Some days a scheduled quiet time just can’t happen. And it would be wrong for us to put pressure on ourselves to always create this perfect scenario – as we would selfishly have to push our children’s needs aside.
So what’s the solution?
Learn how to meditate on God’s Word.
Joshua 1:8 says:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
Meditating is essentially soaking in God’s Word. Like a sponge, sit and linger over God’s Word. Take in the living water and be refreshed. Meditating goes hand in hand with memorization. If you are memorizing, then most likely you are also meditating. But it is possible to meditate and not memorize.
A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditating on a Passage of Scripture
1. Choose a passage of Scripture for the week. My favorite passages to meditate on come from Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Gospels. I also love the reading plans offered at GoodMorningGirls.org – they are my go-to Bible reading guides.
2. Write the passage on a note card and slip it in your pocket. Pull it out periodically and read over it. Keep it in your purse all week long, and pull it out at convenient times and read through it.
3. Open your Bible to that passage, and place it on the kitchen counter. All day long, when you walk through the kitchen, pause, read the passage, and then move on.
4. Read the passage out loud. Read it to yourself, and read it to the children during breakfast and lunchtime.
5. Read the passage first thing in the morning. Read the passage as soon as you get out of bed so it’s the first thing on your mind that morning.
6. Read the passage before you go to bed at night. Bookend your days with the reading of this passage of Scripture.
￼7. Write the verses at the top of your to-do list. This way, every time you look over your to-do list, you can review the Scripture passage.
Squeeze every drop of nourishment out of the passage all day long through these short readings of Scripture. Meditate on God’s Word day and night, and you will soon find your life transformed by the renewing of your mind!
If You Fail to Plan, You’re Planning to Fail
If you don’t have a plan for dinner, most likely you’ll be scrambling for something edible at the last minute. If you don’t make plans the night before for what you will wear to church, you probably will end up at church late or in wrinkled clothes. If you don’t have a plan to keep up with your friends’ birthdays, you’ll buy a lot of belated cards.
Bible study is the same way. Planning makes all the difference.
So what things could we plan that would make the discipline of a quiet time easier?
Choose when you will have a quiet time each day. We are creatures of habit, so select a time that works best in your season of life, and work toward being disciplined at that time.
One of my strongest memories from childhood is of my mother studying her Bible late at night at the kitchen table. When my children were babies, I was more alert in the afternoons, so that’s when I tried to have my quiet times. There are many great Christian heroes of the faith down through the ages who had early-morning quiet times, including David (Psalm 5:3) and Daniel (Daniel 6:10). In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus spending time with His Father in the morning:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.
One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth George, encourages women to “beat your family up”. Of course she doesn’t mean to use physical force. She means to rise earlier than they do so you can have a few moments of solitude.
There is a small window of time in the morning that slams shut the moment your children wake. So even if you can only rise five minutes early, grab that five minutes and delight in your devotions with your heavenly Father. He loves you so!
Plan your solitary place. As a newlywed, I felt a need to create a “prayer closet,” so in our apartment I turned a walk-in closet into a prayer closet. Matthew 6:6 says:
When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
In the closet, I put a chair and footstool bought at a bargain outlet store; a cheap nightstand filled with my journal, Bible, and hymnal; and a little water fountain and CD player in the corner, along with some photos of loved ones. This was the most inviting solitary place I’ve ever had.
One of the only solitary rooms in our home now is the bathroom. In our first home, I turned my vanity in the master bathroom into my sanctuary!
Some might imagine a sanctuary to have stained-glass windows and a pipe organ – but the word sanctuary simply means “holy place.” I wanted a holy place in my home where I could step away from the kids, pray, and meet with God. We took down the mirror, and I put up a dry-erase board. Then, rather than using the drawers for makeup and accessories, I filled them with devotional books, highlighters, my Bible, and planner, and set my computer on the countertop.
I have worked hard to create an escape from the distractions of life to be alone with God. I encourage you to create a place that is inviting and that is ready and waiting for you. Maybe you have a chair in the family room that you could use and place a basket beside it with all your quiet-time goodies. Or maybe, like my mom, you prefer the kitchen table!
God doesn’t want to hold us down all day long, but He does want just a little while to linger with us. He wants to tell us how much He loves us and guide us by His Word. He wants us to talk to Him about our day, our struggles, and our needs. He wants to teach us. He wants to reveal to us areas we need to mature in and fill us up with love, joy, and hope. He wants to be thanked and worshiped. He wants us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
Watch the Video for Women Living Well
How do you find time in your busy day for meditating on Scripture and being quiet before God?