The Connected Mom

A conversation about what helps us connect with God more deeply . . . while we're in the busy, busy life of parenting.

Show Notes

The demands of motherhood can leave us feeling exhausted and like we hardly have the emotional energy to pull out our Bibles or have a long prayer time. Running between activities, events, and work can feel overwhelming.

On this episode, we get really practical and specific about helping mamas connect with God. At times this goal can feel elusive and ethereal and so we want to have a conversation about what helps us connect with God more deeply. God wants us to know Him as a friend!

Authentic, passionate, funny and Biblical all describe, Becky Harling. A best-selling author, Becky is a popular speaker at conferences, retreats and other events. She is a best-selling author and has written eleven books including, How To Listen So Your Kids Will Talk and the author of Becky is a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team and offers parent coaching.
Becky and her husband, Steve have traveled and ministered in over 60 countries around the world. She is the parent of four grown married kids and Mimi to 14 grandchildren! You can connect with Becky at,
Facebook, Twitter @beckyharling, or Instagram @BeckyHarling

Check out Becky's Devotional: Psalms for the Anxious Heart
Psalms for the Anxious Heart
is a short, daily devotional that offers meditations of truth and peace. Each devotion includes a reading of a Psalm, a brief teaching on the passage, a salient truth to cling to, and a suggested song to guide further meditation. Enter the Psalms and find relief and hope for your anxious heart in these trying times.

Creators & Guests

Becky Harling
Author of How to Listen So Your Kids Will talk and several others. Podcast host of The Connected Mom. A dynamic speaker who is passionate about Jesus.

What is The Connected Mom?

Form a deeper connection with God, more empathic connection with other Moms, and more intentional connection with your child.

Welcome to the Connected Mom podcast, where we have real conversations helping you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. I'm your host, Becky Harling, and I have with me today my amazing co host, Sarah Wildman. Hey, Sarah.

Hi, Becky. So good to be here today. Okay, what are we talking about today?

Well, Sarah, I was thinking back on some of the episodes we've done, and one of our goals, as you know, is helping women connect more deeply with God. And so I thought today we would talk about how to connect with God, practically speaking, because I think it can sound a little ethereal to some women. Like, how do we connect and develop a friendship with God when we can't see Him? And yet Jesus tells us in John 15, I have called you, my friends, and he wants a deep friendship with us, but it can feel, uh, for lack of a better word, like, almost weird, I think. And then there's all the complications of just motherhood and how crazy life gets. The nights where you're up all night and changing diapers and keeping up with kids schedules. So I thought today we'd talk a little bit about just connecting with God in really practical terms.

M, I think practical is definitely what we need because like you said, we're facing those practical challenges of raising children, and that can really leave us exhausted and we don't have that emotional energy to pull out our Bibles, have a wonderful, beautiful prayer time that we dream of. Right. And then there's also, I know, um, your girls are in the middle of this, but it's like you're running everybody to activities and the schedule feels overwhelming, so you almost go, well, uh, when do I connect? I know that's important, but when can that really happen? So I'm hoping that we can give some good tips to our listeners today.

Yeah, I am too, because at the end of the day, Sarah, I know you feel this way too. I really want our listeners to know that we are for them. We don't want to give them a lot of rules or, um, heavy burdens to bear. We want them to feel like we're on their team. And so, as I was thinking about this, I think for Mamas, the best place to start is small. Start small. Don't have these illustrious dreams for yourself that you're going to spend 2 hours with God every day while your children are going wonky and creating chaos in your house. It's not going to happen. Right. However, I think we need to go back to understanding that prayer is really just conversation with God, and it can happen in the quiet moments. Like here's an example. I like to when I first wake up in the morning, before I even put my feet out of bed, I just pause for 1 second in my bed and just say, thank you, Lord, for your unfailing love. So I thank Him for his unfailing love in the morning. And then last thing, as I'm drifting off, uh, to sleep at night, I like to say, Lord, thank you for your faithfulness throughout the day. It's just cultivating a very simple awareness and I think that's an easy practice to begin with. You begin in the morning by saying, lord, thank you that you love me completely. No matter what happens today, no matter the wonky moments, the messes, the crazy, the chaos, no matter what happens today, your love is unfailing. And then each night, after you've tucked your kids in bed, after maybe your teenagers have gone to bed and you're lying down and you're drifting off to sleep, lord, thank you for your faithfulness, because you were there today throughout every moment. I think you can start with little things like that.

