How I Stopped Feeling Guilty About My Daily Devotions

By Sabrina Schlesinger

Before children, I would spend at least one hour a day of uninterrupted time reading my Bible, praying and having my own worship session with Jesus! Then kids came....(cue the laughter)!

 

Feedings around the clock, exhausted in ways I didn't know existed, and the demands of raising these little blessings made my hour of daily devotion pretty much non-existent. What wasn't non-existent was the loads of guilt and shame i felt for not maintaining my routines and daily disciplines. Anyone else! 🙋🏻🙋🏻🙋🏻

 

One day Jesus whispered in my ear this statement, and it changed everything. He said, "Look for the pockets of time that I will create for you!" 

 

Have you ever reached into your pocket and found something you thought you had lost? Or better yet, found cash you didn't even remember putting there? That is what pockets of time is all about. Sweet surprises and moments throughout your day that Jesus wants to use to be close to you. 

 

In order to seize these sweet moments, you have to do the following:

 

1. Be expectant.

 

Look for and expect opportunities all throughout your day that God will create for you. It may be 5 minutes in the shower, while your children are playing quietly for 2 minutes, in the car on your way to get groceries, or while folding laundry. It may be a thousand different ways too! The point is, if you are expecting it, you will know what to look for!

 

2. Don't fill it with fluff.

 

Many of us have little brief moments all throughout our day. What we do with those pockets of time is the game changer. Pick up your phone, and instead of playing a game or jumping on social media, open up your Bible app and do a quick devotional. There are so many great ones that are quick and spiritually filling! 

 

When you have a second to spare, quiet your soul for a minute and TALK to God. Let Him know how grateful you are and how much you love and need Him. Then pause and let Him have a moment to speak to you. He wants to whisper beautiful things to you and fill up your emotional bank account so you can pour out love on the family He has given you.

 

3. Remember your season.

 

God isn't surprised by your season...in fact, He brought you into it. Give yourself permission for your routines and relationships to change, even with Jesus! Change doesn't have to be bad. Change can be amazing! It's all about our perspective. We can beat ourselves up that we aren't spending a large amount of uninterrupted time in prayer like we did before kids, or we can move into the season we are in and let Jesus lead us to a fun and exciting new way of being close to Him! This doesn't mean you neglect God's word...but how much you read or the way you read it might change...and I think Jesus is super okay with that. He wants your heart, not your obligations. 

 

For me, prayer moved from being an event to being a lifestyle. Jesus and I talk everyday, all throughout the day, and it is lovely. 

 

This isn't a season to be lazy in your pursuit of God, but your pursuit quite possibly will look different, so give yourself permission to change.

 

4. Don't compare your season.

 

If ever there is anything that will pour on the guilt and shame, it is comparison. 

 

Sometimes my comparison was with women who were leading Bible Studies and all of their kids where grown or all in school. Sometimes my comparison was with my husband who never seemed to waver in his daily devotions. Most of all, I compared myself with my former self. Whoever I compared myself to, the results where always the same..."I am not good enough. I am falling short. What is wrong with me!" 

 

As long as the enemy can keep us in guilt and shame, he wins. He knows guilt and shame will cripple our intimacy and relationship with God and keep us from our source of life! So don't do it. Take off that comparison right now. Stop looking to the left and to the right, and just look at Jesus, who is crazy in love with you and wants to steal moments with you in the hallway! 

 

 

At the end of the day, this is all about relationship with God. He longs to be close to you and wants to fill you up to overflowing. 

 

And remember, just when you find your new groove with your current season, it will probably change again! :)

2 Comments

Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina