I'm a rule follower.
I like to know exactly what is expected of me. I want to know exactly what I need to do to get something done right. I'm not good at forging my own trail because I am afraid I'll do something wrong.
While I think there are definitely areas in life where these are positive traits, I am also fully aware of my tendency to get so caught up in how something is done that I miss the meaning of the activity.
Shall I explain that better?
For as long as I can remember the words, "Quiet Time" have conjured up all sorts of conflicting emotions in me. I think it can be super easy (because it is for me) to turn quiet time with God into an item on a checklist. A task to accomplish. A thing to do that makes me feel better about my Christian walk. I can spend so long worrying about how my quiet time will look and what order I will do things and how long I will spend doing it that my quiet time in itself is pretty empty.
I'm realizing all these years into my walk with Jesus that it isn't about the quiet time. At least not the act of "Quiet Time" that I've seemed to always be creating plans for and chasing after.
Nope, it's not about the checklist, the cute journal, or the 5 am scheduled time. It's about spending time with him because I want to. Because I can't carry on another second without being in his presence. Because I am desperate for him to fill me. Because the beauty of his grace is too much for me to go without praising him for daily.
And you know what? With kids, quiet time isn't always quiet. It isn't always ideal. Sometimes the quiet time I spend with Jesus happens when I close my eyes against the toddler temper tantrum and the little guy crying at my feet and beg him to fill me right then and there. Sometimes it happens when I have nothing left to give, nothing left to offer.
In these years of raising young kiddos, I'm learning to give myself grace and lean into Jesus instead of chasing after a perfect quiet time.
And it's been pretty freeing for me. I thought I'd just show you how I'm keeping track of my quiet time materials (you know for when I actually have a minute!)
I started with a binder. I deliberately chose not to make it cute. It's not about the cuteness for me. It's about the content.
I have inexpensive tabs inside the binder that keep my BSF lessons, Warrior Prayers, 31 Days of Prayer for our Daughters, a list of prayers for Shawn, and a current ebook devotional I've been working through.
For me, going to this binder method is about having all of my material in one place for those moments when I get the luxury of actual time alone with God. I take this binder upstairs with me when I go to bed in case I wake up in the morning before the kids. Then, it goes downstairs with me throughout the day. I keep it around me for any moments of time I have.
I'm sharing this to show that quiet time with God should be what works for you. It should be a time when God is glorified and we humble ourselves before him ready to learn whatever he has for us. This is working for me. It's taken away my need to check it off the list and has given me resources right at my fingertips to enjoy and soak up my time spent with him. I don't waste time trying to figure out how to do quiet time perfectly, I just do it.
I just do it, whether that's early in the morning, during the kids' nap time, or right before I close my eyes for the day. And you know what, it's kinda perfect. :)