By Rondi Lauterbach
No one told me that when I had a baby that not only would I not have time to read my bible, but I wouldn’t have time to eat either. No one told me that.
They didn’t tell me how hungry I’d be either. Feeding two takes a lot of calories. Food never tasted so good, but consuming enough of it takes some work. Having a baby for an alarm clock meant my baby’s breakfast came before mine. I would stare longingly at the refrigerator, fantasizing about three egg omelets and blueberry pancakes while she had her fill. Then just as I was pulling out the fixings, she’d spit up all over me and I was off to change us both. Overwhelmed by the interruption and hunger, I ended up settling for a quick bowl of cereal.
By the time her younger brother and sister were born it was a three ring circus and I was the hungry bear doing a jugging act. Baby in the sling, toddler in melt-down mode, preschooler screaming with full volume, “Where’s my lunch?? MAMA WHERE’S MY LUNCH??” I silently fumed, yeah, and where’s that third hand every mother needs? It’s hard to settle for graham crackers and peanut butter when you’re ready for a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.
Soggy cereal, scraps of toddler sandwiches, cold suppers. It’s meager fare for a nursing mom, but somehow I figured out a system along the way. Why? Because I had to eat. It’s wasn’t optional then, and it’s not now. I may have needed to adjust my expectations, change my schedule, and make some new habits, but eventually I had to find a way to feed myself in that new chapter of my life.
Food for Life
The same is true for reading my bible. I need to eat from the meat of God’s word. It’s not optional. But I often find that the times I most need to feed on his word are the times that it’s hardest to do it. When I’m suffering. When I’m tempted. When I’m pressured by deadlines. When I’m pulled in many directions. When I’m taking care of many people. Those are the times where I need it most, but struggle to get around to it.
Being convinced of my need is the first step to finding (making?) time. As a mom chasing small children I felt many needs– for patience to answer my toddler’s “why’s”, for creativity to turn leftovers into a smiley face that they’ll eat, for a sense of humor to endure the humiliations and messes, both pubic and private.
As a Christian I have lots of needs, daily needs, too:
Just as food gets metabolized into blood sugar, muscle strength, mental clarity, and mood stabilization, the word of God gets assimilated and strengthens my faith, hope, love, sense of forgiveness, understanding of his will, and confidence in his ways. It turns my work into works of faith, my labor into labors of love.
My Eating Plan
So even if my eating plan changes, my need to eat won’t. I may need to feast on Christ in mini-meals throughout the day, like a young mom, snatching food when and where I can. I remember leaving verses on index cards in strategic places around the house and leaving a bible or devotional book open next to any place I might sit to nurse the baby. That’s not how I do it now, but it kept me going then.
Whether you’re a busy student, full-time employee, homeschooling mom, or single woman trying to do it all, I want to encourage you to figure out an eating plan that works for you right now. Then sit and enjoy the feast. After that you’ll be able to get up and serve in the strength that he’s given (Jer. 15:16).
Rondi entered the Ivy League full of personal ambition and left under a new Master. Her passion is to help women see Jesus in the Word and be nourished by him. She has been a pastor’s wife for over thirty years, a mother of three, and now a very happy grandmother. She and her husband Mark live in San Diego.
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