This morning, in the bathroom (I admit it), this idea struck me. It's an idea that I have had before and promptly dismissed: I don't write devotions. I can't force a moment of intense meaning and insight. I can pull a lesson out of just about anything, thank you Christian school. But forced spirituality, with no feeling behind the writing, is not my idea of a devotional book. But THIS - this I could write. The idea was one of a little devotional book for tired moms. That's all. I wake up so often and think, "Oh, Jesus. Help me. Today's probably going to get rough. Strength now." I would love to have something, something very small, to read in the morning, to set up the day right, in those moments before the "slings and arrows" start flying (or as close to "before" as I can get), when cohesive thoughts on what to pray for aren't easily found. I have not decided to write a devotional. But the introduction started flowing, so I've written it. Now I will continue to pray about it and see if it sticks.
So now I give you the introduction (a working copy) to...
Mumma Needs A Minute
little morning devotions for tired moms
None of my kids (that I birthed) ever slept through the night solidly 'til they were well over a year old, and currently my youngest is now 2 and we're still working on it. That's a lot of years, sometimes concurrently, of chronic sleep-deprivation, frustration, despair, anger, and depression. At least in the middle of the night. And often first thing in the morning.
I have so often woken up and thought, "Oh dear Jesus...help. I need...something. Strength. Courage. Patience. Adrenaline. Help..." Groups of words don't happen easily in those first few moments. How often I've wished I had something very, very small to read, something to remind me, to center me, to say the words for me that I can't find, but something that will help me pray for what I need that day. I hope this can be that for you. Please know that I am still in the midst of these tired mornings with you.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
That's what this little devotion book is for. I believe it's absolutely crucial to start the day at least attempting to ground ourselves in Jesus, before the "slings and arrows" of the day start flying. And boy, do I know they start flying early. Pretty much as soon as your feet hit the floor. And often before that. BUT, I want you to know, I don't believe morning is the ONLY time for devotions to be done. I spent a lot of my life feeling guilty, because I was taught by various examples that this is when devotions should be done. Get up early, cup of coffee, quiet table by the window, reading and being truly uplifted and edified by God's Holy Word. Pretty picture. I've longed for that picture. But my mornings are bleary-eyed and often accompanied by tears, I am so tired. God knows us, He knows the plight of the mother [still trying to find the verse on mothers I'm thinking of], and I can't imagine He's going to fault us for not doing it at 5am sharp (especially when your kids also get up at 5am sharp). You must do devotions when they work for you.
However, this little devotion book CANNOT be a replacement for daily time spent with Jesus. I do understand that you don't get many minutes together to yourself. I do understand that often it's either prayer or reading, but not always both at the same time. And oh-do-I understand the frustration of your schedule just not working out for you to spend focused, uninterrupted time alone. (There's always after the kids go to bed, but unfortunately - and shame on me - I very rarely want to sit and start in on a Bible reading and prayer. I want to finish dishes...okay, "want" is the wrong word...I want to get my stuff done, and most of all, I want to go to bed myself. If I try to start praying, I'll most likely fall asleep. BUT, it is still crucial. Any number of devotional or "how to study the Bible" books can help you with that, but your walk is your own. Don't listen to how anyone else tells you you should do it; do it the way that works for you. If getting up early is your bag, go for it. (I'd like for it to be my bag. Someday...) If a nice quiet meeting with Jesus in the cool of the evening works for you, fantastic. If you have to set your kids up on the computer and the Wii and lock yourself in the bathroom (I'm not kidding), DO IT! Time with God is that important. It is most important. This little devotional will give you the Scripture and a very real, very heartfelt prayer for those early moments when cohesive thoughts can't be formed yet, but true munching on God's Word must be done yourself.
With that said, this book MUST NOT STRESS YOU OUT! There are enough for every day of the year. But there are no numbers. There are no dates. Sometimes I like to have dates on my devotions, so that even if I miss a day I can just jump to today and be okay. I'm not doing that for several reasons. 1) I don't always know what the date is first thing in the morning. 2) If you do miss a day of reading, I do not want any pressure on you about "agh, I missed one, should I read two? what if it's a series of devotions, I won't understand! do I skip it? I don't want to miss anything!!" 3) I don't want to worry about the 30/31 days in a month thing. So - Relax. No pressure here. You can read them in order. You can use a bookmark. You can dog-ear the pages. You can completely disregard any order at all and just open to a page and start reading. And don't be afraid to put your hand up and ask (tell) your kids to wait...Mumma needs a minute. (It'll teach them the importance of spending time with Jesus. Look at that - a teachable moment without even trying. And so early, too! Look at you.)
And they will all apply to being tired. Trust me.
Feel free to leave feedback, but remember I have not made a concrete committment to this project. It's just an idea. Enjoy. :)