'Quiet Time" Encouragement for Moms of Littles

I've been reading "A Mom Just Like You" by Vickie Farris (ghost-written by her second daughter), a book written to encourage homeschool moms, and I came across a very encouraging word from Scripture.

Mrs. Farris certainly empathizes with the mom who has many little ones and knows (from her own experience, many times over) how difficult it is to find any good chunk of time to give to the Lord when you are up in the night with a newborn or trying to homeschool and parent toddlers, or dealing with sickness, or potty training, and on and on the list could go.

Sometimes it can feel like you're just not making enough of an effort when you don't have a lengthy sit-down time with God every single day. Mrs. Farris shared a word of encouragement that came to her at a critical time in her life as a mom:
One day I was talking with my friend Linda, who is the mother of eleven children, about this problem. When I expressed my frustration about not being able to get enough time with the Lord, she nodded sympathetically. "Vickie," she said, "think about the promise in Isaiah 40:11, 'He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.'

That verse has meant so much to me," Linda explained. "It's just comforting to know that he 'gently leads' those of us who have little ones. He knows our struggles. He's not going to zap us for failing to give Him a full hour every morning like we used to. But even when we can't give Him that ideal chunk of time, we can find time to meet Him in little moments throughout the day."

And I've found that it's true. God is gracious to us when we are moms with young children.

With each additional child, and each new phase, He has shown me His faithfulness. When I draw near to Him even a little bit, He draws near to me. When I put up any amount of effort to read or listen to Scripture, He is faithful to speak to me. When I try to memorize, He is faithful to bring those Scriptures to mind when I need them.

God is faithful, gentle and gracious to those of us who are weary and in a busy season of life with young children. Don't be overwhelmed with guilt... our Shepherd sees and knows and promises to gently lead.


Trinity Mommy said...

I have this book sitting on my shelf but have not read it yet, looks like I need to pick it up! This was very encouraging!

Anonymous said...

Jess, you did it again! It seems like your posts mirror my life!!!!!

I had a "freak out you better run and hide from mom" moment yesterday. My girls are 5 1/2. 2 1/2. and 5 months old. It was one thing after another after another...I was seriously debating putting my 5 1/2 year old in school because "I just couldn't take it anymore!" I was wondering if my decision to homeschool...all of them...was good a good idea. This post means a lot...thanks!!!

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

That book was very encouraging to me when my children were small. But it is still encouraging to me, even though my children aren't small anymore. There are times I still need to spend little times through out the day. It is encouraging to know that He takes care of us and leads us, and it's not all up to us! I like to listen to good worship music through out the day...especially Sov. Grace music...I feel "fed" after listening to that! I talk to the Lord through out the day...I am keeping connnected that way as well. I have the privilege of reminding myself of God's promises and principles when I "hear myself" sharing them with my children off and on all day! There are so many ways that it can be accomplished. When it becomes legalistic and there is guilt, then it is about obigation...and who wants to be with someone when they are spending time with you only out of obligation!? I imagine God might feel that way too...?

I also want to encourage moms to make sure that they are pouring over God's Word AND THEN picking up books. There are a lot of wonderful books out there, but we need to make the Word of God the highest priority. And then we will be able to discern what we can use in the books we read...

Good reminder, Jess.

amanda b in nc said...

I absolutely love this site!
Once again, you've posted on something I desperately needed to hear! I have three children 4 and under, and I am pregnant with our fourth. When I was single, I devoted every spare minute to study and devotion. Those days are long gone. I remind myself that I am exactly where Jesus wants me to be, and that when I do my best at being a wife and mother I do bring honor and glory to God. But the temptation to feel guilty can be very strong. We place burdens on ourselves so much that the Lord would never have us to take!
Thanks Jess - you're doing a great job helping others!
amanda b in nc

darci said...

we read the same books. :) this was such an encouragement to me, too. How wonderful to know that God is tenderly and gently leading us-I find the same, that when I reach out just a little, He is there to scoop me closer.

svr said...

