5 Tips for Quiet Times for Busy Mothers
Years ago when I was reading Jim Elliot’s Journal, I found the following: “Anything, good as it may be, put before my study of the true and living Word, becomes a snare, and I must assiduously avoid all such if the Word of God is to be my fresh meat every morning.” The first time I read this, I fell in love with the idea of a daily time of studying my Bible, but the act of doing it was stunted, shallow, inconsistent, interrupted and frustrating. When I would sit down to read I was tired. I would doze off. Or I would be interrupted so often, I would end up feeling snappish and angry and cheated. Worst, some days I would make it through my quiet time and just feel like I was going through the motions, filling my mind with words and thoughts, but they were just like skipping a rock across a pond- nothing really took root in my heart. Finally, after years of trying and failing, I developed some disciplines that have helped.
- Do you very best to be consistent with your QT.
One of the best ways to start and maintain a habit is to tie it to something you must do every day. For you, it could be waking up, right before breakfast, after lunch, during naptimes, just before bed, or for nursing mamas, during one of your nursing sessions. Whenever you choose, try to be consistent. If you are tired, drink some ice water with lemon or tea and enjoy it while you study. This will temporarily perk you up and give your body something good for it as well.
- Start with prayer, then follow with a set amount of scripture reading.
Set a goal for each day. Perhaps you want to read a chapter per day. Perhaps it’s a bible in a year plan, perhaps it’s a certain number of minutes. Whatever your goal, write it down and put the items you need to reach that goal in the location of the event you have “tied” it to. So if I want to read during my morning tea, I should keep my bible and journal in my kitchen. If it’s during naptimes, I should put it in the chair in the hall by the young children’s bedrooms.
- Take a few notes about what you read in your journal or in the margin of your bible.
Each time you read, be looking for that special nugget that is meant just for you today, or even is for you to share with a loved one. This will heighten your mind and help you pay special attention to God’s word. If you don’t keep a journal, highlight or take notes directly on the pages of your bible. This is particularly useful in sections that get very repetitive. If you take note of the very small differences from chapter to chapter, you will find there is something very beautiful, even in genealogy lists and books of laws that may otherwise seem dry.
- Keep your calendar/planner with you so that when thing pop into your mind, you can jot them down right away.
A constant problem I used to have during my quiet times with the Lord, was that everything I needed to do for the day would run through my mind. I would keep thinking about them because I was afraid I would forget them, or some detail I needed to know. By keeping my planner there, I could take a minute to write down whatever needed to be noted, then go right back to my quiet time.
- Involve someone else.
One of the best things I have done to make sure I get my quiet time is to involve someone else. Currently, it’s my teen daughter and one her friends. I invite them to read through the Bible with me, one chapter at a time or a book at a time, and each day we use a facebook text chat to keep in touch and report in that we have done it. This is great because if anyone gets excited about a verse, or confused, we can immediately share it there and when the others see it and respond, we encourage one another. Other times, it’s been an online group. Perhaps it’s your spouse, or a Bible study group. If you can’t find someone to join you, then try to take a minute or two every once in a while to send someone an encouraging note at the end of your quiet time. You can include a verse you just read that reminded you of them, or just let them know you prayed for them.
Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to six children, ages 3-25, a grandmother, and an author, conference speaker and director of www.homemaking911.com. She has home educated her children since 2000 and has been blogging at Homemaking 911 since 2007. She is also a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew for 2016.