By Contributing Writer, Marcia Wilwerding
If there is one thing most of us have in common, it is that we are too busy. Regardless of age, marital status, job description, or locale, we are simply swamped with living.
Sometimes our health suffers because of the lack of time and attention it takes to invest in good health. But, if we are to keep from being side railed, we must practice the physical disciplines of diet, exercise, and rest in order to keep moving.
Unfortunately, as Christian women, we are often too busy to keep up our spiritual health as well. Yet, time and attention must be paid to what believers through the ages have referred to as “the spiritual disciplines” if our souls are to be healthy. These could include many worthy activities, but I’d like to encourage you to at least concentrate on Bible intake, prayer, and meditation, and to add others as you are able.
Please notice I did not say Bible reading. Although that can be a very important way to take in the Bible, there may be more efficient means for the busy woman to really get a good soaking of the Scriptures. Hurriedly reading through a chapter here and there with a gazillion other things crowding out your comprehension probably isn’t going to help much.
You may actually catch much more than you realize — even subconsciously — by listening to the Bible by audio means. Turn it on while doing chores which don’t require much concentration, such as prepping vegetables, doing dishes, and folding or ironing laundry.
The same is true for sermons in digital form. Many wonderful messages from pulpits and conferences are available, many for free, over the Internet. A good one to explore is SermonAudio.com. Chapel Library even has audio sermons of Charles H. Spurgeon (read by a modern reader, of course) at no charge. Chances are you will find something in audio form on the websites of most of your favorite ministers.
Prayer is another discipline which may be utilized while doing other things. Rather than trying to slice out large chunks of time for talking with the Lord, begin the practice of sweet communion with Him all throughout the day. When sins come to mind, make confession. When you hear of a prayer need, make intercession. When prayers are answered, give thanks. You will never find God too busy, day or night, to listen.
Corporate prayer with other believers is also important. If your church has a prayer meeting before or after services, try to adjust your schedule to be there. If not, perhaps you could invite a few ladies to your home once a month to share needs and intercede for one another. At the very least, a prayer chain could be set up where only one phone call is made to carry the need on to others who will pray at that moment together.
When I speak of meditation, I am not referring to the mindless chanting of Eastern mysticism. On the contrary, true spiritual meditation involves real concentration if it is to be effective . The object of meditation must always be the Lord of Glory. It should, indeed, be a true act of worship.
What to meditate on could involve several things, including:
- Verses you wish to memorize and internalize, taking them apart word by word, phrase by phrase, and chewing on them mentally.
- Passages of the Word from which you hope to find clearer meaning.
- Memories of how God brought you through great deliverances.
- Remembering how He gave wondrous answers to prayer.
- Giving God glory for how He has worked throughout history in your own nation and in the world at large.
- Considering the glories of nature as you worship the Creator.
How to concentrate while meditating could be more of a challenge for the busy woman.
You could write memory verses on 3- by 5-inch cards and tape them to the bathroom mirror, on the cabinet next to the sink, or to the bottom of the computer monitor. Keep those verses in front of you, and steal those little moments of meditation as they come.
Even educating your children can be a means of meditation as you study with them the providences of God in history and the wonders of Creation science.
Finally, memories of past blessings could be a wonderful way to end your day as you drift off to sleep in meditation on God’s goodness.
Other Disciplines to Explore
Some spiritual disciplines you might consider adding, as you are able, could include journaling, solitude, fasting, serving others, stewardship, simplicity, submission, seeking godly counsel, and celebration. These are explored in more detail in Donald Whitney’s excellent book, Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life. Another good read is Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot.
As the seasons change in your life, there will be opportunities when you have time to add some of these other spiritual disciplines to your schedule. Yet, some could be enjoyed even during the busy days, if you are willing to sacrifice some entertainment time and other distractions.
For instance, you could go on a television or Internet fast and retreat instead to a comfy armchair to write in your journal. Or, while everyone else is watching a movie, slip away to a quiet room or out on the patio for some “we time” with the Lover of your soul.
As busy women, we do not have to waste away spiritually while waiting for a quieter time. We just have to be more creative in how we get what we need.
What are some ways you have found to exercise your soul in your busy day? Please share your ideas with us in the Comments.
 Our family favorite is the KJV read by Alexander Scourby. It can be found both new and used in several places online.
 Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991).
 Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1982).