Life as a mom is crazy. Perpetual laundry, continual meals, grocery shopping, running around after kids, changing diapers, and supporting our husbands. If we are lucky, some sleep and potential “mom” time. So many of our relationships as mothers seem pressing. (The baby is screaming!) As a result of this hectic load, my relationship with God has often been lost in the mix. It makes sense—it is not usually pressing like, a diaper leaking poo on the carpet, no more clean clothes in the closet to wear, or my husband who needs encouragement after a hard day at work. Nonetheless, I often desire and feel the need to have a stronger connection with God.
During my single years my schedule was rather predictable. I could wake up when scheduled, get down on my knees and say an uninterrupted prayer, quietly read my scriptures when planned, and spontaneously write in my journal when I had an enlightening thought. My spiritual life was rather on track and I felt a great connection with God. But, when I got married and had my first child, all of a sudden it was harder to continue the habits which kept me close to God. My patterns were changed and my life no longer consisted of me, but included others. Ironically, this time of life seems to be when I need, but have the littlest time to set aside for Him.
This was very troublesome to me. I wanted a strong relationship with God. But, whenever I tried to become closer to God, exhaustion kicked in as soon as the noise quieted and I had time to myself. I seemed to be falling asleep during every one of my scripture studies and having the strength to get on my knees seemed harder than ever.
After feeling guilty for a while, I realized even though my life had changed in almost every conceivable way, my expectations had not. In my mind, having a connection with God meant following a cookie-cutter pattern involving uninterrupted, quiet time reading my scriptures and prayer. For me that was not happening at all. It wasn’t until I began talking to my older sister one day that my perception changed: It isn’t following some one-size-fits-all plan that keeps me close to God. It is being intentional and making time for God in my life. Being flexible and creating new habits that can continue to strengthen my closeness to God.
What my spiritual habits looked like when I was single look completely different than my spiritual habits now, with a husband and little boy. But, my connection with God is still growing. I can feel the peace and connection to God I crave. Here is what I am learning:
Be intentional. Even the best intentions can fall through when we feel spirituality will somehow work its way into our lives. Or our previous spirituality will always carry us through. No, our relationship with God seems to be similar to others; the blessings of close relationships fade as we communicate less. We should intentionally seek out ways that will facilitate daily spiritual nourishment and closeness to God.
Look online for great websites or apps that have a collection of spiritual talks or scriptures to read conveniently. I recently searched religious apps available and was blow away at the amount of apps available for free. Scripture study can be as easy as installing an app into your phone. Find an app/website that you like and share your findings with those around you!
Incorporate God into daily tasks. My most recent success has been listening to spiritual talks or scriptures while doing daily tasks. For example, folding laundry, making dinner, doing the dishes, getting dressed, or doing my hair and make-up. These are often tasks that become so second nature I can practically do them while sleeping. In my experience, doing the simple task actually keeps my mind awake and alert so I don’t fall asleep, making these moments great for pondering on spiritual things.
After a lot of trial and error, I know it is possible to be a young mother and still have a strong relationship with God. At times it has seemed I simply did not have time, or was too exhausted to work on this relationship. However, I have learned that my spirituality is the gel that holds me together when I feel like I am about to fall apart. It is the glue that keeps me and my husband together during hard times. It strengthens our family.
This quote by Linda K. Reeves, changed my life: “Because I know from my own experiences, and those of my husband, I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes.” (emphasis added.)
Question: How is your current relationship with God? Do you feel close to Him or wish that your relationship was stronger?
Challenge: Look for the moments during your day that you can intentionally put aside time to strengthen your relationship with God.