Word before World – Putting God first in our busy day

Putting God first in my day has always been an ongoing struggle for me. It is one discipline that I go from being 150% in to completely neglecting it. I can go from getting up at 5:30 and loving that quiet, dark time alone with the Lord, to then waking up grumpy and slowly and just having that quick breath prayer.

Well Watered Women have got an amazing challenge going on right now, and that is the “Word before World” Challenge. Basically it is a challenge for women to get into Gods Word before they get into the day, before they pick up the phone and start scrolling, before they have to deal with emotional kids, before they have to be anything they can just be with God.

I have been following along with the challenge and have had amazing mornings with God, in the quiet, in the dark before my little ones wake up and demand things of me. I have had mornings of sweet connections through the Word with the One who loves me more than anything and as He pours His life into me, I am re-charged and can take on the day.

I have also had days where after a night of a baby boy not sleeping well, or a night of sickness, it is just too hard to wake up and get in any right frame of mind. I feel it, I feel that I needed that time with God but bed was just too comfortable after only 4 hours of sleep. When I do get up the day is already started and I am running behind all day.

There is Grace for us Mums I know that for sure!! But one thing I know is that I am challenging myself that even if all I get is a quick breath prayer before my feet hit the floor, or if it is just a quick verse that I read that is pasted on my mirror, or maybe it is just a  worship song while we are all having breakfast. Regardless of if I get an amazing 30 minutes with the Lord or just 2 minutes with Him, I will put Him before the World!

Would you like to join in on this challenge? To put Him before everything else, even if it is just 2 minutes? I know that God sees our hearts and He will bless us as we push into Him and begin to make Him our priority and Him our first thoughts of the day.

Be encouraged Mummas!!!

Word before World-2

Resources for Studying the Word for Busy Mums.

*Some of the links below are affiliate links which means at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase through these links a small percentage comes back to me to help with the running of this blog and podcast. 

It can be hard to find time to study the Bible when you are a busy, tired and always needed Mum. When your nights are long and you don’t feel like getting up early, when your days are short trying to fit everything in and your To Do List is miles long, Bible study can feel like a chore. We all know the feeling, we don’t want it to be a chore, we want to want it, but sometimes it is just too hard.

So instead of giving up, I have got a few resources to help you out. Even if you only have 15 minutes spread out through the day, you can study the Bible effectively and productively. These are some of the tools that I use in my 15 minute Bible study each morning.

Before we look at the resources, I just want to quickly say that whatever amount of time you have, you can study the Word. Just break it up, take it in small sections and small amounts. Don’t try and do a whole book or whole chapter in one sitting. Read it on one day, then your next sitting look at context, or what stands out to you. Look at repeated words in a another sitting, so it might take you longer to study through a passage but you will get to study it well. Don’t get overwhelmed, get excited!!

Bibles

So obviously to study the Bible you need a Bible…. But what is the right one for you right now? This can be different for different people so let me share a few that I have found really helpful in this season. Personally I use an ESV, CSB and a NKJV to study in because I love the translations and they are easy to study. You can of course use your own Bible that you have currently, but in case you are looking for something great and new for studying in I have a few to share with you. 30723824_10156136034447209_2972417965003112448_n

She Reads Truth Bible – CSB I love this one, it has some great commentary and articles in it to help you when reading the bible. It also has  a bonus of some very beautiful artwork for each Book. There are graphs and maps, and timelines to help you see context of each book of the Bible, as well as reading plans for each Book. It is a note taking Bible which means it has larger margins to allow room to write your notes in. I love this Bible and use to for studying.

Some other Journaling Bibles, (ESV) that I have used and think are amazing are these ones.

Stationary

Ok so for sure use what ever pens and highlighter you have, you don’t need to buy new ones, however I am a sucker for good school supplies…. anybody else? And any excuse to get new ones, Im all for!!

I love Frixon Highlighters, they can be erased off the page and they do not bleed through even the thinest of Bible pages!! I love that!! You can also get some amazing Gel Highlighters that do this same job as well.

I Love love love coloured pens and use the Paper Mate ball point pens to underline and circle and write notes in my Bible. I have my own colour coding system that I use for my own Bible study and these pens allow me to have so many colours for so many things… I also use the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, however these bleed through the Bible pages, but you can use them in your journal or workbook if you are using one on the side.

