Yes, I really do get it…kids bickering? Schedule jam-packed? Dishes and laundry both piled up high? Demands at work? Perhaps it’s time we pressed pause. As a mom, sometimes it just seems impossible to do that. Our lives and our kids can be so demanding. But we need to care for ourselves too. Time with Jesus is crucial to mothering our children and loving our families. If we don’t fill up, we have nothing to pour out. So how do we find time for Jesus when life’s demands seem to be taking over? Ruth Schwenk has some good good thoughts on how we can resist the rush, halt the hustle, and find calm in our chaos. It’s a grace to welcome Ruth to the farm’s front porch today…
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
A few weeks ago I arose earlier than everyone else in hopes of stealing some alone time to read my Bible.
As I settled in on the couch with my hot cup of coffee and Bible, I heard the tap-tap-tap of little feet making their way down the stairs.
For a moment, my heart sank.
So much for my alone time!
But then I was instantly grateful for that sound, for those were the sweet feet of my youngest daughter, the child whom God had formed and entrusted to my care.
Being a mom is a calling to selflessness. In a real sense as moms, we not only have kids, but our kids have us.
They have our attention.
They have our devotion.
They have our affection.
They have our energy.
They have our time.
For all the joy that motherhood brings, the give-and-take can leave many moms feeling weary, overstretched, and empty. We have to be careful that we are receiving as well as giving.
We have to be sure to find our strength from the right source.
How do we stay strong and able to give?
How do we continue giving ourselves to those precious little ones who need us?
Where does power come from to keep growing a healthy and God-honoring marriage in this busy season of life?
How can we take care of all the tasks at home and in our daily work?
The answer isn’t always getting away; the answer is abiding more deeply. Right where we are.
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Jesus said that those who abide aren’t just those that are with Him; those who abide are in Him. Those who abide, believe in Him, and they hold on to or cling to Jesus’ word. The abiding sets them free.
We can’t be like Jesus on our own. It isn’t natural for any of us.
We can’t imitate Christ without being joined to Christ. To “abide” literally means to “stick to.”
We believe His Word, love His Word, keep His Word, hope in His Word, and are sustained by His Word.
When we abide His life becomes our life.
While every mom needs to get away for some peace and quiet, our real joy and strength comes from abiding in Jesus.
As busy mamas abiding can seem impossible at times. We give and give and give, and we must be sure to fill up, so we have something to pour into those around us.
The task of being a mom is too big and overwhelming to try to do in our own strength.
If we don’t fill up, we will quickly dry up.
Now there is no formula for keeping our personal quiet time with the Lord a priority, but leaning into God’s calling on our lives and grabbing those moments with Him when we can is vital.
Although I know the importance of a quiet time, now four children later, I can still struggle to find those times alone with God. And the truth is, sometimes my quiet time looks just like that morning that Sophia tap-tap-tapped down the steps to join me.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Be encouraged that God has promised to give us mercy and grace when we need it most. Our children will grow, but we will never outgrow our need to abide in Christ.
Lean into your calling, but don’t neglect to abide deeply with your Father.
Run to Him.
Hold on to Him.
Meditate on His words.
As the bread of life they are, let them be your sustenance.
And even in the times where there is just no way you can get alone with God,
or get away for some quiet,
don’t forget He invites you to abide wherever you are.
Ruth Schwenk is the creator of TheBetterMom.com, and along with her husband, Patrick, FortheFamily.org. She is a pastor’s wife with four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been full-time ministry for over fifteen years. Ruth has co-authored two books with Karen Ehman — Pressing Pause and Hoodwinked.
Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus offers us a calm way to start our day, to refresh in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence so that we’re ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most to us. These 100 encouraging devotions for moms will help to begin each day with Scripture, drawing on God’s power, ingesting His Word, and learning practical ways to love and serve more like His Son. I’m reading these pages gratefully — and thinking it’s a book my whole family will thank me for reading (warm smile).
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]