I first wrote this post in the year 2000, when I had a two-year-old and a six-month-old baby. I called it Mums with Jesus, and sent it to my friends as an email attachment (no blogs in those days).
Little did I know, when I was snatching minutes to write during my children’s nap time, that one day it would become a postable, shareable, pinnable Mums with Jesus that would travel the world!
Oh my! I would have been excited.
Mums with Jesus remains much the same as when I first wrote it, except for it’s name.
So here you go, 15 years later:
How to Stay Close to God as a Mum (or Mom)
Do you identify with any of the following comments?
It’s difficult to have time with God, or be close to Him, when you have young children. I never have a moment to myself.
It’s a circle – if I don’t have time with God I lose the desire to have time with him.
Church is just a social visit – I’m in the crèche most of the time!
How do I stay in a place of rest? There are moments of quiet – then everything crowds it out.
It’s been difficult to have a proper ‘quiet time’ since getting married. I used to have time with God first thing in the morning in bed. Now I have a sleeping husband beside me and don’t want to turn the light on and disturb him.
I long for fresh intimacy with Jesus…and renewed vision. I know breakthrough probably comes with seeking him – but that often seems so difficult – lack of time, energy, discipline, and encouragement.
I feel weary and lonely.
I have nothing to give.
I’m just exhausted!
Many have said things like this to me, and I too have experienced most of these feelings, at one time or another, the last few years.
It’s easy to attribute some of it to a phase in life that comes with having young children.
Certainly, when we have young children we may not be so involved in ‘ministry’ as we’ve known it, or church.
God has given us our children. They are a blessing and they should be our priority above other ‘things’, as I share in The Goal and Purpose of My Life.
However, recently I’ve realized that I shouldn’t make this busy phase in life an excuse for not being so close to God.
Even though other things may ‘go’ for a season, my relationship with God shouldn’t.
God MUST intend for us as mums and wives to still be able to be intimate with Him.
So my big question recently has been, HOW?
I want to share a few things God has been showing me as I’ve asked Him this question. I hope it will help and encourage you to greater intimacy with Jesus too.
Intimacy with Jesus…refreshing, desire, life, passion, joy, rest, strength…overflow to others…in the midst of being a mum!
How? Or rather how not?
Having a quiet time is not the be-all and end-all of our relationship with God.
By ‘quiet time’, I mean a set-aside time to be quiet with God to read the Bible and pray.
I think we sometimes get hung-up on the fact that if we haven’t had a quiet-time for a while then that’s it, we’ve failed and our relationship with God is going nowhere.
Guilt quickly works its way in!
But, it’s not true!
there is…no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…Romans 8:1
Secondly, there is no 11th commandment,
Thou shalt sit down with God and be quiet (no ringing phones, no crying children, no washing machines running) for one hour everyday.
God knows we are mums. He knows all that comes with that! Jesus sometimes had the same problem of not being able to get away from it all!
Matthew 14:13 says that Jesus
departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him…
Sound familiar? Little people following you everywhere? Impossible even to be in the bathroom by yourself?
Certainly it is good when we can ‘get away’ and be quiet with our Father. But truthfully, those times seem to be few and far between for most of us at the moment.
So, what’s the answer?
How do we maintain, and deepen, our relationship with God? How do we come back to that place of first love and desire, where, however tired or busy we are, we want to have time with Him?
A few thoughts:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you…1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Your word I have hidden in my heart…Psalm 119:11
…put on love…let the peace of God rule in your hearts…be thankful…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…Colossians 3:14-17
You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…Deuteronomy 11:18-20
These verses talk about an all-the-time walk and relationship with God – praise and worship, the word, prayer, thanksgiving, and rejoicing as a lifestyle.
Maybe this sounds even more daunting to you than having a quiet time!
Actually, it’s not impossible!
Keep reading for 30 practical ideas God has given me, as I’ve asked him HOW I can practice his presence in the midst of being a mum.
(This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.)
So, here you go…
30 Practical Ideas to Intimacy with Jesus
1. Pray for the person you’ve been speaking to after each telephone call. Pray for anything that came up in conversation. Bless them. Pray God’s favour on them. Repent or cut yourself free from anything negative spoken during the call!
2. Write prayer items on a piece of paper and hang it where you will often see it – near where you breastfeed, at the end of your bed or by the kitchen sink. Whenever you see it, pray one of the items. Write up answers to prayer and use them for thanks.
3. Pray with your kids – ask them what they want to pray for. Get them to lay hands on you when you don’t feel well! Let their faith build yours! Get excited with them about answered prayer.
4. Send up quick ‘Help me!’ prayers to God when your kids are driving you crazy or you need some quick wisdom!
I suggest you implement and concentrate on only one or two of these ideas a week.
6. Write out Bible verses on a piece of paper and put them in a place where you often stand or sit like the kitchen-sink or toilet (Deuteronomy 11’s doorposts and gates). Read a verse whenever you can – ask God to bring it back to your mind through the day. Meditate on it as you do other things.
7. Go ‘mad’ with your kids! Dance round the house, jump on beds, shout hallelujah, sing and march through rooms. Especially good for ‘down days’ and when you want to get heaviness or sickness out of the house. Kids love it! (Well, younger ones do, anyway! My teens would now be highly embarrassed.)