Yeah, I love that. Now, uh, practically sometimes people might be in a season where they're jolted out of bed. I'm finally in a season where it's like I have control over my alarm clock. I can get up before but what if it's the crying baby? I think you had some tips about that. Like okay, say your day starts more abruptly.

Oh, my goodness, I have to share this story. I just got one of my daughters, she happens to have, um, twins and neither sleep very well. Right. And so I got her this Christmas mug that says, all Mama wants for Christmas is a silent night. I'm like that's epic, because that is probably what she wants more than all we want. Right. And, uh, I mean, even if your kids are older, you know the nights where they come running down the hall to find you in the middle of the night. But I think, again, going back to this idea of keeping prayer really practical, like, let's say you have a crying baby in the night and you're rocking that baby, or nursing, or you have a toddler who's afraid and you're snuggling that baby. Use that as an opportunity to pray over that child as you're rocking, talk to God about your little one, thank Him for them and then begin to pray that they'll grow up to love Jesus, that they'll know the love of the Father. You can get so practical with prayer. When your kids are older and maybe you have teens who are driving and they're out driving and you're waiting for them to get back home. Use your time as prayer time, lord, just be with my son or daughter help them to drive carefully, help them to make wise choices, help them to feel the unconditional love of the Father. You know, at the end of the day, Sarah, we want our kids to know that they are categorically loved by God and that he wants a relationship with them.

Mhm, no kidding. Well, and I was thinking about there's so many illustrations of this where you can't pour what is it you can't pour out of an empty cup, for instance. And we want to model so many of those things for our kids, but it really isn't fair if we're not spending some time intentionally on our connection with God first, right? And I don't say that to guilt our listeners or myself, because some seasons it's just hard and doing all you can do. But I have been thinking about that recently, that even though that prayer right before you get out of bed, setting your perspective in the right spot at the very beginning so that you can deal with usually it's, uh, mine or the grumpy ones out of bed. It's not like, Good morning, sunshine. They are my children. They're probably going to be coffee drinkers when they get up.

Well, nothing wrong with that. Well, I think intentionality is everything, Sarah. When I was raising kids, I did try and try the operative word there, I tried to get up, uh, before my kids, um, most mornings, and grabbed that cup of coffee and just had a few moments with the Lord. When the kids got into school and they were a little bit older and less likely to wake up at five in the morning, I would try to get up before them and spend some time just really praising God and adoring him and then reading Scripture. And that really helped me. But again, on the days when it all falls apart, every mama I know has to fold laundry at some point in her life, right? I mean, the laundry is never ending, right? It doesn't matter if you have one, two, five or 15 children, there's always laundry, it seems. And so I developed a habit again, it takes intentionality. I developed a habit of when I was folding laundry, whoever's laundry I was folding, I would pray for that person. So if I was folding my husband's T shirts, I was praying for Steve. If I was folding a soccer uniform, I was praying for my son JJ. If I was folding a pretty, uh, dress that somebody had worn on Sunday, I was praying for one of the girls. So be intentional. It's easy when you're folding laundry to turn on the TV, and I get that, and there's nothing wrong with that, but use your laundry time to pray over the people in your family. Because I am convinced, Sarah, that probably the greatest gift we can give our kids, besides loving them really well, is praying for them. And so learn to develop that practice when they're young, because you'll continue it all the way up. My kids are adults now, and I still pray for all of them every day. I pray for my grandchildren every day because they need prayer, and that's a role I can play in their lives.

M, no kidding. So I'm thinking that, um, my most despised chore is actually, the dishwasher empty.


For some reason, it's just my nemesis. I'm thinking I could do that, like pulling out the kids cups and make it more of a I'm loving this, Becky. This might help me a little bit grumpy about all these dishes. But then it's like, I've also heard people go, well, thank God that you had food to put on those dishes. And it's like, oh, yeah.