Journals

Ok speaking of Journals, I do have a journal that I will write extended notes in when I have time if there is something that really stands out to me and I want to really get it into my head and heart. I personally use any journal that has lots of pages, I love Kikki K ones and ones from the Typo store in Australia. But there are some great ones also from anchored press, well watered women and the Daily Grace co. Here are some Writing Journals that are just as good and of course you can use any notebook you have lying around the house.

References

So when I am studying the Bible I really like to go into studying the context of the passage, so I use a Strong’s Concordance of the Bible and a Bible Dictionary. Now you can use the old school paper versions (which I love) or there are some awesome apps like the Blue letter Bible App, and the You Version Bible app. these have great commentaries and the Blue letter Bible App allows you to look at the meanings of the word using a Strongs concordance all in the app itself.30716004_10156136033752209_8559821644279840768_n

If you would like some actual Bible Studies that are aimed at women, and studying an actual Book, rather than a theme here are some amazing ones that I have loved.

Katie Orr – Focus15 Bible Study resources (specifically for if you only have 15 minutes to study)

Well Watered Women – They are currently studying through Ephesians and in the first week alone we have read the book at least 5 times. It sounds like a lot but they break it down and make it so doable.

Daily Grace Co. – have many different studies including books and great theme studies.

Podcasts

So there are so many great podcasts out there, I would include my own in terms of looking at what the Bible has to say to you in different seasons you are going through. Here are a few more as well.

Katie Orr and her husband have a great podcast that gives you great insight into how to study the Bible as well as tackling tough ideas and theology! I love this one, and also it is only around 15 minutes long so really easy to listen to.

Phylicia Mason Heimer with Lisa Hensley has a podcast called Uniquely Women and it has some great discussions on theology and studying the Bible. This one is also great and easy to listen to as you feel like you are just sitting down with them with a coffee and enjoying a great discussion.

She Proves Faithful – Lauren Hlushak talks all things womanhood and theology. It is so easy to listen to and the way she breaks down even complex ideas is so helpful. I would very much encourage you to have a listen and follow her on instagram too as she makes theology not such a scary idea.

These are just some of the resources I use when studying the Bible. Don’t let it be overwhelming, but just make time and make it a priority and you will start to see a difference in your “quiet times”.

So let me know if you try out some of these, or do you have some more that I haven’t got here.

One last encouragement – Just do whatever you can to get into Gods Word, it will always be worth it! And the more you do it the more you will want to do it. So like Nike says… Just Do It!

xx Kate

Teaching Your Kids to Pray

We were doing the regular after dinner manic clean up the house before bed routine, and the TV was on in the background. Now this is not ideal when you are not watching it, especially at that time of night because it is always the news that is on, and you never know what is going to pop up on the screen. My 8 yr old is very much in tune with everything that is going on around her (especially when she is meant to be doing homework) but at this time she was meant to be picking up the toys around the floor when I saw her staring at the TV with a look on her face that was so intense. I looked up and there on the news was a report on what was happening in North Korea.
This report opened up some deep discussion for the rest of the pack up time and into bed time.

OK now I don’t shelter my children by any means, but there are some things that they don’t need to know about yet, and some things are just very hard to explain. We do live in a pretty isolated and peaceful Island, so violence, gangs, wars and the like are very foreign to my kids. We don’t get a lot of TV (there is 1 channel here) so she doesn’t see what other kids in the Western world would be bombarded with, which means when we do have the news on she is so interested in what is happening in the world. She has been known to tell her sister off for being noisy because “I need to watch the news right now”.

So back to the story… when we had finished packing up and showering and we were headed upstairs for bed, my daughter looked at me and said “Mum I think we really need to pray for that man who is being mean and we should also pray for all the people he is being mean to.” I was astounded!!! Not only was her first reaction to pray but also that she wanted to pray for the “bad guy” I thought that is a concept that I haven’t really taught her and I was super proud that she could see that even he needs prayer!

Now I know I titled this post “Teaching your Kids to pray” but to be honest I don’t think I have ever sat my children down and had a lesson with them on praying. I don’t think it is even something that can be directly taught. I honestly think the only way we can teach our kids to pray is to pray. All the time. To pray with them, for them and to get them to pray. From very early on with my first baby, I would pray out loud over things, simple things, complex things. When she was old enough to talk I would ask her if she would like to pray, sometimes she would, and sometimes she wouldn’t. Sometimes it would make sense and most of the time it wouldn’t (but I don’t think God minds one bit when a toddler is praying for her stuffed toys or that the pockets on her shorts will be pink!)IMG_5871

So here are just some of the practical ways that I have incorporated prayer into our lives, it is by no means an exhaustive list and I’m sure there are many more ways, but here are a few.

