Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Slowing down

Thanks to all who shared comments on yesterday's post about being in a hurry! Though my score was on the lower side (17), I feel this is something I'm noticing more in myself--a mind that rushes from one thing to the next.

In my latest retreat, I felt compelled to look up verses about being quiet. A favorite that I underlined comes from Isaiah 30:15 where the LORD says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." This is a verse I want to keep near to my heart these days--what a stirring statement.

As I thought about what it means to be "quiet," it made me think about what we often call "quiet time," referring to sessions of prayer, Bible reading, etc. This is an area of my life that I feel needs some evaluation, and I would be grateful to hear from you about your experience. This is obviously a very personal subject, and I want to respect that!

If you are willing to share, please respond to any or all of the following:
  • When do you have your quiet time, and is that time pretty consistent for you? (Morning before everyone gets up, before bedtime, etc.)
  • What does your quiet time consist of? (prayer, journal, Scripture, a certain book) Do you have a certain study guide or devotional book you use? Any you'd recommend (or not)?
  • Where do you have your quiet time? (special chair, bed, dining room table)

I know there's not a one-size-fits-all "quiet time," but I would love to be encouraged and inspired by your examples. Thank you!

13 comments:

mer said...

Carrie,

I'm not consistent by any stretch, but I like to sit at my kitchen table after I've made lunch for my youngest. She usually eats, then goes off and plays and leaves me alone for about 20 minutes.

I don't use a book (though I have in the past), but rather just read through a chapter at a time. Sometimes I follow a Bible reading plan, sometimes I just read. I keep a pen handy, and anything that "speaks" to me, I make a note in the margins of my Bible, or in my journal.

Anyway, that's what works for me! I hope one day to be a little more intentional, but I don't know what that would look like exactly.

Katie said...

Carrie,

Quiet time has been hard to come by here with my husband being gone for weeks at a time. Creating space for it in my day is a mystery I've been trying to solve for several months now. But I know the Lord wants time with me each day, so I trust that He will teach me how to get a handle on this.

In one of my posts early in the year, I wrote about this goal and stated that I wanted quiet time (which is devotional oriented with my Bible and prayer list) every morning after hubby leaves for work and the kids are still asleep. Well, some days this works; some days this doesn't.

However, I was really encouraged by something you replied to that post and it's stuck with me, that you do your devotionals at night. That honestly never crossed my mind (I don't know why!), but it opened up a whole new world of ideas for me.

So I guess you can say I've been experimenting a bit with what works best for our family's schedule, and I'm (really!) looking forward to having something consistent.

Jamie said...

Hi Carrie - Currently my quiet time is after I feed Luke his breakfast in the morning and get him ready for the day. I then eat my breakfast and spend time sitting at the table reading my Bible and working on my current study (a Beth Moore). During summer months I won't do a set study - I'll just make sure to be reading. I need the relaxed time of not following a set study for awhile! Luke generally plays happily for awhile by himself letting me work on my reading. I think it is good for him to learn to amuse himself while Mom is busy and also it is good for him to see me reading the Bible. If you do it before your kids get up it is nice for you (if you get up that early) but they don't see your example!

Natalie Witcher said...

I meet with Jesus every morning with a journal and a cup of coffee. I usually sit in the same spot in my room. I have a three month old, so it's changed at bit, but now we're back in the swing of things.

Anonymous said...

Carrie,

For the past year and a half, I have it ingrained into my nightly routine that I cannot turn off my bedroom light until I have read a consecutive chapter of my Bible. Sometimes, if the day has been particularly stressful, I will go straight to the Psalms for comfort. Either way, I want His Word to be the last thing I read before I close my eyes. It is very comforting and also very enlightening. Many times I catch myself drifting off to sleep pondering what I learned or praying for my loved ones. What an awesome way to start my dreams.

My twenty-something children know, no matter what, Mom has to read her Bible before going to sleep. I'm hoping its a good example for them.

I must admit, I don't have a morning routine. But, I'm trying to get one started. Since I'm ending my day with the Lord, I feel it would be even better to start it with Him. Hopefully, I will get into that habit soon.

Carrie, it sounds to me that the Lord is trying to draw us all closer to Him. Isn't that exciting!

Linds said...

Carrie-Thanks for this post. It's great to hear how other people spend time alone with Jesus, and challenges me to continue growing with Him.

Having an almost 6 month old we're just getting back into the swing of things, thankfully she's sleeping through the night so I'm able to have my time with Jesus in the morning. I find that's my best and least distracted time to focus on him.

I go back and forth on what I do, but try to be in the Word everyday. I sometimes journal and sometimes I have a study that I go through. I found that when I change things up and leave the flexibility it helps me to be more focused.

Lately my quiet time has been in bed, this is not the optimal place for me. If I get up early enough I sneak out to the living room and snuggle up on the couch with a blanket, this is my favorite spot to have my quiet time. Lately, however, I've been sleeping in a little more and if I snuck out to the couch my 2 year old would catch me and my uninterrupted time would be now more :)

Linds

Amy said...

