My blog friend Jodi
has shared and asked us to share about our quiet time …
While it is a very personal time for most, I think it is a great idea to encourage each other in something that can be such a vital part of a day!
I became a Christian when I was 8 years old … I received Christ as my Savior at Vacation Bible School. After that day, my family went on a fantastic journey to become a “Christian family” and to get to know God. Church was a regular part of my life. In 5th grade, I started attending Christian school – and later I went to Bible college, where I met my husband. All my Christian life, I have heard so many versions of how to have “devotions” or quiet time.
Initially, as a child, I thought one must get up early to have devotions … like at the crack of dawn … because if one didn’t sacrifice sleep to have devotions, well, then they weren’t any good. To me, having devotions was a rote, scheduled event that one must do whether they got anything out of it or not. It was what God required in order to bless us, at least that is what my childish, immature mind thought it was.
While I do believe it is best to start your day by acknowledging God and asking for His blessing on the activities ahead, I also think that He may just understand if sometimes we don’t read our Bibles until the kids’ nap time or later in the day. In college, I routinely read my Bible at night before bed. Those were some of my most consistent times of reading God’s Word! I lived in a dorm and just had a few possessions in a small space; my meals were provided in a cafeteria; and I was practically only responsible for ME! It was probably the only time in my life that I had plenty of extra time, more energy, and a very structured schedule. My roommate my Junior year wrote me a card where she told me that my night time Bible reading really convicted her because she – though a Bible college student – wasn’t reading her Bible at all. It was one of those first times that I really realized I was actually an influence in someone’s life.
Well, after college, I got married … worked full-time for a while … had babies … was a stay-at-home mom … babies grew up … worked full-time for a while … had another baby … and now am a stay-at-home mom again. And during these last 18 or so years, I’ve had my struggles with personal time for God. Sometimes I was just too busy 😦 I regret to say I neglected God a lot. For a period of time, I was angry with God about several things in my life 😦 And I regret to say again, I ignored God, wasn’t really on speaking terms with Him. But in the last few years I’ve re-dedicated myself to having quiet time, realizing I want to build my relationship with Him; I long to know the true GOD who saved me so long ago. Just as we cultivate our earthly relationships, we must put effort into having a relationship with God.
And so where am I today? Well, my approach to spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word are very different to what I think I was taught growing up. For the most part, I prefer to get up before the baby does to read my Bible and to write in my prayer journal. I find that WRITING my prayers and requests down helps me stay focused; otherwise, I would find my morning prayers to be somewhat like this: “Dear God, thank You for this day …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ….” If you know me, you know I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON!!! I need a cup of coffee and my pen to keep myself awake and focused.
The other thing about me is that I am tired of the FALSE GUILT that I grew up harboring. I used to feel that if I didn’t read a certain amount of Scripture in a day or read through the Bible in a year, I wasn’t doing devotions correctly. While I do know schedules and Bible reading check-lists are great for many, they just don’t work for me. Right now, my devotions consist of me reading through the Bible in my own time frame. I started in Genesis in January of 2009. Here I am over 2 years later in Psalm 5. But I can honestly say I have read, studied out, thought about, made notes on, checked into commentaries on the things I am reading in God’s Word.
In the past, I’ve read through Bible study books and such as well, but right now I am in a season of life that I’m doing well to just read a chapter or two of the Bible a day and that’s about it. And honestly, I don’t always get around to it every day. While God is always on my mind – and I say short prayers throughout the day, sometimes our schedule is so unpredictable that I just flat out forget; I wake up in a mad rush to get everything ready and get us out the door … of course, I realize on those days when I forget to fellowship with God that I probably should have taken the time to do so! I guess Satan likes to tell us we’re too busy to do the one thing that would probably make our day the most productive and Christ-centered!!
My children are now in Christian school – and they are hearing the teachings about having devotions too. In fact, my daughter just asked me to order her a devotional book just for 9-12 year old girls. Andrew & Anna both received “real” (ie. more expensive, leather-cover) Bibles for their 10th birthdays; and of course, already have several Bibles of their own. They both have journals for prayer requests too. I am thankful they are aware of the importance of spending time with God … but most of all, I hope I am encouraging them to have a RELATIONSHIP with God Himself. To me, that’s what quiet time is all about.