mommy hacks A-Z

Today what am I thankful for… Many things, but one thing for sure, God’s grace. Because of that, here I am picking this back up. I have planned to write this many different ways but my words seem to escape me in the moments I try to sit and write. Or I feel a level of frustration with myself for allowing “life” to get me so far off track with this blog. I truly don’t know the outcome of this, or why I sense so strongly that God is wanting me to take this journey. But here I am picking it back up. 

Since I started this blog, I have had the idea of writing multiple posts about Mommy Hacks. I continually go back and forth thinking, there is the chance that these hacks won’t be new to you, but on the chance that I could help encourage and help another momma in anyway, here they are.

Mommy Hacks A – Z. Not sure what order they will appear and how often I’ll be adding to this list. Like I mentioned, it has been on my mind since the beginning of this journey even though that was a while ago. I decided today, to start somewhere with this blog. That somewhere is right here, Mommy Hacks A-Z. 

I would like to say first say, that we are all on our own journey and things that may work for me, may not work for you. There is a chance they’ll either work or possibly spark an idea in you, that can help you get out of a rut. To completely counter that (at least for the first two letters… I truly feel that Mommy Hacks A and B are a must. A – B will actually include an extra hidden hack within a letter. So today you’ll get 3 for 2, what a deal! 

Now, like I said these are my thoughts, and they may or may not work for you. But I truly feel as a mommy, it is so important to ARISE before our children do. (Now, there are times we get sick, our littles wake us up during the middle of the night, but on the norm, I truly feel it is vital). Not sure what that might look for you, a cup of coffee/tea, glass of water, devotional, listening to some worship music, praying, reading your bible or just sitting and preparing for what the day has to hold. But I have found that when I can get up and get myself in the right mindset for the day, it helps set into motion our day in a good way.

This one again you may agree with or disagree with. But I do 100% think that it is a must. It is what keeps me grounded, keeps me fed, keeps my focus on truth & life even in the midst of life’s not so enjoyable situations (blow outs… spilled milk… tantrums… deployments… or in our current COVID craziness) as well as the wonderful situations. 

The bonus hack fits under this section.

My husband, David and I were on a date night walking through Barns and Noble just before he left for his deployment. We just love this date night! It might sound strange to you, but one of my best friends introduced us to it. I love that we are able to enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate (because I can’t have caffeine after 3pm or I’ll be up all night!) and walk around the store and browse books, or we can sit and talk, and the occasional time of people watching while we enjoy our beverages.

During this specific date, we were looking at books and trying to find a book that the other person would enjoy but normally wouldn’t buy for themselves. We walked by a coloring book and I mentioned to him how I love coloring but never have the time to do it. He went ahead and grabbed that book saying, “You’ll find time.” My first thought was to laugh, which I think I may have. “Right David, when am I going to have time to fit in coloring… for leisure?”

I am so glad he did! **Back to the bonus hack.** I’m not sure when the idea came to me, but every morning (lately), when I ARISE before my kiddos. I grab my iPhone or iPad and open up the Bible app. I have a yearly Bible app I am going through that helps me read the whole Bible in a year. 

What I have started to do, is listen to my daily reading while I color. The best part of this is how much it helps me focus.  It helps my mind not to wander to all the things that seem to try and take my time away from my daily Bible reading.  Is it just me or does anyone else mind wander when they read their Bibles? I feel like so often the moment I crack open my physical Bible or the app, I remember I need to put “____” on the grocery list, or I was supposed to text/call someone, or I forgot to get the meat to defrost for dinner, ect.. While I am coloring, I am able to really listen to the words, while enjoying coloring which helps fill my love of do any sort of craft.  

I guess a second bonus hack is that when I am having my devotional time. I try to keep a piece of paper/post it note. Then, when my mind wanders to all the things that I need to get done for the day I can jot them on the paper and get to them AFTER I finish my devotional time.

One little extra note with the Bible app, within the different versions of the Bible ESV, NKJV, NIV, ect.. there are different readers for each version. Each of their voices are different… so if you decide to try this idea out, you may need to try a few different versions until you find a voice that doesn’t sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown, “Wha Wa Whaaa Wa”. I am currently listening to the ESV version.

As I am writing this I also want to encourage you in your days of being a mommy, that your spiritual walk and mornings can and will look so very different in the different seasons of being a mommy. Mommy of 1, of 2, of 3.. dare I say of 4 or even 5? What worked well in your devotional time as a mommy of 1 will look very different as a mommy of 3 (which I have been learning  a lot about in the last 7 months). But I want to encourage you, to find what works, and make sure to keep moving forward in your spiritual journey. 