Isn't it great that we have a God who meets us exactly where we are!
We still have not made a decision about schooling (my oldest is just about to turn 4) but with 2 kids with completely different schedules I find it very hard to spend long periods of time in Bible study and prayer.
I keep a book with short (1 page) devotionals in the bathroom so that when I go in and get a few minutes of privacy I can take 5 minutes to read the devotional and verse for the day. I have found that this small bit of "feeding" has been very helpful to me. Often the verse and devotional for the day has been just what I needed for that moment.
Also, I find that even though it is not the traditional idea of Bible study when I take the time to help my children with their memory verses from Bible school or read them their daily story from their children's Bible I too am being fed.

Jennifer said...

Wow, I guess I will have to think on this verse more. You see, I was thinking, maybe I shouldnt even have any more children, I go in seasons where 99.9% of the child raising is my responsibility alone and I have no one to help me out. My husband can be working 75 hours a week for months at a time. I really miss being able to be in the word in the morning. If I get up early, someone is bound to hear me, no matter how quiet I am, and then all "quiet time" is lost. I have been thinking that I have been too focused on my earthly family.

Lydia Manning said...

Thanks Jess for the book spotlight! Baby #5 will be here any day now, and my oldest just turned 5. Needless to say, life is full these days. But with the last month of each pregnancy, I've felt the need to "sleep in" with the kids rather than rise in the wee hours. I've fought the guilt at times by rising early only to discern God say, "Please go get some physical rest my child." So once again as I am facing a couple months of inadequate sleep, I am encouraged by this verse. Thanks again. I can't wait to get this book and learn more from Vickie!

Anonymous said...

The priestly benediction from Numbers 6:23-27 (which ends most Jewish services but is also used by some Christian denominations, I think), goes like this:

May God bless you and keep you;

May God shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you;

May God turn His face to you and give you peace.

The second line is talking about God being generous when He looks at us (that is, not focusing primarily on our flaws and failings).

Laurie B

Annette said...

A friend of mine (we both have 11 kids) once shared this book with me, and I still think of that verse. It has been true for me. I feed on his Word in snippets throughout the day and pray as I go, and He blesses and encourages me through it.

hpt said...

Thank you - I had not heard of this book and am going to order it right now!

It has been a difficult couple of weeks... recovering from surgery while dealing with a 4 year old and almost 2 year old. That brought tears to my eyes...

Holli T.

Melinda said...

I just found your blog yesterday and I wanted to say that it has been such an inpiration to me in a time when I really need it. We have just learned that we are expecting baby #4. I am 38, a SAHM, homeschooling a teen and nurturing a toddler. THis post was really so uplifting for me on a day filled with morning sickness, confusing lessons and a grumpy 3yo who did not have enough sleep!

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

after reading your article about "getting out of the house"...and reading the comments, I decided to post an article (for Wed.) I wrote awhile ago about the same subject...incase you're interested and want to link to it. It's such an important topic!

Dawn said...

Hi Jess!
I've been reading here for months, but this is my first time commenting. I am a mom of 10, ages 21 down to 23 months. I read Vickie's book several yrs ago, when it first came out. I think I had maybe 6 kids then. It was such a blessing to me.
I have found that helping my children memorize Scripture has helped me so much. I make up motions for them, and we memorize whole Psalms this way. It has helped ME so much!!
Also, when I am having Bible time with them in the morning, that is my Bible time too. I teach them verses that I want to meditate on, we talk about them, memorize them, write them, etc. I guess you could call it "killing two birds with one stone". LOL!
I also send up prayers all day long: while folding laundry, washing dishes, driving down the road, whatever.
Thanks for your last few posts. They have been very thought provoking for me personally. I enjoy reading our archives too.
Blessings to you,

Jessica said...

Wow, did I need to hear that verse. I'm printing it out and posting it on my fridge. I'm just starting to homeschool my oldest and I have been looking for a book like this. Thanks for the recommendation.

Tanya said...

I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I think it's probably time I read it again.