10 Ways to Nurture Your Spiritual Life After Having a Baby
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Are you new to motherhood and wondering how to maintain your spiritual life now that you have a baby to take care of? Having a baby really changes your day to day schedule, and it can be easy to adapt to get by, but sometimes your spiritual life can get put to the side, especially if you’re used to sitting down for an uninterrupted period of time to read your Bible and pray. It took me time to adapt and I had to change my style to fit my new schedule of juggling a baby.
Here are my top ways to stick close to Jesus with a baby on your hip.
#1. Be flexible
This is just a general tip for life with a baby. You are still going to be yourself but sometimes you’re just going to have to be yourself in a new way and with a new little person.
If you sit down to read your Bible during baby’s nap and then baby wakes up right away just go with it and don’t get frustrated. My baby likes to wake up as soon as I sit down to eat, and I love my food and I love it hot, but I just have to go with it, and I’m learning to eat food cold and still enjoy it. I could get frustrated though and so I just need to relax and not get worked up about eating right away. The same goes
Flexibility might also mean getting a few minutes of Bible reading here and there until it finally adds up. An uninterrupted 30 minute Bible reading time might not be realistic anymore (depending on your baby and life situation) so just go with the flow and be willing to change how you do things.
#2. Just say thank you
You’re not always going to have a lot of time, but staying close to God doesn’t always need long periods of dedicated focus. Give God a quick moment of gratitude. When you see baby’s sweet face thank God for the blessing, when
#3. Make prayer habits around new routines
Your routines have changed a lot since you have had a baby! You’re no longer waking up at a certain time every morning and doing things the way you used to, so it would be hard to fit your old routine into your new one. Create new prayer habits around your new routines. When something is happening use that event as a reminder to pray, I started by praying while I was breastfeeding (my baby is very calm when she nurses) and also praying the moment baby was finally down for the night.
By creating prayer habits around certain events it can trigger to us as a reminder to pray. If you try to pray every time around a particular daily event eventually it will just become natural to do so. For
#4. Listen to an Audio Bible
Listening to the Bible can free up your hands to do other things and can fit your busy lifestyle.
I like to use the Bible.is
It can be really easy to tune out the audio Bible though. Try
#5. Memorize verses while pregnant
Memorizing God’s word is an amazingly powerful thing we can do for ourselves. Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We need God’s word to guide us on our journeys, and maybe your journey doesn’t feel like much right now as you might have cabin fever for being inside the house for so long doing the same thing every day, but we play an important role as mothers even in this early stage of our child’s life. When you are pregnant it is a great time to memorize Scripture but you can also always do it after you’ve had the baby it just might not feel like you have enough time.
Choose a verse you want to memorize and give yourself enough time to memorize it (if you know it will take you awhile don’t feel bad to give yourself a few weeks). Write the verse on some cards and put them around where you know you will see them like near baby’s crib, in the bathroom, wherever you sit to feed the aby, etc. Meditate and reflect on the verses you have memorized and ask God to reveal more to you about them. When you are having a hard time and need some encouragement think of these Bible verses. When the baby won’t fall asleep and you’re at your wits end remind yourself of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
#6. Remember to ask God for help
Sometimes when we are new moms we feel like we can do it all and we don’t need anyone’s help! It is true that some women ask for a lot of help and others feel like they need to be able to do it all on their own. No matter which side you fall on we could all use God’s help since there are things He can do that no one else can!
Just like you can have moments to tell God thanks, sometimes you need to have moments to say “HELP!” Breastfeeding hurt? Too tired to think? Relatives driving you crazy? Ask God to help you, He is there for you. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us that we should give our worries over to God and the reason being that He cares for us. If you are in pain or struggling with something He cares for you and He is there to help.
#7. Pray together with your husband
If you have a husband who prays ask that you pray together at a certain time every day, or even that he prays over you. You need his prayers and growing together spiritually is important for you to do for your marriage. Also, if you decide on a certain time every day, then you can rely on one of you remembering to do so. This is a great routine to start in your marriage right away, if you have already been doing this then just make sure you adjust it in any way necessary to fit your new life with a baby.
#8. Maintain fellowship somehow
This might be the absolute hardest one depending on a lot of factors. If you are having a rough time healing physically, and taking your baby out is difficult, or you live far away from friends then yes this is very, very hard but it is also so very important.
I would encourage you to continue to go to church and to go with someone so you’re not juggling the baby alone. You can try to find a mom’s Bible study in your area by asking other Christian mom’s you know or even calling the local churches and asking if they have anything like that. There are some Bible studies that cater to mom’s so they provide childcare and meet during the day, not past baby’s bedtime. If you can’t find anything like that or if it’s too difficult to get out of the house then I would really recommend taking advantage of technology by joining some online communities of Christians where you can fellowship from a distance. If you have friends you have had great fellowship with before then don’t be afraid to request some video calls now and then to chat and pray together. As Christians we really need fellowship with others for encouragement and accountability. You can also find a lot of sermons and series to watch online. I really like the Desiring God website to find new sermons to watch or articles to read.
I am a missionary in Africa, and after I had my baby I felt very alone at times because I wasn’t able to get out as much, and the effort to go to an English church seemed overwhelming. I made sure though to keep in close contact with my Christian friends and we fellowshipped over chat messages. It helped me to stay on track. If I was living somewhere else I think I would have been sure to find some sort of weekday service, or Bible study that had some kind of childcare or baby room so I could be with other believers in person (and in my language)!
#9. Go on a prayer walk
Taking babe out in a carrier or stroller can be a relaxing time for both of you, although it may depend on the weather in your area and on how your body feels.
Not only are you going to get those exercise and fresh air feels that your body really needs, but it can be a time just to talk to God and spend time with Him. You can talk to Him about anything, tell Him how it makes you feel to be a mother, tell Him what you’re worried about, tell Him how proud you are of your little baby, anything. My baby really loves being carried so it helps her to sleep and it’s great for me too. I use the Ergo Carrier because I can wear my baby in it for a long time without it hurting, I’m able to get baby on and off alone, and because it works even with a newborn! Does spending time in nature make you feel closer to God? A prayer walk might be perfect!
#10. Take advantage of technology
I have mentioned technology a few times but it still needed its own point. You might be used to sitting down at a desk with you big study Bible, a journal and a large collection of coloured pens, but the truth is that might not be realistic anymore and you shouldn’t feel like there’s anything wrong with “devotions from your phone.” Using an audio Bible is great and I would also suggest downloading a journaling app if you like to journal when you read your Bible and also choosing a Bible app that you like. Download a few and see which ones you like – are they easy to use? Can you highlight verses? There is nothing wrong with using a digital Bible, so go for it and make it an experience you can enjoy. I rely on technology so much because my baby always wants me to hold her, even when she sleeps so I need to use something easy like an app on my phone rather than trying to crack open the study Bible and the notebook while also juggling a baby. One day I will go back to mainly using a physical Bible but that may still be awhile.
So those are 10 ways to nurture your spiritual life after having a baby.
The most important thing to remember though is to know yourself. If you know that you can only commit to 5 minutes of Bible reading a day then that’s what you should commit to. Don’t tell yourself you will do an hour daily, and then have a month go by and not do it because you never had the chance. Know yourself and know what works best for you, because what has worked for me and others might not work for you. Find the right system for you so you can grow spiritually after having a baby.
In the end I would just encourage you to really pursue maintaining your spiritual life, but don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t compare yourself to other women. You are who you are and you’re awesome! So love that baby in every cute little smile and every big, stinky blowout, and spend time with God in any way that you can.
The Moving Mama
Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.
She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.
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