Two questions I’ll leave with you:

1. What mommy hacks would you like to share with others? Something you did and then thought, “gosh I wish I would have known or thought of this years ago!

2. What does your spiritual walk look like now as a mommy? Are you taking the time to continually grow in relationship with Jesus? 

Weeds the hard fight..

Let me ask you a question: 

(PS: I’m NOT a gardener, and I promise I will be getting somewhere with my question.)

Do you have weeds in your gardenthat you need to tend to?

Similarly, do you have weeds in your lifeyou need to tend to?

Real weeds are a continual battle. A battle, in which a container of “roundup” …

1) will only start the process,

2) will not get rid of them all.  

When using a “tool” such as roundup, we don’t just spray and have a beautiful garden or lawn. At first, we may get rid of the weeds easily. Spray and BAM they are all dead… right?

But then the weeds die and look worse than when they were green – now you have a heap of dead muck spattered throughout the lawn. Now, the muck needs to be removed, which is a process in itself. You’d better change your clothes because you’re bound to get dirty trying to clean up your new mess.

Now, you may eventually get the beautiful grass you worked so hard for, but is beautiful green grass enough? Or do you want your garden full of colors: red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, purple…  how about different types of flowers… Gerbera Daisies, Hydrangeas, Dahlias, Calla Lilies, Garden Roses, Peonies?

To have a garden that looks as beautiful as the ones on HGTV, we have to do the work! Either paying a landscaper or by getting dirty ourselves. 

It’s okay to pay and seek help, or to use Roundup but none of these will be a one and done to get our gardens where we want them to be.

Back to my question, do you have weeds in your life that you need to tend to? 

Life, like a garden, is a continual process. For every “season” we must look through our lives and pull “weeds”, that is, the things we see/do that we don’t want popping up anymore. We do this in order to restore our “garden,” to beauty. We can’t forget to look around all the rocks for those pesky hidden weeds that look small. But once you turn the rock over, you see how deep its roots actually go. 

You may have weeds popping up that you don’t want others to see – such as your friends, neighbors… (eeeeek) or even your children to see!

Do you see where I am going with this? Weeds – the yuck and muck of our lives that pop up all around us. They are an unending battle, if it is not one thing then it is another. 

So, I ask again, what weeds are growing in your life garden? 

What weeds have you yielded to by justifying: “Oh well, they don’t bother me that much,” or succumbed to, “They are just too overwhelming, I don’t know where to even start?”

Three quotes come to mind:

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”

– Lao Tzu

“The steps you take don’t need to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.”

– Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

(When I think of adding this quote in I just laugh to myself… quoting a science fiction show, but I think it’s a good one!)

“Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we will be sinless, but the closer we walk with Jesus we should sin, less.”

– Pastor Todd, Mount Ararat

The Bible says in Mark 7:21-23 (NKJV),

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

The bible also says in Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV),

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory…”

If God IS ABLE to do exceedingly above what we ask or think… then what is stopping our “soil” in our garden from growing and being abundant?

I’m sure you’ve guessed it, our weeds. 

Our weeds of bitterness, forgiveness, resentment, ______ … these weeds can choke out the ability for our soil to good. 

We must not look at our “enemies” have done and blame them, but we must look at our “inner me” and see what weeds WE need to take a shovel to, to dig out the roots.  (Thanks to Alex Klott @ C3 for the thought behind this quote).

This scripture also come to mind,

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV

By having a relationship with God, we can put our faith and confidence in God. Our confidence here like I said is not in ourselves, but in Him. As we call out to Him, He will allow grace to “rain” down on us.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) says,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Even when we do not know and see the end result, we can trust in God to help us get there, because our confidence is not in ourselves, but in Him.

So, GO – start picking away at a weed or two… the process must begin somewhere!

UNREDEEMABLE

UNREDEEMABLE … this word has been replaying in my mind the last few days. As I am sitting down with my afternoon coffee at my kitchen table, feeling the California breeze coming through my house, I am starting this post unsure what trail we will be going down. I just feel like this is a word I should sit and ponder on. 

What does unredeemable?

Unredeemable: unable to be redeemed or made better. 

So, what does redeem mean?

Redeem: to buy back, to repurchase, to get back, win back, to free from what distresses or harms. To change for the better, repair, restore.

