The following is a transcript of the audio. Transcript has been edited for clarity.
Laura: Welcome to another episode of Risen Motherhood. I’ve got my sister-in-law, Emily Jensen here. Hopefully, all of you guys heard our awesome new jingle. Isn’t that such a fun little improvement? We got some feedback, a very helpful critique that our jingle was not as peppy as we are, and so we took the plunge and bought a new little jingle. Hopefully you guys like it and it reflects us a little bit more. We’re really excited about it and I literally can’t help but dance every time I hear it. I had my kids help me pick it out. I ran it by Emily, of course, but actually, my kids were pretty much the ones who picked that. The one they danced the hardest to is what we went with.
Now, today, we are talking about a topic that Em and I are super passionate about. We’re talking about quiet times or basically just spending time in God’s word.
Emily: Quiet time is a little bit of a funny term. Of course if you’re a mom, you’re like, “What do you mean quite time? Because I’m pretty sure I get almost none of that and when I do, I’m sleeping or watching a TV show.” [laughs]
Laura: Exactly. Sleeping is my quiet time guys.
Emily: Laura and I are super passionate about this mainly because we know how important it is, in order to function as a person, to have hope and joy in our lives and to grow in our relationship with God. This is the biggest component of that relationship, aside from and along with prayer.
Laura: I think a quiet time is one of those things as a believer, where you are taught right away that this is the first way that you’re going to grow. Everybody pretty much knows what a quiet time is, if you are a believer, but I think it’s one of the quickest things that we can fall away from. We might still listen to worship music, we might still listen to a sermon online, or go to church, but those quiet times, are the meat of the Christian life. It’s one of those first things that we often give up or we pass on for that day.
Today we're talking about why this is so important and how you guys can find time, because I know it can feel near impossible, especially with some seasons of motherhood. We want to talk about some tips for how you can get in the word more.
Emily: Laura and I wanted to share where we’re at. Obviously, we have kids so we totally understand the struggle. Laura, what does your quiet time look like right now or maybe, what has it even looked like? How has it evolved even since having children?
Laura: Obviously, my quiet times are far shorter than they used to be. One of the biggest things I had to learn was that whether it’s two minutes or it’s half an hour - as a mom, I have had to really come to terms with, “If I have two minutes then that is worth spending it in the word.” I can meditate on scripture in the car while I’m waiting for something or at the table.
Just last night, I had a quiet time. It was probably seven o'clock, and my husband wasn’t home yet. I turned on the TV for my kids and I was like, “I have not been in God’s word,” so I read the Bible. I had to change a diaper, resolve fights, [laughter] two different fights, somebody dropped of a package and I had to sign for it. Literally, in the span of 20 minutes, I was interrupted four times to try to deal with stuff and I had a TV on for my kids. [laughter] I’m getting used to that, but that’s been the biggest roadblock for me. Once I overcame that, I realized it doesn’t have to be perfect, with my cup and coffee, and my candle, and my tea, whatever people do - I don’t have to have that, and so it became a lot more accessible.
Emily: I think that has been a huge key for me too, just trying to figure out how it fits into my life everyday, even when it’s not ideal. The funny thing is in some ways, I feel like I spend more time in God’s word now than maybe I ever have. I’ll just say, it’s out of pure desperation [laughs].
I also have more on my plate and more on my heart than I ever have in my life. I think we’re in a really intense season and so I find that I want to meet with the Lord everyday, and I want to read truth and get wisdom, and get help, and find peace, and rest for my heart. I’m thankful for that and I’m thankful that, yes, my weakness as a mom [laughs] is driving me to God. But I would say as far as the way quiet time looks, it is really different. It’s not necessarily before the kids get up alone, every day. It is after breakfast with the TV on and I’m exactly what you said Laura, interrupted several times but still working through a text. Or it is going through school time with my kids and we’re talking about a verse. I’m talking through that with them and praying through that with my kids and it’s like, “Oh, I’m learning with them. I’m meditating on a verse throughout the day.” It definitely looks a lot of different ways.
