Throughout the book of Psalms we find the Psalmists meditating on the Scriptures. So as we continue studying the Psalms for this summer, today we are going to talk about how we can meditate on the Scriptures throughout our days.
*And just to be clear from the start, when I use the word meditate, I am not describing the eastern religions/yoga meditation where you empty your mind of everything in an attempt to reach a higher spiritual level. When I use the word “meditate” I mean to fill your mind with Scripture or biblical teaching and to think about it.
We find in the very first Psalm that we, as believers, are supposed to meditate in God’s laws day and night. And later in Psalm 119, we are bombarded with reason after reason to know God’s Word. Like verse 9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to your law.” Or verse 18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” Or verse 33, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.” Or verse 92, “If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” And that’s just the first half of Psalm 119!
So, we know that we need to meditate on the Scriptures and that God has given them to us to help us and guide us. But how do we do that as busy moms and homemakers?
We do so much during the day that I’ve found that I have to work hard to include Bible reading and meditating on God’s Word on a daily basis. And, let me just say, it is important and very helpful to have a dedicated time to read your Bible every day and study. But for today I want to talk about how we should also meditate on the Word in the margins of our day. There are 5 ways that I am learning to meditate in the margins of my day and I hope you can learn with me too.
Find the Margins of Your Day
Before we get to the 5 ways to meditate, we need to first find the margins in our days! Here’s how to do that.
Many of our jobs as moms are things that we can do without having to really think about it. Washing dishes, folding clothes, sweeping the floor. These tasks in our day can be called mindless because we can still get them done well without too much thought.
And, it’s these mindless tasks that present us with good margins in our days to meditate on the Scriptures because you have the time to think while doing them.
I want to make that distinction because there are definitely some tasks in your day that probably would not suit meditating on the Word throughout them. For example, a task we have to do every day is eat food. But if you have children, then having your earbuds in while eating meals with them so that you can meditate on God’s Word is not ideal. That’s the prime time to talk with your kids!
So, find the margins of your day whether it’s your morning run or your late-night dishwashing session. Think about any mindless task that you do throughout the week, that’s your margin. And then start meditating on Scripture in those areas.
If you’re like me, it may help to simply write down the times that you have to meditate and listen to something while you work. Or once we’ve talked about the 5 different ways, assign one particular method to a particular margin of your day so that you always do it during the same chore.
But once you’ve found the margins that can work for you, try out these 5 ways to meditate in those margins of your day.
5 Ways to Meditate in the Margins of Motherhood
Listening to the Bible
The first way to meditate in the margins is to listen to the Scriptures themselves.
While I don’t think that listening to the Bible could ever replace actually reading a physical Bible in your hands, it is still a great way to meditate on God’s Word.
There are many apps for your phone that will play the Scriptures for you. If you have an Echo or Echo Dot, you can even ask them to play it for you!
I personally like and use the Bible.Is app, it’s free and they have great recordings in many different translations (ESV, NASB, NKJV, etc.). The app is put out by a ministry that delivers audio Bibles to third world countries so that people can hear the Word in their own language when they may not be able to read it. I like the recordings that are dramatized because they help me be more focused on what is happening in the Scriptures. You’ll hear the crackle of the fire when Peter denies Jesus and the wind and waves when Jesus calms the storm. Those little sounds help me to listen better.
If you’ve found an app or service you like to listen to the Scripture on, consider listening to it without your earbuds. If your kids are around working with you during the day, this can be a good way to get them listening to Scripture as well and they can start meditating with you.
Listening to Biblical Podcasts
The second way to meditate in the margins is to listen to biblical podcasts. I know you know how to do this because you are listening to my podcast! But there are so many other good podcasts out there to listen to.
It’s been very helpful to me to find a few that are theologically sound and subscribe to them in my podcast app. This way, even if I haven’t listened in a while I can always go to my app and find one to listen to quickly. They are ready for that late-night chore or the walk in the morning.
I really enjoy John Piper’s podcast, “Ask Pastor John,” and the Elisabeth Elliot podcast, it’s her talks put into podcast form.
I would also recommend listening to podcasts on double speed. There’s usually a setting in your app for this. It may sound funny at first, but there have been studies that show that listening on double speed actually helps you take everything in better. Your brain moves faster than other people’s mouths. So give that a try and see what you take in.
Listening to Sermons and Audio Books
The third way to meditate in the margins is to listen to sermons and audio books.
I put these two in the same category because they are both longer to listen to. There are many pastors who put out their sermons in podcast form and that is a great way to learn more about the Bible. I like to listen to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life and the Grace Pulpit podcast which is from my old church.
And, there are many audio books that are about the Bible and theology. Be sure to check with your local library about borrowing audio books online to listen to, I’ve found a lot of good books this way and it’s free. The last book I listened to was a biography of John Knox, it was very encouraging!
Learn to Take Screenshots
One thing I will say about these first three methods is that you do have to learn to pay attention to what you are listening to. I am not an auditory learner, so I sometimes have a hard time with this. One thing that always helps me is to take a screenshot on my phone of where I heard a good quote or something that was really encouraging so that I can go back later and find it. This is especially helpful with audio books because you are taking in a lot at one time and all audibly.
(And if Audio books are really not your thing, then finding a small book to stick in your backpack as you go to the park or to appointments is a great way to get some reading in. The Puritan Paperback series is an excellent size to carry around and the topics are very good and thought-provoking as well. So check that out if you’d like.)
Listening to Music
The 4th way to meditate in the margins may be kind of obvious, but it’s listening to music.
I feel like most of you do this already, but listening to music can be really encouraging as you are working around the house. Especially if the music is theologically sound, you can learn a lot and be reminded of a lot while you are getting things done.
I would recommend listening to older hymns, but I also like Sovereign Grace Music and City Alight for theologically sound songs.
Savor the Silence
Now the 5th way to meditate in the margins of your day is by just being silent.
There are some times during the day where you should just be quiet. As I’ve said we are so used to bustling around, getting things done, talking to our kids, and pushing, pushing, pushing. But we need to also just be quiet some too.
Thinking through what you are learning is a valuable use of your time. And praying through it in the silence will only solidify what the Lord is teaching you through His Word.
So be sure to take some time to savor the silence in your day. Maybe it’s right before bed as you are picking up or in the morning when no one else is awake. Use those quiet moments to be quiet yourself and think about the Lord and pray to Him.
This last one is possibly the hardest one to do, but I think it is the most helpful.
We are constantly told to fill up every little space in our day with something new or something to learn. I mean, I just told you 4 other ways to do just that. But we have to also leave room to think for ourselves and to pray. Having a time where you can just be quiet and enjoy the quiet is also a helpful way to meditate in the margins because it allows you to think.
In a way, all the studying and learning you do in the other times, or even in your Bible reading time, can be wasted if you are not actually taking it in and thinking about it. So use some margin of your day to just be still and know that God is God and to think about Him.
Well, I hope that these practical suggestions are encouraging to you and that you can find some margins in your day to meditate on God and His Word. Let me know which way you are going to try to meditate in your margins in a comment!