Fear not, prayer always precedes a post.
As promised in THIS post, I have 7 practical ways to nurture your relationship with Christ.
1. Get up early.
I know it. I hate this one, too. Especially with Littles who may sleep through the night most of the time, but are somehow instantly wide awake the moment you wake up no matter what dark hour it may be.
The truth is, this isn't always possible depending on your current life chapter. But I believe it is important to give God your day before your feet hit the ground. Daniel did it. David did it. Jesus did it. I'm gonna do it. You might not be able to give Him an hour, but you most definitely can give Him 5 minutes.
My current favorite app (for women) that makes this perfectly doable every single morning is the First Five app by Proverbs 31 Ministries. 5 minutes of meaty goodness, including a challenge and a prayer. There's plenty of other app options with short, simple devotionals. Even the Bible App will send you the verse of the day so the first thing you see on your phone in the morning is a word of encouragement from the Living Word.
2. Stay up late.
Ideally, these first two are either/or but you do what you gotta do! Each phase in life is going to present different difficulties so figure out what you can commit to now and do it. If it means spending 20, 30, 60 extra minutes awake so I can soak up quality time with my sweet Savior, I'm in.
3. Choose a Scripture-heavy devotional.
Don't depend on books. God gave us His Word to train us in righteousness and equip us for His work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). His Word is all we need. But sometimes having a book or bible study or devotional helps us navigate His Word. Keep several on hand in various places. I know I'm not the only mom who hides away every once in awhile. Keep a book in that hiding spot and use that couple of minutes of time to read rather than scroll Facebook. (I am literally talking to myself right now...)
One of my favorites has been considered controversial but I've read it through twice and have yet to find any reason whatsoever to be concerned: Jesus Calling. It is a daily one page devotional, written as if Jesus is speaking. There are verses/passages included that can be the springboard to deeper study.
4. Read and pray with the kids over breakfast.
This has been a habit around here for over a year now. I love it. It's teaching my kids the habit of spending time with the Lord every morning, and I get some extra Jesus time, too. My favorite is reading the Jesus Storybook Bible. I can't tell you how many times I've choked up reading this to my babes. We are currently reading Jesus Calling Bible Storybook which we are thoroughly enjoying. We've also read a Proverb a day and through most of the Psalms at different times. You only have to share their attention with their bowl of cereal, which works wonders in my house!
5. Listen to sermons/podcasts/worship music.
I'll be honest, I don't do this well. Okay, I don't really do any of these well! But I really believe God is prodding me in this direction. Many churches have previous sermons posted on their websites. (Check out ours!) I've recently gotten into "The Busy Mom" podcast. A friend recommended "The Gospel Coalition."
This is key: be careful what you listen to. Take a few minutes to research and be sure the speaker/preacher is a Bible-toting Jesus freak, and nothing less. Avoid, no RUN from the prosperity-gospel-types, and don't waste your valuable time with the light-on-truth, heavy-on-entertainment types.
6. Display Scripture throughout your home.
Whether it's a sticky note on the bathroom mirror or a gorgeous wood disk your husband made for you, find a way to display the Words of God. Fill your home with the name of Jesus.
7. Open your Bible.
These tips are by no means profound. In fact, while they aren't necessarily easy, they are ridiculously simple. The bottom line, you have to make the time. Every chapter in life has its own difficulties and obstacles. Don't make the mistake of saying you'll be more committed to the Lord when the kids are older or the job slows down or you're done watching that series on Netflix. The time is now.
Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you. Colossians 3:16
Tell me: How do you make time for Jesus? Please share your wisdom in the comments!