Note from the Author: I used to think the phrase "put Jesus first" meant that I had to have my Bible and journal open first thing in the morning. Anything less than the image of me sitting alone in the quiet meant that he was not a priority in my life. Mothering littles has changed that for me, and it’s done the same for my friend, Danielle Herbert. Recently I had the privilege of interviewing her to discuss how she prioritizes time in the word as a working mom, and I’m eager to share our conversation with you.
Danielle Herbert works as a project manager for a business-consulting firm that manages government contracts in the D.C. area. She and her husband, Aaron, have two little boys, around three and 11 months.
Romans 5:1 says: “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” With that in mind, how does the gospel motivate you to spend time in his word?
The gospel is wonderful news. The gospel helps me to remember that it is by grace that I have been saved and I don’t have to be perfect or do anything to deserve that. Because I’m flawed and selfish, my mind is finite, and I easily forget the truth, I need the word of God to remind me of it all the time. I need the word to wash over me to both help me stay grounded and yearn for things above.
How do you prioritize abiding in Jesus through spending time in the word?
I leave for the gym around 5:00 am, and as soon as I get into my car in the morning, I pull up the Bible app right away. My chronological reading plan plays through the speakers during my thirty-minute commute. That's the thing that I'm supposed to be doing during this time. It has to be the first thing that I do. When I get to work after 7:00 am and I take breaks to pump, I use my Verses app and do scripture memory activities. Since my small group is going through James, I also do my reading for that too. Instead of opening up Facebook, I try to be intentional about putting the word of God first.
You're listening to a chronological Bible plan, reading James with your small group, and memorizing scripture with your son and for yourself. How has the Lord been encouraging you through his word? What's been standing out to you?
We're at the beginning of James in my small group, where it says, "Count it all joy, brothers and sisters, when you encounter trials of many kinds" (James 1:2). Even though I'm amazed by the Lord asking us to be joyful, I have such a hard time with it sometimes, not because I feel like I don't deserve a trial but because I can be self-righteous. (I'll just put that out there.) If I'm experiencing a trial, I feel like I didn't do what I was supposed to do to prevent the trial in the first place. It becomes about me and what I did. To think that you're in control of everything that happens to you is a very prideful thing.
And that's my struggle generally. I do believe God, but I have a hard time getting past my fear of failure. The Lord has been challenging me to not see, “counting it all joy,” as merely being content with a trial, but being excited about what God is doing through it.
Getting time in the word can seem impossible at times for any mom. What words of encouragement do you have for someone who struggles in this area?
First, just do it! Your time with God may not look the way it did when you were a new believer, single, or in college—when you had your Bible and your coffee and could sing some worship songs. If you can do that, that's amazing! But even if you can't do it that way, you can still get time in the word.
My second thought is, take it in small bites. What can you do? What small goal can you have for yourself? Maybe it's memorizing one small verse rather than an entire chapter or passage. If I say, “I am just going to try to memorize this one scripture,” I can approach it as I do with my toddler--"when I get I get it"--and then I move forward.
Lastly, God redeems the time. If you feel like you don't have time for it, remember that this is the thing you need the most. If something else doesn't get done, it's okay. This is how we live. It’s not extra credit like, "You're so awesome, Danielle because you read your Bible today!" This is the bread of life! It’s also a perspective shifter, which is why I try to do it first, even when I'm in the car. But there's no prescriptive way for every mom.
Are there any resources that have helped you get time in the word?
Verses app for scripture memory. The Bible app for reading and listening. Even parenting books like Shepherding a Child's Heart or Give Them Grace drive me back to the word because they help me remember how much I need God to fulfill my responsibilities as a mom.
 Matthew 6:30-34, John 15:1-16, Ephesians 6:14-17
We may not arrive at the same solutions as Danielle, but my prayer is that we would arrive at the same conclusion—to make every effort to put Jesus before all the other things we have to do.
As we consider how to prioritize Jesus in our daily lives, let us also remember the why behind our intentionality. We make time to read, study, meditate on and memorize the Bible because we want to know our God. The more we know him, the more we love him. And the more we love him, the more we live our lives for him with holy abandon.
Laura Hardin and her husband, Adam, reside in Landover, MD with their three little ones, Oscar Laurielle, and Julia. She enjoys writing for her personal blog, where she encourages women to abide in Christ by committing themselves to the word of God, prayer, and fellowship one day at a time. Find her on Instagram or Facebook.