Reading the Bible and praying more is right at the top of Christian womens’ goals and resolutions lists, up there with getting organized and losing weight. Unfortunately, just like organizing and weight loss aspirations, our best plans and intentions to have daily devotions or quiet times tend to fizzle a few weeks into the year. What happens? We’re convinced of the value of spending time getting to know our God through His word. We’re convinced of the power of prayer in our lives and others’. How does something this important and desirable keep slipping through the cracks in our days?
One of the ways we unintentionally keep something from happening is making it too difficult or complicated. Do you admire a friend who is able to read her Bible an hour or two a day? Or a friend who studies Greek daily? A favorite author who writes about watching the sun rise as she prays over her day? All of these things may be good, but do they work for you at this point of your life? Maybe you have three small children running around and 1 – 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time just isn’t going to happen. Maybe you are anything but a morning person. In your mind is anything less than your “ideal” quiet time not worth doing? In other words, are you making it more difficult than it needs to be?
All you really need to have your quiet time are three things: A time, a place, and your “stuff”
– your Bible and anything else you’re planning to read. Place and “stuff” are pretty straightforward. You need a place to sit and read and something to read of course. Where we usually get messed up is time. We usually know “what” we want to do, it’s the “when” we have a problem with, as in the “when” just not happening!
Here is a common scenario. We hear that waking up early to have our quiet time is the best way to go so that’s what we shoot for. If you’re an “early riser” this can work great, but for the rest of us… Tell me if this sounds familiar: You wake up later than you planned (again) and you resolve to get on track and have your quiet time later that morning. Then “something” happens and you have to put it off until lunch. Lunchtime ends up being taken up with “something” else and you figure maybe in the afternoon you’ll catch a little time. Guess what… “something” keeps happening until you’re laying in bed wondering what happened to your quiet time.
So if you don’t get up early in the morning is all lost? Not at all! Look at your day and pick the best time that works for you. Don’t worry about your friend, your favorite author’s schedule, or what you’ve heard is “most spiritual.” What time of your day tends to be the least hectic and most likely to be somewhat quiet? The kids’ nap time? While dinner is in the oven? My best time is right before bedtime! It’s quiet, there’s nowhere I have to be, and everyone else is in bed too. Be creative! What’s important isn’t the time of day you pick, it’s that you pick a time that works best for your current schedule and that you guard it from invading “somethings”. The “best” time for your quiet time is the time you can realistically make it happen! You might have to experiment a bit to find the best time. Also, have your place picked out and your “stuff” where it needs to be so looking for your Bible and a pen doesn’t end up being a “something” that comes up!
So how long should your quiet time be? Again, look at what works for you. I’d love to have two hours a day but in this season of my life when I have four kids, one with special needs, two hours isn’t going to happen on a typical day. God knows your circumstances and responsibilities – He created your family! Do what you realistically can. You can probably get 20 – 30 minutes into your day. Some days you’ll have more time, some days you’ll have less. If you can’t find even 20 – 30 minutes, take a look at some other activities you find time for like checking e-mail, web surfing, Facebook, telephone calls, reading… We make time for these things without thinking twice about it. Not trying to be legalistic… just something to think about!
It’s not too late to get your prayer and Bible reading resolutions and goals back on track. Sit down and take a few moments to think about what the best time is for you and make a plan of attack!
Don’t you just LOVE Jennifer? I ADORE HER!
She is one of our speakers at our upcoming (in just a FEW WEEKS) Ultimate Women’s Expo! Don’t miss her! You will be fired, inspired, encouraged, and equipped to make THIS YEAR count!
Are you a “night owl” who needs more help making a consistent quiet times happen? Jennifer Schwilling’s new e-book Night Owl Devotions is all about thinking outside the box to make meaningful devotions a part of a busy mom’s life. You can visit her on-line at: http://www.MomsNoChaosZone.com or http://www.DaisyChainDailyCarnival.com