Monday, September 16, 2013

How to do Babies and Bible Study

Since adding children to our family, I have consistently struggled with carving time out during the day to spend with God.  There are some concepts that I now implement that help me, and I'd like to share them with you.  These ideas are simply what I've come up with over the past 8 years as I've struggled in this area. 

In no order of importance...

1.  Take captive every opportunity.  For a long time I thought that my growth in the Lord was tied to how many mornings I spent studying the word.  And even though I still see that there is value in that kind of consistency, I discovered that I can still grow in the Lord when I don't have consistent Bible study every morning.  As babies were added to the family, that meant more sleepless nights for mommy, and less ability to wake early enough to get in a personal Bible study.  God knew about my circumstances, and the time I had available.  As I sought him on the issue, he made it clear to me that he placed me in this position of raising these children; he's well aware of my circumstances.  He reassured me that he will provide opportunities during the day for refreshment from him.

Sometimes it only came in 5 minute spurts over the course of the day.  But they came, and I could utilize those spurts as time with him.  These are the times I spent more in prayer than personal study.  But there were moments when I had more time available to me, so personal study was practical.  And I have to say, there were many nights spent in prayer while nursing my babies.  I would also tuck away a small devotional next to the nursing chair, so that I could have some time with the Lord while feeding my baby.  I even placed a devotional in the bathroom.  This worked well after my third child was born, but has been more difficult to implement since.  So, instead of checking facebook when everyone is quiet (I'm guilty of that), I spend these few minutes with him.

2.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Don't give up personal study just because you can't keep it up consistently.  I discovered that giving up on personal study time really did me no good.  I even used to complain, "But I'm so tired that when I open my Bible, I fall asleep!"  It seemed pointless to me to even try to read the Word, let alone study it, if all I did was fall asleep.  However, a good friend pointed out that this was God's gift to me...sleep.  In my effort to seek him, he gave me rest.  And if I'm implementing the first point, I will have an opportunity later in the day to seek him out.  Regardless of what's going on, if you're falling asleep, or miss a few days of study, just get back into it, and keep on going.  You will find blessing in this.

3.  Read the Bible with your children.  Years ago, a friend pointed out to me that in my effort to teach my children the Word, God is also using that time to build into me.  God is very good at multi-tasking and being efficient.  He is capable of teaching me and my children at the same time, during the same lesson!  So, as I read the Bible with my children, it can turn into a study time for me as well.  This is fun, because there have been a few "aha" moments for me personally, and I get to share these with my children.  They get to see, first hand, mommy experiencing God's goodness and getting excited about his word.  This doesn't happen every time, but when it does, it's really cool!

4.  Growing in the Lord doesn't have to be formal.  Personal study, and growth in the Lord, doesn't always have to involve a notebook, and various study books.  There is definitely a time and place for that, but it's happening less as more children are added to the family.  So, just because I don't have the quiet place with a notebook, doesn't mean I can't grow or study his word; it'll just look different for a time.

5.  Attend a Bible study.  "But I can't keep up with a Bible study, I never do!  And didn't you just say that it doesn't have to be formal?"  Don't worry!  I don't think I've ever completed a Bible study, but I showed up anyway.  Why?  Because God still used those women to encourage me, support me, and send me back to him.  Showing up at a Bible study, even uncompleted, gave me the opportunity to let God use those women in my life.  He still chose to speak to me, even though the study wasn't "done."  We can do the formal part of study if we want to, but we're not obligated to formal study.  Being at a Bible study with other Godly women is just as important as doing the study.

This one is huge.  Yes, the other ones are important too, but I'm convinced God designed us for relationships.  The support, and impact I've received from Godly women that I met with regularly, has encouraged me to just keep seeking him.  There is something special that happens when a group of people seeking the Lord come together to share life with each other.  This is where I receive the most encouragement, and it has helped me immensely.  And the best part?  I'm always encouraged or challenged to keep going back to the Lord, and to keep trying. 

6.  Consider the difficulties as blessings.  Ok, I know this is tough!  But I only say this because, it has been in the most overwhelming and difficult circumstances that I have cried out to the Lord.  And do you know what happened?  He showed up!  In his arrival, there was always some blessing that I needed.  Seek him out during these daily moments, let yourself need him, and let him show you what he wants you to see.  Many times, it wasn't what I expected.  But he never ceases to surprise me.  It's in those difficult moments that I've drawn the closest to him, and I see and hear him more clearly during those times.  Those difficulties, as much as I don't want difficulties, truly are blessings.  Only because of who he is, and what he is doing.

These are concepts that help me, but please know that I still struggle with this!  Life isn't perfect, and I wish I could say to you that implementing these thoughts has magically given me more consistent Bible study time.  But I'm still learning, and I'm sure I'll have other ideas as the years roll by.  My hope is that by sharing I will spark an idea or two, or inspire you to persevere in your walk with the Lord.


How about you?  What are things that help you continue your growth in the Lord when life is overwhelming?
Please note that Anchored In His Grace has moved to a new web address. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this morning at Raising Arrows. I found you there and this post encouraged me so much. Especially #2. I often find it easy to quit simply because I'm not doing as good a job as I'd like. Thanks for the encouragement to continue!

  2. So glad you're encouraged through this!

  3. I too have faced this challenge and found similar solutions to yours here. This morning I was thinking about this and realized that even though my spiritual life seems more undisciplined than ever before, I think my attitude of trust and my awareness of God's presence with me at all times is stronger and more godly than ever before too.

    I believe spiritual disciplines are important and I want to begin reintroducing those to my life as I can but I was encouraged to see how God not only meets us where we are but uses those times to grow us in different areas.