One of my goals this year was to study my Bible daily, truly STUDY. I was already reading my Bible pretty often but it was very sporadic in nature. Some days I might find time to do it in the morning during my daughter’s morning nap time (which no longer exists), sometimes I might pull up my Bible app on my phone in between fixing toys, handing out snacks, cleaning messes, doing laundry, making grocery lists or (gasp) checking Facebook and Instagram. On really good days, I might actually steal a few extra minutes to get my pen, highlighter and Bible and actually STUDY what I was reading.
I knew this lack of dedication in my relationship with Him was not good, and quite frankly it was really bothering me. In perfect timing, I began reading “Women Living Well.” In her book, Courtney devotes the entire first section of the book to stressing the importance of our daily “walk with the King,” as she so accurately describes it. Why is this the first section of the book, placed even before marriage or parenting? Because this aspect of our lives should be the most important, taking precedence over anything else. She gives loads of suggestions on how to accomplish this, backed with real life ideas and ways to make this happen. While things still aren’t perfect, I have learned there are a few key things to creating a consistent, meaningful, beneficial daily quiet time routine. Here are some things I did:
1. First, I bought a cute notebook to devote strictly to daily studies. Some days I might simply make notes, some days I might write out full scriptures, some days I might do some verse mapping and somedays I might actually write out specific prayers. I am extremely organized, so any reason to buy a new notebook excited me!
2. I bought a new devotional and Bible. It’s totally not necessary to purchase an entirely new Bible to become more devoted to a daily quiet time. However, I had been wanting to purchase a Bible geared toward women/mothers for quite some time, so for me this was the perfect reason to go ahead and do it!
3. I committed to studying daily. For me, 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time to schedule each day, anything extra is bonus (and I’ll definitely take it)! I began the year prepared to give myself this 30 minutes immediately after dropping my son off at school. However, I quickly discovered that this time isn’t exactly quiet with a 20 month old in the house. In fact, it’s pretty loud…and hectic! Some days I would get lucky and get to spend my full 30 minutes uninterrupted while she played happily, but most days I found myself stopping every 5 minutes to get out a new toy, turn a toy on, fill a sippy cup, get a snack, etc. This clearly wasn’t working!
So, where did that leave me? Honestly, irritated and stressed. Which is where I’m at now. I know exactly where this 30 minutes I’m craving needs to come from…my alarm clock, set for 6:00 a.m. instead of 6:30. This is my biggest hinderance in my daily walk with God. I have always been someone who sets my alarm for the very last second and jumps out of bed and gets ready as quick as possible, not wasting any precious sleep. So, now my new goal is to not only set my alarm clock for 6:00 a.m., but to actually GET UP and take advantage of these 30 quiet minutes before the day gets loud. Honestly, I think I’ll find those extra 30 minutes really are precious…just not for sleeping!