By Sarah Wood
We are Floridians living on the East Coast.
Ha, no in all seriousness, we love everything about it. The sunshine, the wetlands, and without a doubt, the beach. When I schlep all my kids down to the beach, they are great direction-followers because they understand and respect the potential danger of the ocean, crowds, and the reality of getting lost.
We set up our sunny spot with the bright red and blue towels, and the umbrella. I place my toes in the surf, and the kids boogie board and frolic in the waves with their friends. And then something begins to happen. As I chat and catch up with my fellow mom friend, I look up and they have floated down the beach.
Still in close distance (and mom-reflex -snatch distance) I turn to a friend to continue to chat. Then, what seems like two minutes, they have drifted again. This time, even further.
I call their names (Okay, scream…sharks are real people!) for them to get back. They listen immediately and my 8 year old looks at me, “Mom, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to drift that far! I don’t know what happened!”
I understand. His intentions were to stay right in front of us, but the ocean is moving, changing, and pushes us to and fro. Up and down. Back and forth.
It’s like that with me and the Word of God and life. We intend to follow Jesus, but when plans go awry, or we don’t get that position we wanted, or a friend hurts us…all of a sudden we don’t know what to do. We are…lost.
Can I be honest?
I don’t always carve out time for Jesus. I try. In fact, THIS morning, I woke up at 6 am, put the coffee pot on and sat down at the table for some God time.
Then, the teething baby woke up crying.
Are you serious?!
So I get it. Our intentions are good. But ladies, if I can gently say, we will still drift when we aren’t fighting to spend time with God.
Please know what I am NOT saying. I am not saying you must carve out an entire afternoon to be in your Bible every day, all day. I am not saying you must journal your deep revelations all night while angels sing. That is not reality.
However, if we choose not to intentionally read the Bible or devote time to Him, we will drift.
I have read so many articles that say to leave the dirty dishes, and piles of laundry, and spend precious time with our children. I honor the heart behind that and sometimes, I agree! But in order to keep close to our God, we have got to leave the dirty dishes, and piles of laundry to spend precious time with our God.
When we drift away from God, like my children in the ocean, we leave sight of Him, sometimes without even realizing it. He sees us, but we don’t see him. When we need help, we look up at the thing closest to us to grasp. For some of us, it’s poor advice. Some of us grasp substances like alcohol or binge eating. Some of us grasp anger, frustration, or anxiety. Some of us grasp depression.
So how do I spend time with God amidst this crazy lifestyle?
Bible verse reading. This is a great way to get a quick dose of wisdom. Pick a verse and write it down and place it somewhere in your home. Read it and think on it and fix your thoughts on it.
Worship music playing in your home.
Tell the kids to wait or join you. That means, they may want to pray with you or go outside in the sprinkler (Florida people, remember?!) You may need to tell them, Mommy needs 10 minutes to spend with God, you can read with me or play dolls for 10 mins until we are ready to go outside. Let your children see that God is priority above everything else.
Prayer. We can pray any time all day and in our heads if we have to. Pray for yourself, and pray for others. Or simply praise God for who He is.
We are in a relationship with God, and as moms, we must spend time with Him.
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. If you haven’t been reading His Word lately, today is a great day to start! Take one small step and read a verse today. In doing so, your eyes begin to focus back on Him. So ladies, I am praying for all of us to be intentional to keep our eyes on Jesus through spending time in His Word. May we always choose to swim right back when life pulls us away.
I have a clean pile of laundry yet to be folded sitting next to me. All the mamas said Amen!
Sarah is a Florida girl living minutes from the ocean. She loves Jesus, local, delicious foodie joints, and embarking on little adventures with her crew. She is a wife to Sam, and a mommy to three awesome kiddos. She spends her days pouring into her church, sipping coffee, reading, jogging (she likes to think of it as running), and finding time to escape to the beach. She is honored to be a part of this life-giving community! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!