My personal time with the Lord looked a little differently before I became a mom.
As a freelancer and student, I woke up around 9am, ate breakfast, turned Chris Tomlin on low, and opened my Bible in the silence of my apartment. I’d find myself a little distracted and sometimes I’d cut my devotional short in favor of responding to emails or turning on Netflix for just one episode of The Office.
To end of the day, my husband and I would have couples’ prayer and devotional time.
My Present Reality
Now, just a few years later, I wake up to the sound of my 2-year-old son yelling, “Mama!”
Before the sun rises, I throw together breakfast, change his diaper, throw on PJ Masks on the Disney Channel, and try to sneak in some personal Bible time. If I don’t do it then, it probably won’t happen the rest of the day. My schedule is filled to the brim with caring for my family and pursuing my career as a writer and journalist.
By the time my little one goes to bed, I’m too wiped out to even spend time with my husband. My evenings usually end up with me shoving chocolate in my mouth while binging Netflix before passing out.
I Am Human
There are days, weeks even, that I miss Bible time in favor of just closing my eyes on the couch or sneaking in some work before our day starts. On those days, my patience wears thin at a much faster rate and I feel immensely guilty for putting God on the back burner. I don’t want it to be like this, so I vow to try harder.
A Fresh Perspective
Nothing I did worked, trying to get myself to set aside time every day, until I felt God telling me, “Silly Samantha, why not try putting me in every aspect of your day?”
The light bulb went off and I realized that this was so obvious! I still tried to set aside Bible time each day, but I didn’t beat myself up if I missed it because I had brought God into all parts of my life.
Including God In Everything
In the morning, during chores, I started listening to Christian podcasts. During playtime, I’d talk to my son about God through the toys we were playing with. If I had time to read a book, I’d pick up a devotional or other book that encouraged me in my relationship with Christ. At nap time, when I’d have to do some writing, I started cranking up Pandora worship stations. I downloaded apps like FaithPlay, iDisciple, and TBN, to occupy my downtime instead of opening Netflix or Facebook. I started receiving Bible verses on my phone too.
During laundry, I’d pray over my family. During my shower, I’d pray for my walk with the Lord. During my daily workout, I’d praise Him for an able body and ask for support in caring for the temple He gifted me. I created a prayer wall in my son’s room so we’d be able to pray over our loved ones while we were in there. When my son and I would go outside, I’d pray out loud and we would thank God for the beautiful creations He blessed us with. On particularly rough days at home, when tension was high, I’d walk around the room and ask the Holy Spirit to fill the home with love and peace – my son would follow, waving his little arms around, giggling as I declared Satan had no power over us.
I noticed that my relationship with Him became closer than ever when I stopped forcing a specific time each day to read the Bible. My relationship started feeling less like an obligation I needed to fill and more like a relationship between a parent and child. The Lord had started to become my best friend. I got into the habit of talking to Him as soon as I needed help or as soon as a prayer was answered. There was a constant flow of Him and I, together.
My journey gave a whole new meaning to many Bible verses such as Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
I was able to stop the poor relationship I had with the Lord, where He was the boiling rice I forgot about on the back burner while trying to make dinner. My pursuit of Him was often forgotten about, plain, boring, and slow to grow. When I implemented these changes, the Lord got a seat at my table. We broke the bread, we had long-night conversations, I made him a part of the family – the leader of our home – and I’ll never look back.
Samantha Sali is a published author, journalist, wife, mom, and daughter of the King. She is deeply involved in advocating against interpersonal violence and Her writing has been featured on many platforms including, Washington County Insider, Kettle Moraine Neighbors Magazine, Elsie Road Magazine, The Speckled Goat, and The Quiet Place. She lives in Southeast Wisconsin with her husband & son. Website: www.samanthasali.com Instagram & Twitter @samantha_Sali.