A tear slipped down my cheek as I saw another styled Bible study photo shoot pop up in my Instagram feed. I was dry and starving. I tried to read my Bible, but my brain felt like sawdust I could circle the same verse 100 times and nothing seemed to stick. By the time I lifted my pen to write some thoughts everyone was crying and the moment was over.
Sundays were spent nursing and rocking in a quiet nursery while my husband listened to the sermon and rangled out older sons. The only scraps of spiritual food I had were audio versions or the days I sat in women’s Bible study. I teased saying that at this stage of my life I needed them to cut up the meat of the Word and just put it on my plate for me.
My goal in that story isn’t to guilt you if you’ve ever posted a photo of your quiet time online. There are seasons of my life where that is really inspiring. Rather my hope is to reach into the heart of the mama who feels starving and paint another side of the reality of our spiritual journey.
Trying to grow spiritually while being a mother is stinking hard! There seem to be some people who can float it, but for some of us, it just doesn’t happen. Reading my Bible postpartum feels impossible, let alone diving into theology books.
Allow yourself to be weak. Allow others to teach you and hold your arms in those moments. Moses didn’t Send Aaron away when Aaron offered to hold his arms. Moses didn’t claim that God would sustain him, or say that he just needed to grit it out. Instead, he accepted the frailty of his human body and accepted help.
Our postpartum brains can be so so fuzzy. I don’t know about yours, but my alters back drastically when I finish breastfeeding at 1 year. When I came to admit and accept this I left behind the guilt of not reading my Bible and accepted the help of people who wanted to teach me.
Attend a Bible Study
Allow the women who have more time in their life to study to pass on bits of what they are learning to you. Listen to them as they talk about how they engaged with the Bible that week. And ask questions. Allow their conversation to build your faith.
Ask your friends what God has been teaching them, or if any verses have ministered to them lately! When I first heard this idea my heart reacted. It felt a little too cliche, but when I started sincerely asking I started gaining such a multi-faceted view of the Word! I was able to grow and learn with people that I loved!
Audio “reading” counts as reading. After the birth of my third son, I didn’t read for months, however, while I was laying in the rocking chair in the dark I was able to listen to lectures from RTS and Covenant Seminary. Maybe you prefer sermons, or just the Bible read aloud plain and simple. Another favorite series was from Nancy Guthrie called “Help Me Teach the Bible”. She interviews pastors and theologians about each book of the Bible. It’s such a great way to engage with the Bible in a new and unique way!
With each of these, by the time you’re able to open and read your Bible again, you’ve kept laying pieces of foundation for your faith. When you are able to read the Bible again you’re going to come back to it with a renewed understanding.
Does it still feel like too much?
Years ago a friend told me about a practice she had to help her engage with the Bible when she had no time or energy. Over time she would collect verses and write them into a little notebook. Then on days she didn’t have two brain cells to rub together, she would pull out the little notebook and read one verse.
I took this a step further and turned some of my favorite verses into cards that I could print and leave on the mirror, or by my rocking chair. Reading that same verse several times a day was like a Bible snack to keep me going during the year/years when I would have spiritually starved otherwise. If you want to try that here are some of my favorite verses that sustained me in the Spiritual Drought of Motherhood!
God Hasn’t Forgotten you in the Spiritual Drought of Motherhood
One year doesn’t define your relationship with God. He is still holding you, even in this season of drought. The beautiful thing is that we believe John 10: 28&29 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. ”
God is powerful enough to hold you in this chapter and bring you through even when you’re too weak to sustain your relationship with him. Rather than beating yourself with guilt, try thanking him for sustaining you in the Spiritual Drought of Motherhood.