  1. Pray at bed time. I know this one a lot of people do and I think its a really great discipline for kids to learn. I also think it goes so well in the bedtime routine, and helps calm kids before bed. I usually get both my daughters to pray individually for whatever they want, and then I finish off by praying for them. Sometimes this is a really special time for praying for sick friends or praying for family members they miss, and other times it gets a bit silly with prayers for more chocolate and that unicorns could be real. I just give them freedom at this time to just pray however they want. I think its important for them to be free to really explore the concept. We always pray for protection and safety while we sleep and no bad dreams.
  2. Pray in the mornings before school. After the craziness of the morning routine, when they are all ready for school and before they get picked up we sit on the verandah, backpacks on backs and I pray a quick prayer over them, a prayer of protection, that they will shine for Jesus today, be focussed and work well at school and that they will have a great day. Its super quick like a 2 minute prayer and it just sends them off to school confident and ready for the day. Again I think it is a great discipline to have for them, to pray before they really start their day, to give their day to God and keep Jesus first. Disclaimer though…. we don’t always do this, time sometimes escapes us, and sometimes I just simply forget, but it is always good when we get to do this one.
  3. Pray at meal times. I almost didn’t put this one down because I thought its something that most families do. But I guess what I would challenge you on is shake it up a bit. Don’t make it a religious routine thing, but make it real. Ask them for one thing they are thankful for and thank God for that first, Or take turns at praying and blessing the food. The main thing is be together and being grateful for Gods provision.
  4. Pray when a topic comes up in conversation – For example, when they mention a friend at school was away today because they are sick, make a suggestion for that child to pray for them. When you see an ambulance go past, pray for the person who needs the ambulance. When your child is talking about something they are worried about, pray into it with them. The key here is to make it a norm, make it a regular thing, “hey I think we should pray for that”, the more you do it, it will become a habit and before you know it they will start to suggest it.
  5. Pray Big prayers – Occasionally and not everyday, we will be prompted either by something they see on TV – like that news report – or maybe something they hear at school and we will pray those big “intercessory” prayers. Ones that are above and beyond our situations, when we stand in the gap for countries or other people. Don’t think that your kids are too little for this, You will be surprised at how much they feel and want to pray in these areas. I find especially when we are praying for children in different countries that it really teaches them to empathise. Use a map, use a globe, get the newspaper (edit it if you have to), watch a child safe documentary to get the conversation started.img_5886.jpg

Just a few tips also for praying with your kids.
Don’t ever ridicule them or make them think their prayer was silly (even if it was about their toy baby needing to feel better). Let them experiment and pray however their mind works. Like I said before, God loves these kids so much I actually think He loves it when they pray no matter what they say.
– When praying for countries or big situations like wars and things – filter what you think you need to. They don’t need to know all the gory details.
– I always get them to pray that the “bad guys” or people who are involved in the hurting of other people come to know Jesus and that they will stop doing whatever the bad thing is. I want my kids to know that God loves them just as much as He loves us.
Don’t expect each prayer time to be amazing. Sometimes they won’t want to pray, sometimes they will be in a silly crazy mood, sometimes you won’t be in the best mood. Just take each moment as it comes, and give them and yourself grace. Scrap that one and try again later or tomorrow.
– Lastly, please don’t make it boring, religious or monotonous. We want our kids to love to pray and to be excited to pray. Make it about relationship and love. Make it fun, make it different and be creative with how you do it.IMG_5012

Those are just some of the ways I have incorporated prayer into our lives. We are by no means a perfect happy all the time family who prayer 24/7 but I do think that prayer is such a awesome spiritual discipline that we really need our children to understand and experience early in heir lives. So that when they are older, God is who they will turn to first above all the other people vying for their attention.

How do you incorporate prayer in your day to day lives with your kids? I’d love to hear about it.

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Whispers from God for the Tired Mum

7 Verses that bring rest, breathe life and heal a weary, exhausted Mama’s heart.

Being a mum is an amazing experience!! We get to form little minds and slowly guide them and point them to a Heavenly Father who loves them and created them for a good purpose. There is also no denying that being a mum is hard work!! With the monotonous daily errands like washing, cleaning, washing, feeding, washing, tidying and did I say washing? It is also an emotional job. We train them in character, in relationships and all their big emotions.

