“I can’t stand it anymore!” “I feel totally depleted of anything to do with God”. “I never get to be in church anymore, even though I’m in church!”
This was my complaint as a young mother and even more so now, as a pastor’s wife. Since giving my life to Christ years earlier I enjoyed sitting in church and hearing the Word preached. I loved worshipping and singing and being a part of the congregation. Now, three kids and five years of not being able to sit in church because of colicky babies and rowdy toddlers I was ready to break down. I had been “talking” myself into going to church since our first child was born. He was my first experience with colic and because he cried A LOT, I usually sat in a side classroom alone coaxing a baby to sleep.
Sunday after Sunday I would sit in that room and tell myself that was it, I was not going back to church if I wasn’t going to be able to sit in church and get something out of it. But every Sunday I went back. I love God and I love church so I just learned to make the best of it. So now here I am, 5 or 6 years later, three kids, and a church to help pastor and I’m still sitting in a side room trying not to cry.
My husband said something that still sticks with me. “You are going to have to learn to feed yourself the Word of God.” He had another Pastor tell him that this is what he had to tell his wife when they started as Pastors. I know it sounds simple and a little obvious but it did kinda hit me right where I needed it. We talked about that statement for a little while and what “feeding myself” looked like and this is what I’ve learned to do in order to keep growing in the Word and to keep from giving up and falling back into a sinful life. Note: We have now been pastoring for 17 years.
- Wake up before everyone else in the house and spend time with God. I know that is hard especially if you’re in the infant/toddler stage of parenting but giving your first 30 minutes to an hour to God really makes for a better day. Turn your coffee on and pray for the few minutes it takes to brew or set a certain amount of time to pray first thing and then open up your Bible and read.
- Find a good Bible study to do after your morning prayer. Find a topic you want to learn about and study in the morning and/or in the parent pick up line in the afternoon. When our oldest started kindergarten I was expecting our 3rd child in just a few weeks so I would go to the parent pick up line early so our toddler would go to sleep and I would do my Bible study in peace and quiet. (That is until our baby was born and cried the whole wait, then I had to come up with another study strategy.) Can I recommend a wonderful study? A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George.
- Listen, yes LISTEN to the Bible on your phone or Ipod, whatever you have. When days are hectic and you just can’t get the quiet time to read, then listen. I have done this since I was pregnant with our first child. When I’m cleaning the house or driving down the road or sitting in the massage chair. Whenever I need more of the Word (which is every day) I listen to the Bible when I can’t read it.
- Get the CD or podcast or watch the video on Youtube of the sermon you missed. Most churches now days record in some way the sermons each Sunday so get it and watch it. Take your notes then and study what was preached. Not only at your church but let’s face it, there are thousands of ministers on TV now so listen and read the Word with it and make sure you are hearing the truth.
Now “feed” yourself! 🙂