A busy mom’s spiritual survival guide

A few years ago, a fellow mama invited me to attend a six-week women’s Bible study. At that time, I had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and was pregnant with kid No. 3. Since childcare was provided, and the class was free, there was no good reason for me not to go – except for the 50 or so other things on my to-do list.

Fortunately, something kept nudging me toward that class, so I finally went. It only took one class to realize how rusty my spiritual life had become. That day it hit me: If I wanted to get serious about making God part of my day-to-day life, I had to stop waiting for that big chunk of down-time to come along. I needed to learn how to meet God on the go.

On this page you’ll find practical tips to help you have “devotion in motion.” I hope they’ll help you as much as they’re helping me. If you have tips to share or great devotional books to recommend to your fellow mamas, send us an e-mail with the details.

Tip No. 1: Religion on the run
When my oldest son started kindergarten, the minivan became my second home. Five days a week I sit in a long line of other minivans, waiting for the final bell to ring. One afternoon I brought my Bible to read and realized what a perfect reading spot this was. Now a Bible lives in my van, and that waiting time is put to good use. I can usually get at least two to three pages read while I wait, and I don’t have to worry about chasing the other two kids around because they’re strapped into car seats. On a bad day, it’s just what I need to pick up my attitude so I can refocus.

Tip No. 2: Get the right Bible
This tip came straight from my friend John who is also a minister and has his Ph.D. in biblical studies. Some parts of the Bible can be tough to understand. Get a translation of the Bible that has study notes at the bottom of each page. The notes help you understand the context, the social customs of that time and any references to other books in both Old and New Testaments. It can also be a tremendous help in clarifying the broader meanings behind the words. I like the Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation. Go to a bookstore and find the one that works best for you.

Tip No. 3: Write it down
As you’re reading the Bible or participating in a Bible study group, you’re going to come across certain verses that encourage you, comfort you or inspire you. When you read one that really speaks to you, write it down on an index card. (I keep a spiral-bound deck of index cards in my van). Try to memorize that verse. You’ll be amazed at how many times that verse echoes back to you in your mind and helps you through different situations. If you’re one of those people who tends to talk negatively to yourself in your own head, memorizing scripture and repeating it to yourself is a good way to replace the bad tapes with good news. God’s words won’t beat you down the way your own critical nature often will.