My schedule is ridiculous right now.
It’s way too busy, definitely NOT the schedule I would choose for myself, but I guess in deciding (sort of) to have four children, I did choose it in a roundabout way.
None of the kids are overly involved in extra-curricular activities. It’s mainly just that there are FOUR of them!!! I am more chauffeur than Mom right now.
As a result of this busy-ness, my prayer time has suffered. Gone are the long summer mornings of spending an hour or more in Bible study and prayer and silence before the Lord. In this season, it’s a good day if I can squeeze in 15 minutes.
I had about 10 minutes to do a quick devotional this morning, and it prompted me to share a little with you about what I do for “quiet time.”
Redefining Quiet Time
The term “quiet time” bothers me a little, even though that is very much what it is, because it seems trite to put a label on time spent with God. It was a struggle for me for a long time, because I had unrealistic expectations of what quiet time was supposed to be or look like.
Slowly, my time with God evolved into something that became a respite and a joy — rather than a tedious task on my to-do list or a looming source of guilt when it didn’t get done.
There are a few practical things that helped me along the way.
If you’re having trouble establishing a daily time with God, there are plenty of resources, books, and internet experts who can give you lots of information. I am not one of those experts. However, I thought I’d write a short series to share aspects of “quiet time” that have really made a big difference in my life. I hope you will find something helpful!
2016 Update: I’ve now compiled this series into a handy downloadable guide! It’s chock full of information to help you redefine your quiet time, plus you can get access to my “members only” page of resources and tools. Just enter your email in the box below and I’ll send you your FREE guide!
Today’s topic is “place,” because this is the one thing about my prayer time that makes the biggest impact.
A Quiet Place
All the “experts” seem to agree that it helps to have an established place set aside for prayer and quiet contemplation. This was a difficult hurdle for me for years. I tried the kitchen table, the couch by the fireplace, my office upstairs, all perfectly acceptable places. But even though I was usually the only one awake, I felt like I didn’t have enough privacy. It hindered my prayers.
So I did what Kat Lee of Inspired to Action suggests. I built a “mom cave.” I have to give Kat most of the credit for this, because it just never dawned on me. Shortly after I read about the “mom cave” concept, my mother-in-law showed me her special place and I knew I needed one, too.
Y’all, I pray in my closet.
And I do not have a huge closet.
So I followed Kat’s suggestions (if you want to read about her “mom cave,” click here). I cleared the clothes from one whole side of the closet. I put in a rod up high for out of season clothes, moved everything else to the other side and the back, and then got rid of anything else that wouldn’t fit. So as an added bonus, making the “mom cave” was a great motivator for decluttering my closet and paring down my wardrobe.
Just for reference, here’s what the other side of the closet looks like.
The next thing I added was a small table (I got mine at Target), with a little quilt top over it and a small lamp. I have an old seat cushion in the corner, but a beanbag would work as well. My mother-in-law actually has a desk and chair in her closet, but hers is not in the same space where she keeps her clothes. I didn’t really have room for that so I had to make do.
Next came a bulletin board, some inspirational posters and scripture printouts, a box of kleenex and plenty of pens, pencils, and highlighters. Then I stacked my devotional books on a rack I found at Goodwill for a couple of dollars. I keep my Bible and my journals in a basket beneath the table. A pillow and an afghan crocheted by my grandmother were the final pieces to transforming my space into a bonafide prayer closet.
Here’s a picture of Jesus hanging out next to all my jewelry.
Having this place set up makes a tremendous difference for my quiet time. As soon as I took this step, my prayer time improved immediately because I had privacy. That’s not to say that the kids don’t ever interrupt me, but everyone knows that when Mom is in her closet, she’s spending time with God and they are supposed to stay out until she’s done.
This is the single-handed most important thing I have done for my prayer life.
Sometimes I just go in there and take a nap. It’s a totally safe place and I love it.
What about you? Do you have a special, private place for prayer? If not, what would it take to create one? I’d love to hear your ideas!
And if you found this post useful, would you mind sharing it? I’ve created a great image for Pinterest below, or you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet. I love it when you spread the love by sharing!!
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Update: Here are links to the rest of the series. Enjoy!