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 #PrayerTweet
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)