5 ways I keep God in my busy life
For as long as I can remember I have believed I should read my Bible everyday. In my mind I turned this in to a religious act. Somehow convincing myself that this is what good Christian's do and for everyday I missed I felt guilty and disheartened. My busy life made me feel like a constant spiritual failure. That I had nothing to offer, I wasn't good enough to contribute because I couldn't even read my Bible everyday.
And when I did read it I would wonder how much was enough. Treating it somehow like the homework of my teenage years. In a rush to keep up with 'Bible in a year' and other reading plans I read lots and learnt little.
As I entered my adult years I started to realise that building my relationship with God and keeping his presence in my everyday walk looked like a lot of different things but it didn't always look like me at the dining table reading my Bible.
Being a wife, mother of two and self employed my walk with God looked like multitasking. It looking like praying while I walked on the school run, it looked like singing to worship CD's while cooking dinner, it looked like listening to the Sunday service while trying to rock a baby to sleep, and yes on top of all that it also looked like me reading the Bible. But what I started to learn was building this precious relationship with Jesus is a walk and not a run. It is constant and everyday, even when those days are busy.
I love studying my Bible, I love learning, absorbing and meditating on his word. A word that is alive, everlasting and gives me everything I need. But to do this I need time, and quiet and this just doesn't come everyday.
I have often heard advice such as get up earlier, but when I get up, no matter how quietly, so do my children. And so as time went on I just started to relax. To realise quality is better than quantity. That there are days in my week that sitting with my Bible is just impossible. But just because I sit with my Bible 4 times a week instead of 7 doesn't mean I don't get feed daily. It is so important to get inside the Bible at every chance you get and this blog is not a blog on how to replace Bible study, it is about placing God at the forefront of your life even on the days when it feels like your feet haven't touched the floor.
Below are 5 top things I do in my week that keeps me seeking God even when it seems there's no time.
Podcasts. Their free and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can listen to short daily devotionals or full sermons from churches around the word but the key is you can do it anywhere. My favourite time to listen to a podcast is on a Monday morning while I do my ironing but sometimes I listen while I'm walking home, while I work, in the shower or at the gym. Have a search around for some that you like and if you listen to one a week that's 52 extra sermons under your belt in a year.
- Prayer. Sometimes people can get stuck on pray because it can feel formal and stuffy. This was not Gods plan for it. Each and every day we need to recommit to God and trust him with our day. When you wake up with a to do list that would put the Prime Minister to shame its easy to put God in a box to one side and think you'll check on him later. But just taking the time to commit your day to him each and every morning can make such a difference to your peace and attitude as well as giving him the opportunity to work in your day. And it can be done in the time it takes you to brush your teeth. Look in the mirror, take a deep breath and say "God I commit again this day to you. I give you my needs and wants, hopes and fears, knowing you have gone before me and provide all I need to achieve and thrive. Through out your day stop in and reconnect with him and as you lie in bed at night meditate on your day and give its highs and lows to God.
Reading apps. I normally walk the school run but there are days when I drive. Our school has limited parking and so getting their early is essential, this means sitting it the car for 10 minutes. I could listen to the radio or I could read. Lets face it, we might not carry a book or Bible with us everywhere we go but we do carry our phones. Bible apps, reading plans and both fiction and non fiction are all available to download on to your phone. What do you do while you sit at the school gates? Wait for your children to finish swimming, ballet, football etc. What do you read while waiting in the doctors surgery or during your lunch break? These are great chances to grab a little time with a Bible app. Maybe its not enough time to engross yourself in theology but you can use these snap shots of time to be uplifted reading through Jesus' miracles, the Parables or Proverbs.
Study groups. I know, this is meant to be a blog about being busy and your thinking you don't have time to join a group but I would encourage you to think about it. Often committing to a group and being accountable to others forces you to put that time aside no matter how busy you are. I'm part of a small group that I would hate to be without. Its a small group of mums and we meet fortnightly in the morning. If we have our children then we bring them along to. We chat, pray, read books and do studies. It's aim is to be low on preparation but high on support. If you don't have a group near you that you think you could attend then think about starting one, on your own or along side your church. All you need is you and a couple of friends to commit to meet for a short time on a regular basis. You will find these times will be times of renewing, refreshing and unloading. The Bible teaches us about the importance of fellowship and relationships and this spreads much further than a Sunday morning. Make the time for just an hour to be with people who will advice you, encourage you and pray over you and that you can in turn do the same for.
Worship. I believe every part of creation is built to worship. I find praise and pray flow from my heart when I allow myself to be absorbed in worship music. No matter your music taste there will be a Christian band who can provide it. Worship music stops your mind over bubbling. It allows you to relax and meditate on God and push out the to do list and the up and downs of the day or even week. In the car, cooking dinner, doing housework, turn the music up and focus on the words instead of your own thoughts. It will never fail to lift you and empower you.
So there they are. 5 things that go side by side with my Bible study. Not to replace but to reinforce. When you have a day that forces you to keep going with no time to stop and sit that doesn't mean no time for God.