What if I told you that you could completely change your life by adding just one thing to your day?
What if I told you that the one thing would only take 1% of your total day?
Would you do it? You’d be crazy not to!
1% of Your Day
If you have been part of this blog family for a while, you won’t be surprised that the one thing to add to your day is a daily quiet time. Time reading the Bible, meditating on what God says, and praying.
Sounds like a huge time commitment! But actually, this can all be done in only 15 minutes, which is 1% of your day.
Deciding to have a daily quiet time with God is the easy part. Figuring out the what, where, when, and how part is usually what keeps us from moving forward.
Heidi and I had to discover for ourselves how to make this work and we know from comments we receive that others want to know too. So, we sat down at the mics to create a Parenting to Impress Podcast episode and this blog post to share what we have learned on our journey.
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #10: How to Have a Quiet Time ▼
WHAT…is a Quiet Time?
When we talk about a quiet time with God we are referring to a time set apart from your daily life where we intentionally read scripture, pray, and allow the Lord to speak to us. Many of us feel like this is kind of like a unicorn – mythical and fantastical! But Heidi and I can attest to the reality of scheduling time to quiet our hearts and minds to focus of God. Out of loving obedience to God, believers throughout history have made time set aside for God part of their daily rhythm. Read more…
WHY…should I have one?
Our lives are so full and busy and noisy! Making it a point to show God how much we value hearing from Him and interacting with Him through His Word demonstrates our love and obedience to Him. We are choosing quiet in a world that values noise. We are choosing, as Jesus modeled in the Gospels, our Father in heaven over our social media, tv, and even relationships. And the benefits are enumerable. Spending quiet time with God opens our hearts and minds to continue meditating on His Word throughout the day and helps align our will with His (Psalm 143:10). It also grows our love for Him and empowers us to love others as He commands. Read more…
WHEN…should I have one?
This is one of the things Heidi and I can’t prescribe for you. You know your life best, so all we can do is tell you what’s worked for us in different seasons. For example, when my 4 children were little (think 4 under the age of 7) I would have my quiet time before I went to bed. I could better focus in the evenings as opposed to the mornings when I was often too bleary eyed and had babies who needed my attention. My sister sat in the the hallway as her little ones napped in the afternoon.
As our children have gotten older, Heidi and I found that getting up ahead of the household works best. There are far fewer interruptions and distractions in the early morning hours than at any other time of the day. Having a quiet time in the morning also sets the tone for the day. It’s certainly no guarantee that things will go perfectly that day, but it does help keep our minds focused on God or meditating on what we read or prayed about. Read more…
WHERE…should I have it?
Again, this will be a personal choice for you. You know your home and your family best and can decide which location will be most conducive to a consistent quiet time. In the podcast we share the places that best suit our lives right now. For Heidi, she stays in her bed so that after waking up, she is out of sight of her kiddos and can have uninterrupted time ready her Bible, journal and pray. I have to get out of bed! I head to my living room, grab a cup of coffee and spend time with the Lord on my couch.
There have been times in my life where the only consistent time I had was in the carpool line at my kids’ schools. During other seasons, I spent a few extra minutes at the lunch table after the kids finished eating. Regardless of where you choose, make sure you have your supplies handy so that you’re not wasting precious minutes hunting them down. Use an old basket, tote bag, or designate a shelf near where you’ll be spending that time. Read more…
HOW…should I have a Quiet Time?
At the very least, you’ll need a Bible and a journal or notebook. You’ll want a place to keep track of your thoughts, prayers, or just notes about what you’ve read. Heidi and I both recommend the Bible as your primary source – in other words, don’t rely on a devotional or other book as the focus of this time. Nothing wrong with devotionals or topical studies, but the point is to have a quiet time with God!
Some good starting points are reading one chapter at a time of one of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). Or choose one of the New Testament letters written to the early Church. Alternatively, you can read out of the Old Testament book of Psalms or Proverbs. Heidi has created free reading plans in the ABCJesusLovesMe Resource Library for reading through the key-chapters of the Bible and Psalms. Perfect for new and seasoned Bible readers. The key is start somewhere and don’t give up!
Before you start reading your Bible, pray and ask God to help you understand something about Him, His character or His will. The Holy Spirit is faithful to help believers read and understand God’s Word, even if it takes time! And don’t worry if you have questions – the world’s brightest Bible scholars wrestle with God’s word too. Because we are learning too, Heidi and I would be happy to dig deeper into your questions in the private Parenting to Impress group. But remember that time spent reading scripture and thinking about God is never wasted.
If you do choose to use another resource, like a devotional or bible study, please research it carefully! The focus should always be God and His Word, not a topic, self-help study or something that draws attention to a person instead of God. Reliable, biblically-based books and guides look at more than just a verse or two at a time, and they don’t draw scripture out of context to prove a point. Quality books let scripture speak for itself, and don’t assert someone’s opinion over what God teaches in the Bible.
Then get to it! Read the selection of scripture, take some time to think or reflect on it, and respond in prayer to what you’ve read and learned. You can even write out your prayer if it helps you process what you’ve read. There’s no wrong way! Read more…
Let the Transformation Begin
A daily quiet time is not a magic formula for a problem-free life. But it is an obedient and loving way to actively demonstrate our faith and dependence on God. It is also a main way God transforms believers, as He uses His Word and Spirit to conform us more and more unto Christ. When we are investing in knowing God through the Scriptures, we are renewing our minds and transforming our hearts.
Episode #10: How to Have a Quiet Time
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