Today’s article is a guest post by a dear friend of mine, Tracy Watts. Tracy is a jewel of a Christian woman. As a mom in her early thirties, Tracy possesses wisdom far beyond her years. She is godly in her actions and attitude, tenderhearted, and grace-giving. Tracy uses her many talents for the Lord and displays Christlike humility in all she does.
I asked Tracy to write on this topic because she is someone who does this, every day, even and especially when it’s hard. It’s easy for me to make excuses for why I “don’t have time” for daily quiet time with God; Tracy inspires and helps me to do better. I pray that, for all of us, Tracy’s thoughts on this topic will be a blessing that spurs us on to greater commitment and intimacy with God every day.
Also, you can read more wisdom and encouragement from Tracy over at her wonderful blog, WattsUpWithKids.com.
How do you make time for daily quiet time with God when you have little ones?
It’s not difficult to know what we “should” do in life – from making healthy choices to being patient to spending daily time with God. The difficulty lies in the actual doing of it.
Nobody eats a donut and thinks “This is such a good, healthy choice!” They choose to eat fresh fruit and yogurt because they know the rewards on the other side. This principle is also true with our spiritual life. Though it might be challenging and even awkward as we begin, spending daily time with God is incredibly, beautifully rewarding.
I’d like to share a few reasons why we might have daily time with God. (There are many, many more, of course).
Nowhere else can I find such peace
Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble. ~ Psalm 119:165
Whatever my struggles are, God grants me his peace. I can pour out my heart to him, I can be my truest self with Him and I don’t have to find exactly the right words to explain myself – because he already knows what is on my heart. And he is also the only one with peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). He grants me that peace, if I seek Him out and listen.
It sweetens my reactions and attitudes with the spirit of Christ
Sometimes, I tell myself that “extra sleep” or “me time” is really what I need. But on the days I choose those over time spent reading my Bible and praying, I quickly see that I am more snappy, less patient and in general more selfish – especially with those I love the most.
However, the opposite is also true. Though I am not perfect by any means, spending time with God helps me be more like Him. In fact, immersing my heart in the word of God equips me – with gentleness in my reactions, with eternal perspective, with tools for the spiritual war I am fighting.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Because I spend time with people I love
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:1-3
As I read through the psalms, I am humbled and inspired by the intimacy shown between the psalmist and God – and also all the many roles God plays. Even in these few verses we see many: God is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my salvation, and my stronghold (did you notice that small yet mighty word: my?).
What rich blessings can be had in spending time with my God! And if I love God, surely I will want to spend time with him. After all, isn’t that how friendships are formed? By spending time with each other?
So, knowing these things, how do we put them into practice? How can I start having a daily time of reading scripture and praying when I am overwhelmed and burdened and tired? Here are some suggestions that have helped me:
- Start small. You may not be able to spend hours of quiet time a day with God. Start with 10 minutes. Build that habit. You will begin to hunger for your time with God.
- Remove distractions. This includes but is not limited to husbands, children, cell phones, and household chores. If you don’t have time in the day, it’s ok to turn on a short tv show for the kids and go sit at the kitchen table. Whatever you have to do, do it. Daily time with God must be a non-negotiable.
- Give yourself grace. You will not start this habit perfectly. You will not keep it perfectly. But it is better to keep this habit imperfectly than to have no habit!
- Be prepared. I find it helpful to keep pens and a notepad/journal next to my Bible. This way I can take notes, write down people/things to pray for, thanksgivings and praise, or also those distractions that turn in to my “to do” list for later.
- Read an understandable Bible. Please don’t use a paraphrase but do use a readable Bible translation. (Not sure where to begin? Ask an older Christian.) After all, if I don’t understand what I read, what’s the point?
- Determine what you will let go. Presumably you already have a full life right now. In order to make time for this very important and worthwhile task, something else will have to go. And then, dear heart, you must let it go. You will find that in your release (and sacrifice), you will be immeasurably blessed.
May you find blessing in seeking after Him…
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart ~ Psalm 119:2
Header photo credit: Joel Muniz via Unsplash
Bottom photo credit (with inserted scripture): Melissa Askew via spark