Mornings can be hectic. Particularly when you have to go somewhere in the early dawn. Throughout the years I have found it is vital to the health of my day and my children’s that I slow down for God’s word in the morning.
Whether your children are young or old, the need for the word to be a priority doesn’t change.
Life happens and we get out of routine or have plans that throw us off. Kids get sick. Daddy’s out of town. Summer days come along and shifts in the schedule take place. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop pursuing our Lord and Savior. The One who gives us such great grace to do all that needs to be done.
I will not pretend I haven’t missed times with the Lord. For years my times with the Lord were far fewer than my times with Him. This is why I am so passionate about keeping my appointments with Him now.
I am not trying to be dogmatic here when I tell you that Mamma needs to come first. I am sharing my heart and my life with you when I tell you you will do better when you put your time with the Lord first.
For years I had struggled with this. I would go to sleep with these grand plans to start my day with the Lord. An hour of word time and then an hour of prayer. That was my dream goal and boy did I fail!
I found I was aiming too high. Ya think? That goal (although I completely agree with the idea of aiming high) was unattainable for me at that time in my life.
When I was first married I worked. My usual routine was to set the alarm clock way too early then shut it off a million and one times waking just long enough for me to quickly get dressed and get out the door.
I never made that hour plus time with God.
Fast forward to days with children. When my first was born, it was much easier. I had time with the Lord and my son in the morning. It was precious and easy to get a lot of word and prayer in.
With technology growing fast in the early 2000’s I was able to soak in the word a lot, some of greatest teaching I have ever heard. Then I had twins. Life changed. I still soaked in the word but a 17 month old boy with a set of twin beauties made me tired. Very tired.
I would wake up, get breakfast started and the kids settled into the day well before I started my time with the Lord. But I still had my time.
Something that took me years to get into my head. It really is ok to take time to get the kids going in their way even if I slept late then get my time with the Lord. Then I could take my time with Him. It was still in the beginning of the day and it made a huge impact on me.
As those “littles” grew and I had one more blessing added to our family, life really started to get crazy.
We moved far from our community of believers. We planted our roots in a totally new location, finding that going any where took a lot longer with four kiddos living farther away from civilization as we knew it. (an hour from the nearest city and 20 minutes on the highway to the nearest grocery store… not too bad in reality but a huge change for us)
At that time I was also dealing with exhaustion, hormone problems, and a husband deployed overseas. I was all I could do to get with the program.
A you see my faulty thinking: I thought there was a program. There was a “have to” and a “thou shalt” command to fitting time with the Lord. I had to spend a certain amount of time with Him or it wasn’t good enough. That I was in sin somehow had I not.
Through the years the Lord has revealed His great grace. He revealed that moments in meditation can bring me great joy and peace far more than a set amount of time. That seeking His will before my feet hit the floor is a key to my peace.
He led me to wise older women who granted me grace and showed me that there is no sin in being a busy mother but that it is for my good that He asks me to seek Him. Not so that I can be a good christian and be forgiven again. He already did that and won’t need to do it again.
Enter Hello Mornings I found this excellent resource and community that has blessed my socks off big time. They have created simple tools to help you get the word in your heart and mind and help you order your day. You can read more about my journey with Hello Mornings here if you’d like.
I am so blessed to take time focusing on God’s truths in the morning. I hope you take the leap of faith and know that it will be well worth your time too.
Time with the Kids
Taking my time for myself and God has always been a key to being spiritually and physically healthy. I believe the same holds true for my kiddos. When I let this slide, I see it in their behavior, the way they treat each other, the way they respond to me, etc.
I am not claiming to have perfect children because we spent time with them in the word but it does impact them.
I have made a commitment to take the time for the word no matter what. We wake up late sometimes. Or I let the children sleep in after a long day and late night with friends or our church.
It is best that we do get to bed on time because our days usually run more smoothly. When we do get started late we have to cut somethings.
What I have chosen to sacrifice is not time in the word and talking about His truths. Again, not looking for perfection, the checking off the boxes, or making sure that we do all of this to please the Lord and absolve any guilt or anger. No. The Lord so loves us. It is His love for us that causes us to run to him. He ministers to my soul and my children when we take the time.
How does it look?
I think it is very important that you don’t compare you’re time with your children and the Lord to anyone else. I have been terribly guilty of that in the past. Your family is unique. Although we may look similar we will be different and it is up to the Holy Spirit to guide each of our families into the perfect God time each day.
Here is what our family God time can look like. We do this after breakfast and before school:
- We stat with prayer to soften our hearts and minds to the word.
- We often open the word in Proverbs or Psalms using the date as a guide.
- We often read from where I am in my bible study times.
- Sometimes we will use books and teachings we have heard as a spring board.
- We talk about what we read as I feel led or as the questions come.
- There are times when we take turns reading verses in a chapter.
- Sometimes we pick favorite verses and share why we like them.
- Sometimes we tailor it to heart issues and situations that have risen up in the last 24 hours.
The list is truly endless but this is what our time usually looks like. We usually don’t do memory verses at this time. We use the breakfast and lunch table to go over those. This is more kicked back approach hanging out with the Word and our Father.
When You’re On the Run
There will be days, rest assured, that you are racing to get out of the house. You can still have time in the word when this happens. In fact, it can be some of the best time too.
I like to keep teaching CD’s in the car with me. Good deep ones. My kids get well fed when they are listening to teachings like those from Keith Moore of Moore Life Ministries or Brother Copeland. Both of these men have highly encouraging and challenging teachings, what’s more is that they both have downloads that are free! Keith Moore has everyone of his teachings free and Brother Copeland has some that are free and others that they charge for. Both are well worth it.
Other options include:
- Good books on tape filled with the word
- Audio bible
- Teaching CD’s (insert your favorite minister)
- Praise and Worship filled with the word
- Have them read the word aloud in the car
Whether your children are young or old, the need for the word to be a priority doesn’t change. However, it is not for the reason you think. It is not about religious duty or about making sure we do this to please God. He is pleased with us already. He loves you as you are, praise God! You are the righteousness in Christ according to Romans and Corinthians if you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior. Praise God! You have access to your heavenly Father. You can come with boldness.
This time is for your good to remind you (and myself) of His truths. To remind us who resides within us born again children of the living God. Time in the word stirs up our spirit and soul with the truth of who we are in Christ and what He has done and is doing now.
Sure life happens, we get out of routine or have plans that throw us off. Kids get sick. Daddy’s out of town. Summer days come along and shifts in the schedule take place. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop pursuing our Lord and Savior. The One who gives us such great grace to do all that needs to be done.
So make time for myself in the morning. Let it be the huge help it is to your plans during the day with your children and resolve to let the Lord’s love and life flow through you.
I know those days when I miss meeting up with Him. They don’t go well. It’s not always evident until late in the day, but I sense it somehow and then when it hits me. I remember that I missed my time with Him. What do I do? Quickly bow my heart and mind in prayer thanking Him for reminding me. Then I get into the word whether on my phone, my mini bible or what has been hidden in my heart.
~ Amanda from Counting All Joy.com
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Amanda is married to her best friend. The Lord has blessed them with four children and a dog. They are native to the Rocky Mountains where they raise their family in the Grand Valley. She spends her days loving and serving her husband working to honor him, teaching her children to love and serve the Lord, as she seeks Him first for herself. She is currently enrolled in a course for evidence based herbalism to be a Master Herbalist. She blogs at CountingAllJoy.com where she shares life and other joys with her readers. You may follow her on Facebook or Pinterest.