You just want to use these little daily tasks as a reminder. Prayers, conversation with God, and sometimes, Sarah, you're not even asking God for anything. I like to pause throughout my day, even in this season, and just gaze out the window for like, a minute and a half and just say, lord, thank you for the beauty of today. It's gorgeous. Uh, or, Lord, thank you that you're here with me. Or maybe it's a quick prayer for wisdom. Like, Lord, maybe for me, I'm always, uh, in the process of writing the next book, right? So I might just pause for a moment and just say, lord, I need wisdom with the Wording in this chapter. And for you. Um, I think one principle I really love to teach Moms especially, is to learn to live life on two levels. So, on one level, you might be helping with homework, or you might be driving to soccer, or you might be, um, tucking a little one in at night. But at a deeper level, at a heart level, at a soul level, you're carrying on a conversation with God. So let's say you're helping with homework, you're praying, Lord, thank you for this child and give me wisdom. Maybe for you, it's like, help me to understand this new math, because we didn't do it this way. Seems like math is always changing, right? Thank God reading never changes. Reading is just the same. But when you're helping your kids with your math homework, or when you're helping them study for a test, you know, just carry on that quiet, soul conversation with God. You know, Brother Lawrence lived years ago, and he was a monk and he worked in the kitchen, and he never wanted to go more than a minute without thinking of God. And it's so astounding because I feel like a lot of us can go an entire day without giving God a thought because we're running to the next appointment, we're trying to get the kids out the door to school or whatever, but learn to live life on two levels. Carry on that quiet conversation with Jesus.

HM. I think that is really practical because you still have to do all of the things right. And those moments of pause, as beautiful as they are sometimes, it's not as realistic in a, um, Monday season. Right. So I like that it's along with what you're doing at sea level. That's really cool. I love that. Okay, so anything else about prayer? Because I think we wanted to shift to bible reading and just how important it is to be sure.

Let's talk about Bible reading because I think a lot of churches are very well meaning and we do want people to know their Bible. You know, I'm a Bible teacher, right? I love to say, open your Bibles, because some people haven't opened their Bibles all week, right. Um, but I also get how challenging motherhood can be. I mean, it's wonderful. I loved being a mom. I loved every season of it. But it's not like you can sit down and say to a two year old, okay, you go play by yourself. I'm going to study the word of God for 3 hours because that's not going to happen, right? But there are some practical ways that you can give attention to the word of God. And maybe you read one or two verses in the morning and then you leave your Bible open on your countertop. And while you're doing dishes, you look at the verse again. Or while you're passing through the kitchen to get snacks, you look at those verses again and you just think, lord, help me to remember. Or maybe you write a verse on an index card. I used to do this a lot when my kids were little because I knew I didn't have hours to spend. But I would write a verse on an index card and put it on my bathroom mirror. And while I was brushing my teeth or brushing my hair, I would be rehearsing the scripture in my mind to remind myself of what God was speaking to me. Or sticky notes. Sticky notes are wonderful things. And so you can put them by the refrigerator when you go to get a snack. Maybe you're reminding yourself, like, here's a good example. Maybe you're reading in the book of Philippians and you come across the verse, let your gentleness be evident to all. That is a great verse for us mothers, right? Because we want to be gentle with our kids. We want them to remember after they've grown up, our gentleness and how we have mothered them. And God calls us to gentleness and so we want to remember that. So you maybe write that verse, let your gentleness be evident to all. And, uh, maybe if you work from home, you put it on a sticky note on your computer. Or maybe if you're home all day, you put it near the dishwasher or near the laundry basket or in your mirror in your bathroom, but you go back over it and you just remind yourself, Lord. And you ask God, Lord, develop gentleness in me like it says in the scripture. Or maybe you leave your Bible open to one of the psalms. I used to do that a lot because I love the psalm and so I go back to them. I start my day every day after I've had my praise time, I read a psalm because I so relate to the Psalmist. So maybe you leave a psalm open so that you can go back to it throughout your day. But small and short is usually better in motherhood. Unless your kids are all in school all day, then you have a little longer and then you might want to join a Bible study so that you have accountability. Or you might want to join a small group and get into the Word together. I always did that as a mom once my kids were in school. And I think even a little before then, I was always teaching a Bible study. So that gave me some accountability, right? I would be in a Bible study with other moms and we would be going into Scripture together. And it wasn't for hours and hours and hours, but it was short, like maybe an hour together. And there was a babysitter for the kids. It gave me a little break from the kids and great spiritual food together with other mamas. So those are just a few ideas. I don't know. Do you have any ideas, Sarah? You're in the thick of this.

