Most of us want to spend quality quiet time with God. We know that regular time with Him will foster our relationship and develop intimacy. So we plan to do it. We commit to it. But then the reality of life and its demands get in the way. We oversleep from exhaustion. Or the kids wake early. Or the phone rings.
Yes, as Christian women we long to sit at our Savior’s feet, to linger there, to hear His heart. Yet often, something breaks down between the “want to” and the “get to.” Desire for a daily quiet time is not enough. Whether you’re a young mom, empty nester, or work full time, we all need to put some purposeful strategies in place to increase the likelihood of it actually happening.
A while back, I asked my Facebook pals what strategies they use to keep regular time with God a priority. I wanted to know how they go from “want to” to “get to.” The women who shared represent all shapes and stages of life. I want to share their great insight with you!
I developed the following tips based on their comments and my own experience. “Discipline” and “priorities” are not included in this list of tips because unfortunately, they are required constantly! I know, they are “hard” words, but God is more than worth it! (You may also enjoy “The 5 P’s of the Lord’s Prayer” & “4 Ways to Apply Scripture to Your Life.“)
8 Tips for Moving Quiet Time from “Want to” To “Get To:”
- Start the Night Before – Success begins with planning. That means doing things like going to bed on time, setting an alarm, setting the timer on the coffee pot, and gathering your quiet time materials in one spot. (Check out this post for more planning tips.)
- Put a “God Reminder” on the Bathroom Mirror – After you wake up, when does God first enter your thoughts? One FB pal wrote that she trained herself to think of God in her first waking moments. If God is the first thing on our minds in the morning, we are more likely to make time for Him.
- Establish a “Quiet Time Signal” – This was a brilliant suggestion from a FB pal. She keeps a small battery operated candle at her quiet time spot. When it’s turned on, her kids know that Mom is spending time with God. They’ve learned to only interrupt her in emergencies. This would take patience and time to establish with your kids, but it would sure be worthwhile! And for us empty-nesters, it could work for the hubby too!
- Pack a Quiet Time Play Box – Fill a plastic tote, box, or large basket with special toys your kids especially enjoy. But to keep the toys “desirable,” only bring it out to keep your little ones occupied during your quiet time. Use this for early-risers or for an afternoon quiet time for the whole family!
- Leave a Healthy Snack for Early-risers – Your kids may be old enough to occupy themselves for a bit in the morning. Unless they get hungry! If this is your scenario, prep a healthy snack the night before. They can munch away while you feed on God’s Word!
- Implement Offensive Measures – Determine your biggest distractions and time-suckers then take disciplined measures to eliminate the threat. For me, the biggest distraction in the morning is email. I’ve learned to leave the laptop closed and open my Bible first. Some days, I also have to close our dogs up in another room. Between barking at the wind, whining for food, or wanting me to throw the ball, they can be major distractions!
- Utilize Periods of “Busy Hands, Free Minds” – Establish ways to immerse yourself in God’s Word when your hands are busy but your mind is not. Washing dishes, vacuuming, and weeding the garden are all good examples. You can sing along to praise music, listen to an audio Bible, work on your Scripture memory, and more! (For instance, listen to audio Bible at BibleGateway.com)
- Fill Your “Time Pockets” – These are those small chunks of time that usually go to waste, such as waiting at the doctor’s office or in the carpool line. Determine in advance what you would do with 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there and be prepared to take advantage of it. I have the Scripture memory passages I’m working on in my phone. That way, I can review whenever I have a minute!
I hope these tips help and encourage you in your relationship with God. And I’d love to hear your suggestions! Share them in the comments!