Do you ever feel like your quiet time is just another thing on your to-do list? Or do you ever wonder why yours is ho-hum when everyone else makes such a big deal out of it? You want to enjoy it and be excited when that alarm goes off at 6 a.m., but every day you hit the snooze button again!
We all know it. A daily quiet time is important. But with kids … and a job … and so much to do everyday, sometimes it doesn’t happen.
If you have little ones, it may be like someone once said, “My kids wake up at the first crack of the Bible!” There’s no doubt about it, children, especially younger ones, make it challenging to find time for yourself and God.
We live in a culture that values activity. Most of us hit the ground running every morning: carpools, breakfast, kids to drop off, jobs, errands to run, homeschooling, email, social media, blogging, you name it …
We set the alarm a few minutes early, but hit the snooze button. We not only snooze through our quiet time, but through any margin we had, too. The next thing we know, we hurrying the kids, grabbing a bagel on the way out the door, and rushing off, only to get caught in traffic!
So how can we fit in a regular, daily quiet time and make the most of the time we have? Here are 15 suggestions:
- Make time. Yep, that means getting up earlier than you otherwise have to. It may, also, mean getting to bed a little earlier. That’s hard when it seems it’s the first time you’ve had to yourself all day! But the rewards of starting your day out with God more than make up for it.
- Have a regular time and place. I know you’ve heard this one before, but it’s true. When you train your heart and mind by forming a habit, half the work of getting focused on God is done. This won’t happen over night, but it will happen if you’re, even reasonably, consistent. This is about forming a routine, not perfection! In fact, perfection can be the enemy of quality quiet time, because when we fail, we tend to give up.
- Have a plan. Find a Bible reading plan that fits you. I blog through the Bible every year. You can follow my daily plan and accompanying comments or find another one that works for you. Too often we just open our Bibles at random and read whatever we find. That’s like attempting to read a book, but only picking a page or two here and there, and wondering why we can’t follow the plot.
- Experiment. If you find it hard to get right into prayer or Bible reading, start with a short devotional or read a little bit in a book on prayer. But don’t make that the sum total of your quiet time. It’s important to read the Bible for yourself. Jesus, the Living Word, is the Bread of Life and He speaks to us in the pages of Scripture. Don’t settle for what someone else has already predigested. And reading about prayer isn’t praying!
- Experiment with how you pray, too. Pray from a list or pray the Scriptures. Try prayer journaling. I’m not referring to the pretty artistic Bible journaling that’s popular today, but simply writing out your prayers. It may help you focus and be more consistent.
- Try music, but if you find it distracting eliminate it.
- Learn to meditate on Scripture. It’s not that hard! In fact, we all know how to meditate. We meditate on what someone said to us or what we should have said. We meditate on how we’re going to pay the bills. So instead of meditating on all those things that tempt us to worry, we need to meditate on God’s truth. One simple way is to take a verse of Scripture. Read through it in context. What did it mean to the people it was first written to. Break it down phrase by phrase. Think deeply about each idea. Read through it several times, emphasizing a different word each time.
- Memorize Scripture. Start with verses that apply to your current struggles or something you want to understand or remember. God commanded us to hide His Word in our hearts (Ps. 119.11). If God commanded it, He’ll give us the grace to do. Make yourself some 3 x 5 cards. Write the verse on one side and the reference on the other. Carry it with you and use those little bits of time waiting in line to read over it. Make it a game. Get the kids to memorize it with you.
- Get an accountability partner, if that works for you. Ask each other about your time with the Lord. Just knowing someone else will ask can help us get up with the alarm goes off! Send each other a text when you get up.
- Be in the moment. This isn’t the time to think about the laundry you need to start or the other things on your to-do list. If that’s hard to do (like it is for me), keep a small notepad close by and write those things down. That way you know you won’t forget and you can take it off your mental list for the time being.
- Be flexible when necessary. Journal your prayers while the kids are playing. Settle for a little less time when you’re traveling or have company.
- Teach your children to have a quiet time. Get them an age appropriate Bible and a journal. Set a timer so they know when you’ll be done. Put little ones in a playpen with some quiet time material. It’s good for them to have to entertain themselves for a little while. Teach them to respect your time with God. As you do, you’re teaching them about it’s importance in their own lives. You can read about one mother, Susanna Wesley, who taught her children this lesson at the end of the post.
- Don’t put expectations on your spouse, if you’re married. Too many of us bemoan the fact that our husband’s won’t do family devotions or won’t pray with us. Our relationships with God are not dependent on our husbands!
- Do something. Get started. Where will you be a month, a year, a decade from now if you don’t?
- Give yourself grace. God does. This isn’t a contest or a way to get God’s favor. There will be days when life interferes with our best intentions and habits.
I have read this before, but I came across it again recently on Joni Eareckson Tada’s website Joni & Friends:
Susanna Wesley, born in 1669, was the 25th of 25 children! This great Christian saint understood the importance of “being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” given that she and her husband Samuel had 19 children. Nine of Susanna’s children died as infants… but two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley, went on to become great evangelists and theologians. She once wrote in a letter, “I look upon every soul under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, but I spare every night to discourse with each child apart, strengthening their tiny faith in God our Savior.” Her children knew to be quiet whenever they saw their mother throw her apron over her head – they understood this was Susanna’s private time of prayer with the Lord. God certainly blessed this amazing mother, and what a model she has been to countless mothers through the centuries.
What do you do to enhance your quiet time? What are your struggles in this area? What do you want your quiet time to look like a month or a year from now? What will you change to accomplish that goal?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
If you enjoyed this post, why not share it on FaceBook, Pinterest, Twitter or your favorite social media hangout!
Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:
Sign up to receive the daily “Bible in a Year” posts before June 30 by clicking the link & you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 AMAZON gift card.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts (like this one) on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the Mondays @ Soul Survival LINKUP.
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays Making Your Home Sing Darling Downs Diaries The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip The Life of Faith Our Home of Many Blessings Mom to Mom Mondays Me, Coffee & Jesus What Joy is Mine Lifelong Learners
Tuesdays Testimony Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Cornerstone Confessions Tell It to Me Tuesday Rich Faith Rising Intentional Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Coffee for Your Heart Messy Marriage A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention While I’m Waiting Woman to Woman Seeking God in All I Do
Thursdays Hearts for Home Party at My Place Frog’s Lily Pad Life of Scoop Booknificent Thursdays
Fridays Create with Joy Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends
Saturdays Snippets of Inspiration Word of God Speak
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Raising Samuels Give Me Grace
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!