Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Choosing His Words - Part 12

I've been so blessed by what each women has shared about Bible Reading these last weeks. I'm going to end this series with some words of wisdom from a mother of eleven. I never met Laurie, and only know her through her daughter, Sheila but her words encouraged me.

She softly closes her Bible and kneels by her bed to pray.For nearly fifty years she has done this every day.”

Am I the only mother that has ever felt frustrated with the words of this song? Did this dear old mother never have morning sickness, fussy babies, or other disruptions to her schedule? Was she never so tired that she could barely think, let alone read the Bible and pray consecutively. Or maybe she only had model children, all five years apart in age? How did she possibly manage to get away to her bedroom and privately read her Bible and pray every. single. day?

A mother’s personal devotions is something very close to my heart, and probably close to the heart of every Christian mother. While my youngest child at home is now twenty years old, I well remember the frustration and guilt I felt when my children were young. The many cares and responsibilities of motherhood—cooking, cleaning, laundry, sewing, pregnancy and nausea, fussy babies, demanding toddlers, school schedules, marriage obligations, winter colds and flues, summer canning, and much more can leave a young mother exhausted. There seems to never be enough time for the countless tasks. So then, when do we spend time with God?

There are seasons of life when it is very difficult to find sufficient time and space for a daily, prolonged, private time with God. And while a scheduled time is certainly ideal, often it is just not possible. But there are many little random slots of time when we can find nourishment from The Word. Busy young mothers should try hard to not let one day go by without utilizing some of them:
  • Memorize scripture. Write a verse, or several, on a paper and tape it to the mirror, the refrigerator or above the kitchen sink. Read it often to rivet it in your mind. 
When I was a girl, my mom printed verses on 8 1/2” x 11” papers and put them on the wall like mottos. I always thought it was to help her children memorize verses, but when I have done the same for my family, I realize it blesses me too. Maybe use a colored paper and add a border or stickers to make it attractive.
  • Read your Bible or a devotional book while feeding the baby. Sometimes this is a good time to read to toddlers but children can and should be taught to entertain themselves also. 
  • When the baby keeps you up at night, spend some time reciting Bible verses and passages. 
The middle of the night, when all is quiet, is also a good time to pray. I like to try to be in an attitude of prayer continually, breathing words to God whenever something comes to mind. But when my children were small and I found it hard to find time for longer periods of prayer, I often prayed in the night while caring for my baby. 
  • Sing hymns to your baby while you rock him to sleep. Meditate on the words.
  • Slip a small Testament in your purse and read it while waiting at doctor appointments.
Don’t forget to ask your husband for help. When I was expecting my tenth baby, added to the normal (for me) twenty-four/seven nausea, I also suffered with depression. At that stage of my life, with my oldest a fourteen-year-old daughter, I was able to find more private time to read the Bible. However, because of the depression, I found it very hard. So at night, after we were in bed, my husband read aloud from the Psalms. I would lie quietly, resting, and soak it in. I probably went a couple of months without personally reading the Bible but I remember that as a very special time. I felt spiritually nourished.

If you are truly unable to find the time and energy, tell God about it. One mother of twins said she was so exhausted by the time she finally got her babies to sleep that she simply said “Dear God, You know my heart,” before she fell asleep. She knew that God understood this season of her life. In those brief words she was telling Him that her prayers in the past and her prayers in the future was her prayer tonight, when she was too tired to pray.

In less busy seasons or as our children get older and we are able to find more time, there are many exciting ways to study God’s Word:
  • I enjoy writing my own devotionals. I write out a verse or passage and then add my inspiration from it. Maybe I read from a Bible commentary and copy thoughts that stand out to me. Sometimes I write a poem or a small rhyme about the verses. This study is a blessing to me at the time I write it and when I read it later.
  • I like to underline and shade Bible passages and write thoughts in the margins. This is an extra blessing to me later, when going through difficulties. At times when I feel battle-weary, I open my Bible and just read places that are marked. 
The downside of marking in my Bible is that it can be a distraction. So I occasionally like to read from another Bible, that I don’t mark at all, to help me find new treasures. 
  • Once I read one section of Psalm 119 each day. I spent time thinking about the verses and chose and underlined a favorite verse every day. Psalm 119 is a beautiful passage and means much more to me since that special time of studying it. 
  • Sometimes I will choose a chapter and read it every day for a month. I think the first time I did this was with Romans 12. I remember being amazed at all the new things that kept popping up. It was really exciting. Currently, I am reading Hebrews 4. Some days I read something else but I am reading it often. There is so much I need to learn from Hebrews 4 about true rest.  And I am learning that there are many facets to the word “rest” in this chapter.
  • Word studies are also interesting. Some good words to study are Mercy, Grace, Redemption, Sanctification. And Rest.
  • In times of deep grief or stress it can be a blessing to simply copy a special verse or two in a journal, filling the page with the words. Or maybe just one special word—Rejoice, Hope, Blessed, or Grace, and adding a one-line prayer. Drawing small flowers and designs around the verse or word while we reflect on it can be relaxing and rejuvenating. After God called my youngest child to Heaven, and again when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I found this type of journaling very precious. Sometimes our hearts and minds are just too overwhelmed to absorb much more.
  • And don’t forget to read the Bible like any other book. We enjoy reading other books for an hour or two (or more) so why not God’s Word? While the Bible is certainly different than other books and should never be taken lightly, I believe it can be profitable to sometimes simply read it to enjoy the interesting stories. The Old Testament, especially, has stories full of mystery, romance, murder, treason, war, infidelity and deception—stories with captivating plots and twists and unexpected endings. While some of these  are probably not the type of stories that we normally like to read, they are fascinating,  true stories and the omniscient hand of our mighty God is always there. What more could we want in a story? 
Young mothers, please do not wallow in guilt or discouragement because there isn’t more time to actually read your Bible. Your service to your husband and to your children brings glory to God in itself. Your work is very important to Him. However, do try hard to find time to hold your Bible in your hands and read from it, if only once or twice a week. It is important. We need the fresh insights and inspiration that only comes from personally reading God’s Word. Looking back, I regret not trying harder to find more time for Bible reading when my children were small. And I’m ashamed to admit that I still fail sometimes. 

The battle is huge and real. The hand that rocks the cradle must hold the hand of God. -Laurie L.


  1. This series has been so good for me. Thanks Gina for hosting it, and thanks to all you ladies who took time to encourage us about the things which are most excellent!

  2. Wow, there's so much here. I wish every woman could read it, thank you.

  3. Thank you SO much for doing this series, Gina! I have been tremendously inspired and already am putting some of the suggestions to practice, being blessed in the process. This last article has so much wisdom! I think I will print it out and keep it handy :)

  4. And all the mothers said, Amen! Very good series. Thanks for all the ideas and encouragements to try.

  5. I gained so much from this series. Very inspiring and encouraging! I very much connected with these very real women. Thank you


I love to hear from you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails