And these are not original thoughts. I am not at all a person you want to come to for advice on how to have a quiet time. I have been attempting a daily quiet time for the last 15 years and have yet to feel as though I ever remotely accomplish what I imagine others enjoy during their own quiet time. On the topic of moms of young children and their time in the Word, I like how Nancy Wilson put it, something about having a quiet time on the run. We might not get to feast, but we can certainly attempt a little snacking.
As an aside, I also like what good 'ole Nancy had to say about the stamina it takes to be a mom of really young children. She is constantly reminding her readers that God created us as body and soul, so we are not to neglect our physical needs. She says a lot of times mothers find themselves praying for more patience, love, compassion (or whatever fruit of the spirit you feel you are currently lacking in with regards to you children) when what we really need is a nap, something to eat, or caffeine! So, the next time you feel yourself unraveling make sure you're not just in need of something to eat or drink. Think about it. It makes perfect sense that our physical self has an impact on our spiritual self.
Ok, back to quiet times... this is actually from a recent reading in Elisabeth Elliott's Keep a Quiet Heart. Here are her tips:
1.) Plan the time.
2.) Make up your mind to stick with it.
3.) If this is new to you, make it short, about 15 minutes or so.
4.) Take a single book of the Bible.
5.) Pray for the Holy Spirit's teaching.
^.) Read a few verses, paragraph, or a chapter.
7.) Ask yourself: What is this teaching me about God? Jesus? Holy Spirit? Myself? Sins to confess? Sins to avoid? Commands to obey? What Chrisian love is?
8.) Keep a notebook. Write down special prayer requests and record the answer when it comes.
9.) Tell your children, spouse, friends what you are learning during this time.
This is not meant to be a list of what you must do to have a good quiet time. I was wondering aimlessly during my times with God and this just gave me some direction. It made such a profound difference in my time with God that I wanted to share. If you have any other tips, please pass them along for us to all benefit from. I'd also love everyone to share exactly when during the day works best for them to have a quiet time. I personally have to start my day with it or it won't get done at all. So, I get up at 6:00 when the household is still asleep and no one needs anything from me :).