Do you feel as though your life is unredeemable? Do you feel as though you are too far off with life, a friendship? Has something so severe happened in your life that you think you can’t win back your old life? That you cannot be free from what distresses or harms you? That you can’t be changed for the better, or be repaired and restored? 

There is a question I often ask myself and hear others ask as well.

Why?

Why do bad things happen? Even better, why do bad things happen to good people?

And although I can’t answer that question. I do have an answer that has helped me through situations where I am asking myself, “WHY?!”. 

The answer is Jesus. 

Whoa whoa whoa… I just took this a different direction than some of you may have expected. Please. Please, do me a favor. If you are turned off by that name, by the thought of a Christian who has hurt you, or by a church who has hurt you… Please stop and take a moment to finish reading this post.

We are all human, we all sin, we all hurt, we have all hurt someone else. Hurt people, hurt people. **

But one constant I have found in my life is Jesus. There are so many times I get shy and want to maybe sit back not necessarily shout at the top of my lungs about my relationship with Jesus. It is something that I am not ashamed of, but a lie that I tend to believe is that I don’t have all the answers, that I won’t know how to answer your question… That I may not have the right words to explain how my life has been so radically changed by having a relationship with Him.

But I heard someone talking recently about how all I need is 1) my own answer to why I believe in God and 2) an invitation. An invitation to someone, asking them to come and check out who God is and what He is about. 

I recently shared a post about a time when God answered my prayers. Was it through prayer and healing or just a mistake on the ultra sound equipment… I don’t know the answer but I know that God was there through the whole situation and brought me peace during a very scary time.  You can click here to read one of my stories of how God/Jesus has been there for me. 

Back to UNREDEEMABLE, another statement I often hear is, “Oh I’m too far off to go to church. They don’t want a sinner like me in church. I have to fix myself before I can go to church.”

But that is NOT, let me repeat myself, N.O.T. the way a relationship with Jesus works. He doesn’t want us to fix ourselves first, and then come. 

He wants us to come to Him first. No matter our level of brokenness, He says He will help us. He will heal our broken hearts, He will help bring restoration.

In fact, He is the way to help fix ourselves. He is the one who knows us better than we know our selves. Luke 12:7 (NLT) says, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” God knows how many hairs you have on your head. He cares for you!

In closing, here’s a quote I heard from the lead pastor at my church, “A botanist can tell you how many seeds an orange has, but only God can tell you how many oranges a seed will have”. –Pastor Jurgen (C3 San Diego North). God wants us to come to Him first and He will help. He can redeem anyone, no matter how broken or unworthy you feel. Take a step of faith and put your trust in Him. Nothing is UNREDEEMABLE for him. 


Don’t Worry / Tools for Digging Deeper!

Tips for studying the word and digging deeper.

(SIDE NOTE …. it is starting, at least in the mornings / evenings, to feel like FALL around these parts! Eeek… this Midwest girl is loving it! Although I am learning that my family really needs to dress in layers because the afternoons feel n.o.t.h.i.n.g. like fall. But with that… I am excited to use some fall’ish images)

In the post, Making Time for Coffee, I talked about a tool I love using during my devos time. I wanted to share this tool along with a little of one of my own personal testimonies, or better yet… one of my herStories and how this tool helped me dig deeper in my faith and learning more about the Bible.

The tool is called, Bible by Olive Tree. It is an app that I use on my iPad and iPhone. I believe the app itself free app, and then you can purchase different Bibles and commentaries. (I will mention that I didn’t purchase them all at the same time. I have slowly been adding to my collection for a few years now. Quiet often the app will give away free Bibles and they are on sale a lot!) 

The reason I enjoy using this tool are (the descriptions I have taken from their website):

1. You can study with the resource guide

The resource guide makes it easy to study by presenting all the relevant information in your library alongside your Bible passage.

2. You can customize your experience.

Take notes, highlight verses, bookmark your favorite passages, and watch them all sync automatically to all of your devices. 

I love that when I highlight a verse it highlights it in every version. So, I can switch back and forth easily between versions and see how they vary. I love that as I add notes throughout my “bible” they are all connected. I love that I can parallel two different versions. 

Would you like to know what My MOST favorite part about the app? The note section. Notes can be taken two different ways 1. Notes and 2. Tags. 

I love this section because as I have been reading my Bible over the years and I come across a scripture that stands out to me, I have been “categorizing” them. For instance, I will list some of my categories. Anxiety, Daily Prayers, Deployment, Direction, Finances, Gods Promises… Then when I am struggling with feeling anxious or needing a promise to hold onto, I can open the app and find scriptures that I have already found.

