I feel like I have been living in the toddler years for a solid decade. Maybe I am just dramatic but as I look back and count the years it isn’t dramatic at all. My firstborn child will be 12 this year and my youngest will be three. The toddler years have been a constant in my life for a while and one thing remains the same. And getting time with the Lord during these years has been a struggle.
It is just as hard to have time with the Lord during the most recent toddler years as it was in the first toddler years. I mean, I can’t be the only one who feels like they never stop and I can’t get a minute to myself.
If I am then I think we need to talk about honesty for a minute (I’m kidding. That was a joke).
But the truth is that we are still called as believers to have our time with the Lord. To seek him, study his word, pray, lean in, be disciples, and make disciples (also, your children count so you literally MADE disciples). The truth of this doesn’t change when you become a mom.
But time is an issue. Working time with the Lord into your daily rhythms is crucial. But it takes intentionality. So what are some practical tips to make that happen?
Pray Over Your Schedule
As a believer whatever you do should start with prayer. God hears and he cares. Your schedule, your time, and how you use it are important to God. He also gives us wisdom when it comes to what needs to be deleted from our schedule to make room for what he wants to be added.
Write out a typical daily schedule. Pray over that schedule and ask God what needs to go and what needs to stay. This way you can be intentional about what you are spending your time on.
Choose a Time
After looking over your schedule and praying through what is on it, choose a time for your set aside time with the Lord. Mornings are great for some people and that is awesome. I admire those people and truly wish I could be one of them, but I’m not. So for me, the best time is the evening after the kids are in bed. I sit down and spend time with Jesus.
But my big prayer time is during my morning run. While I pray all day and pray during my evening time, I do the deep, focused prayer time when I am running. So I split my time. It will look different for you but that is great! The point is to choose a time and a rhythm that works for you.
Here is the big one. Are you ready?
Once you choose your time, you actually need to show up. Scheduling means nothing if you don’t actually show up.
Even when you are grumpy or tired or just don’t want to. And if that is what you are bringing into your time with the Lord, then tell him. Pray it out. Work it out with the Lord.
He won’t be offended. In fact, he will give you grace upon grace.
Be Ready to Pivot
Those of you old enough to remember Ross trying to get a couch up a narrow stairwell on “Friends” will understand what I’m talking about. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they should or how you planned.
Okay, so pivot. (PIVOT!!! -Ross)
If it isn’t working then try a different time. Look at your schedule again. Pray about it. Ask why it isn’t working. Do you know who knows the answer to that? God does. He can help you.
Give grace. Give grace to the kid who wakes up an hour early and crashes your time with the Lord. Give grace to the unexpected problem that pops up. Give grace to yourself when you make a choice to do something else or sleep in. Yes, this time with the Lord is of the utmost importance. You can’t function as a Christian without it.
But you are human, you will be selfish, you will be tired, you will be interrupted by a child who needs your time. Be gracious. Be as gracious with all of this as Jesus is with you. These times give you the opportunity to practice what you preach. To have love instead of being a clanging gong (1 Cor 13:1).
There is enough time in the day for you to spend time with the Lord, even in the busy toddler years. I promise this is true. It might look different than it did when you didn’t have kids and when this toddler is a teenager it will look different again. Shift some priorities and abide with the Lord daily. This is imperative to every aspect of your life.
You are doing great. Keep leaning in and pursuing the Lord.
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Pontius: email@example.com
Debra Kirby: firstname.lastname@example.org