I’ve always been terrible at accomplishing early-morning devotionals. As a night owl, the only reason I will voluntarily wake at 5 a.m. is for a flight or a sick child.
But as a young mom, I always felt guilty every time another woman would talk about her mornings with God. The picture she painted—of a well-worn Bible, a pretty journal, and a shiny pen to jot down thoughts and prayers—always sounded like an ideal that I longed to achieve but never could.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized I could connect with God in ways that looked a little different from others. If you’re someone who struggles to fit a devotional time into your day, as I do, here are a few tips to help you focus on God throughout the day—without having to set extra alarms.
- Listen to an audio version of the Bible. Several years ago, I downloaded the free YouVersion (Bible) app. It has devotionals on a variety of topics and includes full-text versions of many Bible translations. My favorite devotional is The Bible in One Year by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. Each day consists of a thoughtful explanation of passages in the Bible and the full text of the Scriptures being discussed. Best of all, it’s available as audio. Each morning, I turn the day’s devotional on while I brush my teeth and apply my makeup. (Bonus: the Gumbels have lovely British accents that I adore listening to.) It’s a great way to start my morning with God without adding time to my routine.
- Write Scriptures on the mirrors in your home. Once a week or so, after wiping down the mirrors in the bathrooms, I write out a new Bible verse using dry-erase markers. Each time I wash my hands, I read the verse and try to memorize it. I’ll often tailor the verse in each bathroom based on who uses the room the most—for instance, my children receive shorter verses, while my husband and I are given verses that speak to what’s going on in our lives at the moment.
- Set up inspirational alerts on your computer or phone. A few times a day, an alert will pop up on my laptop reminding me of a specific verse or a truth from God’s Word. After a month or two, I trade them out for new alerts.
- Listen to an inspirational podcast on your commute. I’m a huge podcast nerd. Although I also enjoy listening to news and health-related podcasts, some of my favorite faith-based podcasts include The Next Right Thing (Emily P. Freeman), Jesus Over Everything (Lisa Whittle), and Don’t Mom Alone (Heather MacFadyen). I love the encouragement they provide, and I often walk away with a new author to read or idea to consider.
- Find ways to highlight your word of the year. Many people choose a word to focus on at the beginning of the year. My word this year is “invite,” and as an introvert, it’s both a reminder and a challenge for me to consistently and intentionally invite Jesus and others into my life. A friend of mine had a custom bracelet made with her word on it in order to remind herself daily. I love that idea, but even if you’d prefer not to spend money, you can easily type up the word in a pretty font, print, and frame it, or simply write it with dry-erase markers on your mirror (right next to your Bible verse!).
While I still hope to incorporate a pretty journal and quiet moments into my life, these simple steps have helped me connect with God on a daily basis without feeling like I’m adding more to my calendar. And, as a mom, they are great ways for me to model for my children the words of John 17:26, “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (ESV).
Which of the options above sounds like something you can implement today? Do you have any other ideas to add? Share in the comments below!
A career in journalism set Kristin Demery up to publish her own stories of living this wild, precious life. She now is an author of five truth-telling books, including the latest 100 Days of Kindness, and part of a trio of writers collectively known as The Ruth Experience. Kristin served as a newspaper and magazine editor and her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including USA Today. She still works behind-the-scenes as an editor for others while writing her own series on kindness, friendship, and living with intention. Find more from Kristin at theruthexperience.com.