Imagine you crept silently down the stairs to enjoy a few minutes of quiet time alone before the hubbub of the day starts. But instead, you just managed to wake up the baby an hour too early, and within moments everyone is awake, hungry, and a bit grouchy.
Most of us don’t have to imagine too hard. If you’re a mom, this scenario has likely happened to you multiple times.
And that’s just one of the obstacles to finding time for the Bible as a busy young mom. Add to that exhaustion from baby waking up multiple times in the night and the delightful chaos of life with multiple little ones, and finding time for the Bible is so much harder than it used to be.
As I’ve struggled with how to find time for the Bible as a busy mom, here are four things that have helped me.
God gave His Word to us as a gift, but nowhere does He tell us we have to read three chapters (before breakfast) in order to be good Christians! Reading the Bible should be a source of joy, not just a way to avoid misplaced guilt.
How to find time for the Bible as a busy mom
Read the Bible with your children
Recently we did a ladies’ book study at church. I loved the book, but at one point the author said it doesn’t take that long to read ten chapters of the Bible each morning, so we should just get up a little earlier and give it a try. She was just trying to encourage us to become women of the Word, but I think all the young moms in the room instantly felt more tired than they already were.
The next week a dear mother of three young children confessed, “I tried. I got up extra early for two days. I was exhausted. I struggled being patient all day and could hardly remember what I’d read. Then I decided to just read the Bible to the children while we ate breakfast. They loved it and I got so much more from what I’d read.”
Her idea was simply brilliant. We have began following her suggestion the next morning, and it’s been such a joy to all of us!
The children just love having me read the Bible to them and regularly beg me to read more (a hard request to deny!) I have been so blessed to see the Scriptures afresh through their childlike questions and wonder. (Thanks Cybelle!)
Memorize passages of the Bible
Once you’ve memorized a verse or chapter, you can recall it when you’re washing dishes, taking a shower, or falling asleep.
My mother gave me a wonderful gift: dozens and dozens of verses and whole psalms instilled in my memory. It’s a gift I hope to pass on to my own children.
Even busy Mamas can find time to learn new Scriptures. An easy way is to write out the verse or passage and paste it somewhere you are often. Mine is above the kitchen sink. Read through the passage regularly (preferably out loud) and go over a single phrase or verse until you have it down. Keep reviewing it until you can remember it easily.
Scripture memorization is also a wonderful thing to do with your children. Their young minds soak up things like a sponge! (Scripture memorization is part of our homeschool days.)
Listen to the Bible
Have you ever thought about the fact that most Christians in history didn’t read the Bible, they listened to it? I am ever so grateful for the Reformation and the push it brought to teach children to read. I am very grateful that today most Christian families in America own multiple copies of the Bible.
The fact still remains, that for most Christians in the first millennia and a half of the Church, listening was the way they heard the Scriptures.
Listening to the Bible forces you to concentrate in different ways and, quite honestly, so much of the Bible is simply beautiful when read aloud. Plus, you can listen to a few chapters while folding laundry, exercising, ironing, or gardening.
I love Alexander Scourby’s reading (buy the MP3 version for only $11.55!), but there are dozens of free audio recordings available too.
Sing the Scriptures
“Sing to the Lord” is one of the most common commands in the whole Bible! The psalms were originally sung and songs of the saints are scattered throughout the rest of the Bible.
Singing the words of Scripture is one of the most lovely ways to make it part of our lives. Two of my favorite kid-approved sources are Jamie Soles (especially the Giants and Wanderers collection) and Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em in Your Heart albums. (Both of these are available for free on Spotify!)
Our family also loves to sing whole psalms that have been put to music. Usually the these “psalms” aren’t word for word, but the paraphrase is incredibly good and captures the heart of the original psalm amazingly well. It’s almost like singing a beautiful and concise commentary on the psalm.
We use the Cantus Christi, a combination of Psalms and hymns (you can also order an audio version that teaches twelve of the Psalms.) Other recommendations include The Book of Psalms for Singing (the most popular psalter) and The Psalter (recommended by my friend Jacinda from Growing Home).
Make time for the Bible as a busy mom
Finding time for the Bible is much harder once you become a mom. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Reading the Bible aloud to your children, memorizing it, listening to it, and singing it are simple ways to make God’s word part of our lives as busy moms.
Do you have a quiet time every morning? What other ways do you meditate on the Bible throughout the day?
[Full disclosure: some links to products in this post are my referral links.]