Everything seems to center around the birth of my second daughter, so let me tell you some things I did wrong in that season.
I didn’t exactly enjoy the lack of sleep with my first daughter so I prayed often that things would be dramatically different with my second. They were! Just, not in the way I had planned. Baby #2 had reflux and seemed to only sleep well in certain positions. Baby #1 started dropping her nap. Baby #2 would be awake for hours on end in the middle of the night. I couldn’t nap when Baby #2 napped because, well, Baby #1 needed supervision. But Baby #2 didn’t really nap because Baby #1 was always waking her up. I felt like my days were consumed with attempting to interact with my needy toddler through the cries and screams of my over-tired baby.
My spiritual life tanked. I never vocalized it, but I believe in my heart of hearts that I was slightly resentful that God answered my requests for a well-sleeping baby with giving me a child that never seemed to sleep. My efforts to maintain a regular quiet time always seemed to be answered with one of my children needing me. I was trying to create a positive home environment but I needed fuel and the next station was a mirage somewhere after the swamp through which I was mucking.
My most productive quiet times were those in which I read my One Year Bible on my phone while the baby nursed. I love that we have that sort of technology and it was really good for that time frame. Even if I was only able to read a few verses, at least I had something on which to meditate.
Unfortunately, I didn’t always take advantage of those moments. One down side to relying on technology, was that right next to my Bible app were apps for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I guarantee you I found more time for those than I did for Jesus. I also got into the habit of turning on my phone instead of opening my Bible.
This wasn’t true of every day, but it was true of most. My prayer life was sparse. I’m pretty sure the enemy was working to convince me that my prayers were but a drop in the bucket and rather unnecessary.
Fast-forward to my time in counseling. You guys, I cannot describe enough how my counselor opened my eyes to some behind the scenes realities. She called me out on my prayer life, she encouraged me to journal more, and she suggested books to help me through the spiritual desert.
The book Fervent, by Priscilla Shire, has been monumental. I am so much more aware of the battle taking place over my heart and mind, over my family, and over the world around me. This awareness is changing me.
Ya’ll, my passion, fire, zeal for God is returning at an all new high. I bought a journaling Bible, and it has been a special place for my soul. There is something about seeing God’s Word on a page that cannot be compared to seeing it on a screen. His words are bringing life and truth to my spirit and I feel like He is saying something new to me all the time.
I’m devoting the first hour of my day to my quiet time (Baby #2 sleeps now!!) and I love every moment. Sometimes I worship, sometimes I journal, sometimes I color in my Bible while meditating on a specific verse, sometimes I read, and I’m always amazed at how quickly that hour passes. I find myself longing for more time with Him.
I often think people get the impression that because we are in the church business that my husband and I are super spiritual. That we get in on God’s good side and have special privileges. I’m here to say that I have to work just like everyone else at my relationship with God. I’m not in a super secret spiritual club with a special password to get in the door. I’m just like everyone else.
God is calling each of us to draw closer and closer to Him. Sometimes His calls are hard to hear because the enemy is making all the other things in our lives so loud. For me, it was a screaming baby and retreating to a virtual reality. But listen closely. Turn off the technology, open your Bible, and breathe in His goodness. He has something to say and He is inviting us to listen and live it out.
“I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.” Psalm 120:1
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.” Isaiah 55:1-3