By Lee Stewart
In the early days of motherhood, I developed a twinge of bitterness toward pictures of moms with Bibles and coffee cups in a serene, uninterrupted setting. Now that my kids are 11, 8, and 5, I am not so prickly on this subject. I still resist the phrase “quiet time” since we tend to fixate on the word “quiet” and forget to simply seek out the time. And I am still near enough to those little years to remember what it was like feeding a baby all through the night and then facing the day. I remember trying to read my Bible like I ate my food—whenever I could in whatever context I happened to be in at that moment. I knew even when I couldn’t hide myself away in a closet, I could hide God’s Word in my heart.
But eventually seasons changed (as they must do) and I found more order, more structure. I started to have a little more quiet and a little more time. But you know what I wanted to do? Relax, take a shower, text a friend, catch up on chores, write a blog, or scroll through my phone.
Showers and texting and housework and all the rest are a part of life, but sometimes I used those good things as a way to avoid my Bible. Sometimes when I finally had time to read my Bible, I simply did not have the energy for it.
When you scroll through a newsfeed, it demands so little of you, much like a slot machine. You never know what you’re going to get and that’s the fun of it. Your Instagram feed is a quick stroll through a community. You never really know who you’ll pass by and that’s the fun of it! Maybe you even catch up on your favorite Christian blogger and she hands you a few tidbits of biblical wisdom. Maybe you watch a Netflix show because it checks your brain into a fictional world so you can escape whatever is weighing down your reality.
But if we go to those things as primary sources of energy, we are using second things as first things. We are missing out.
If we go to those things as primary sources of energy, we are using second things as first things. We are missing out.
God has continued to prick my heart about knowing Him through His Word. And while sometimes I have grabbed on and obeyed during different seasons of motherhood, I always felt like part of me remained resistant.
This year I found myself in a more determined place with a softer heart. In June I started following a Bible reading challenge from author Rachel Jankovic. The challenge is a reading schedule that takes us through the New Testament in three months. Sometimes I read aloud to keep my focus. Sometimes I’m by myself. Sometimes my children are with me. Sometimes I get behind on the chapters and then I read several at once. But I’ve starting craving my Bible in a way I haven’t in a long time, and sure enough, Jesus has met me there. Rachel reminds women to think of the Bible as a feast and encourages us to eat from the Bread of Life.
If you’re like me, you may feel shamed or bothered when women start encouraging you to read your Bible. But imagine spending a few days crawling around under the table, eating crumbs from your kitchen floor. Now imagine your friend finds out about this and urgently offers you a delicious meal! You would not be embittered by her offering. You would not say, “Just cut me some slack. Quit offering me a feast when I have these delicious crumbs. I’m sure I can survive for a while on these.” And imagine if she crawls under the table with you and says, “This table above you is full of food and you will never run out! Get off the floor!” I think you would give up the crumbs.
In Matthew 7, Jesus says the one who HEARS these words of Mine and DOES them is like a wise person who builds her house upon the Rock. Security is hearing and doing the Word. But Jesus says He who HEARS these words of Mine and DOES NOT DO them is like an unwise person building a house on the sand. Both builders hear the Word, but only one of them does it. It is quite possible to read your Bible every day and miss the point and find the sand. But when we hear the Word and do it, we build wisely on the Rock.
It is quite possible to read your Bible every day and miss the point and find the sand. But when we hear the Word and do it, we build wisely on the Rock.
The doing is the difference, but the hearing must precede it. One thing that helps correct me is checking my screen time, since my phone now annoyingly keeps track of that sort of thing. That’s how I find out where my time went that week and where my hearing went.
Come to the table, moms! Not because you have to, but because you’re invited to. Come often, come hungry, but simply come.
Nothing can replace what is offered here. Jesus prayed for us, “Sanctify them by your Truth. Your Word is Truth.” He reminds us we do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. And so we eat.
“I am the bread of life,” replied Jesus. “Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry! Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty!”
Lee is the wife of Josh and the mother of three. She’s a pianist, a baker, a runner, and a recovering perfectionist. Motherhood, to her, often means finding beauty in the minutiae and grace in the big picture. Writing helps her find those things a little faster. Lee believes God’s truth seeps into everything from the duty of a simple laundry load to the making of little disciples. She loves being a mom because it takes her through deep waters and plenty of silliness, all in a day’s work.