I don't make time for quiet time. I think that is why I feel stressed all of the time. It seems we are following along the same path right now, Carrie, as I posted today about being too busy and a busy quiz :) I am just overwhelmed and I am trying to make this a priority. Hopefully, we will both make some great discoveries about "life in the fast lane!"

Love you!

A, B & C said...

Carrie,

My quiet times are at night, since I'm not a morning person. I usually read and mostly it's in our big comfy chair or in bed. I also sometimes take a quiet time during Love Bug's nap and just listen to music and work on projects.

I took the quiz from your last post and scored a 9, and I'm not really surprised. I get very irritated in a slow line, and especially walking behind a slow person, but otherwise, I do many things slow. I definitely eat slowly and since I'm surrounded by crazy drivers, I drive slowly now too, though I didn't used to.

I think we all could take a cue from the many articles and doctors telling us to slow down. Food tastes too good and time with family and friends is too good to rush through.

Sherlyn said...

Hey Carrie,

I really try to have my quiet time first thing in the morning. I actually set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier than I actually need just to have my quiet time with Christ.

Unfortunately at least two or three days a week, I hit snooze and end up loosing this time. Then I get mad at myself and to be honest my day really doesn't go as smooth.

I like to get up and go into the living room while my husband is still asleep and curl up in the recliner.

I ususally read the Bible or a Christian base book depending on my mood. Also at night before I go to sleep I try to write in my prayer journal with prayer request and giving thanks for events of the day.

At one time my husband and I were in a habit of reading "Night Lights" by Dobson before going to bed, once we finished the devotional, we've never got another one. I really enjoyed this time, it helped me to relax and unwind before trying to go to sleep and gave us a really close connection.

Hope this helps!!

Ewokgirl said...

It's funny, but I was just reading in Hebrews this morning about the Lord's rest and repentence.

I have no set time, place, or format for my quiet times. Today I did it during 1st period at the school where I'm tutoring. I don't have a class that period, so I decided to read the bible rather than the newspaper. Other times I'll do it in the afternoon or evening. Unfortunately, I'm not as consistent as I should be.

I'm not really into devotional books. Most are too light for my liking. I prefer to pick a book of the bible and work from there. We've been going through the Old Testament with our middle schoolers at church for almost 3 years now, and we're currently in the Psalms. That's usually what has my attention these days, but this week it's Hebrews.

We also have a really awful book we're using in our adult small group. I read whatever passage I'm supposed to read for the week, then generally ignore the majority of the questions in the book because they're just dumb.

I keep intending to keep a prayer journal, but I have yet to put it together.

thehomespunheart said...

Hi Carrie,

I've tried different things and with all the little people, I have found that what works best for me is to have my quiet time before everyone gets up.

With that said, I have not well with this for about a week - but it is my usual time. David gets up at 6 and I do too - I sit in bed and read my Bible. I usually work my way through one book of the Bible by reading one chapter a day. I don't necessarily read the books in order, just whatever I feel is right for that time. For me, reading through books or doing Bible Studies has to be extra because I don't feel like I really have enough time in the Word doing that stuff.

I read it through once or twice and try to take a thought or phrase with me for the day from what I've read.

Prayer has been a big struggle for me to get consistent with. But, since the beginning of this year - I've been keeping a prayer journal which is something I used to do years ago. It is working for me again, I don't know why I stopped doing it. I don't necessarily do it every day, but when I feel like there are things on my heart I make it a priority.

Something I did yesterday when E came to watch all the littles was to take my Bible and prayer journal with me on my errands. I started out by driving to a nearby boat landing and having about 30 minutes to journal/read. It was divine!

I can appreciate what Jamie shared about wanting my children to see this - but I am just not able to figure that out right now. I do want them to visibly see me having time with God - and what I plan to do is eventually shift my quiet time to right after lunch (by eventually I mean when no one is napping anymore at my house!) and have all of us have quiet time during this time.

Where do I have my quiet time? My favorite spot is in bed. I don't lay down as I will just fall asleep! But, I do just sit up right there and grab my Bible.

Sorry to write a book on here! :)

Love you,
Monica

Sara said...

Carrie,
I sit at the dining room table in the winter, and on the screened porch when weather allows the rest of the year. I have my time first thing in the morning, after my shower and with my diet mt. dew. (I am very sophisticated as you can tell.) I generally use a book, I really like all of Kay Arthur's studies and I'm currently working the the Sacred Sorrow Experience Guide by Michael Card about lament. I always choose books which include significant Bible reading - not just a verse or two. I pray before and after. I don't journal, but it's something I've been thinking about starting. Once you get in the habit, it's really hard to break! I know my days go better because I start them with the Lord!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I do my more in-depth Bible study at night after the kids are in bed, but I try to make little quiet times during the day. Mornings do not work well for me because my kids wake up very early, and they also wake up as soon as anyone else in the house stirs.