When it comes to spending time with God, finding the time isn’t the only challenge. How do we find the motivation to choose to spend time with God when what we really crave is a Netflix marathon until we finally fall asleep? What do we do when too many other things clamor for our attention: the dishes piled up in the sink, the laundry mounds on the couch, or the pet project that longingly stares back at us from the corner of our lives? Other things often feel more pressing and sometimes, dare I say, more interesting.
In our heart of hearts, we want to spend time with God, but it requires our energy, taxes our limited resources, and competes with other important duties. Not to mention that merely by being human our independent natures already fight the dependence walking with God requires. The struggle is common and real and we don’t need to feel guilty about it. It’s part of the normal strains of mom life.
As I tried to untangle this mess of obstacles that hinder our motivation to spend time with God, I realized that there are too many factors to address in one post. So over the next few weeks, I’m going to tease out different challenges that compete with our best intentions to spend time with God.
Re-imagining Time with God
Let’s start by creatively re-imagining what time with God can look like. Let’s challenge the view of what “counts” as time well spent with God. It’s easy to slip into thinking that what God wants most from us is to read our Bible and say our prayers.
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You.
– C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
He wants to be with us, plain and simple. So here are some creative ways to spend time with God when you don’t feel like having a “quiet time”.
When you’re tired and spending time with God feels like work
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. – Matthew 11:28 (MSG)
Invite God to watch Netflix with you.
God loves a good story. And He speaks through stories. Perhaps there’s something He can say to you through the very show you’re watching. Perhaps you would have missed it otherwise.
It’s not about “getting something out of it” necessarily. It’s enough to simply acknowledge His presence and remember that rest is His gift to you this evening.
Sip a glass of wine, take a bath, or listen to music with God.
Slow down and unwind with God. Appreciate the metaphors, if you want. Wine symbolizes joy, abundance, and his blood shed for us. Immerse in the waters and imagine Him cleansing you from the day. Turn on the music and worship Him. It doesn’t necessarily have to be worship music. Simply enjoy the peace and rest He’s giving you and offer gratitude for it.
Read a book with God
Whether you like inspirational Christian books, biographies, or fiction, God speaks to us through the stories we read and the insights others have gained.
You could even read the Bible as a story instead of trying to get something out of it. Read it for the history. Read it for the narrative. Let God tell you His Story without any other agenda. The Message is a great translation for this.
When you’re busy and spending time with God feels like wasting time
Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. – Matthew 11:29 – 30 (MSG)
Invite God to do your work with you.
If your tasks requires mental focus, take a moment before you begin to offer your work to God. An easy prayer to recite might be:
Lord, I offer my prayer as my work, my work as my prayer. – Reference unknown
Ask God for wisdom and inspiration, trusting He works in you as you work. Even our work can be a form of worship.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Acknowledge Him in All Your Ways…
When we know we need to spend time with God, but don’t necessarily have the motivation for a 30 minute Bible study, let’s simply instead take a moment to turn our attention to God. Even if it’s just a small moment before we tackle the next project on our to-do list. Sometimes, that first step of slowing and turning our attention is the hardest part. If we simply do that, with no pressure of having to make it anything else, we might feel ourselves drawn to God in new ways.
Do you have any tips to add for any fellow mommas who feel too tired or too busy to spend time with God? Please share them in the comments!