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‘Tis the Season for Resolutions!
I have never been good at resolutions–but I do like the idea of starting fresh with a clean slate. So I’m not anti-resolution–but this year, let’s call them goals.
My goals for 2017:
- Have consistent quiet time with the Lord
- Quit yelling at my kids
The first goal I’m tackling is getting a grip on my quiet time with God.
It needs to be a time that I can count on. It is so necessary to my sanity—like, for real.
I also believe that having consistent quiet time will help me with my second goal—to quit yelling at my kids.
(Sidenote: If you want to quit yelling at your kids and need advice from someone who holds no judgement–check out my friend, Jenny at Ignite Learning! This post will be your ticket!!)
So I’m all in…I’m going to be the spiritual driving force my family needs me to be and I’m not going to use the fact that I’m a busy mom as an excuse to give up.
Quiet time with God will look different in every season of life.
That is so easy to say, but man—it sure is hard to accept. I want it all—30 straight quiet minutes, legs folded under me in my comfiest chair, open Bible, my journal awaiting the perfect brilliant stroke of my pen and my connection with God will be clear and unquestioning.
Is that too much to ask?
Most days I am happy to sit at all…and let’s face it, my actual Bible is a little dusty. (Thank goodness for Bible apps.)
I’m not going to let the business of life and the craziness of this season keep my from any time at all with God.
It might not be perfect—but it’s something—and that is enough.
It’s better to do it IMPERFECTLY than to never actually do it all.
So I’m making the commitment to get more quiet time with the Lord in 2017–not a resolution–a commitment!
There’s a difference, right?!
How I plan to sneak in more quiet time–even though I’m a busy mom:
Write down just 1 verse a day:
In my opinion, Betsy at Faith Spilling Over gives the best example of this process. She writes out one verse and then writes a one sentence prayer to go along with it. Very basic. She also mentions writing out the verse and then choosing one word from the verse to pray on and seek God’s guidance about.
“God, what do you want me to know about this word?”
You can also choose a word from the scripture that you don’t know the mean of and spend a few minutes researching it. That’s why I love this method, because if you have more time to dedicate, it is a process that can take you deeper.
I’m pretty sure any person–no matter how busy–can find time to do this simple exercise.
Find an accountability partner:
Find a friend who is on the same path as you. One who is trying to get back to opening up her Bible each day.
Encourage each other, offer to watch the other’s kids for an hour, or go through the same daily devotional together. For me, I don’t like to let others down, and I’m much less likely to quit if I’m working with someone else. Other people are more independent and don’t need to include anyone else in their process–and that’s ok too.
In some extreme cases, you may not be able to find even a minute in your day–don’t worry, I have a plan for you. Why not invest a little bit of money in a life coach? One who can help you organize your time and thoughts to clear out extra space for Christ in your life. Many life coaches are Christian and offer online consultations.
Tammy from Infuse Coaching is one of my favorites.
Turn ON the TV for the kiddos:
Oh I can sense that mom guilt kicking in already.
TV is not the enemy, my friend!–everything in moderation.
Turn on Netflix for 30 minutes–you’ll have time to start a load of laundry, grab and drink, and read/journal for 20 minutes. I promise you that you will be a better mom afterward–and your kids will see it too.
They’ll start connecting the dots, “Mom read her Bible and then she was happier.”
Kids are smart–they’ll get it.
Include the kids:
Why not read your devotional out loud and then have a discussion about what you read?
Here are a few of the books in my Amazon cart–I’m planning to give this a whirl. Especially this winter–when we’re all cooped up and the kids are bored and cranky–maybe doing these devotions together will bring fresh life to our house.
I know this isn’t exactly “quiet time” in the original sense, but again–it’s not perfect–and it doesn’t have to be.
Institute a daily quiet time:
Are your kids terrible nappers or you’re a homeschool mom with older kiddos? I got your back too.
Institute a daily mandatory quiet time. 1 hour in your room—playing quietly, reading, or resting. I started this when my oldest son was about 4 and no longer needed a nap. I honestly don’t know what we’d do without it.
An entire hour to do some quick chores, eat some lunch, and still have plenty of time for Bible study.
Best hour of the day–and we all emerge refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the day! Praise the Lord!!
It will be hard at first—especially if your kids are not used to it. But after some tough work up front, they will adjust. Just a tip—assure your kids that it is only for 1 hour—and you need to stick with it and release them in 1 hour. It’s hard to disturb them when the house is quiet and calm—but consistency is key!
Wake up before your kids:
I can remember people telling me to wake up before my kiddos many times over the years and until recently, it seemed impossible! My kids were always early-risers–up by 6am and ready to rock-n-roll. I was like, “yeah, ok….no!”
BUT–times are changing! My middle son still wakes up pretty early, but he will play quietly by himself while I get into my quiet time.
Put devotional apps on your phone (my favorite is She Reads Truth) to read in the pickup line or when the stars align and your kids play with a toy for more than 5 minutes.
If you are in the stage of life where you are really digging for 10 minute blocks of time–hang in there! It gets better.
To really utilize your time, keep all of your Bible study tools together so that when you get a free minute—you just need to go to one place to retrieve what you need. Since I still like good ol’ pen and paper, I keep my stuff in a cute little basket in the kitchen.
In the summer when the kids were swimming all the time, I’d grab my basket and head out to the back deck.
And even during the cold months, when we’re cooped up inside and they are watching movies and playing video games more often—I sit at the kitchen bar where I can still see and hear what’s going on in the living room (and break up any fights that occur), but I’m also able to do a little reading and journaling.
Bonus Tip: Have games, puzzles, and toys that they are only allowed to play with during your quiet time.
Post scripture around your home:
I love this idea so much–and I’m going to commit to incorporating scripture into the decor of my house. The words in the Bible are so poetic and beautiful–so why not post them around your house as a reminder to stop and pray.
Hey–even write it on a sticky note and stick it to the bathroom mirror, your nightstand, on your fridge, on your kid’s bedroom doors or walls or above the kitchen sink.
I made an adorable printable of my favorite scripture and framed it in a small 5×8 frame and now it sits on the window sill in front of my kitchen sink. I spend more stationary time there than anywhere else in my house, so what better place to post it?
So there you go–no more excuses!
It is absolutely possible to have daily quiet time in any season of your life.
I can’t wait to hear about all the ways God is speaking into your newly-found moments.
Great goals! 😉 thanks for all the tips on being intentional about our quiet time! We find that our day always runs so much smoother when mama’s spiritual tank is full.
Could not agree more!
Thanks for stopping by!
Stephanie Smith says
I think the one verse + a prayer idea is great. There have been seasons in my life where that is all I had time for and if I had done something as simple as that, it would have really altered the tone of my day.
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement! I’m trying to have more Scripture around, too. I love your idea of having all your quiet time materials ready to go in a basket in the kitchen!
There’s is nothing like spending time with the Lord. That is my number 1 goal. Thanks for these useful tips!
These are great…especially including the kids. I certainly need time without AND with the kiddos.
I love the idea of posting scripture around the house! I used to do that more often, need to do it again!! Thanks! Here is a similar post that I wrote a few years ago: http://survivingtoddlerhood.com/2013/08/25/simplifying-life/
Cassie from True Agape says
Great tips! With baby number 2 just two weeks old I am really wanting to establish some kind of routine again. I know it will take time, but these tips will support me until I can get more structure.
I would add to limit the smartphone. Since I use an older model flip phone, I see how much time it takes from those who are constantly using one.