I admit that I do not spend an hour every morning at exactly the same time in quiet Bible study and prayer. This is not the season of life for that, as we've already heard from mothers much further ahead than I am. However, I desperately need time with my Savior. Here are a few things that help me to keep a (sort of) regular quiet time:
- Get up. Sounds simple, but it is not always easy. When I have been up often through the night with the children, I feel it is more spiritual to get my rest in the morning and catch time with God in those "short moment through the day". You may disagree, but if I become irritable from lack of rest, what good is an hour of Bible study? However, if I have had a reasonable amount of sleep (it's been awhile since I've seen 8 consecutive hours but more than 4 seems reasonable), I find that I must discipline my flesh to get up early before the kids and spend time with my Father.
- Write it down. I've told you before that I'm easily distracted. I do have the tendency to be praying earnestly and find ten minutes later that my mind is a million miles away. What has greatly helped me with this is writing my prayers rather than saying them. I got the idea first from Anne Ortlund in one of her books. It seemed strange at first, but I find that not only can writing down my words to God keep me from getting distracted, but it can help me when I do get interrupted to remember where I was. Another benefit is being able to look back and see all the answers to prayer.
- Don't stress. I used to feel like if I didn't read my Bible through at least every other year, I was not a very deep Christian. I would set myself up for failure and always be playing "catch-up" therefore I couldn't really enjoy my time with the Lord. That's just one example of all the burdens we can put on ourselves. Your quiet time (and mine) is not a performance; it is a relationship. Love the Lord, enjoy Him and share with Him. Learn His heart. These are just a few of the things I'm endeavoring to do now without the guilt trips.