Laura: There are so many roadblocks to having a quiet time as a mom that we can easily push it aside. A lot of times, I will get into a rut of being like, “Oh, well, I listened to a sermon today. That was God’s word,” or, “That song. That was direct scripture lyrics [laughter]. I’m going to let that simmer in my soul a little today,” and we can allow that to replace our quiet time. Emily and I were talking about other roadblocks that we had, that you guys might identify with. Stuff like unpredictable schedules with kids, nursing, or morning sickness if you’re pregnant. We’re talking about, especially with me saying last night, all the interruptions and feeling like we need that uninterrupted time that just doesn’t exist.
Emily: Or if we have no idea what we are studying or working on. That is totally me too. I ended up having to give myself a never fail backup because if I didn’t have something to go study or to go read, I wouldn’t do it because it’s super weird to open up your Bible and look at it and be like, “Should I just point to a scripture and read?” [laughter]
Laura: That is not how we’re supposed to read it. Sometimes we’re always looking for that warm fuzzy feeling. Opening the scripture and we’re doing the pinball method where we’re like, “I’m just going to bounce over here today and I’m going to look for God to make me feel better or speak directly into my life in some magic 8-ball way.” But that is another roadblock because often times, our quiet time isn’t touchy-feely. It can often be difficult, and hard, and boring. If you don’t come into it with purpose and right expectation, then I think often our expectations are not met and then we are not motivated to continue to do it.
Emily: Even more so as a mom with young children. Because maybe more so than a lot of other seasons, again, you’re being interrupted and you can start to feel like, “I feel like I’m not doing a good job as a mom, and now I feel like I’m not doing a good job as a Christian.” Then we’re really getting down on ourselves about the fact that we’ve missed several days, or maybe we’ve missed weeks, or we’ve missed months or, maybe you haven’t even had a quiet time since your children were born.
Wherever you’re at, that’s a normal feeling that we all feel, but our relationship with God, through Christ Jesus is not based on our works or how good we’re doing at meeting with God, or how awesome our prayers are, or how spiritual we are. Our salvation is based completely on what Jesus did for us and that should make us want to meet with God. Laura can talk more about that but I think we just want to say in the gospel, you can start over today and go get back in God’s word. You don’t have condemnation.
Laura: It’s like starting a diet. You say, “I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. I messed up today.” No, start now and know that you can come before the Lord. I know that’s a big thing and you’re kind of feeling ashamed and you feel like, "I can't meet with you God - I’ve been such a bad person.” You feel those unapproachable feelings towards the Lord but that’s not how He wants it and that’s not what His word says. He says, “Come to me. I don’t care how long it’s been but I want that relationship with you,” and so don’t walk in guilt moms, but start today.
Emily: Start today and know that as a person, if you want to hear from God, you have to be reading His word. This is where His words are, what He speaks to us individually and this is how the Holy Spirit is going to speak to us. This is what has power to actually change us.
Like Laura said, it’s good to hear teaching scripture, it’s good to listen to spiritual songs, it’s good to have a spiritual conversation with your friends, to do all of those things but the heart of what is going to transform you is God’s word that is living and active. Your faith is going to come as you read it, and hear it, and it’s just profitable in your life for a lot of good things.
Laura: We talk a lot here on Risen Motherhood about how we want to give our children the gospel day in and day out, and how we desire to point them to Jesus and see that eternal value. But if you’re not spending time in God’s word, directly in the literal Bible people, [laughter] and not-
Emily: …a devotional.
Laura: or a song, a podcast or a devo that someone wrote. We’re talking about electronic or a hard copy of God’s word. That is what we need to be putting in ourselves so that we can pour that out. Like Emily said, ultimately that is where that transformation happens. Learning about God’s word through thinking, using our minds; that is what transforms our hearts. It’s not like our heart changes and then our heads are all of a sudden, logically in it. It’s the other way around. It goes into our heads and through our hearts.
Emily: When we’re reading, especially to our children, we are also discipling them and all the things Laura and I keep talking about. They are watching us sacrifice and make time for that.
The other thing I wanted to say is just to remember that this is a relationship. Just like you would not go three weeks without talking your husband or you wouldn’t be like, “Well, I’ll just connect with him every once in a while. We’ll go out for coffee for two hours, we’ll catch up and we’re going to be good.” No, you would not have a good relationship. What do you do with the person that you love the most? You talk with them throughout the day, every day as much as you can connect with them. Yes, there’s hard days, and there are days you don’t connect with them but overall, you like talking to them, you like being with them, and you like learning about them. We want to take the pressure off and just remember it’s a relationship.
