A Mama's Guide to Quiet a Time During the Early Years

Written by Shanda Jacobs


Posted on February 14 2023

Quiet time during the little years… Did you read that and snicker? Or maybe you rolled your eyes and thought, “Not another person telling me how I’m doing it all wrong.”

Mama, this is for you!

After 4 babies, I know all too well those early years. I find myself smack-dab in the middle of them right now. It’s finally bedtime and I have a few quiet moments all to myself. It’s usually during these golden hours between 8 and 10pm that I find myself just wanting to veg on the couch. The day has me physically drained, and yet I don’t want to head to bed either. I’m savoring the quiet.

Even though we are finally sleeping through the night, I know all too well that getting up early doesn’t seem to be an option sometimes. Breastfeeding and a baby that refuses to take a bottle meant that I was the only one getting up multiple times a night for those sweet, sweet midnight snuggles. While I knew those days were fleeting, the thought of getting up early made me cry. Hormonal. Sleep deprived. Early mornings were hard.

So what’s a mama to do?

First of all, realize this is just a phase. God placed you in this season mama. He knows your struggles. He knows you desire time with him. He can and WILL sustain you through it. What I am about to share is not supposed to be the gold standard for your spiritual health, but it is meant to help sustain a weary mama through a busy season.

Out of desperation for my own emotional and physical health, the 5-5-5 plan was formed. I could find 5 minutes here and there throughout my day to be in God’s Word, pray and read a book. By themselves these tasks can seem daunting to a weary mama, but even a sleep deprived mama can find 5 minutes.

Have you ever timed yourself to see how many verses you can read in one minute? You might be surprised. Times that by 5 and you just read a chapter or two of the Bible! Friend, even if all you were able to do today was read your Bible for 5 minutes, you will have done more for yourself than a 1 hour bubble bath or night out of the house. It is time spent with God that fills your cup to overflowing so that you can pour out to your family. Don’t get me wrong. Time to yourself is helpful too, but never to the extent that time with your Sustainer will be! The Word of God is quick and powerful. It will NOT return void.

But what if you don’t FEEL like reading your Bible? Do it anyways. Just like with your physical health, you know that you should chose an apple over that piece of chocolate cake even when what you WANT is the chocolate cake. Choosing to read your Bible despite what you feel like doing will still have nourishment for your soul. Faithfulness yields fruitfulness. 

Faithfulness yields fruitfulness.

Prayer is something that I have struggled with over the years. My mind wanders easily. Sometimes I don’t know what to pray for. I know that prayer is so very important, but when I’m having a hard time forming a cohesive thought, praying seems daunting. BUT… the Bible tells us that even when we do not know what to pray for the Spirit intercedes for us.

Recently I learned that according to Dr Caroline Leaf, “It has been found that 13 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8-week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan.” Prayer literally CHANGES you. Not only does God hear us, but he uses that time with him to change us spiritually AND physically. Wow. That kind of power is worth devoting a minimum of 5 minutes a day to!

"It has been found that 13 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8-week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan."

Last but not least. Reading.

I think this is the one that takes the furthest back seat. We know we should be reading our Bible and praying, but what can reading other books do for us? When we are reading books by other authors, we are continuing to keep our minds sharp, getting a glimpse into lives outside our own, gleaning information and helpful tools, and simply relating to someone else. Sometimes our worlds can seem pretty small within the confines of our home and work. We can become so focused on our everyday moments that we forget there are people and places outside of ourselves.

Even if you don’t LIKE to read, there are audio books and podcasts that you can listen to! There are paid subscriptions such as Audible, as well as free resources such as Hoopla. With nothing but a library card, you can have access to an entire digital library! I have never once paid for an audio book by using Hoopla.

Sometimes it is hard to know where to start. If you need some good book recs, I have a list of 10 Book Recommendations for a Christian Mama’s Heart that you can check out.

Sweet mama, I know this phase can be so very hard, but hang in there. Implement something easy. Something attainable. As I said before, this isn’t the gold-standard, but remember, this is just a season and you need to continue implementing attainable goals that continue to feed your soul. As your time slowly becomes yours again, you will already have the simple habit of prayer, Bible and reading in place. One day you’ll look up from reading a good book and realize that 20 minutes went by uninterrupted, but unless you are cultivating these habits now, that transition will take longer to attain.

Stay the course!

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