Why can't I get up early and read my Bible?

It was another morning where I didn’t wake up exactly 30 minutes prior to my 6 month old. I wanted to get back into reading my Bible, spending time with God. My thoughts started coming fast, You failed again Marie. How are you going to instill Bible reading to your child if you aren't spending time with Him? How are you going to be a strong mother if you aren't drawing from your strength? You need to be learning and growing and carving this time out. Marie, you got to get this together.

I was equally frustrated with myself and simultaneously discouraged that this would ever happen with a baby. Everyone was telling me to sleep whenever I could. Nap time was usually a combination of getting meals prepped, making doctors appointments, doing the never ending loads of laundry. The tasks that just kept us alive and seemed constant.

Lord, how am I going to find time to spend with you?

I am right here.

I stopped right in the middle of the kitchen. What?

I am right here.

Yes, but I need to set aside time to be with you everyday.

I am right here.

I know you are but I am failing at spending time with you. Aren't you frustrated about that like I am?

I am right here.

Quietly, slowly, pound by pound He began to unburden this weight of failure and remind me time with Him can be anytime, even in the middle of cleaning up the messiest diaper.

He is right here.

My eyes began to open to the possibility that my time with God could be in the midst of mothering little kids.

Before I had kids reading my Bible fit neatly into a 20-30 minute time frame where I was sitting still, enjoying a cup of coffee and meditating on how this might apply to my life. I checked it off my list, went on with my day and thought about the verse a few times.

With little kids time with God looks like this.

It looks like reading this Scripture while I wash dishes and slowly memorizing it throughout a day, a week or months. It looks like reciting what I have memorized aloud as I pick up toys, scrub the sink or snuggle with my two year old, so the words can sink into my memory and my heart and are readily available when I need them. It looks like taking the card into my room and reading it when I have fighting children in the living room and all my attempts of resolving it have not worked. It looks like reading our children's Bible together at breakfast and seeing His word in new ways through the eyes of my kids.

My time with God looks like playing worship music and singing and dancing with my boys in the kitchen and in the car. It looks like praising God as I praise my children for the ways they are learning and growing. It looks like thanking Him for those wonderful moments when my boys hold hands, play together or learn a new skill.

My prayer time looks like praying together before meals and watching our boys get so excited to start the prayer. It looks like help Lord in the 2 minute break to the bathroom, then sending a text to my friend in the middle of the day saying, Will you pray for me? It's a hard day. And my friend texting a prayer back (when she is able, because she is a mom too). It looks like spending those final 2 minutes in bed with my kids each night, with my hands on their head, saying their verses over them and prayers for them, as they smile and soak in God's promises and our prayers. It looks like my husband and I laying in bed, exhausted, asking together "Lord, how do we get our baby to sleep at night?" and spending 5 minutes listening before we drift off to sleep.

My days with Scripture and prayer look less like 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and a lot like

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-20

God is right here. His word is available while scrubbing dishes, in the midst of fighting children, while we are driving our kids to and fro, in the space between folding the socks and the shirts. In all of it we can spend time with Him, we can meditate on His word, we can pray and praise.

And while it is of course a wonderful thing to spend 30 minutes of stillness reading the Bible and praying, we are not failures when our time with Him looks like His presence in the midst of our daily dishes and diapers. And truthfully, this way of spending time with Him has me walking a lot more closely.

And on days where I do none of these things, He reminds me

I am still right here.

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