There is no such thing as "quiet time" in my life these days. True, there once was a time that I could sit in my rocking chair with a hot cup a coffee and my Bible, reading the Scriptures, sitting in silence to hear the Lord speak to me and pouring the prayers on my heart out onto paper as the morning sun peaked through my window (proof below). But that is not my current season and it's taken me almost a year to be okay with that.
Here my little quiet time corner I used to spend so much time in.
As someone who has built a business on helping women use a tool to establish a daily quiet time routine and find structure through prayer journaling.... not being able to par-take in quiet time as I'm used to, has made me feel like a bit of an imposter at times.
But the way I am working through this season and have been able to stay close to Christ even while I'm away from my physical Bible and journal has shown me the the Lord will meet you wherever you are, with or without a prayer planner.
This is what I did to still stay in the Word, without stopping to write the word and journal my prayers everyday.....
But first, I have to say that I had to redefine what "quiet time" means to me. Because I had built the regular habit of literally having uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord, I tried so hard to hold onto that time, so much so that I was annoyed by interruptions from my kids or rushing homeschool so I could squeeze in my 30 minutes. I don't think that's what the Lord wants though and It made me realize that I was starting to idolize the "act" of quiet time over the purpose of it. Obsessing over preserving that part of my day turned it into a checklist item than a daily heart check. That's when I knew it was time to live fully in the season I was in and let it go because one day when my house is errily quiet again, I would never get these noisy, busy days back. Live in them.
I don't listen to anything while I walk
I walk 1-2 miles everyday around my neighborhood and 90% of the time I don't listen to anything except the birds chirping and sounds of the world. This gives my mind so much free space to pray, to listen to God and reflect. It’s a remarkable way to silence the words of the world while listening to the sounds of God. This modern day world we live provides an overwhelming access to so many ideals, opinions, passions and concerns of others. Too much actually. I needed to hear less of the world so I can hear more of Jesus. Nature will do that to you.
I tune into the Journeywomen Podcast
I really feel like this podcast helps me to be a better Christian. It's an iron-sharpening-iron type of influence on my life and the conversations hosted by Hunter help me to think deeper about how I am outwardly living my life as a Christian and showing up for the people in my life, in a Christlike kind of way. Her content is full of good hearty topics and zero fluff. But I am not a regular listener. I am able to catch an episode maybe every other week or once a month. When I do listen, I do it on those occasional walks when I do want to listen to something, while I'm working or in the bath at night. Learn more about the Journeywomen Podcast here.
I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone
I had to eliminate the thing that was contributing zero to my spiritual health while taking away all my time and attention. I didn't delete my accounts, I just choose to access social media when I'm sitting at my computer and not anywhere I want on my phone. It's helped me to segment my time, give attention back to my kids and still part-take in the enjoyment I get from following fitness influencers and friends.
I added Jesus Calling app on iPhone
I have never been much of a devotional reader, but in a season when my life is so on-the-fly, having the Jesus Calling app on my phone has been just the little "God Wink" I need on the go, or in the potty when I want to scroll something on my phone. The way the short devotions are written from Jesus' perspective makes their shortness, so much more powerful.
I added a Bible app on my iphone
I didn't add the Bible app to my iphone until this year. Up until this season, I've always been against this because my Bible is sentimental to me and I love highlighting the Scriptures I read and looking back on my notes throughout the year. But I can't always have my big bulky bible with me and I've learned that this was limiting me when I wanted to read the word. So I downloaded the Life Application App and have the NIV version of the Bible on my phone, just like my paper Bible.
I signed up for a weekly Bible Study to enrich my faith
While I might not be in a season of opening up my Bible everyday, I don't want to miss out of the enrichment for my faith it provides. So, during this season I signed up for a weekly Bible study group, Bible Study Fellowship in my town. During the summer, I also took part in Phylica Masonheimer's Theology Basics weekly class (which I'm STILL digesting all the information and referring back to the zoom classes). Daily has been the challenging part for me, so I set my goal for weekly and have sought out group participation to keep me accountable and challenged during this season.
I switched to the weekly Hope Planner.
I am used to using my Hope Planner as my quiet time companion. It's literally my prayer partner, prayer journal and prayer planner. It's all of the above, but this season is calling me to organize my life and thoughts in a different way, so I'm switching up the way I write down my day and trying the Hope Planner weekly. This planner has weekly prayer journaling on Sundays (rather than daily) and 'devotion habit' reminders on the week view. Thankfully it has all the really important goal tracking features that I use religiously throughout the month to set projects, track my progress and stay on course.
Recently one of our customers posted this review sharing her experience in the the exact same season of life.....
"I am a huge fan of the Hope Fuel brand, mainly because of how effortlessly it syncs my faith and productivity for the day all into one planner. However, after having kids, having a day-to-day planner felt like a bit of a downer, because I wasn't able to really get much use out of it (even though I really wanted to!) Then BAM! In comes the weekly planner, and it has been absolutely PERFECT for my current season! I can use it once a week, reflect on it every morning, and still have the weekend space to dive into my goals, brain dumping, and faith reflection time that I enjoyed from the daily planner! This is definitely the planner for me! It's practical, pretty, not too much fluff (just enough) and captures all of the most important parts that I need (and want) to focus on each week!" - Selina A.
Do you find yourself in a similar season? If so, what have you done to stay close to Christ when your quiet time isn't quiet anymore?