Thoughts on Psalm One and Finding Time in God’s Word when Life Feels Busy

Around this time last year I was so blessed to go to a women’s retreat where we were talking about God’s Word and how important it is to be in His word and delighting ourselves in it. One of the things we did was take time to share ideas about how to make time to be with Jesus in the busyness of life. 

It’s funny because before now I wouldn’t have thought that being home like we are in this quarantine season would feel busier than life was before, but in some strange way it is.

I think having all of my family home all the time takes an extra effort to think about each day, extra planning for meals, and then just extra relationship time needed, we all have this weird emotional thing under the surface right now that pops up and man we just need Jesus. With all the extra that’s needed right now, more than anything I need extra of Him. We’ve all heard that phrase that it’s hard to pour out if you’re not pouring in

I absolutely love to serve others and my family but if my motivation isn’t pouring out from love it’s only a matter of time before there’s going to be some kind of interesting problem starting with me about to explode in my house. And if any of you have tried to watch a virtual church service at home right now with little ones around you know it’s not exactly the same as when we get to be there in person. For one thing, most of the time when you’re there in person no one normally asks you for a snack during the study haha. Anyway, I’m just saying, I need extra effort and creativity to make sure I’m getting that time with Jesus right now. 

One of my favorite verses talking about being in the Word is the first Psalm. 

“Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper. “

Psalm 1: Vs 1-3

I love how the psalmist mentions that the blessed man (or woman 😉 ) has their delight in the Word. For me, thinking about things I delight in, helps me to get an idea of how I can get more time in the Word. So, for example, I really like chocolate. But I’m not gonna just eat a bunch of chocolate, it makes me feel kind of sick on an empty stomach plus I’ll probably give myself some kind of guilt trip because I should be eating healthier. So, I would probably tell myself–I’m gonna eat a salad first. I’m sorry that you have to hear my silly mind but hey, the point is because I delight in the chocolate, I make plans for it. In the same way, because I delight in God’s word, I should make plans for how I can spend that time in it. 

So, we’ve had a few weeks of this quarantine now, and I’m kind of getting an idea of how life is looking different in this season for our family. Where before it was easier for me to get up earlier and make sure I had the time, lately we’ve been up later because my kids are up later, and then my husband and I want to stay up even later so we can hang. And I know I could technically still wake up early but just being real– I’m grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep. So, taking all that into consideration I have to make a plan.

So, to delight myself in God’s word, I want to plan to get as much time in it as I can. I can’t bank on just “happening upon it”.  I’ve got to plan for it because it is so important.

Something that really helps me is to see that plan as a date. If you and I had planned to go to coffee at nine, I’m going to arrange my plans to make sure I’m there and not cancel for just any little reason. The same should be even more true with spending time with Jesus. He is a real Person, and the most important Person in my life, why do I so easily postpone that time with Him?

So, right now, I still plan for that time with Jesus in the morning, but it does happen a little bit later and isn’t always the quietest. If I’m not able to read before the kiddos are up, something we’ve been doing is letting them have their devotional time too watching “What’s in the Bible” in the morning and I can sit with them while they watch and spend my time with Jesus at the same time. 

But then, I also need the extra. 

Because I’m delighting in His word, like the chocolate that I may try to eat without my kids catching me because I don’t want to share (haha), I also want to sneak away when I can to read, or listen to it when I can’t be reading like listening to a podcast, or meditate on it while I’m doing other things.

Something my friend recommended is that she writes down a verse on a index card that stood out in her reading and  keeps that verse on her throughout out the day so that she can look at it and meditate on it. Another friend does a similar thing but puts the verse up in the kitchen so when she’s cooking she can read it. I like to listen to Bible studies when I’m doing housework and taking extra time reading when my baby is napping. Another friend of mine who doesn’t have little ones yet plans “extra indulgence days” where she clears her schedule from everything and goes to a secluded place to spend extra extra time in the Word, which sounds amazing.

Going back to Psalm 1,if we’re really delighting in God’s word, there’s such a beautiful picture of what’s going to take place in our lives.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3

The psalmist compares us who delight in God’s Word to a tree, and there are some special things about us as this tree. 

First, we are planted by water, so we’re healthy, we’ve got a source of life coming to us. We’re stable, not needy, because we’ve already got what we need. I don’t know about you.. but I can be so needy :/. But the good news is all of my needs really can be satisfied in Jesus.

I think of the story of the Samaritan woman in the Bible…

She came to draw water in the heat of the day and Jesus asks her for water and she is surprised that He would be asking her. He tells her that if she knew who He was, she would ask Him for water and He would give her living water.

She at first looks at the physical, and is like, “How are you gonna give me water ? The well is deep and you don’t have a bucket.”

Sometimes I can relate, if I’m honest, looking just at the physical…

How can reading the word right now help me ? How is it going to get me any further in solving this problem I’m in? But the problem is I’m forgetting the spiritual… the word is Jesus, He is alive, He is my salvation not just from death, but today, in my circumstances He is able to redeem and bring life. 

In John 4:14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

She asks Him for it and in their conversation He reveals much about her, and  leaving their encounter she runs into the city proclaiming Him as the Messiah and how He told her everything about herself.

We know The Word is Jesus– and we can have the same encounter with Him when we’re in it. 

Another thing we see about this tree is that it brings forth fruit in its season and that it’s leaf doesn’t wither. I think part of that fruit is the ability to really serve and love the people around us. Or whatever the fruit is God desires to bring forth in the right season. But, in the hard times, the bad weather, the trial, the difficulty, we’re still ok. Walking through this pandemic, we’re still ok, better than that even– our leaves can remain green.  And wow how your green leaf in the hard time ministers to others, they see it and they wonder what’s different.  And we know that it’s our God that is with us and sustains us.

The last thing the psalmist points out about this tree is whatever it does– prospers. Not a material prosperity, a purposeful prosperity. A prosperity where whatever’s going on is going to work out for the good. The Romans 8:28 kind of prosperity And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” 

It says not that some things, but all things will work together for those who love God. 

This is my prayer for us, that in the midst of this season we could be beautiful, healthy green trees with leaves even in a drought, satisfied and content in Jesus and able to produce the good things that God is leading us to do, ministering in our homes and where He leads and pointing others to the only One that can satisfy them too.

Here’s some ideas to get extra time in God’s Word and please comment and let me know if you have an idea I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear it! 

  • Set a “date” and keep it (like when you make plans with someone important to you) and guard this time
  • Let others in your home know about your date and ask them to please respect your time with the Lord (kids learn from this too and may want to have their own time with Jesus) 
  • Listen and sing a worship song before reading to help get your focus on the Lord
  • Get an accountability partner you check in with daily or regularly (“Lets text every morning at 9 and remind each other to get in the Word!”)
  • Pick a private not too comfortable place if you struggle with snoozing while reading 
  • Minimize distractions.Put your phone away or on airplane mode. You can set yourself up for success by keeping all of your devotional materials, pens, notebooks, Bible in one place.. Keep scrap papers to write out “to do’s” that pop up while you are trying to study. 
  • Keep Bibles/Devotionals open around the house (good for busy moms! It’s not clutter is spiritual survival 😀 )
  • Throughout the day listen to podcasts/devotions (can listen while driving, going on walks, doing dishes, laundry, getting ready for the day) 
  • Write scripture that jumps out to you on index cards and keep with you to work on memorizing throughout the day, or post them around the house.

With Love,