Let’s say, I am feeling anxiety over something, I click on the category I created, “anxiety” and I have 20 verses that I have marked and saved under this section. Here is one of the scriptures I have saved, 

2 Samuel 22:7, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.”

In Samuel 22: 20b it says, “He delivered me because He delighted in me”

In verse 29, “For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.

And in verse 33, “God is my strength, and power, And He makes my way perfect”.

OR here is one more example: I click on “Direction”: 

Isaiah 30:21, Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. 

Now, back to the app. 

The Bibles that I particularly love are the ones that have the Strong’s Numbers attached as well as ones that come with extra study notes. 

For example, I purchased a New King James Version with Strong’s Numbers, then I also purchased the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible Notes. With just these two I am then able to read extra notes from those who have studied and studied the Bible and then also look at words in Greek and Hebrew to try and grasp a better understanding of the words as used in their first context. I also have other versions of the Bible and like I said earlier if I have any notes from my KNJV, they will be on the new Bible I open up. 

Now for a testimony of how this actually played out in the normal life of… ME !

Here is an instance where I, (being led by the Holy Spirit) was able to dig deeper using the Strong’s concordance numbers.  

Here is a short (very summarized) story from when I was pregnant with my Anna.

My uterus was not growing the “average” way they like it to so my doctor wanted me to go in for an extra ultrasound wanting to be on the safe side (which I must say in the Military is a BIG deal to get an “extra” ultrasound. Generally, you only have two. One when you are about 10 weeks and then another for the gender reveal (which they say is really only to do an anatomy scan… but really most of us are looking forward to what little parts we will or will not see on that little black screen). 

At one point, I started to get a little nervous (okay who am I kidding, EXTREMELY nervous) because the tech just didn’t seem to be acting like I had experienced in my previous ultra sound appointments. She was talking at first and then got quiet and wouldn’t really say anything. She finished with telling me that I would be hearing from my doctor. That’s encouraging, right? Yea, uh NO!

A day or so later I received a phone call from my doctor saying Anna’s kidneys looked extremely large and in other areas her sizing just didn’t seem to be growing the way she should be. Even throwing the word down syndrome into the mix.

She set up an appointment for us to be seen by a high-risk doctor and then she added, “but don’t worry it could be nothing.”

R…..I…..G…..H…..T… (blank stare….) Just take a moment to picture (if you know me) my face when she said that. HA, right, no big deal, it could be nothing. 

That Saturday morning I was thinking about all the possible decorations I could make for Anna’s room and the idea of painting a sign that read “fearfully and wonderfully made” came to my mind. I stored it in my thoughts for later then moved on with my day. 

I started doing my devos a bit later when my mom called and said she had been praying for me and felt like the Lord was saying this,

“Anna is fearfully and wonderfully made. He, has inscribed her fingerprints with his finger.”

Then no JOKE, THREE MINUTES later (I went back and checked because it just seemed like it was only a moment before my mom had called me) one of my best friends texted me this,

“Psalm 139:13-14 NIV”

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.

This was definitely a bit encouraging and I did feel a little better… but I was still worried and having negative thoughts.

A week later I woke up and felt as though I needed to dig deeper into that scripture. I pulled out my Bible (iPad) with the concordance and looked it up. The words I’ve bolded were the ones that stood out to me while I was reading so I clicked on them and then the words in the parentheses were some of the definitions in Hebrew. 

Psalm 139:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 For You formed (created, erect, recover, redeem)

my inward parts (a kidney, an essential organ, seat of emotion and affection);
You covered (protect)me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Now I about dropped my iPad when I clicked on the word, “parts”, and read, “a kidney, an essential organ…” This was exactly the part the doctors were worried about. In that moment, I just knew that Anna was going to be okay. 

It was as if the fear literally fell off of me. The worry fell off of me, and I had a peace that God was telling me she was going to be 100% okay.

I then held onto thatscripture as my promise that the Lord formed and protected Anna’s kidney and that I did not need to fear an issue with her development. 

Okay so a big old story to say that one way to try and dig deeper into the Bible is when scriptures stand out to you. Be it during a sermon, or while reading the Bible, or even a devotional type study. If you’re reading something and a scripture just stands out like it is being highlighted on the page, to pause and take note of that. Generally, in my case God is trying to say something to me.

Comparison ~ The Thief of Joy

Not at all the post I had planned for this week. For the second week in a row. And since I have only just begun this blog, I think I need to expect for last minute changes. Or maybe, is it, I need to listen to God better the first time? But even as I type that sentence out, it is not ironic that it goes along with the whole topic that I’m going to try and chat about today.

