vanished. I felt as vulnerable and exposed as she must have felt in her first few moments on the outside.
Those first moments of motherhood? Raw and intense. Every emotion lit on fire. A feeling never felt before…and only felt again four years later with the birth of our son Luke.
Joy. Gratitude. Fear. Love. We’re talking all the feels.
Suddenly, I realized was in deep…and I needed Him more than ever before.
Faith allows us to confidently walk with God into a future filled with joy; one that can become an extraordinary and amazing adventure.Mary C. Nea
Connecting with God through prayer in the still moments of the early morning hours seemed to instill a sense of confidence and calm in me as nothing else could. In the moments where I was brought to my knees…the culprits being fear, exhaustion or just frustration, prayer was the only thing that seemed to help.
The early days of parenthood have come and gone, but my need for Christ has stayed with me through the day-to-day of parenthood.
As my relationship with God has grown, so has my desire to know the Bible better. Sometimes I felt stuck on where to begin.
A bible study perhaps?
Yes! If only I could actually plan a weekly commitment I could actually stick to. Life can be unpredictable and I dread needing to cancel plans. And if I’m totally honest. I’m an introvert. So, while I love being around people while I’m out, just getting me to a bible study would be the tough part.
So that begs the question: What I can commit to?
I’ve found that 5-15 minutes of devotional time is all I need to learn more about myself and my faith and to connect with God each day.
I have three favorite options that I like to choose from, depending on my circumstances for the day.
If I’m fortunate to have a quiet morning where the kids sleep past 6, I love the chance to open my Bible and just read. If I’m traveling, or working on fitting my Faith time in on a busy day, an app or podcast may be my best option.
1. Hello, Mornings
You can check it out for free on the Hoopla app or download it for 1 credit on Audible by clicking here. Kat narrates her own book which gives it a personal touch. I ended the book feeling like I’d just finished a meaningful conversation with an old friend. She has a refreshing way of sharing her faith and incorporating time with God into a fulfilling morning routine. If you like reading an actual book, you will absolutely love this one. Click here to view it on Amazon (affiliate link). I’m thinking of adding the paper copy to my collection so I can refer back to it easily.
Another great option? Listening to the Hello Morning podcast allows me to get a quick Bible lesson and a chance to connect with God in a mini morning session. Five minutes is all it takes to get a great bible lesson in—but if I have a bit more time, I can open my Bible and do the suggested studies in the lesson. This plan really helps me to feel like I’m succeeding in my faith journey, without having to carve out an hour’s worth of time to do it. (Because let’s be honest, where does a busy mom carve out that amount of extra time anyway?!
Hop onto the Hello Mornings website to join a 3-minute morning daily devotions challenge that comes through via email. Each email that comes through is refreshing and thoughtful and well-worth the precious space in my email inbox. I just love everything about Hello Mornings.
2. The First 5 App
Once you’re in the app, there’s a number of different options to choose from. One of my favorites is the Bible Study option. I love the fact that I can choose a course based on a topic or specific book in the Bible I’m interested in. There’s also a standard daily devotional. At the end of each lesson, you can add your own experiences and connect with a wonderful community of women there to support one another.
3. A Mom Specific Devotional Bible
You can find a ton of these on Amazon, but my personal favorite is the NIV, Mom’s Devotional Bible by Zondervan (affiliate link). The daily devotionals in this bible are specially geared towards the challenges that mothers face each day and are written by fellow moms who have been there–done that. This Bible is designed for busy moms to get a short and sweet daily dose of faith and motherly encouragement—or grab a cup of coffee and stay a bit longer to read more as time (or children) allow.
When I’m needing faith-based guidance on a specific issue, I refer back to the great index in the back of the book that allows me to look up specific passages based on what I’m going through at the moment, be it anxiety, overwhelm, frustration—whatever. God’s word has a way of gently, yet firmly point me back in the right direction, taking such a weight off of my shoulders.
What about you?
How will you choose to learn Him better and allow him to help you through the daily highs and lows of motherhood? Motherhood is tough. Don’t do it alone. A little intentionality will go a long way if you let Him sit beside you in the delicious moments of a still morning…or at naptime…or whenever works best for you.