Recently, in conversation with an elderly friend, the question was asked, “What is one of the biggest things you have learned in all of your years of mothering and being a wife?”
She thought for a minute, and her response was, “I learned that I needed to wake up each morning and purpose to die to self that day: especially in the years of mothering. If I didn’t purpose to do this, things usually went awry.”
There is so much truth in that statement. I started to think about my daily interactions. What are things that anger me? Why do I get so frazzled? Why do I get overwhelmed?
Usually, it’s because something didn’t go my way, things are out of control because I was too busy doing something other than what I should have been doing, or a child did something wrong that angered me, often not for their benefit but because it disrupted my life in some way.
I am especially convicted lately over the interactions with my children. I have to stop and ask myself when I get angry at a behavior that they are exhibiting, is it righteous anger or is anger out of being inconvenienced?
Am I grieved because their behavior grieves the Lord? Am I willing to put myself aside and deal with the issue in a Christ-like manner to train and bring to repentance?
Sadly, often the answer is no.
So how do we die to self daily? We are completely powerless to die to self on our own each day. We need to tap into the power of God each and every day by being in His Word and in prayer.
We have to remind ourselves that this world isn’t about us. We are on a great mission field for the kingdom of God. We have a responsibility to steward that well.
Candidly, I have struggled with this for years. Being a mom of littles can make it hard to get a consistent quiet time with the Lord to start my day. Excuses aside, I do know these two things crucial to arm ourselves.
In (Ephesians 6), we get the picture of putting on the full armor of God as if we are going into a battle. I don’t know about you mom, but my house can sometimes feel like a war zone. Paul tells us to suit up so that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the evil one. The Devil has crafted his trade for years and knows just what buttons to push to take our focus off of God.
If it is vital to spend this time alone how does a mother in the front lines of child rearing get time alone with the Lord daily? It looks different for each season and sometimes even day to day. But here are some ways I found helpful.
6 Ways to Prepare for the Day
If you have a consistent schedule, work some down time in your morning where everyone is separate and doing individual tasks.
These tasks could look like room time for toddlers. Pack n play for babies. Reading time for the middles with instruction to stay in their delegated place. This takes discipline and first-time obedience but totally doable. Just like anything worthwhile however this doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to work up to the ideal amount of time.
Group Bible Time
We have Bible time every morning with school, but for me to have my particular quiet time we make it an extra quiet Bible time for everyone. This one is a little tougher for little ones as their attention span is shorter.
Praise baby videos can be perfect for little ones during this time as well as JellyTelly. JellyTelly has tons of biblically based movies and cartoons perfect for little eyes and ears.
Going to sleep after reading God’s word can refresh the soul and get you ready to take on the day. In the morning you can pick a verse from the night before to mediate on and remind yourself of in the morning. This can be an excellent way to start your day off right.
I love music. Worship music creates an atmosphere of praise and can calm our household. A lot of mornings I put it on to center mind on the Lord, especially if I didn’t get my specified quiet time. There is just something about biblical truths set to music that can raise the spirits of my entire house.
With seven children and three meals per day not to mention snacks I spend a lot of time at or around my kitchen sink. For me, this location is an ideal place to put a scripture cards ones that might be convicting, encouraging, or that I’m trying to memorize.
You can choose to laminate and get a business card stand if you like, but I just place them on a key ring that can be hung by my sink and flip through them can be flipped through day by day.
Listening to the Bible or Sermons
My last but certainly not least is to listen to the Word of God. During nap time, while folding laundry, cleaning, or nursing, I put in some headphones and listen away. Several great apps let you listen to God’s word. For me, YouVersion is my go to app. Sermon Audio also has so many great Bible teachers that you can listen to and be encouraged by.
However, you choose to consume it find ways to get God’s Word into your mind and soul it will go along way to helping you die to self daily.
Moms, the Lord gives us grace for each season. As much as we believers relish the in-depth sweet time with the Lord, sometimes it’s just not feasible with littles and a household full of responsibilities.
When I’ve been in the season of newborns and babies not sleeping through the night, it’s near impossible to get up before them. I swear they have a radar that goes off when mom gets out of bed. I don’t claim to have the perfect solution because I don’t believe there is a perfect solution.
Usually, my expectations of perfection need to change. I know for me when I have an expectation of getting up early and having a sweet time with the Lord, and those plans get derailed I get angry, and everyone around me suffers.
We need to hold our day loosely with hopes that the Lord will direct and give us the time that we need as long as we are faithful in doing our best to create an atmosphere and heart of worship in our home.
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