Alright, friends, this is me opening up and getting real. It is h.a.r.d. to put this out there. But, well here I am going with it because that’s the way I feel led to go.

Here we go:

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

‘Gonna repeat that again, a little different, but just as true.

"Comparison is the thief of everything." - Lara Casey

… let’s pause a moment here and let that sink in.

I have heard this quote at least once a week, I believe for the last 3 or 4 weeks. By women who do not even know each other.

Not sure if it’s just me, and my own daily struggle? Who am I kidding, sometimes hourly struggle. Or, is it not just me? Are there many of us out there who deal with this very real struggle of comparison?

Here is what my last few weeks have looked like:

This just happened yesterday, my daughter continually stealing snacks from a friend’s daughter. Even warning her, “okay, last gold fish, and then no more.” Then repeat that scenario at least one more time. (Again, who am I kidding she ate probably more than half of the snack).

  • Then feeling as though I need to apologize to that friend. 
  • She wouldn’t let her daughter do that.
  • That was so rude of me to just keep letting her eat the snacks. 
  • I really should apologize.
  • Ugh.. I NEVER wanted to be that mom. Who empty threatens and warns 
  • with no consequence.
  • This is silly…

She has such a cute Instagram account. Even with her families “real life” moments, they are just adorable. 

  • I wish I could be a better instagram’er.
  • I wish my family was that cute.
  • I wish I could capture better pics to post.
  • I wish… I wish… 
  • Her makeup LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL. Mine is BLEH. 
  • My thirty-year-old zits coming out of the woodwork, like – hey haven’t seen you since junior high!
  • Her brows! Mine are uneven and hello thirties and what about losing their pigment along with patchiniess?!

So and So’s houses are decorated just adorable, why can’t I seem to get it together?

  • Here I am a month and a half in and struggling to keep the kitchen clean yet alone hang all my pictures and décor.

Here’s another one, look how cute everyone else’s hair looks here in Cali.

  • There’s hardly any humidity here, WHY ON EARTH is mine acting so funky here?! 

This list can surely go on. I’m sure many of you could add a few things on a list of your own? 

Ladies, we have…

No, we NEED to crush comparison! 

I was at MOPS yesterday and our speaker Kirsten Casillas, with Blooming Faith Ministries, was speaking to us about this topic.  She said,

  • It’s a lie every time. 
  • You aren’t less-than and she isn’t perfect. She isn’t less than and you aren’t perfect. 
  • Stop the narrative.
  • Replace comparison with connection – you have more in common that you think. 
  • We can’t compare our yucky outsides to another person’s beautiful outsides.

Then later in the day, after taking a break from writing, I was on Instagram and saw this very timely post by LysaTerKeurst,

Hello beautiful. Stop scrolling thinking about how much better her life is than yours. Trust me on this. I’ve learned to say to myself... “I’m not equipped for the bad that comes along with that good. It’s always a package deal. And if I really saw the full picture, I’d probably never want that package. I’d just be a little more grateful for my life.”

The grass is not always greener on the other side.

Here is also some wonderful news, we have these amazing wonderful women and people that we obviously look up to and adore. Why not ask them, hey I love the way you style your house, can you help a girl out? Or even, telling your friend, man I just love the way you parent your child. Encourage her instead of putting yourself down. 

We have people in our paths. Let’s CONNECT with them, grow with them and STOP allowing the enemy to steal, kill and destroy. 

The bible says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

We know the end game of the enemy. He wants to steal, kill and destroy our lives. To bring comparison, sadness, depression, frustration.

Let’s kick this terrible habit of comparing ourselves, and let’s embrace our friends and the things they are good at. Let’s not wish we were them and want to be just like them. We are all beautiful and unique in our own ways. The world needs us and the world needs our friends. If we were all the same life would get a little boring don’t ya think?

Let’s celebrate and praise the one who created us, the way he intended us to be!

We have an enemy out there who wants to tear us down… why on earth are we doing it to ourselves?

Finally, I am gonna wrap this up with yet another timely song that I have been hearing everywhere lately. 

Who You Say I am – by Hillsong Worship (click me to hear the song)

I am chosen

Not forsaken

I am who you say I am

You are for me

Not against me

I am who you say I am

We are children of God.

We are and can be set free from these negative thoughts and lies that want to plague us! 

Well that sums it up today friends. I pray that this might help encourage you in your week!

