I Have Zero Time: Strategies for Engaging the Bible When You Don’t Even get to go to the Bathroom by Yourself


Let’s talk about the miraculous invention of 3 × 5 cards.

Beth Moore muses that God created them on the eighth day. And Anne Lamott carries one in her back pocket at all times to capture the fleeting thoughts that she wants to write into a book, just in case she doesn’t have a notebook on her person. Which is kind of the very definition of having no time: Can someone make something easier, just in case I can’t carry one more thing?

Here’s where we can fall in love with the Bible in our actual lives.

One verse at a time, on those blessed cards. (Please read blessed with two syllables here.


It’s important to me that you hear it the way I’m saying it, and these cards are a two-syllable blessing.) 

In rare moments I was alone—and I do mean rare, and I don’t really mean alone—I would write a meaningful verse down on a card and slide it into my pocket.

Now, let’s talk about the definition of “meaningful verse.”

Let’s agree that all the words of the Bible are holy and good, all valuable and important, all worthy of their own 3 × 5 cards. But they don’t all make equal sense, and they’re not all easy to wrap your mind around when you have seventeen seconds to yourself before somebody opens the bathroom door because he wants to watch you go potty. Pick some good ones, easy and basic truths, that you can read and absorb on the fly.

Yes, you can dive into the chapter and book of each verse, and yes, it’s good and valuable to know the larger context of God’s words—but also, you can worship the Lord at a stoplight by reading this card that’s in your cupholder. When I discovered I could read these words in fleeting moments, they began to absorb into my spirit.

I took great heart in the verses in the book of Psalms where the psalmist reminded me that the Lord looks after those who look after young.

God understands the heart—and the demands—of parents in the trenches. And he provides nuggets of daily bread in the form of wisdom in the moment, stoplights to catch your breath, and goldfish crackers to keep the hunger contained. There is comfort and courage for the tired parents who deeply and desperately love their little ones and simultaneously feel lost beneath the tasks of parenting. It is okay to feel like you’re drowning in a life you created.

When you can’t carry the whole Bible with you, when you can’t find even one whole minute, you can cut out for yourself a small bite of the whole pie. You can give yourself a nugget of truth that helps lift your eyes above the mess—literally and figuratively. When we stay grounded in the moments that want to sweep us away, God rescues us from putting our identity in something as fickle as good parenting. Even just a few moments with truth can help us orient our perspective to who we are in him.


this book is for you

tricia willifordTricia Lott Williford writes, blogs, co-hosts the “Let’s Talk Soon” podcast with her brother Rob, and speaks about faith in the face of loss and hope when the miracle isn’t yours. With raw transparency, honest grief, laughable joy, and a captivating voice, she shares the hard pieces of her story—and the redemption God offers in the midst of it. Tricia’s latest book, This Book is for You, releases from NavPress in August. 

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