I’ve struggled my whole life with daily devotions. I would have good stretches, even awesome ones! I would make it halfway through a yearly Bible schedule, only to fail the second half. Then the babies came, and life changed. It became even harder. I needed that sweet communion with the Lord even more, but my body cried out for sleep! Well-intentioned people would say, “It’ll be ok” or “don’t be so hard on yourself.” They meant well and were trying not to kick me while I was down. But I was shriveling, drying spiritually.
I came to a rough point a few weeks ago, crying about everything. How I felt I was failing as a mother, too empty myself to have anything to give my husband, children or Sunday School class. To cheerless to be a good friend, daughter, sister. It was decision time! This was my life! Was I going to rob myself of all the peace and joy that the Lord already promised in spending time with Him? Now don’t get me wrong, I would occasionally pick up my Bible, reading and studying here and there. But no relationship can thrive like that. How would I feel if my husband “hit and miss” with me?
So I made some decisions and here’s how it’s going.
I decided to get up 30 minutes earlier. Just 30 minutes. That put me awake in the quiet of the morning. Once I’m up, I love mornings! It is a perfect fit for me. There are sometimes later nights that make it hard to get up, and I don’t do it. But my problem before has been my attitude of “Oh well, just forget it.” Now if I miss an early morning, I try again the next day. And often if I miss the morning, I try to use naptime, or if necessary, just before bed to get some time in the Word! But I strive for the morning!
I also grabbed a journal out of the closet that I bought after Christmas last year for $1.00. In my journal, it has 3 sections. In the first section, I just write the date, and what speaks to my heart as I’m reading the Bible. Sometimes I write out a prayer, or questions. I copy verses and write what I love about them. In the second section, I have prayer requests. One page for different sections – one for myself (I need lots of prayer), one for my husband, one for each of my children, then other pages for church and extended family. The third section of my journal is a separate place to record answers to prayer. I wrote three in it this morning! When you start paying attention, there are lots of answers! 🙂 The journal has helped keep me accountable. I am looking for things to write down, so I am paying attention to what the Spirit has to say.
One other thing that has greatly helped me over the last few weeks is a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. It has been wonderful! It has convicted me of my relationship with the Savior, and encouraged and filled me with hope at the same time! You see, it has showed me that Christ desires time with me, too! I don’t think of Him in that way – as a Person. He waits for me every morning. He doesn’t scold me if I don’t come. He just patiently waits. He wants to speak through His sweet Word. He wants to listen as I pray. He loves me!
After being more consistent for just a few weeks, I am much more peaceful. I don’t lose my temper with my children as much, I am more stable, have less meltdowns. I don’t worry as much because His Word keeps me reassured as I let Him have control. I am happier! I feel so loved! I’m sure there will be other temptations in this area. It is not conquered forever! It will still be a daily battle of getting up and doing what’s best! But it is so important that I believe it is one of the greatest areas Satan would like to see us fail. But who needs Satan to bother us if we battle our own flesh anyway? I’m so glad God has given me this victory. I find myself eager to go to sleep so I can awake and start my day with Him!
Also, here is a great blog post by a friend about her daily devotions!