I am so excited to introduce you to Mariel Davenport for this next post on spiritual practices for moms! Mariel has a powerful story of being completely transformed by the Word of God, and she is passionate about sharing that transformation with others. Her encouragement and practical insight for staying connected to the Word of God is gold in this post. I hope you'll soak in her wisdom and find creative ways to write scripture on your heart.
As an atheist, I entered motherhood armed with the desire to keep my new son out of church and free from religious ties, as I saw them. My husband had been raised in church but lacked a personal relationship with the Lord, so his seeming hypocrisy only fueled my desire.
A precious co-worker saw my walls of doubt and undaunted offered me a bible. She challenged me to read it and consider what it says. I took her up on her invitation with the knowledge that I was just gonna arm myself better when I knew what it said because then I would find all the holes in it and be able to prove my husband wrong.
My atheism could not stand up against the power of the Living Word of God. His Word dismantled all I had carefully built with my doubts and shined a light on my heart in a way nothing had ever done before.
By the time I got to the end of Genesis and was peering into the coffin of Joseph, my eyes had been unveiled and I recognized:
I am a sinner in need of a Savior, God is real, God sent Jesus for me.
A dear friend at the time shared with me about how I could surrender to Jesus and continue to know Him through His Word.
Since that season in late fall of 2000, I have never doubted the power of God’s Word. It most certainly is a double-edged sword and Jesus most certainly is the Word made flesh. I have been in and out of dry seasons and painful trials, but the Word sent forth to heal me has always been my anchor.
As my firstborn began the potty-training process, I found myself especially tired and needing extra naps. I wasn’t sure if it was the potty training or just toddlerhood that was exhausting me, until the day the second little line appeared on that stick and I realized I was pregnant again.
I was overjoyed for my son to have a little buddy, but I knew how busy that first year had been and I didn’t want to flounder in my new found faith. I have been walking with Jesus, participating in Bible studies and spending every nap time with my face in the Bible. I had surrendered my heart to the Lord when my firstborn was 4 months old and my zeal drove me continually back to the Lord in those early days, despite the sleeplessness and weariness of new motherhood.
How was I going to cling to this Anchor in the newborn stage a second time?
I knew I had to be intentional.
So no sooner had I shared the good news with my husband and then with our families, that I set to preparing. I prepared not only a nursery and a new space for our soon coming second son, but I prepared for my spiritual walk with Jesus. Every predictable nap time, as my 2 year old slept, I spent time with the Lord.
As verses and passages and concepts stood out to me I would write them in an index card spiral.
Jotting down one or two verses per card, I was storing up the spiritual grain of the season for the famine of spiritual grain that I knew was coming. It proved to be a great blessing!
When our second son joined the party, I was prepared! The nursery was ready in light blue, the crib was handed down from Big Brother was set up and my index card spiral was propped on the table next to the rocker where I would nurse my new baby.
The early morning hours of nursing became holy ground.
I would bundle up my little one, cuddle him towards me in the rocker and while he was nourished, so was I. That little rocker became the lap of God for me as I would read one index card and pray it back to the Lord word by word, meditating on it, asking Him about it, praying it over my sons, my man and myself.
I was being nourished with the stored-up grain and praise Him constantly for the leading to have prepared in such a way.
God’s word promises that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). I knew the only way to keep growing in my faith was by the Word that had saved my soul. Now that Word was saving my mind and growing my faith as I spent countless nursing sessions meditating on the verses I had stored up.
In that first year of juggling a toddler and a newborn and nurturing our new family of four, my Bible spent more time closed than I wanted it to. But I spent nearly every day, sometimes a few times a day, with my Jesus and in His Word because of the wealth of stored of grain in a precious little index card spiral.
The power is in the Word of God, even in small stolen moments.
I have a free resource to help you get into the Word in a simple way. Tend: How to Hear the Gardener’s Voice can help you break down even 1 verse so you can dig deeper in the dry seasons of life and still bear much fruit for His glory.
I also want to offer you two new resources for a simple walk through with the Savior. 30 Days to Communing with God: Reading, Unpacking, and Practicing Biblical Prayer, and ebook designed for short sessions of time spent learning prayers we find in Scripture and learning to apply them to our own prayer life. Also, a year long Bible reading journal that can be your accountability and encouragement in the journey of reading through the Bible chronologically, it’s called Knowing God Through the Word, A Scripture Journal.
Any time spent in the Word is a balm to our weary soul, I am praying you seek it out and find the grace and knowledge you desire to be a fruit bearing mama right there in Jesus.
About our guest author:
The Lord first captured Mariel Davenport’s heart through His written Word. As a former atheist saved by reading the Bible, she has spent over twenty years studying and teaching God’s Word. She inspires women to know the Word for themselves and tend their life by it, as tending a garden, little by little. Her blog is where she candidly shares the joys and struggles of applying the Word through simple practices. She can be found online at www.marieldavenport.com and on her Instagram as well.
Having written for online and print magazines like Proverbs 31, Journezine and CBN.com, she has reached ladies of all ages and denominations with the joy of knowing God through His Word. She is a homeschool mama turned writer who is passionate about her salsa garden and time on the porch with her husband of over twenty years. They make their home on the coast of North Carolina with their two nearly launched sons and favorite mutt, Scout.