Making Time for Coffee… but tips for an even better source of Caffeine

As Pricilla Shirer, said in her Bible study, Armor of God, “The fact is, when you are in war, you don’t relax your resolve or disengage from active warfare. You don’t take a vacation.” *

What are youdoing to combat the enemy daily? 

Here is some truth from the Bible

What about you? What scripture do you put to use daily? 

There have been chapters of my life that I have really been ON TOP of my quiet time. Then there are chapters like the one I am currently living in where if I do not write down my thoughts the moment I have them then they are quickly forgotten. Until, around 3 am when I wake up to a tiny voice babbling or crying through the baby monitor. Or sometimes, there are those lucky nights of jolting wide awake with, “aha, that’s what I was trying to remember!” 

I have the best intentions to get my quiet time in. Yet I am living in a house that feels overloaded with laundry, piles and piles of laundry. I have a sink and dishwasher that seem to always be full, the moment I have emptied them out, like a revolving door that never stops. (REAL LIFE: currently, a dishwasher load **woops that I need to go start**  pus a sink AND counter full of dirty dishes because, well, my dishwasher broke in the middle of potty training, and of course why not throw in the mix attempting to paint two walls in our new house…) 

A floor that seems to be a magnet to crumbs and sticky-somethings, especially within a few minutes of it being swept and mopped! Really though, how much dirt and sticky can two little feet bring in throughout one day? 

Now, when it comes to my body, I always make sure to eat breakfast… most days. Better yet, I definitely make sure to have my cup of coffee everymorning. (Although it may have been heated in the microwave more times than I can count. Then of course, I eat lunch, dinner, snacks, and water, but do I make a conscience effort to sit down and spend quiet time reading my Bible, or a devotional, and praying?

I am one who loves to sit and dissect the Bible. I love to look up words in Greek or Hebrew and to dig deeper with scripture references and commentaries. (I have an AMAZING tool I will share with y’all soon!) I would love to sit for an hour or more reading, praying, and worshipping, but I just do not have that kind of time right now. Yes, there are days where I can sit for longer periods of time, but it is not an everyday occurrence. 

I have days when I struggle and believe I didn’t spend enough time doing my devotional day… (the enemies lie!)

Or other days I struggle when I believe I am “just too busy” to fit it in today.

But LET’S BE HONEST: I don’t have the time, NOT to spend time with God.

In our current chapters of life, we need to allow ourselves grace to know our devotional (devos) / quiet time isn’t going to look the same way as it did in high school, college, or before one child, or two children, (fill in your life situation).  AND THAT IS COMPLETELY OK.

We need to know and be okay with the fact that this time of our lives is going to look different. But it is not an excuse to stop doing them all together.

So, I want to share with y’all some of my favorite tools that I have added to my arsenal for spending time with Jesus in this chapter of my life:

1. Turning on praise & worship music throughout your day:

There are many resources… but my favorites right now are Bethel’s Pandora Station as well as Bethel Music on YouTube. Some of my repeat songs currently are 

Reckless Love

Good Good Father

O Come to the Altar

PS: my daughter has recently started to sing along to songs while they play in the house. Hearing such a sweet little voice sing praises to God.. telling Him how He is a, “good good father…” makes my heart melt! Not only that, but it reminds me how important it is to be conscience of what I have on the tv/radio while my little ones are around. Our children are just like sponges, and if we aren’t careful with our words, our vocabulary will soon be our children’s vocabulary.

2. Taking just 1 scripture from the weekly sermon you listen to, write it down on a 3×5 card, stick it somewhere that you can look at it often and be reminded of Gods truth. Then wait and see how this one scripture can come alive during your week. (Your car dashboard, bathroom mirror, vanity mirror are all great places to try.)

Other times you can look for specific scriptures to learn and memorize by topic. For instance, if you are needing peace… google “scriptures on peace” you might get 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

3. Here are a few simple daily reads:

(the titles have links for easy access to my favorite.. Amazon!)

31 Days of Prayer

31 Days of Praiseh

Power of a Praying Wife

Power of a Praying Parent

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

[I do not believe these should replace your time in the Bible… but let’s be honest, as moms or military spouses, sometimes we have days where we need something short and sweet like this.]

4. Finally, there are short daily devotionals with scriptures. I like to use the free app, YOUVERSION is a Bible app with many different versions of the Bible; but, it also has endless devotionals in a variety of topics. AH-mazing!

*Shirer, Priscilla. The Armor of God. LifeWay Press, 2015.