If you grew up in church you grew up hearing about having a quiet time. At some point you may have had it modeled for you. But no matter your history with the matter, I think we all know it’s important, even when it feels impossible.
As a mom of seven kids, many of whom are little boys, I know, all too well, how challenging it can be to make even a few moments for a quiet time. It’s been a struggle, like an all-out WWE wrestling match. And I still have to work at it, but with some creativity, I’ve been able to find a way, even if it’s not my ideal way. Here’s seven styles of quiet times. If you’re still finding you’re groove, or looking to improve, maybe one these will inspire you to keep going.
Without Further Ado: Seven Quiet Times Styles
The Not-So-Quiet Quiet Time
This one is my husband. He talks loud — even when he sleeps — and I tease him that he only knows one volume — loud!
His voice is booming by nature and he actually enjoys being loud, especially when he is talking about God or to God. His prayer times occur in our basement providing the rest of the house a little reprieve from the volume, but even still, he often is so loud we giggle upstairs in the kitchen where we can hear him LOUD and clear.
He is so loud he was once asked to pray before the usual church prayer time when others are in the building.
Still, while I’m a much quieter person, I can see value in shouting your prayers to the heavens.
His passion is unbridled and I think God enjoys that loud passion in our prayers, and it also happens to helps him focus more on his prayer. By his volume, rather than concerning himself with others, he concerns himself only with The One who matters.
The Bible or Prayer Journaler
I love the Bible or Prayer Journaler. These people are the artistic types who take bland black and white pages and turn them into works of art, colorful verses emblazoned on the pages as they add little doodles or flowers, fountains, rainbows, and stars… these are the artists who really spend time pondering a single verse while drawing, coloring, and painting their doodles.
They possess a focus that I only dream of, along with pens, colorful markers and crayons as well as limitless imagination.
Oh how I wish I was a Journaler! I have even taken to this style on behalf of my children, because I like it so much. During our morning Basket time, before we dig into our other school work, I’ve added a prayer journal time to help them practice praying and meditating on scripture. I turn on some worship music after we read scripture together and they spend about 10 minutes praying with a pencil in hand.
I’ve seen them develop in their prayers during this time and so I’m a big fan! Even if it’s not me.
The soaker is another quiet time personality I envy. The very idea of sitting quietly in worship, meditating for long periods on a verse or the personality of God, sounds dreamy. I’ve known women who rise at 4 am in order to have their hour of soaking in God. Like a warm tub, I imagine coming out of a soaking time refreshed, relaxed, hopeful, clean and energized for the day! How I think it looks is this… a quiet place, some soft worship music, a well worn bible, a journal (to write in, as opposed to coloring like the journaler would), and a big comfy recliner. Yes, that’s lovely, isn’t it?
Yet, another great way to enjoy a quiet time with the Lord for the fitness fanatic or the multi-tasker.
The walker/jogger begins praying while stepping out of bed and continues to set her heart on the Lord in prayer as she ties her hair into a bun and her best sneakers into double knots.
God meets her on the road in cold and warm weather. Her mind is calm and focused, her endorphins are on the rise and she can really engage with her Creator as she takes in each deep breath and gets her heart rate up. She hears the Lord speak to her as well in response, and chooses either the Bible on CD or a fabulous worship set to add to her overall experience. Follow up with a shower and she is ready to conquer the day!
Once again, reading books is something I aspire to. I try to read a passage of scripture each day, even if not always alone — at a minimum with the kids at breakfast. But to read a book without 35,000 interruptions in 15 minutes… Well, it’s been awhile.
Still, after pondering a passage and spending time in prayer and meditation on God’s word, having time to read a great biblically based book, do an in-depth scripture study or something of that sort would be a great way to spend a quiet time with Jesus! It may not be something I’m capable of achieving right now, but maybe someday.
The Front Porch Sitter
This is how I envision spending my days of retirement, although I don’t really think I’ll ever retire. (A story for another day). Nonetheless, imagining a quiet life, surrounded by tropical plants in a beautiful patio set sipping my morning coffee or even a lemonade, well, it sounds just about idyllic. Doesn’t it?
It’s how I picture my mom having her quiet time at her condo in Florida. Let’s all let out a collective sigh for her… aaah!
Yes, it would be amazing and perhaps it’s the quiet time you are able to have daily. If so, consider yourself blessed!
The Dead Man (or Woman)
With seven kids, mostly little, this is my style of quiet time. It’s far from perfect and it’s nowhere near as fabulous as the ones I mention above. Soaking, jogging, and journaling just aren’t in the cards for me right now. See, if my kids know I’m awake, it’s game on!
I know you’re thinking I should wake up earlier, but if you knew how many times I was up last night you’d understand why that’s not really happening either at this stage. Besides if I woke up at 3 am, my boys would know and they’d be up too.
No, right now, the only real daily quiet time strategy I have is play dead or fake sleep.
It’s not a perfect plan, really, because the boys still come to my bedside begging for food way too early, but I can usually get some time that way before I step a foot out of bed. Supplemented with the occasional long quiet car ride, or time in my fabulous writers retreat in the woods, I do my best.
Why Bother? Because It’s Important
Having a quiet time is important.
It’s doesn’t matter what your style is. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the road, hiding under the covers or luxuriating in the Florida sunshine, you can find a way to spend time with God.
Prayer and time in the word is essential for every person, every mom, every dad, every child, every day, but sometimes we have to get creative to make it work.
While I dream of the days when I’ll get to walk, soak and journal, all at the same time, right now, quietly laying in bed, committed to holding my breath like a dead person when I hear a child at my bedside is about as good as it gets. And God honors every moment I’m able to make for Him.
What have you found that works for you?