Before I had kids, I thought I was pretty good at Christian disciplines. I even took some pride in how consistent I was in reading my Bible, praying, being involved in ministry, etc.
I thought it was just a matter of making time each day and that those who didn’t have a “quiet time” each day weren’t committed to it enough.
Then I had a baby.
I’ve learned a lot walking with Christ as a Mom. Raising little versions of yourself (even when they’re babies) brings out a lot that you didn’t know was in you- both good and not so good!
I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I wanted to share a few thoughts and strategies with you as we negotiate this identity known as Christian Motherhood.
Walking with Jesus looks different with a new baby.
Pre-kids I naively thought that loving Jesus should pretty much always involve sitting down with your Bible, taking notes, praying for a set amount of time about anything on your mind, and coming away calm and refreshed (are you laughing yet?).
Now, these times with Jesus that I had like that were awesome- I definitely will never regret them, and I highly encourage taking advantage of any and all chances to have those more focused times with Jesus.
But they’re not a Mama’s reality 99% of the time.
Want to know what my time with Jesus looked like after babies?
You should also read: I see you, mama. I see you fighting to keep your spiritual life alive.
After Baby #1 (my intense and sensitive one): Reading devotionals from She Reads Truth on my phone at 2 am, while trying not to fall asleep. And trying to listen to worship music in the car over her loud protests about the car seat.
I went to church, but I spent most of every Sunday nursing or pacing the hall trying to get her to go to sleep.
After Baby #2 (my chill one): Listening to scripture as I go to sleep, reading scripture on my phone in the bathroom, and praying in the shower. I’ve actually designated the shower tiles as different things I’m praying about so I go through the tiles each morning to remember and pray. Weird, but it works!
I’m also involved in a MOPS group, and our church now has a room where I can sit and hear the sermon and music if I need to nurse or bounce baby to sleep.
As Baby #1 got older, and before Baby #2, I did have times where I could sit and write in my prayer journal or have a more extended study time, etc. But it took a while.
There is grace for walking with Jesus with a new baby.
Having a baby changes literally everything. Even your mind and body are forever altered! And that’s not a bad thing. It can take a while to get readjusted to this new identity, and it’s okay to let your day to day with Jesus change with it.
I felt very guilty for a long time after having Baby #1 because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough in my relationship with God, and therefore I was somehow messing up things between us because I wasn’t doing the same routine as before.
But all along the way, God kept dumping grace on me over and over and over- and I had no choice but to realize that my guilt was off base.
Jesus Walks with Us Gently
Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died for me long before I was ever able to do a Bible study or take X amount of minutes to pray. He chose me and saved me without gaining anything from me.
That didn’t change when I became a mother!
I love the verse from Isaiah 40:11 that says He will “gently lead those that are with young”.
His grace to mothers doesn’t fade because they are busy and stressed and tired; it increases! He is gentle with us. He gets it.
That’s not to say we should just intentionally do nothing (Romans 6:1). But it does mean that is grace upon grace available for us from our Savior.
Walking with Jesus with a new baby is a gift.
God created motherhood. It’s a gift. He’s not going to abandon you when he gives you that gift. Be encouraged, Mama!
All throughout scripture, God identifies Himself as a Father- which means that parenting is a magnificent picture of the gospel.
Your baby may be too young to comprehend theology, but every time you respond to his or her needs, you are wiring their little brains to better accept and understand God as Father in the future.
You, Mama, are the closest thing to Jesus that your kids understand right now- what a privilege!
Walking with Jesus with a new baby- the practicalities.
So where does that leave us? We want to fill up on Jesus so we can pour Him out to our kids, but how, when motherhood demands so much, so urgently?
1. Find the moments
With a new baby on the scene, your arms are rarely empty for long. So take advantage of those in-arms moments to snatch little moments with Jesus.
Maybe that’s reading a little scripture (YouVersion has some great reading plans that can be done in small chunks) or a devotional on your phone (She Reads Truth is great).
2. Find the routine
Whatever it is you do, just keep at it, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. It’s a season!
I highly recommend tying it in with something you’re already doing (which with a new baby should be limited, and that’s ok!) and use that to help you stay consistent.
And when you aren’t consistent- it’s okay. There’s grace for that.
3. Find the tricks
Be patient with yourself on this one.
Things like going to church can be stressful because getting out of the house requires so much more now! But as you go you’ll find the tricks you need to make it work.
And you need to know all the tricks to get to church or Bible study or small group (and if the others in your group think you do- find a new one!). There’s gospel truth in asking for help and in serving others.
Yes, something probably won’t go well at some point- but it will be okay, and you’ll learn things for next time, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many times even complete strangers are willing to help.
Walking with Jesus with a New Baby- He is all you need
Being needed is a huge part of motherhood, especially with new babies. It’s pretty common to feel like there’s never enough you to go around!
Thankfully, there’s always enough Jesus to go around- He is always enough, even (and especially) when there’s not enough of you.
1 Peter 2:2 says “ Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” As a mom, that means a little more now, doesn’t it?
Babies cry for it because it’s their means of surviving and thriving! Similarly, as Moms, we’re desperate for Jesus so that we can survive and thrive. How that plays out may look different from before baby came, but there is so much grace for you!
Motherhood is a gift and a reflection of God’s relationship with us as His children, and He’ll be with you every step of the way as you find your new normal walking with Him.
You got this, Mama!
This post was written by Stephanie from Mama Shark, meet her below!
P.S. I’ve created a free gift for you!
I’ve put Isaiah 40:11 on a Scripture Card for you, ready to be printed and hung in your house (it’s made to be a 5×7” but you can adjust it). I pray this serves as a reminder to you of how good, gentle, and gracious our God is!