When I say new, I don't mean new. No, I'm not using the latest Bethyism, I mean there's a new baby in the house. She may be number 1 or number 10, it's all the same.
I usually thrive on routine and loose schedules. Having a newborn throws my schedule out the window for the first few weeks. Actually, we have a routine, it's just a somewhat lazy and unpredictable one.
Enjoying a scheduled predawn quiet time ain't gonna happen! In the past I've had a lot of guilt about that-not conviction, but guilt. As we've added more children, I've learned to be more flexible (in everything, not just this area). Here's what I've done to not just survive spiritually, but thrive:
1. Remember there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. If you're a mom to a new baby, God's grace covers that special time when your eyes are blurry with fatigue, your hair is in the latest bed-head style and you still have yesterday's PJs on.
2. Worship the Lord in a different way-when you marvel at the tiny toes and the little coos, praise Him!
3. Meditate on scripture you already know. Pray the Lord will bring past memorized scripture to your mind or read through the Psalms for inspiration. I like to think on Psalm 139 about being fearfully and wonderfully made. Not only is the new baby evidence of that, but the entire miracle of the new life created, the marriage bond, the birth process, and the beauty of adoption are all wonderful things to think on.
4. Get a bite of the Word when you can-Nursing has always been a good time for me to read. You don't have to study Romans right now, but do read something. One mom put a small Bible in her bathroom drawer and read a verse or two each time she used the restroom. Tuck some Bibles around your home for easy access while caring for your newborn.
5. Pray as you go. Even if I'm not spending an hour in Bible reading and study, I can sure pray, pray, pray! I pray as I work throughout the day-in the shower, as I do dishes, when I lie down, when I drive. Praying for others outside our home while I feel especially tied to our home in the early days helps get my focus off me and back onto the world around me.
6. Get back into church. While we don't drag our newborn all over town, we do have a priority on church and our family of believers there. One of the first places we do venture out to is church. Sure you have to get up a bit earlier and you sometimes feel like a pack mule by the time you get the baby, her bag and all your own items into church, but it's worth it to get some spiritual food. While it may be a temptation to drop out of all church activities, remember that you need to continue to invest in your spiritual life since parenting will bring all kinds of challenges. However, cutting back on some extras may be necessary, so pray with your husband about it.
7. Get plugged in online-listen to programs from Oneplace.com either right on your computer on download onto your mp3 player. I have utilized my mp3 player when resting, on our first walks together (Audrey in the stroller), while doing housework & even while at WalMart.
8. Get the praise music flowing! In the house or car, it's a simple way to incorporate worship into your day.
Don't stay gone too long. While I know God gives grace to mothers of babes, don't get to the point where it's an excuse. For me, with this baby, the two month mark was a good time to get back into the daily habit of study. It will probably vary with each mom and baby. You'll know when you're ready, don't delay!
Also, while this is geared towards moms with babies, it surely applies to families with any major disruptions. Remember-God's grace, not condemnation!