Editor’s Note: Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religious preferences. Our Spiritual Sundays section is a place where our authors can write about thoughts that are more spiritual in nature, and our goal is to gather a wide variety of perspectives. If you (or someone you know) has something to add to this section to help us reach a wider audience of mothers, please send the submission to [email protected] Thank you.
Life as a mom is crazy: perpetual laundry, continual meals, grocery shopping, running around after kids, changing diapers, and supporting our husbands. If we are lucky, we get some sleep and potential “me” time.
As a result of this hectic load, my relationship with God has often been lost in the mix. It makes sense—it is not usually pressing like a dirty diaper leaking on the carpet, no clean clothes in the closet, or my husband who needs encouragement after a hard day at work. Nonetheless, I often desire to have a stronger connection with God.
During my single years, my schedule was rather predictable. I could wake up when scheduled, get down on my knees and say an uninterrupted prayer, quietly read my scriptures when planned, and spontaneously write in my journal when I had an enlightening thought. My spiritual life was rather on track, and I felt a great connection with God.
But when I got married and had my first child, suddenly it was harder to continue the habits which had kept me close to God. My patterns changed, and my life no longer consisted of only me, but included others. Ironically, this time of life seemed to be when I needed Him the most, but had the littlest time to set aside for Him.
This was very troublesome to me. I wanted a strong relationship with God. But whenever I made an effort, exhaustion kicked in as soon as the noise quieted and I had time to myself. I seemed to be falling asleep during every one of my scripture studies, and having the strength to get on my knees seemed harder than ever.
After feeling guilty for a while I realized that, even though my life had changed in almost every conceivable way, my expectations had not. In my mind, having a connection with God meant following a cookie-cutter pattern involving uninterrupted quiet time, reading my scriptures, and prayer. For me that was not happening at all.
It wasn’t until I began talking to my older sister one day that my perception changed. It isn’t following some one-size-fits-all plan that keeps me close to God. It is being intentional, being flexible, and creating new habits that can continue to strengthen my closeness to God.
My spiritual habits when I was single look completely different from my spiritual habits now, but my connection with God is growing. Here is what I am learning:
Be intentional. Even the best intentions can fall short when we think spirituality will somehow work its way into our lives or that our previous spirituality will always carry us through. Our relationship with God is similar to others: when we communicate less, the relationship fades. We should intentionally seek out ways to facilitate daily spiritual nourishment and closeness to God.
Use religious apps. I recently searched for religious apps and was blown away by how many were free. Scripture study can be as easy as installing an app on your phone! Or, if you prefer, you can find an online collection of spiritual messages or scriptures to read. When you find an app/website that you like, share your findings with those around you!
Incorporate God into daily tasks. My most recent success has been listening to spiritual talks or scriptures while doing daily tasks like folding laundry, making dinner, doing the dishes, or getting ready for the day. Doing the simple task actually keeps my mind awake and alert so I don’t fall asleep, making these moments great for pondering on spiritual things.
After a lot of trial and error, I know it is possible to be a young mother and still have a strong relationship with God. At times it has seemed I simply did not have time, or was too exhausted to work on this relationship. However, I have learned that my spirituality is the gel that holds me together when I feel like I am about to fall apart. It is the glue that keeps me and my husband together during hard times. And it strengthens our family.
QUESTION: How is your current relationship with God? Do you feel close to Him or wish that your relationship was stronger?
CHALLENGE: Look for the moments during your day that you can intentionally put aside time to strengthen your relationship with God.
Edited by Elsje Dennison and Sarah Monson.
Image graphic by Julie Finlayson.