It is draining, and it’s really easy for us to get exhausted not only physically and emotionally but also spiritually. If we are not being fed spiritually and not getting our time with God daily, we are making life harder for ourselves than it has to be. God has so much to say in His Word to us as tired and worn out Mums. He has given us this beautiful challenge of mothering our treasures, and He will give us all that we need to do it well.

God loves us so much and He completely understands our exhaustion and He encourages us to rest. Isn’t that amazing!!! He wants us to rest, and more than that he calls us to rest. He invites us and begs us to rest. Just as I am writing this I am feeling that beckoning to rest right now. It’s more than just a sleep, more than a strong coffee, more than a holiday even. His rest that He wants to give you is life giving, and a refreshing, strengthening and forever kind of rest!! Thats the kind of rest that I want please!!

I want to share a few of these whispers to you!! I hope you hear them and meditate on them and let the Word soak into every part of your exhausted self!!

Isaiah 4011

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm and carry them to His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young”.            

Isaiah 40:11

This is my favourite verse when it comes to being a Mum. It is such a beautiful picture of God watching over us. He leads us gently and holds us through it all. He holds us so close to himself that we can hear His heartbeat if we lean in to Him.

Matthew112830

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

This one is such a breath of fresh air for me whenever I read it. God is calling us to come to Him when we are tired and weary and that He will give us rest. He is our rest. We can give our burdens to Him and He will exchange it for His rest!! I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Song of Solomon 21013

“Arise my darling, come away, my beautiful one. For now the winter is past, the rain has ended and gone away. The blossoms appear in the country side. The time of singing has come, and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs; the blossoming vines give off their fragrance. Arise my darling, my beautiful one.”

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

The whole of this chapter is a beautiful love song. I love the way it can symbolise God’s love for us as well. It talks about the time of winter is past, and going into a new season of Joy. So even when you feel like the season you are in as a tired mum is going to last forever, it won’t! There is a light at the end of the tunnel (as they say). He is again calling us away to a time of intimacy and rest with Him.

Psalm2312

 

“ The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for his namesake.”

Psalm 23:1-2

Again we have a beautiful passage showing God’s care for us and that He provides us with all we need. This includes rest and strength for each day. He is the one who leads and guides us. He takes us to a place of rest, renewal, and restoration. Don’t let the fame of this verse take anything away from the truth that it speaks to us!

Phillipians467

 

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Phillipians 4:6-7

We have no need to be worried, anxious, or stressed out because we have an amazing God who asks us to take it to Him in prayer and He will give us all peace!! Peace that we cant even understand. Peace that is rooted in His love and sovereignty over all. Even more than that, He will guard our hearts and minds from other anxious and worried thoughts as we continue to go to Him in prayer.

Zephanaiah 317

“The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will be quiet in his love, He will delight in you with singing”

Zephaniah 3:17

He quiets you with His love and rejoices over you with singing. Can you just let that wash over you for a moment. Just close your eyes and imagine that again. He will quiet you with His Love and rejoices over you with singing!! He absolutely looks at you and smiles. This alone just gives me rest, to know that I don’t have to do anything, He just is delighted in me. We can stop striving and rest in his love and live our life knowing that Our Heavenly Father is delighted in us!

Isaiah4031

“But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

I could not write up a list of verses for the weary and tired mum without including this one. It is such an amazing promise from an amazing God who does not want us to try and do it all on our own!! He will renew our strength, He will give us all we need for every moment of everyday and all we have to do is trust in Him. It’s just that simple.

So there you have it my 7 go to verses for a tired exhausted Mum. Write them out. Print them out. Paint them in the sky. Whatever you need to do to get these truths deep down into your heart.

Let me know if you have any other verses that you go to for your strength. I’d love to read them!!

 

Creating a meaningful morning routine from a sleep deprived Mama!

Firstly I want to tell you that this is something that I am still developing.. something that I haven’t perfected but I am still working out what works for me.

Secondly I want to say that my babies have never been good sleepers… my two older girls only started sleeping from 2 1/2 years old and I now have a 7 month old baby boy who is following in his sisters footsteps and not sleeping great…

So why do I think it’s important for me to have a decent morning routine?? Let me tell you..

