When Quiet and Time are Scarce

When you hear the phrase “quiet time with God,” do you struggle to imagine quiet or time? Violin practice or toddler tantrums may shatter “the quiet” at your house. Family activity may mimic a disturbed anthill, and the hurry-scurry pace may cause minutes to evaporate. 

As a young mom, I dreamed of shiny floors, homemade pies, and family worship. Some days the kitchen floor sported sticky polka dots, jellied biscuits posed as dessert, and family worship consisted of mealtime prayer. Quiet and time rarely merged to allow uninterrupted prayer and Bible study. 

The story of a busy eighteenth-century mother inspired me and illustrated the importance of spending time with God. Susanna Wesley, the mother of famous evangelist John Wesley, hymn-writer Charles Wesley, and nine or more other children (accounts vary), developed a unique quiet time practice. She’d sit down and pull her long apron over her head. “Like a giant ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, her children knew momma was to be left alone as she brought her prayers and requests to God in the middle of the noise and bustle a full household brings.” 1

Like Susanna, we can develop creative ways to spend time with our heavenly Father. The following strategies and advice from busy moms may spark ideas for you.

Quiet Time Strategies for Busy Moms

Devote your day to God and refuse false guilt when time is short. 

When you rock your baby, bandage a skinned knee, or play Candyland with your children, you’re serving God and your family. Treasure small moments and on-the-go prayers but prioritize prayer and Bible study.

Rachael, a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four advises, “Make the time. The demands on your time won’t stop. Let quiet time be the rock in the jar, not the sand around it. What a struggle that is, though. I know it well.”

Read or listen to Scripture and sound teaching. 

Place your Bible on a cookbook stand and read a passage before or after meal prep. Try Bible apps with read-aloud features, or listen to Christian radio, podcasts, and live streaming. 

Angela, a stay-at-home mom of three, says, “If I had to share one simple way to incorporate time with God into a busy mom’s schedule, I would say to multitask. Listen to an audio version of the Bible while you’re getting ready, waiting in the carpool line, doing dishes, folding laundry, or making dinner. Keep a Bible and/or devotional close by for the few moments you can concentrate.” 

Pray a memorized portion of Scripture when you wake up. 

One mom I know writes verses on index cards and tapes them to her mirror until she learns them. When a child’s cry awakens you early, pray a memorized passage to center your thoughts on God, then seek His help. Here’s an example: 

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul.

Psalm 143:8 NASB 1995

Adapt prayer plans to your current season.

A detailed prayer journal may be impossible but try jotting a list on a magnetic grocery pad, then place it on the refrigerator. Julie, a mom who homeschooled four, shares:  

“When my children were small and needed a great deal of my attention, I often got frustrated when I couldn’t complete my mental list of daily praises and petitions during my quiet time. What worked best for me during some of those busy years was to divide my list so that in a week’s time, I’d prayed for all those items on my mind at least once. That way, I didn’t feel the pressure to get through ‘everything’ each day, because most days, my quiet time was interrupted by a little one!”

Focus on your relationship with Jesus. 

When quiet and time are scarce, concentrate on your relationship with Jesus and ask Him to guide you. Focus on His Presence, not a checklist. 

Stacey, a teacher, pastor’s wife, and mom of three shares, “What I’ve learned over many different seasons of life is that it’s not about the methods or materials I use to have a quiet time, it’s asking myself if what I’m doing brings me into a closer and deeper level of intimacy with my Father, my Savior, and my Friend.”

Scripture reminds us:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.

Titus 3:4-5 ESV

I hope these strategies will help you create your own plan. Please share the way you fellowship with God when quiet and time are scarce. 

When Quiet and Time are Scarce: Quiet-time strategy for busy moms @jeanniewaters44 #Parenthood #BibleStudy #Prayer

1 “Susanna’s Apron: Six Tips For Prayer As A Mom,” May 1, 2017, https://www.risenmotherhood.com/blog/susanna-apron-six-tips-for-prayer-as-a-mom.

(Cover photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

26 thoughts on “When Quiet and Time are Scarce

  1. So much to appreciate in this post. Some great tips, although I would look quite funny wearing an apron. I might add that getting up earlier isn’t always the answer either. Loved the mental picture of making “time with God a rock and not the sand.” I think these ideas will work for dusty old farmers too. Thank you Ms. Jeannie. Oh, and I could smell those jellied biscuits ma’am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stacey and thanks for the wise words you contributed to this post. As you shared, the method matters far less than focusing on our relationship with Jesus. We may need creative strategies, but time spent with God is always a blessing.


    1. Lindsey, I’m glad you found the strategies helpful and hope your husband will, too. Spending time with God sets the compass for the day and brings peace. Thank you for commenting.


    1. Thanks for commenting, Marcy. I’m glad you found the strategies practical. Days can be hectic leaving little time or quiet, but time spent with God always enhances our other activities. I still need some of these ideas for busy days.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie, I also appreciate the comments of those who shared their experience. I agree that tips for spending time with God can help us in any season of life. It’s easy to allow a variety of “good things” to crowd our daily agenda and rob us of time with our Lord and Savior. Thank you for your comments.


  2. This is such an encouraging post for busy moms–some practical ideas, and help with the guilt Moms often face as their best efforts to focus on the Lord often get foiled in this busy time of life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, I love the way you said, “the guilt Moms often face as their best efforts to focus on the Lord often get foiled in this busy time of life!” The child-rearing days are filled to the brim with activity, and often squelch our plans for Bible study and concentrated prayer. I’m glad the moms I interviewed shared encouragement to find tiny moments of time, choose a way that fits individual needs and families, and remember the relationship with Jesus above the plans and processes. He’s as close to someone rocking a baby as He is to someone sitting in a church pew. Thanks, Kathy, for reading and commenting.


  3. Wonderful strategies here! I struggled with finding quiet time as a young mother. Sentence prayers, keeping a New Testament in my car to pull out when waiting in line at the bank or drugstore (now obsolete!); and listening to praise music while doing housework were some things that helped me then.

    I love the advice to “avoid false guilt when time is short” and to see those precious moments spent with children as service to Him.


  4. I lived in this season for many years as our first two and last two children were separated by six years. Your suggestions are spot on for a busy mama! I also kept a ring of 3×5 index cards labeled with Bible verses in my bag. While I waited for my children in the school line, etc., I could practice memorizing scripture.


    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. The ideas reminded me, too, that it’s important to find small bits of time throughout the day in addition to more substantial time. For young parents, it’s a challenge.


  5. I love this! Truth and grace abound in your message. I’m an empty nester with grands close by. My energy level has certainly waned over the years. So quiet and alone are still a challenge at times. Sometimes I utilize my lunch hour for “quiet and alone” times with God.


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