It seems I go through periods in my life where the Lord feels far from me. I’m sure if we as Christians are truly honest with ourselves, we’ve all been able to relate. But the good news is that He is always knocking. All we have to do is let Him into our hearts. Not only that, but once we are truly saved by His grace alone, He never leaves us. It’s just that with the temporal and flawed goggles that we wear, we can at times be blinded from this truth.
This is the inspiration for my new series, and I would love to invite you to take part in this learning journey with me. I’m not certain why I need to be doing this, but God put it on my heart last night to begin. I don’t even know how long or short of an endeavor it is, all I know is that the Lord will teach me through this study, and I will be ever-grateful if that is as far as he takes it. But it is my prayer that those of you out there who need these words will allow His Holy Spirit to speak to you through me.
I’d like to start by sharing
- A Book That Helped Me A Lot
At the beginning of the school year, I had many worries and concerns about homeschooling, but my biggest problem really had nothing to do with where my children are raised, but how.
Blueberry Ball was finally starting to comprehend the Bible teachings better. I didn’t at all want it to be something that he only learned from a book or from church and I certainly didn’t want it to be just another subject we covered in school. I wanted him to see and experience Gods love and power in the daily life that my husband and I were living. More still, I wanted my children to desire a loving relationship with their Father in Heaven.
Though we didn’t stick with the ABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum exclusively or for the entire year, it put me in touch with some amazing believers and resources including This Blog. The free E-book on this site, A Quiet Time, Worth the Time helped me to see how we (as mommies especially) can strengthen our walk with Christ Jesus and stay truly committed to Him throughout the day. This book helped me to see how important putting Him before all other things really is to my daily walk in general, and to the standards my children see expressed through me. While I don’t use all of the tips or tricks here as my absolute method, because of A Quiet Time, Worth The Time, I’ve made it a point to rise early- and even if I can’t get up early every day- to put Him first in all that I do. The beginning described my longings- and the longings of so many other mothers- and the book continued, tying it together with the Word in a way that spoke to me in a personally relate-able and applicable way. I encourage you (again, especially you mommies) to take the time to read this book. I believe that the author of this book truly walks in His Spirit and love.
While a the bulk of what I want to share with my readers today involves the blessings and routines I’ve learned from this free E-book, I will not be pasting any excerpts from the document itself. It is my belief that you will get much more out of it by personally reading the book for yourself.
- What Does My Quiet Time Look Like Now?
Just in these last few weeks I’ve been longing to feel God more than ever. I believe that these desires have stemmed from His desire for me to be closer. I know that he is always with me and in me, but it is sometimes difficult to see his guiding hand and direction on a constant basis. It is even more difficult for me at times like this to know when or if I hear His voice guiding me, which is something I’ve had problems understanding anyway since before my conversion back in early 2009.
1. Rising Early
Many stay at home mothers like me desire to have special “alone time” – a time to get away from the kiddos and the dishes and the stresses of everyday life. I don’t think God gave those things to us to try to fight, but (as with everything) I believe we are to use these desires for his glory. My desire is to dedicate that time that I may have spent “doing my own thing” to the Lord. It takes any selfish desires remaining in my heart and turns them into a loving relationship for Him and from Him.One thing I try to remember : Time was never ours to begin with.
The Bible gives us many examples of morning risers and talks about the benefits of such a task:
“And in the MORNING, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
— Mark 1:35
Jesus is our ultimate example here on earth, and if he did it, it should be the desire of every well-intending Christian to be able to.
As for our benefits:
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every MORNING… ”
— Lamentations 3:22-23
Here, God tells us that he renews his promises and his mercies every morning. I feel that if He wanted, it could have been a generic “every day” or “each evening”, but these are words that He divinely inspired and purposed.
On that note, scripture also tells us:
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the MORNING.”
— Psalm 30:5b
I can personally testify that peace, joy, and even empowerment and sanctification comes from rising early to dedicate time and to heed his counsel.
2. My Daily Prayer Of Dedication:
Lately I’ve begun a new habit of prayer and focus first thing when I rise. And I mean as soon as my alarm goes off. It doesn’t matter how groggy or tired I am (if I need my morning cup of coffee or a shower before I can focus on the word, that’s fine), but I’ve noticed that if this prayer of mine is spoken as the very first thing possible, his blessings from it make themselves more apparent and real than any other thing.
The first thing I do is dedicate “my special morning time” to Him. Then, I go right into his “will” for us.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have trouble keeping this one in my adulthood. And I tell him each morning before anything else that the desire of my heart is to constantly be conversing with him and that furthermore, I want to hear him speak back to me.
After seeing the results of this one practice, I hope to never again live without it! I strongly feel that it is a new necessity if I desire a true relationship with Him.
3. My Studies
Everyone is different on this thing especially, but for me, simpler is almost always better. The E-book spoke of keeping a devotional/ prayer journal. I thought that this would be a great plan of action for me and my quiet time (because I write almost everything down anyway), but as I started trying to put this into practice, I realized I personally only need this at certain times in my life, or with particular studies. Sometimes I will write down my most earnest prayers at the time, or I will jot little notes on a topic of study that has been weighing on my heart, but most often I find the pen and paper to be distracting. When the Lord speaks to me, I find it nearly impossible to be able to put it down on tangible words.
My studies mainly consist of reading the Bible with occasional footnotes or studies. There are many studies out there that I’m sure I can benefit from, but I feel that God wants to speak to me through his divine, authoritative and unaltered word. I prefer using studies as a family or personally with my spouse.
I read until I get something out of it, or until I am thinking or feeling a lot. Admittedly, when I first began morning time, I got up a whole hour before I do now, because it took me that long to feel fed.
Sometimes I will read whole paragraphs or multiple chapters, while other times, I’m guided by only a few verses. Whenever my spirit feels full, I go to the next step:
4. Closing Prayer
I always end in prayer. Sometimes, this is short and simple and to the point. Sometimes, it is me asking for things. Sometimes it is me listening, or thanking, or even complaining. But that’s what prayer is. It is a conversation. It is raw, it is personal and individual, it is real.
I want my prayers to be relationship building, but I cannot build a relationship on who I want to be or on who I think God should be, or on empty words. Every relationship is different, just as every conversation. God wants us to press into Him and to yearn for Him. He wants us to listen, submit, thank and ask.
At first I had trouble feeling like I was actually talking to someone. However, the more I do it, the closer He becomes and the more I long for more.
It is my prayer that you will desire and find Him in your daily walk and that you will be able to transform “your time” – whenever and wherever that is for you- into “His time.”
What does your quiet time look like?