  1. I think it’s important for me to be awake and functioning to some capacity when my kids wake up. I don’t know about you but if I get woken up by one of my kids and I’m not ready, I can be quite a grumpy morning monster… I can be snappy and not react well to them at all. However if I’m already awake, and have had some “me” time before they wake up, I actually can be a really pleasant mum, who is happy to see them and ready to take on the day with them.
  2. I think the way that I spend the first 15-20 minutes of my day really sets the tone for my whole day. If I have been woken up and then had to rush around getting kids breakfast, dressed and out the door for school, and am still not quite awake, my whole day feels rushed and disorganised. It feels like I can never get on top of anything, and I usually get upset or cranky about the littlest things. However if I have had time with God, over coffee, looked over my planner for the day, and maybe (If I’m lucky and they are still asleep) a little 10 mins exercise, I am ready for the day. My whole day feels like its happening for a purpose, I am generally way more joyful and settled.

Mission Mumma Bible Time

Ok so let me tell you how I set up my mornings… (I would like to just say that I have completely adapted this idea from Hello Mornings, and Kat Lee’s 3 minute mornings, and her philosophy/mantra of having a purposeful and life giving morning that has 3 parts to it – God, Plan, Move)

So the night before I usually set the timer on my coffee machine, have all my God time needs (Bible, pens, prayer journal, notebook…) and my planner all ready to go, so that in the morning I don’t have to make my coffee, or look for my books, everything is waiting for me. I have a nice space set up in the corner of our loungeroom with a lamp and table and big chair. It’s so warm and welcoming for me in the morning.

Mission Mumma Quiet time

I have my alarm set for 6am, although I am currently finding it is not quite enough time, so I’m thinking of possibly setting it a little earlier but let me just say this is completely with grace… My 7 month old does not sleep well, so if we have had a bad night and I have not had enough sleep then I give myself grace and not push myself to get up that early. Sometimes its only 10 minutes that I end up having, or somedays it just doesn’t happen at all… and thats ok.

I always start with my God time. So I either do my daily Bible readings, or write in my prayer Journal, I pray for my kids, my husband and anything else that I need to first. I plan on showing you my prayer journals and Bible Study tools in a future blog so keep your eye out!! – But what I will say is that there are some awesome Bible Apps for your phone that I absolutely love! The main ones I am using at the moment are the “She reads Truth” app, the “First 5” app and the basic “Bible” app.

Then I grab my daily planner and check my to do list for the day. I add anything that needs to be added, make a plan for the day, scheduling when I will be doing the different things. I then pray over my planner. This may sound silly, but the days I forget to do this step, I always have jobs not completed or I will run out of time on certain things. But if I pray over my to do list and schedule, I ask God to highlight anything I need to focus on, or anything I may have forgotten about or anything that i need to take off my list. My day always run so much smoother and more productive when it has been covered in prayer.

Mission Mumma Plan Time

Lastly I have my ‘move’ time. Now this is probably the area in which I have the most flexibility at the moment. If all I can do is have a glass of water and take my multivitamins then thats fine. If I have an extra few minutes and the kids are all still asleep or entertained then I can do 10 minutes of Pilates or mummy exercises that I have found on Youtube. This is an area I look forward to growing in and changing over time. Somedays this step gets postponed until after the older two kids have gone off to school and I then go for a 30 minute walk with baby.

I just wanted to say quickly that on the days that my baby has a bad night and I have not had enough sleep, I don’t push myself and I give myself grace. Maybe that day I do these steps once the older girls have gone to school, or maybe its done gradually throughout the day. It does make the day a little more difficult for me (but lets face it, it was already going to be a difficult day when i’m living on 3-5 hours of sleep). So don’t push yourself too hard. Be realistic!!

How do you get started?
I would have to say baby steps…. If you haven’t done anything like this before, just try getting up 10 minutes earlier and do 3 minutes of each part. Read some verses, pray over your planner or to do list, and do 3 mins of squats or crunches or something… Then slowly grow it, slowly bring it earlier.

So there you have it, that is my current morning routine, and why I think it’s important… If you want more details contact me, I would love to explain more, or you can also check out the Hello Mornings podcast and website. I have also linked below some of the other pages to have a look at if you are interested in having a meaningful, purposeful morning routine.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for me or if you give this a try.

Mission Mumma Morning

God Time :

She Reads Truth Bible

Cotton and co travellers journal

Plan Time :

Kikki K planners

Move Time :

Mummy Excercises

Quick Pilates work out

Revelation Wellness – Faith and Fitness

Podcasts I love to listen to while walking

God Centered Mom

Mom struggling well

She Proves Faithful