8. Have praise and worship playing through the day. Sing as you do things. (You Tube is great for this.)
9. Thank God for your children and your husband everyday.
10. Thank God for a new day when you first wake up. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you for the day ahead, and to be your help.
It will take a while for some of these things to become habit and part of our daily routine.
11. Open your Bible and read something out loud, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
12. Dramatise your Bible reading or act it out with your children. Let your children see that the Word is important to you.
13. Read one or two Bible verse before sleeping. Think about them as you fall asleep. This only takes a couple of minutes and the verses will be part of your sub-conscious thought as you sleep.
14. Pray for family and friends by putting their photos where you will see them. If you get stuck praying the same thing for someone, use the alphabet to help you pray different things each day.
15. Display something to remind you to pray for someone. For example, a friend gave me a doll from her country, which I hung up in the bathroom to help me to remember to pray for her.
Our greatest help of course is the Holy Spirit.
16. Read Bible stories with your kids. God can still speak to you through a kiddies Bible!
17. Learn verses with your children. Have fun. I highly recommend The Harrow Family *Sing the Word From A to Z and *Sing the Word: A New Commandment song CDs. These put Bible verses to music and are fantastic.
18. Speak in tongues as you get on with your day’s work (1 Corinthians 14).
19. Sing and worship if you see naughtiness coming or your children are getting too much for you. It changes the atmosphere and calms things down. It reduces confrontation.
I remember when I began to implement some of these things – almost immediately I began to feel a new edge coming back into life.
20. Choose Christian magazines or books that can be read five minutes at a time. (Better not to attempt books where you have to go back to the beginning to make sense of things if you’re interrupted. You’ll get frustrated!) Blogs are great in that sense! Weren’t around when I had young kids.
21. Say ‘grace’ at meal times and think about what you are saying and who you are talking to.
22. Soak in the Holy Spirit as you’re going to sleep. Ask Him to come and wash through you, and refresh you. Soak as often as possible at other times too. Lie down (with your husband and/or kids) and ask the Holy Spirit to come.
23. Take conscious thought that God is with you through the day.
25. Choose a pretty notebook to keep as a journal. Write your heart-thoughts and prayers. Tell God exactly how you feel. Write out Bible verses. Take a moment to be quiet and write down what God says to you. A sentence or two at a time is all you need write.
26. Choose a new Bible reading plan. Something fresh can be all it takes to re-ignite your passion for God. There are 100’s of wonderful free plans at You Version, some just a few days long. Devotional books that have ministered to me recently are *Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and Abide by Elisa Pulliam. All of these, you can read a little at a time.
27. Whisper thank you prayers through the day in gratitude for the little things. Ask your kids what you can thank God for each day.
28. Pray blessing over your baby or child when you’re up with them at night. Or use it as time to pray for others’ or your own needs.
29. Turn negative thoughts into thanks and praise. For example, if you’re feeling negative about your husband, think of things to thank God for him. Negative thoughts quickly stop coming if all you do is turn them to praise!
30. Let God whisper ‘Goodnight’ to you as you fall asleep. Listen to his words of love and affirmation. Read my experience in this post: What does God say When He says ‘Goodnight’ to You?
How to Implement these Ideas
Don’t be overwhelmed! I suggest you implement and concentrate on only one or two of these ideas a week.
Some things take a bit of effort just to get going! It took me over a month from having the idea of writing up prayer items to actually get round to writing my list and putting it up!
And, I usually forget to pray for the person I’ve been speaking to on the phone! I put stickers on the phone to remind me, but the hour after I put the stickers on, the line went dead and our phone was out of order for four days! Crazy, eh?
It will take a while for some of these things to become habit and part of our daily routine.
Our greatest help of course is the Holy Spirit. Maybe the first thing we need to get into the habit of doing is asking Him to be with us everyday when we wake up.
I remember when I began to implement some of these things – almost immediately I began to feel a new edge coming back into life. I had a fresh desire to pray, and I started hearing God speak things to me again.
I think that as we make worship, prayer, the Spirit and the Word, a part of our daily lives, and as we touch the presence of Jesus afresh, our desire for Jesus will grow and grow.
And I think then, that even if we are tired after the children have gone to bed, we will want to sit down and be quiet with our Father.
Want help getting started?
I’ve written a FREE email series called 10 Days 10 Ways to Meet God in the Midst of Motherhood.
Sign up by clicking the image below, and for 10 days you’ll receive a short email with an idea and resources to help you draw close to God that day. Each idea will be simple, practical and doable for busy mums!
I long for more of Jesus in my day-to-day life. I will be doing this too!
I’d love to know what ways you best connect with God day-by-day, or what you find difficult about connecting with God. Leave a comment below.
Remember to make the most of these free resources to help you be a mum with Jesus:
This post is part of The Mums with Jesus Series. Thanks for reading!
10 Days | 10 Ways to Meet God in the Midst of Motherhood
Do you desire more of God in your day-to-day? Do you find it difficult to meet with him in the midst of being a mum? Sign up to receive 10 days of simple ideas to help you meet God in a fresh way.