There was a great talk in church yesterday that reminded me of my struggle to take responsibility for my own spiritual growth. There was a time when I found my kids “getting in the way” of me being able to listen and learn in church and it really bothered me. When I also had responsibilities of teaching others during church, instead of attending classes where I could be uplifted, it just added to the problem.
And then, somewhere along the way, I realized that Sunday and church time didn’t have to be about me. The time at church, at this stage in my life, is more about teaching my children and serving others than about uplifting me. But, if that’s the case, then I needed to make sure I was getting spiritual nourishment in some other way.
It’s tough to do when you have a house full of noisy kids! My house is mostly empty now during the school day but before that was the case, I had to learn how to fulfill that spiritual need while raising children. Making excuses is easy. Finding solutions is harder! So, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve found to work well. They might not work for you, but maybe they’ll trigger an idea that will work for you or help you on your journey to find solutions that work for you. I love that there are so many options available to us today!
- Read: Find the best time for you to read the scriptures. You always hear about studying your scriptures first thing in the morning or last thing before you go to bed. That has never worked well for me because, whether in the morning or at night, I would always fall asleep. As kids entered the picture, I was even more tired than ever before. I found that lunch time was the best time for me to open the scriptures or a church magazine and be able to read without falling asleep.
- Watch: I love to watch talks as part of my gospel study. It’s easy to put one on while I’m folding clothes or even just taking a break to sit for a little while. Sometimes the kids will even sit and watch with me . . . for a few minutes, anyway. It’s important to make sure they have something to do that won’t end up in a mess or problems when I’m finished watching, too.
- Listen: I’ve started listening to scriptures, gospel centered podcasts or talks, or even recorded church magazine articles while I drive, sit in the school pick up line, exercise, or pull weeds. I’ll also listen on my headphones after putting the kids to bed and doing a quick clean up of the house. It not only helps to fill my spiritual cup but it motivates me to work when I’d rather just fall into a chair and veg out.
- Devotionals: There’s an app called Daily Verse that gives a scripture verse, quote, song, and video for each day. We’ve made it part of our morning routine that we do this during breakfast with the kids. It gives them a little dose of gospel teaching and myself as well. If I don’t get around to anything else that day, I have at least been in the scriptures for that small moment. It does cost, after a free trial, but the cost is super affordable and so worth it.
Of course, it’s important to remember to be realistic and that there is a time and a season for everything. As a mom of young kids, I have never been able to fit in huge amounts of gospel study. But when I realized that it was my responsibility to make sure I was building myself spiritually, I found I could get creative and add new forms of study than just sitting and reading the scriptures and it has blessed my life so much.
I’d love to hear your creative ways of fitting in gospel study! So, please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other!