When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading — even as a busy mom — with zero guilt. Please welcome our guest blogger for today, Rachel Schmoyer from Read the Hard Parts, as she shares with us this life-changing truth from Leviticus 23.

There are a lot of opportunities to feel like a failure as a mom of littles. For me, one of the areas I struggled was with the idea that a truly godly woman wakes up before her kids to read her Bible and pray before the day begins. Try as I might, I just couldn’t do it. After my first child was born, all my time was hijacked. From the time I opened my eyes in the morning to the time I closed them at night (and every two hours in between), my time was not my own. In the next four years, babies number 2, 3, and 4 came along. With each baby, the ideal of an early morning quiet time became all the more unattainable.

It’s not that I didn’t read my Bible at all. I read when I could here and there. I kept a devotional in the bathroom and listened to preachers on the radio, but it just wasn’t the same as digging into the Bible myself. I was sure that the truly godly moms had no trouble getting up at the crack of dawn to sip coffee and read scripture.

Note from Scattered Woman: I was able to sit down and chat with Rachel about how she came to discover this firstfruits concept — and banish the “early morning Bible time” guilt trip for good! Check it out here and be encouraged!

When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading -- even as a busy mom -- with zero guilt!

Unreasonable Expectations and a Reality Check

Where did I get the unrealistic expectation that all Bible reading must take place first thing in the morning?

The church.

When I was a teenager, I overheard an older woman from church saying, “reading your Bible any other time of day than first thing in the morning was like getting your marching orders after the battle is over.” Since this woman said it, I figured it must be true. I didn’t talk about the comment with anyone else, but it sure stuck with me.

The Proverbs 31 woman.

Although I now have a better understanding about the wife of wisdom in Proverbs 31, when I was a mom of young children, I thought she was the picture of godliness that presented the to-do list to women today. In Proverbs 31, the woman is described as staying up late and getting up early, so she is super productive. I felt like a failure that I couldn’t stay up late and get up early without crashing in the middle of the day and being on edge the rest of it.

Life gives us plenty of ways to feel like a failure as a mom. Finding time for daily Bible reading doesn't have to be one of them! Click To Tweet

Christian media.

I listened to Christian radio and read Christian books and Christian magazines. The idea of an early morning quiet time pervaded them all. Moms today have it worse with social media. Instagram and Facebook did not exist when I started having my children, but today my Instagram feed especially gives me the impression that it’s not a real Bible time unless it includes a cup of coffee and a view of the sunrise.

It’s not that reading your Bible first thing in the morning is a bad idea. It’s just that there is no chapter and verse commanding: “thou must read your Bible first thing in the morning.” Yet that was how I was living. All these unrealistic expectations created a heavy weight on my shoulders that took the joy out of the time that I did have for Bible reading with the nagging thought that it wasn’t good enough.

I didn’t feel the weight lift off of me until my friend told me about the concept of Bible reading as firstfruits.

When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading -- even as a busy mom -- with zero guilt!

The Feast of Firstfruits

In Leviticus, God gives Moses instructions on how He wants His people to live. Part of the Israelites life were to commemorate feasts or holidays to remember who God is and to celebrate what He has done. One of these feasts was in the springtime and it was called the Feast of Firstfruits. Leviticus 23:9-14 says:

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Basically, when the harvest was ready to pick, in this case, the grain harvest, God’s people were not to eat any of it until they had presented some to the Lord. God gets the first share, the first bite of what He has given to His people.

We understand this concept when it comes to tithing. Many of us are familiar with giving ten percent of our income to the Lord before we use the rest of it for our needs and wants. Firstfruits is the same idea, but with grain.

A Mom’s Feast of Firstfruits

We are not following the priest system set up in the Old Testament, but we can use the concept of firstfruits for finding time to acknowledge the Lord. Give the first part of any available time in your day to the Lord in Bible reading and prayer.

When I had little ones, the first time for me was naptime. (The older kids had a rest time during the little one’s naptime to give everyone a break from each other.) During that time I would get dishes and laundry done, make phone calls, wash the kitchen floor, or whatever other housework that needed to be done that was hard to do when the kids were awake.

After I heard about firstfruits, I gave the first portion of the kid’s naptime for Bible reading and prayer. Some days that meant 45 minutes but other days, it meant 5 minutes.

What time of day is your firstfruit? Are you giving it to the Lord first before doing other things? Click To Tweet

It was hard to do at first because of the to-do list rattling in my head, but over time I got in the habit and it became a blessed time. I still have specific memories of what I read in the Bible during those firstfruit times that really shaped me, changed me, or blessed me. Not every day, but many days, the Lord multiplied my time during naptime so that I got both Bible reading and chores done.

