Thursday, October 4, 2012

teaching toddlers theology :: day 4 daily "quiet" time?

You're probably wondering, "I thought this series was on Toddlers. Why are we talking so much about us as moms?"

Just hang with me! We'll get there soon! :) But I hope you see how important it is that we have our own spiritual lives in check as we invest spiritually in our young children! I just felt it was way too important to rush over this part!

Before marriage and kids, I've always had my "quiet time" (devotions, time with the Lord, etc) before bed. And I've always been very disciplined and consistent with it. Then I got married, and nighttime was for my husband. So I would do my devotions some time during the day. No biggie. But since I've had kids, I have struggled to have a consistent daily time with the Lord. And even more so since Norah's birth. She's 9+ months, and I still have awful nights and zombie-like days as if she's still a newborn! She hasn't slept through the night yet! I don't really get a chance to catch up on rest during the day having a toddler, plus a baby that also isn't a great napper! So needless to say, I was hardly spending much time with God, and honestly because of how exhausted and busy I was all.the.time, I hardly ever even thought about it!

Then one day I started to think about how I could fix this. I didn't think getting up extra early in the morning was the best thing for me during this season of life of no sleep. And nap time wasn't always guaranteed, plus I'd forget a lot of times... I could pretty much find a legit excuse for any time of day! I was very tempted to believe that I was off-the-hook! But I knew that not only did I need this, but my kids did too! I needed my time with God! When could I find a quiet moment in the day to do this? I realized there weren't a whole lot of options for me. I realized that during this season of life with littles, my devotional life might not look the way I want it to, it may not be ideal but I needed to make it happen somehow even if it was different!

One morning, I tried something. I said, "Titus, Mommy needs to read her Bible right now. Why don't you get your Bible out and sit here and read it too. Then when I'm done, you can pick a story out of your Bible for me to read to you!" Well, he thought that was a great idea! So I got my bible out, and he got his bible out. I read and prayed (very quickly, I might add, because my son is not the sit and entertain himself for more than a couple minutes type). So it was only like 5 minutes... but it was something and I enjoyed it! Then I read his Bible to him and he was thrilled! I had had my devotions and then he had his- we did it together! Was it the most meaningful time with the Lord for me? No. But it was more than what it would've been if I hadn't made the effort. And I was setting an example for him of the importance of time with the Lord, and His Word. And he was already learning, even at 2, the habit of spending time with the Lord and how to even have a "quiet time" with God.

So most days if I'm home, that's how I do my devotional time. As soon as the breakfast madness is done, I get the kids settled into the family room doing something (yes, sometimes it's in front of the TV, and not his Bible haha), and I curl up on the couch with my coffee and my Bible and spend a few moments with the Lord. 

It may not be the most relaxing, undistracted time ever, but it is sweet! And the Lord has blessed my efforts to make Him a priority however difficult in this stage of life. So for a few years, my devotional life might be interrupted, it may be shorter, and there may be kids running around, but I'm setting an example to my kids that for this moment, the Lord is more important to me than they are. What better thing can I say to my child than, "Honey, Mommy's going to read her Bible now, okay? Can you just play quietly while I do this, or get your Bible out too?" I think it's important for them to see their mother spending time in the Word. I mean, they see me spending plenty of the time on my computer or texting... why not welcome their presence into my devotional time and allow them to witness my relationship with God? That's how I've tried to view it! This is one way we develop a love for the Word in our kids!

I think as moms, we all have to find what works for each of us in our crazy lives. It certainly takes alot of creativity and determination. I'd love to hear how you make your time with the Lord a priority in your life! I'm sure we could all use any creative ideas you may have! Let's help each other out! {Comment below!}

Tomorrow's post is on choosing a Bible for your Toddler!

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This is Day 4 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.


  1. I am really enjoying reading your posts, Mary Beth.

  2. Good Morning!
    I really thought that this would help me by reading your blog. It is interesting to get into someone else's life to see how they do things, and take things from them that will help myself in my daily routine. My husband is an immense help for my alone time with God. He works 60 hours a week and is VERY busy, but he realizes that when he gets home, I need 30 min to myself (after he has his dinner, of course) for God and I time! The kids realize that I am off limits for 30 minutes to spend my time in devotions. We also use Keys for Kids after dinner time. (It's usually just myself and the kids, because of my husbands long working hours) And they love it! Good Luck MaryBeth!

    1. That's such a great idea to have your husband help you get that time everyday! I always have mixed feelings about doing this- its hard to get away from family while I'm still in the house, and I always want as much time with my hubby as possible when he's home! :P But the few times I've done it, I've loved it! :) Thanks for sharing that!

  3. Great encouragement and ideas! I am right there with you with the toddler and 9 month old! After trying and failing for months, I have accepted the fact that at this point in my life, there is no routine. Every day is different, including my bible study time. It's hard to remember that even if I can't spend as long as I want, something is still better than nothing - and really, it's better to have those times when we read in front of the kids anyway some days. They need that example. Really enjoying your posts!

    1. It sounds like we're in the same boat! :) It's nice to know that we're not the only ones going through these struggles!

  4. Oh goodness, there's so much I love about this post. I'm not even sure what I should comment on. Now that my 2.5 yr old is "only" waking about once a night I decided it was time for me to work on waking before my kiddos (3) and I've been doing the Hello Mornings Challenge. Before this my time with the Lord was close to nil. I had a ton of excuses to get off the hook too. It's been so refreshing to meet with the Lord in the morning. I love the idea of having a time together.
    I also love love love that your son has a tatoo in the picture of you all. I just came over from Impress Your Kids and I'm really enjoying these posts. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! So glad you're enjoying them! My son usually is covered in tattoos (Cars!) as rewards for going potty! It's alot healthier than always having to give sugary rewards! :P
      What's the Hello Morning Challenge? I've never heard of it! My 9 month old is starting to only get up once a night now, so I'm starting to feel a little more normal in the morning! :) Maybe I'll be able to start getting up before the kids too!

  5. I'm having a love/hate relationship with your post right now. I love it because I needed to hear/remember this, but I hate it because I haven't been setting a good example for my children in this area. Ihave 3 little ones (4.5, 2.5, and turning 1 this week!) and with my youngest getting up anywhere from 2-4 times a night, I've used it as an excuse to not put my time with the LORD as a priority. Praise God for HIS faithfulness, grace, and forgiveness. I'm honestly excited to see how God will be glorified and how my kids will grow to love the Lord. Thank you!


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