Everyone knows that having a baby changes everything. It changes your body physically. It changes what your everyday schedule looks like. It changes what — and how often — you worry.
It also changes your life for the better.
One thing you almost immediately realize is just how much time you wasted before and how much more precious time is to you now. Without children, you probably had a routine, but now that your baby is here, you need a new one. Whereas before, you may have enjoyed slow mornings drinking coffee at 7 a.m., reading your Bible at the kitchen table, and kissing your husband goodbye as he heads off to work. Or you may have had fast-paced mornings as you rushed out the door to head to work yourself, grabbing a piece of toast on the way out, and waiting until the evening to spend time in the Word.
Either way, your life looks a lot different now. Your priorities have changed. Your world now revolves around the precious image-bearer in your arms, but your heart still longs to be in the Scriptures — despite how physically and emotionally exhausted you might be.
That time was challenging for me, too, and it still is, even eight months later. A growing baby, soon-to-be toddler turns your world upside down in the best way possible just the same.
Nonetheless, I have found a way to remain in the Word as I navigate the ever-changing, ever-demanding, ever-joyous days of motherhood. Here are five things that have helped.
Don’t pressure yourself into doing an in-depth Hebrew language study of the book of Isaiah when you’re two weeks post-partum. Your life is different now, and your Bible studies will be too. While an in-depth study is a good thing, it’s an unnecessary burden to put on yourself as a new mom. Being in the Word is what is commanded of you. So, obey and trust that the Holy Spirit will fill in the gaps.
Reasonable goals may be different for everyone. For me, it means reading three chapters a day, and maybe even reading them twice if I have time. You may only have the capacity for one chapter a day, and that’s okay, too. Again, remaining in the Word is what you are called to do, so if you have to, read that one chapter and meditate on it throughout the day. The Lord will surely use it to encourage, convict, and sanctify you.
In my early post-partum days, I often kicked myself for failing to read Scripture during the day because “I just didn’t have time.” But it dawned on me that when I’m awake at 2 a.m. feeding my little one, it’s quiet. It’s just my baby, me, and God. I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me that time to be in His Word. Personally, I found it to be the sweetest and most intimate time to get to know Him and spend time with Him.
Consider how many times you are awake during the night to nurture your baby as he or she falls back asleep. Use those moments, minutes, even hours to read your Bible and meditate on His Word.
Listening to the Bible is a great way to spend time in the Word on those days when there’s not a moment to sit down. If your baby is napping and there are chores to be done, play an audio Bible and listen to the Word of the Lord. It’s unconventional, sure, but you’re still absorbing the Scriptures and meditating on them. I use the Dwell app for my audio Bible, but there are plenty of other options available for you to check out as well.
Reading to your baby will improve cognitive development and help you bond with him or her. And babies love hearing their mothers’ voices. So, read the Bible to them! It’s a great habit to begin with them, anyway, as you will certainly read Scripture to them when they are older. By reading out loud, you are also focusing on what you are reading and hearing it for yourself, making it resonate even more.
Don’t get down on yourself if you’re not the same highly disciplined, voracious Bible reader you once were. Now that your baby is here, your days won’t ever look like they used to — and that’s a good thing! Babies are blessings, and the Lord will equip you with the wisdom to adapt to the changes required to care for this new life. He will also provide you with opportunities to glorify Him daily. You may not highlight in every color anymore or journal every single passage, but His Word does not return void. Simple readings of the Scriptures every day will be used by God to grow you in holiness.
Most importantly, during these early days of uncertainty, wonder, and overwhelming love, remember that the Lord sees you.
He has ordained all of your days. On the hard days when all you’ve done is cry because the laundry isn’t folded and your nipples are sore from breastfeeding, He sees you. On the Sundays when you have to step out of church to comfort your crying baby, He sees you. On the days when the house is a wreck and you’ve spent all day cuddling with your baby, He sees you.
God has ordained each and every part of every day. Whatever He has put before you is what He has sovereignly prepared for you to do to glorify Him — just as He has sovereignly prepared time for you to be in His Word.
Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott
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