Well, okay, one came to mind. It's not me, but I was thinking about how you were saying to just put the Bible open on the counter, which is so great because I think I would stop and just look at it once in a while. And I like that model of it being in front of me with my kids rather than my phone because that's usually what's open on the counter and that's a tool and we have to use it. But there's this friend, um, she has her kids at my kids school and she's a, ah, pastor's wife, like me, but at a different church. And she drives this awesome Toyota Sequoia that looks like a kid might fall out at any time. She has five kids. I mean, it's just like constant she'll say she'll just be like, Sarah. Like it's just a constant circus in my house. Yes, but, um, I've noticed probably the last six months I know her car. We're in a small town and there's her purple Bible cover and it's on the dash, like in front of you, because I know she's in the car a lot. And I thought, I bet her hope is that when she has that minute in between practices or school pickup, it's right there. And obviously we have our phones, but I don't know about you, if I open my phone, I'm usually scrolling something else. Not my Bible app. Uh, but, uh, I just loved that. And it actually it's not a legalistic thing. It's not like, oh, she has her Bible on her dash. But I thought, bless her heart, like she is just trying to just make it through all the things. And her Bible is just right there on the dash and it looks a little weathered, to be honest. But I bet that's what she's doing. And I've actually thought about that. I have all these Bibles on the shelves, but why don't I just have one in my car for those moments, too, besides the counter, which often is the control center of our family's life in the house. But I just wanted to share that I, uh, thought, what a cool picture of, like, it's right there. And maybe it helps her calm down sometimes when the kids are monkeys in the back of her car.

One of my daughters has, um, twins, uh, and the year that the twins were born, and she would have to go through the car line. The car line takes forever, picking your kids up from school. But often the twins, as infants, would fall asleep in their car seats. And so I forgot about this. But she kept her Bible in the car because that's when she could often do her Bible reading time. So she would read a few verses and really kind of soak in that. And she also used a journal. So she would journal a little bit while the babies were asleep. And that worked really well for her. So that's a great suggestion, Sarah. Leave your Bible in the car because you are in the car a lot as a mama of today's kids. And you could pick it up, like, while your kids are at soccer practice, and you could just read a couple of verses. And again, you don't have to read a whole book at a time, one or two verses, and then find a way to keep it in your head throughout the rest of your day, whether you put it on a card or whether you go back and remind yourself or whatever.



And I think, again, your reminder that it doesn't have to be this in depth, uh, three hour thing. I do tend to be somebody that's an all or nothing person.

Me too.

And some of it was that I was given the gift of how, uh, I mean, I was taught how to study the Bible, really dig into the original languages and all of that. It's almost like sometimes it works against me because I think, well, if I can't do the full thing with all the Concordances and the word pictures and all of this stuff, then I'm not going to do it. I'll just wait until that perfect time. Well, in my life, the perfect time never ends up coming up. So I love that idea of what are those bite sized things? In fact, I just saw another this is one other example I think I'm going to try this month is, uh, Debbie Alsdorf, who we had, um, about mending mom wounds. She suggested and I learned this way through writing. And so you're posted, but she suggested it's a calendar for the month, and it's just a few verses each day, and you write them.

And I thought, I love that I.

Could do that I could do that. For me, I am thankfully very familiar with Scripture. And so just taking that moment to actually write it just another sweet way. And literally, I looked at it because I thought, I don't know if I can do this. And it's like two verses, but it goes throughout Scripture. And I thought, I can do that. Uh, that's really how it sinks deep in my heart is when I just pause, like, you see, taking in a few verses because nobody has time to write all of Philippians by hand, as great as it would be. Uh, I think that is such a good counsel, just those tidbits, because we can do that even if it's a short time, right? But it's helpful as Mama is to pour in somehow. It might even be like moms sitting still for a minute and thinking, where are those gaps in my life? Is it the car line? Is it first thing in the morning, you are a morning person? Or where are those natural spots that you can put Scripture in?

