If you’re anything like me, at some point in your life you’ve let quiet time with God go by the wayside. Maybe your mornings turned into 5 extra minutes snuggled in bed. Or maybe your mornings turned into your toddler waking up 15 minutes earlier everyday and dealing with that mess.
When your quiet time drifts away you probably start to feel … guilt.
It’s hard to figure out how to get started again or even what that would look like. Then let’s remember those college years. Those mornings that were filled with steaming hot cups of coffee and curling up on the couch listening to praise music. Oh the peace. Oh the time.
Somehow you keep comparing your now quiet time to your absolute best months and years of quiet time and you’re not measuring up.
So your quiet time starts to look like, “next week” or “when I find the right devotional”. You allow stress and hurry to take over your life, you allow the noise to keep you at bay from time where you can truly fill up.
Well, don’t sweat it and for sure don’t let that guilt settle in. We’re going to take a look at some practical and beautiful ways to let quiet time seep back into your life and fill you up.
This week and for the next 3 weeks we’re going to be looking at 4 of the areas I struggle in and have found myself really working on over the past few years. I wanted to share what I’ve learned in hopes to bring you along with me on the journey.
Each thing I’ll talk about has brought me closer to learning about an Unhurried Life. They have also been things I have to continually remind myself, I’m a work in progress!
WHAT IS QUIET TIME?
What is quiet time? There is not one right answer for this question. Quiet time with God can be a lot of different things and I think it’s important to remember that as you flow through different stages of life.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to spend a specific amount of time in the word, then time praying. I read books or saw on other women’s Instagrams their examples of quiet time in the morning and began to feel like I was not sufficiently doing all I should.
That feeling of not measuring up, is not a good feeling.
Quiet time is time where you let your heart speak above your brain.
You can have quiet time as you load the dishwasher. You can let your heart speak out as you fold laundry with Hillsong playing in the background. But most importantly you can allow for moments of joy to drip out of your heart while you’re doing other things.
Not always, but if you’re in a season where you need to have moments of quiet time while you drive to preschool or as you put away the groceries… that is OK!
WHY IS QUIET TIME IMPORTANT?
Any moment these days where you can sit and be still is going to nourish your soul. Times when you can talk about you, and give yourself time for processing or times where you can reflect on what happening around you brings in awareness.
So, yes, I did just say you can be doing other things while you’re working on quiet time but when you find a moment to rest, take it.
I’ve often time spoken on the subject of rest. I love working in the analogy of the first ever marathon. A soldier, Pheidippides, ran from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. According to the legend, he ran approximately 25 miles to announce the defeat of the Persians to the Athenians who were waiting to hear what they should do in the war.
Later we decide to run 26.2 miles with bands, water stations, training programs and so much more production.
Now the part that you may not know is that when Pheidippides arrived and delivered his message he died. He was so completely exhausted, warn out and unrested, his body shut down and that was the end of him.
What I want you to hear from this story is first, without rest, we can not sustain running in a race. And second, how we run marathons today is that we plan for them. We add in rest and water and programs and training buddies.
Why is quiet time important? It’s a planned moment of rest in the middle of our life race. We can’t sustain a pace of hurry and go without moments to be still.
HOW CAN I HAVE QUIET TIME WITH GOD?
I know I’ve said it before but quiet time can and should look different for all of us. My stage, your stage, my season, your season it’s all different. First, make sure you have some sort of an established routine, nothing fancy or robust but a rhythm you go through in your morning, daytime and evening.
As you notice your rhythm you can start to see where moments of quiet time with God are missing. You can also see how much freedom you have and decide what your quiet time will look like at different parts of the day.
Sometimes quiet time is picking one word a day to dwell on. My friend Wynne from the Becoming Bold Series likes to pick one word or 2 words to live by for the whole year. She turns her heart back to that word and focuses there.
Remember quiet time does not have to look like what it looks like for me or for you in an earlier stage of life.
For example, try working your quiet time into routines you’re already doing. Waiting for your coffee to brew, use that time to thank God for your life. You’re already making coffee so why not use that as a trigger for you to have a moment of quiet time with God?
Remember this. Quiet time is not done on social. If you find yourself scrolling mindlessly, change that moment into a moment to sit still with your eyes closed and ask God to give you your heart’s desires instead of comparing with others.
QUIET TIME EXAMPLES (WITH KIDS)
Let’s talk about some quiet time examples. Of course, our seasons and stages are all different and ever changing. When you have kids around (as I do), quiet time with God looks different than when I had 1 child or no children.
- Read 1 passage from Psalms and pray before and after you read.
- Check out the Becoming a woman Whose … Series by Cynthia Heald and break it up into shorter chunks. I’ve always enjoyed these books and sometimes go back and redo them. Becoming a Woman of Simplicity is where I started and I love love love that one!
- Write the Word: Cultivate Gratitude – this is a super short and easy book to work through. It gives you 3 things to work on when you have a second.
- Today is:___
- I’m grateful for:_____
- Scripture to read, write and reflect on
- Take a walk without your phone and just be thankful for what you see and what you have
Now if you’re looking to go a little more in depth there are loads of studies and ideas out there. Most of these quiet time moments are not going to be while kids are around.
- Look into BCS or CBS in your area – these classes and studies provide great ways to have time and learning with God.
- Work through a Bible study with your husband or zoom with a good girlfriend.
QUIET TIME FOR KIDS
My mom used to do her quiet time in the early morning or while we were at school. Makes sense right, she could actually have quiet time when the 4 of us were out of the house or sleeping. But I never really saw what it could look like to spend time with the Lord in moments of quiet.
Don’t put it past your kids to give them a chance to have quiet time with God with you. Show them what it looks like for mom to sit on the couch and read her Bible (not the app on your phone, they don’t know the difference between the Bible app and email).
Tell them what you’re doing and why. Ask them to do it with you or for them to look through their Bible. This is more a time of example setting and not where all your true quiet time will be found (or maybe it is, your stage, your season!)
Modeling for the ones we’re with that you can be still and quiet and talk with your Father is priceless and to make sure it get’s done consider writing a note card and posting it on your steering wheel (along with a verse) or on your fridge. Try writing something like this “Take time to let my heart speak over my mind and show my kids how to do it too”.
Next week we’re going to be diving into another struggle of my own and one you may be able to relate to. Planning and preparing food for the family.
Maybe you’ve aced the healthy, quick, easy dinner. I’d love for you to share your secrets. But if you’re like me, you’ve tried a thing or two and right when you think you’ve found your groove you’ve fallen out of routine. So how have a made adjustments and gotten back in line? Join me next week to hear some of my progress and get inspired to meal plan (the Jen way!)
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