The past year has been a pretty interesting journey for the LaValleys, and in that journey, our faith has been challenged a bit. For me, I tried to chalk it up to be busy as a mom and not "having time" to sit and pray and read and develop my relationship with Christ. But that was a cop out. When I say "I don't have time", I'm really saying, "I'm not going to prioritize that." I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with life, bitter towards anything I thought was "over spiritual" and the more I felt that conviction of needing to put Jesus back on the throne, the more I pushed it away and internalized my anger. It took a while for me to realize that I was angry with God. And let me just say--it's totally ok to be angry with God. Scripture is full of people who were real with God about their emotions and their anger and God didn't smite them down. Quite the opposite, actually. Jonah is named after one of those "got real with God" characters. The problem isn't the anger, it's failing to acknowledge it. My anger with God wasn't unwarranted or inappropriate, but by refusing to acknowledge it and deal with it, it was causing a rift in my spiritual life.
When I finally sat down and faced my frustrations and my lack of faith and had my "Seriously, God? Get it together!" moment, I decided to take some actionable steps to prioritize my relationship with Christ. Who I am as a mother and a wife suffers when my priorities are out of wack and I'm done being a frustrated victim of my life. But finding quiet time to pray and read Scripture doesn't come easy to me. And then when I scroll through my instagram feed and see photos and read captions of these women (who seem to have it together far more than I do) with their Bibles out and their cups full of probably still warm coffee and their hearts are full of inspiring truth and wisdom from Scripture, I'm just like, "HOW? HOW DO YOU DO THIS?" Even if I manage to actually sit down and open up the Bible, I'm just reading it. I'm not journaling, I'm not praying, I'm simply reading. I don't have the brain space to actually apply that Scripture to my life in that moment, much less come up with a compelling word of encouragement for the masses.
So if you ever see me post a photo on instagram that looks like this :
You can rest assured that what is actually going on is a lot of this :
And if I have an inspiring word of encouragement for the masses, it's most likely something that I wrote down weeks or months ago when I sat down to process what I'd been reading and praying about. I'm determined to be more intentional about my relationship with Christ, and that includes not comparing my walk with someone else's and on top that, not putting myself up on a pedestal to speak life and hope to moms everywhere. I feel like most of the time, when people do that, they end up just making others feel inferior in their spirituality and I'm not about that life.
I'm struggling to maintain a prayer a life while swimming through Cheerios and Ninja Turtles and round ligament pain and running a business. Sometimes I don't open the Bible for days. Ok. That's a lie. Sometimes I don't open the Bible for weeks. But I'm learning that I have to give up the idea that there will ever be a perfect time to get alone and do my thing. Sometimes, my quiet time isn't quiet at all and is smack dab in the middle of Jonah and Emery's sword fights or snack time or bath time. Maybe that's the way it should be. Maybe, once you become a mom, your spiritual life isn't "yours" anymore. Maybe we need to give up the idea that we need to be alone, or focused, or that it needs to be quiet. Our kids need to see us prioritize their faith so that they can learn to prioritize their own.
So the only encouragement I have for the masses today is this : find the sacred in the mundane. Let go of the idea that to be intentional with your faith you have to be totally engrossed, "getting something out of it", journaling, applying it to your life immediately and that you have to stand up and walk away changed every time. The Bible breathes life always. Don't wait for the perfect time to open it up, because that perfect time will never come. Be intentional with your faith by finding moments and making the most of those moments. The rest will come later.