Because it is and then there's the very practical suggestion of, by all means, I hope you're involved in a local church, ladies. Um, get your kids involved in a church so that they're in church. They know that's their Sunday routine. They're also connecting with their friends at church. Because I think that's one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids so that they walk with Jesus when they're out on their own later in life. Plus, you need that. You need to gather with other believers to worship, to hear the word of God, to pray together. So don't neglect attending church, because that's huge. And then if you're trying to bring something into your home, another bite sized way to do this is to pick up a good devotional. Some of the devotionals that are out there give you one or two Scripture verses to focus on for the day. And, uh, you can read those verses. It might have a few thoughts about that. It might have a practical application, it might have a sample prayer. And those can be really helpful because they have Scripture written out in them. That's huge. I love, Sarah, the way you were talking about writing out Scripture, because I do think that when we take the time to write out a Scripture verse, there are several senses we're using. And so we're more likely to remember it, right? Because we're using the tactical sense, because we're writing, we're using our eyes to see. And then if you're saying it out loud, your ears are hearing it. I have a coaching client that I'm working with right now, and she goes to sleep every night, um, listening, um, to Scripture. And so that's another idea. Even if you have babies, maybe you're rocking your infant or nursing your infant to sleep. Turn on the Bible app and listen to Scripture and just let it kind of, um, remind your heart of how much God loves you and how much God loves your child. So that we are lucky in this day and age, because I feel like we have a lot of tools that have been developed. There's the Daily Verse app. There's the Bible app. There's, um, Lecture 360, which is 365, which is also great. They start with a morning devotional, and then there's an evening devotional, and each devotional doesn't take very long. I listen to them sometimes, and I really love them. They're done by our British friends overseas, and they're awesome, but they bring your attention to connecting with God. Here's what I want our mamas to hear. God wants that deep connection with you. Think of Him as a father who lovingly bends down to listen, and he wants to hear everything on your heart the good, the bad, the ugly, the frazzled, the confused, the chaotic, the peaceful. He wants to hear it all. And he wants you to hear his love messages to you. So grab your Bible, read a verse or two, or use one of the Bible apps. Listen to it as you're falling asleep at night. Or listen to Lectio Davina 365 in the morning or in the evening, grab a devotional book, maybe gather some of your friends and say, hey, let's pick a verse for every day of this month, and let's hold each other accountable and text each other the verse. That's a great way to stay connected. I know some moms who gather and pray around their kids school, so there's just like a whole host of ways that you can connect with God as a mama, and he wants to connect with you.

So good. I'm going to put you on the spot. Becky, what psalm has really been touching your heart lately as you've been reading them in the morning? Is there one? Just a practical example. I know you have so many favorites. Has there been one that's kind of risen to the top as we close?

I don't have it all memorized. Yeah, but I mean, Psalm 34 is my absolute favorite, and I just have been dwelling in this. And it says, I will extol the Lord at all times. His praise will be always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord. Let the afflicted hearing rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. And it gives me this picture of a whole group of girlfriends saying, hey, let's glorify the Lord together in our parenting journey, in our mama journey. Let's be about this thing called glorifying God in our homes, in our marriages, in our friendships, and in our churches and in our neighborhoods. Let's do it together. So I love that.

Thank you. That's great. Becky on the spot is awesome. Hey, that was good modeling. You literally reached over and your Bible was right there, so she was ready.

My Bible is always open. And so it's awesome.

Yeah, I know. I often think when I'm in Sunday school with the kids, they'll be like, oh, Miss Sarah, there she is, welling up with tears again. Because I'll just be like, guys, this is God's word. That's why we're here today at church. And just to model that to our children and to remind ourselves that God did write this for us, right. And that love letter to us, he wants that connection. And, um, there have been folks before us that didn't have that privilege of having those words. And so not to take that lightly, I think it's just a great reminder that it is there. And every effort we make is always worth it, right?

Yeah. And our kids won't love the word of God unless they see that we love the word of God. I go back to what you said, Sarah, and so that's a good reminder for us. Hey, Sarah, why don't you close us out with prayer and just pray for our mamas that they can really experience the joy of connecting with God more deeply.

M. I'd love to. Heavenly Father, it is a privilege to come to Your presence, Lord, and thank you that you invite us in, that you want that deep, deep connection with our souls, Lord. And you also understand, you understand all of the activities and pressures we have, and yet you still draw us in. Lord, I thank you so much for Becky and for the tips that she's shared. Lord, I pray that one would just stick in a mama's heart today that she could, uh, step forward with one new tool that will bring her closer to you so that she can model that for her kids, Lord. And also, I just ask that you'd help us to live on those two levels, like Becky said, where we're doing the things, Lord, and we know those are holy. We know that those are part of our purpose and our, um, function for loving these humans. But Lord, help us to always be mindful of Your presence and the power we have in praying, Lord, that we can, um, fold a little one's laundry at the same time as praying for them. Lord, what a great reminder that, um, you are in all of the details. Help Mama just not to feel alone. Help them to feel Your tangible presence in her house today as she goes about her life, Lord. Help her to remember that you love her and that that connection is always worth it. It's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Amen. Hey, friends. I hope you enjoyed today's episode of The Connected Mom podcast. And we hope that you'll share it with your friends and maybe gather a group of friends and you can talk about it together during the week. And we hope you're going to join us next week, next Thursday, for another episode of The Connected Mom. Thanks for. Joining us today.