Even if you are not a mom with littles, the same concept applies. What time of day is your firstfruit? Are you giving it to the Lord first before doing other things? Now that my kids are older, first thing in the morning is my firstfruit time most days. Other days the kids are up before me asking me to sign permission slips they forgot about or just wanting to talk before school. On those days, my firstfruit time is when everyone gets on the bus and is off to school and work. It may be that your firstfruit time doesn’t come until the evening when you are ready to plop on the couch and watch a show or when you are ready for bed. That’s okay. If that’s your firstfruit time, use it first to spend time with the Lord.

The key to making a firstfruit time happen is to plan for it.

When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading -- even as a busy mom -- with zero guilt!

How to Plan for Your Firstfruit Bible Time

Know what you are going to read.

If you have a plan for Bible reading, you won’t waste time and energy figuring out what to read. You will look forward to the firstfruit time and working your plan. If you need a plan, Pinterest has a ton of options ranging from reading big sections each day to reading just one verse a day and meditating on it. It doesn’t matter what the plan is, but make sure you have one.

Pray before you read.

Starting your firstfruit time off with prayer focuses your mind on God the Father and makes you aware of the Holy Spirit’s power working in you as you pray and read. You can use Scripture as a prayer guide. Psalm 119: 18 says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:36 says. “Incline my heart to your testimonies.”

Leave your phone in another room.

Especially if it is going to be a temptation for you. I’ll just scroll through for a minute is guaranteed to eat up at least 20 minutes of your firstfruit time. I know there are a lot of available Bible reading and devotional apps out there like the YouVersion and First 5. These can be convenient Bible reading plans, but if you decide to use an app-based plan, you have to be very focused so as not to be distracted by all the other apps on your device.

Skip the Instagram-worthy setting.

You don’t need coffee. You don’t need a comfy chair. Most of the time I read my Bible while sitting or lying in bed. Sometimes I’ll sit at the dining room table or sit on the couch. One spot is not really better than another. Don’t get caught up in the picture of it. Just do it.

Do you have a regular time when you read the Bible and pray? Or is it a struggle for you? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Schmoyer of Read the Hard Parts

Rachel Schmoyer is a writer at Read the Hard Parts. Her goal is to encourage and equip Christians to find simple truths in the complex parts of Scripture. A pastor’s wife and a mom of four school-aged kids, she also enjoys touring historical sites and reading biographies, especially of the First Ladies of the United States. You can connect with Rachel on Twitter @schmoyer_rachel, Facebook @Read the Hard Parts, and Instagram @schmoyer_rachel.







  • I so agree! It is definalty possible to make quiet time before kids get up or during quiet time in the middle of the day. I have a friend with six kids and she gets up an hour before them and every time she does it her day feels more at peace because she started if off right.

    • It’s amazing when women can do that. I know several mamas who get up before their kiddos to do their quiet time, but — like Rachel said — I’ve always felt like a failure that I just couldn’t do it! Reading Rachel’s discoveries with the concept of firstfruits has been SO ENCOURAGING for me! ❤️

    • Wow! That’s great that she is able to do that. I think it depends a lot on the kids and the family’s style, too. I can do that now that my kids are older, but I certainly couldn’t have done that when they were younger. None of them were great sleepers and I also nursed them for a long time. Everyone always started out the night in their own bed, but just about every day of the six years in a row that I spent nursing or pregnant (or both), we woke up in the morning with multiple kids in our bed. If I were to get out of the bed, everyone would get up and there would be no quiet time there for me. But I find that no matter what time of day I get to read my Bible and spend time in prayer, I feel God’s peace and presence permeate my life.

  • Great post! Love the practical encouragement you give. Agree wholeheartedly. Pick whatever time works best but definitely pick something. Best thing I ever did as a young mom.

  • Ailie says:

    I love this! I’ve never really been successful with morning time with God. My firstfruits generally tend to be at night just before bed. I find these times set my heart and mind on a good note before I sleep and when I wake up I awake the right side of the world LOL! I love the premise of the firstfruits. Its something God has been teaching me over the years and more now that my hubby and I share different beliefs systems. This difference in spiritual views has applied to money so God has used firstfruits to help me be honoring to him and my hubby in all areas of life.

    Great post. Thanks

  • says:

    Finding time to read the Bible at the time of the firstfruits will now be much easier for me, grateful for the tips.