Laura: We want to talk about some of the ways in which we can overcome those roadblocks and have those relationships. The biggest thing that Emily and I talk about is having a plan and knowing what you’re going to do. I know Emily gifted this to me but I really like it. There’s a Give Me Jesus Journal by Gretchen Saffles. We’ll link to it in the show notes but there’s a great journal. We’re going to put some resources online so that you guys can check out those things. Reading the Bible through in a year, Bible study, like BSF or a Bible study through your church, using that as your quite time and it’s a great way to actually come prepared to Bible study that week [laughter], working your way inductively through a book of the Bible. Somebody that we love is Jen Wilkin, who talks a lot about understanding how the Bible transforms our minds in, what I was saying earlier, into your hearts. We’ll have some links to some of her stuff on the show notes.
Emily: The point is Laura and I wanted to encourage you guys, as we are encouraging ourselves, to make this a priority. It is so hard, and Laura and I don’t want to sound like, “We do a quiet time every single day and so we’re perfect.” Of course, you’ve heard us say a million times, “No, we are not,” and, “Yes, this is hard for us,” and, “Yes, we are fighting that fight alongside you to get in His Word,” but it is eternally important and it’s something that’s worth sacrificing for.
Laura: It’s looking at your schedule and saying, “If Jesus is my first priority, does my schedule reflect that?” Sometimes, you are literally too busy to even spend more than two minutes in the word or zero minutes in the word. That is a time where it might be to say, “Whoa, do I need to scale back on a few things? What needs to be eliminated so that I can at least have a little bit of margin in my life to read the word?” Last night I was like, “Man, I’ve got to practice what I preach. I’m going to talk about quiet times tomorrow, [laughter] so I haven’t done it today.” I turn on the TV for my kids and instead of wanting to surf the internet or do my own fun stuff, I was like, “No, I’m going to get in God’s word.” Yes, admittedly it was partially because I was like, “Gosh, darn it, [laughter] I’m going to be talking about it tomorrow.”
But I was so grateful for that time afterwards and felt refreshed. But that’s also something to remember is that sometimes you don’t necessarily feel refreshed once you are in the word. It might be painful sometimes. I love John Piper who says, “Duty turned into delight.” Sometimes we are doing these things to build habits in the long-term. You’re putting those deposits, those investments into your soul. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through this dry, dry season where I am just like, “This just stinks.” But overtime and somehow slowly, God softens my heart to where I’m really enjoying it, and I’m seeing fruit from it and I’m seeing my life transformed by it. So give it time. It is hard work but it is so worth the reward. It’s far more worth any diet or fitness plan, or any business building. Whatever you are doing with your time, this is worth far more.
Emily: Far, far, far more and like anything, you will go through those dry times. With your husband, it’s like, “Oh, he is going to be there and so it is important that I lay down this even if sometimes I don’t immediately feel like it,” and in the long- term, investing in that relationship reaps great rewards. The same thing is true of our relationship with God because I have this older wiser woman at church who will always say this to me, “Emily, the only things that are going to last are people and God’s word. So if you’re going to invest in anything, invest in those things.”What we’re taking with us is our character, our hearts, our souls and not anything else. We want to encourage you guys today, and we hope that you came away today, with some ideas of how to overcome some of those roadblocks that you’re facing.
Laura: No more excuses [laughter]. Basically, I need to hear this too.
Emily: I need to hear it so bad.
Laura: There is no excuse. You can figure it out. I’m sure you figured out how to pop on Pinterest, or [laughter] pop on Instagram today. If you want it enough, you’ll do it. I also want to charge you to be diligent with it and say, “This matters and I am going to do the hard thing today, and not just the easy thing because the value is so long lasting.”
Emily: That’s it for today guys. Thank you guys for listening. Just a reminder, you can find us on risenmotherhood.com. We would love it if you would go there and check out our show notes. Also, if you would be so willing to leave us a review on iTunes, that would be awesome and share this. If you have a friend or someone who is coming to your mind that you’re like, “Oh, I know we were just talking about how to get in God’s word,” or whatever it is, just definitely pass this along. Thank you guys again, for listening and we hope that you enjoy our brand new little jingle on the way out.