I have a large family who is always going in different directions. For me, this means daily decisions about where to go, which conversation to dive into, and how to prioritize my health, marriage, kids, and spiritual journey.
How do I keep it all straight and make the right choices? Here’s what I do:
How to Stay Spiritually Healthy as a Busy Mom
1. I make a plan.
The night before each day, I write down the commitments I can’t get out of, the non-negotiable demands on my schedule on the left side of a notecard and on the right side, my hopes and aspirations for the day (“call X, pick up Y…) This makes me feel like I am happening to the day and not the other way around.
1. I take my pulse.
I take mine usually mid-afternoon when my workday is winding down and my “mom shift” is picking up. How am I coming into the evening? Exhausted? Energized? Motivated? Frustrated? Then I make choices for the next 5 to 15 minutes that reset my internal balance. Sometimes it means a power nap, a power walk, or a power Diet Coke. No matter what I choose, it’s a few moments I gift myself for refreshment.
2. I find time to nourish myself spiritually.
Is there time to sit with my Bible in the morning before everyone is up? Great if so, but if not, can I listen to a message or my audio Bible while I am getting ready? If not, can I play worship music in my car? If not, can I whisper prayers to God, simple words like “help” or “thank you” or “wow.” There is always time to do something and I remind myself our whole household benefits when I’ve taken this time to align my heart with God’s heart.
3. Can I move my body? (Bonus points if it’s next to a friend.)
There’s something about exercise and fresh air that makes me feel better. There’s good brain research out there about the impact of having someone’s full attention and also about the role between movement and fresh air. It’s all just so good for us, it deposits into us, and we all know as moms there are plenty of withdrawals, so let’s bank all the goodness we can.
4. I trust my partner.
Todd is an incredible father and when I rely on him to share responsibilities, it’s a gift to our house, not a failure on my part. Women put pressure on themselves to do it all, but the truth is, our teamwork is an example for our children of how modern households work.
5. I limit technology.
I love my Apple products as much as the next girl, but I find when I am relationally multi-tasking, everyone loses. So, I turn off my ringer, keep the TV off unless it’s time set aside to “watch a show,” and I resist social media scrolling unless I am biding time (somewhere in line, waiting for an appointment, letting my hair dye work…) The rushed nature of filing every moment with news/information/noise makes it hard to have a rested heart.
6. I identify my feelings.
We see David do this in Psalms (despair, joy, longing, lament, thankfulness, fear…) It’s powerful to share your heart in real-time with the Lord. I have a friend who once told me when I answered her question with “I’m fine,” that fine is the Christian F word. Pretending everything is ok when it isn’t doesn’t serve me well. Being spiritually healthy requires me to be self-aware and vulnerable enough that I can express how I feel to myself and Jesus.
This is a long journey, the culmination of thousands of days of patterns and practices. Let’s make sure ours keep us in a position of spiritual growth and health. Everyone wins.