A few weeks ago, I proclaimed my need for daily quiet time, and my intention to find or make the time for it each morning.
It was my one small change, the little thing I committed to in order to improve my health and my life.
I haven't managed to have quiet time every single day, but I have done it enough to see its impact on my life, to see the significance of His presence in my days. I've started to journal my prayers and the Bible verses that God lays on my heart, and I refer to that journal often.
My soul is healing. I cry less, a lot less. I am more content, more settled, more peaceful.
I want to make quiet time a daily habit, and I've Googled a bit on how to do it. Do you know what everyone suggests in order to make this work?
They suggest getting up 30 minutes earlier.
I have a long list of reasons why that simply will not work for me.
- I often work late into the night.
- I have narcolepsy that makes me require more sleep than most people.
- My kids usually wake up before me.
- My kids sleep in my bed.
- If I set an alarm, it wakes my kids up long before it wakes me up.
Getting up 30 minutes earlier is not an option. I have to find a way to make quiet time work while my kids are awake if I'm going to do it.
And also, I think it's good for my kids to see me praying and studying the Word.
Over the last three weeks, I've learned a few things about making this work.
How to Find Time for Quiet Time (Without Waking Up Earlier)
- Start your day with prayer. Ask God to give you the time to spend in the Word and in prayer and meditation.
- Have quiet time early. Quiet time is the beginning of a conversation. The easiest part of my day to read and study and pray would be 1 am. Everyone is asleep except me (most of the time), and I could do it in peace and quiet. The problem is that quiet time gives me something to ruminate on, something to minister to my heart, a way for God to speak to me all day long. If I do it at the end of the day and then go to sleep, I'll miss out on the best part of the conversation.
- Gather your quiet time materials and put them together wherever you will use them. I am using Breaking Free by Beth Moore, Life Application Study Bible, a pretty journal, my favorite pen, and a fine point highlighter. I keep them all in a tote bag next to my chair in the dining room, so that I can take them with me if I know I'll have a few quiet minutes (like while we're waiting for Grace at art class). If you have to go look for your stuff every day, you will be much less likely to sit down and open them up.
- Get your kids involved in something. Don't hate me for what I'm about to say. I am not above turning on my kids' favorite tv show so that I can get in 20 minutes of peaceful study. I am not above handing over the iPad, either. I have gotten out the Play-Doh, handed over a box of markers, and provided a big stack of books. But mostly, it's the tv that does the trick.
- Be prepared to have your quiet time with someone in your lap. Is it ideal? Absolutely not. Ideal would be getting up early to study the Word in peace and quiet and pray in solitude. Motherhood rarely conforms to an ideal. I have done my daily study, journaling, and prayer with Allie in my lap, coloring or reading her own book. I have made it work.
- When all else fails, get out your kids' devotional. If your kids are absolutely intent of having family time (and sometimes they are), lead them in a devotional. It isn't the quiet time you hoped for, but it's still time spent studying and applying God's Word and praying.
Doing scripture memorization as a family has also helped in my connection with God and general feeling of mental well-being, but I'll write about that another time.