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Life is non-stop, crazy, and anything but quiet. But we can have quiet time with the Lord in a not so quiet place. Here’s how to strengthen your quiet time.
I remember trying to have a quiet time in my sorority when I first moved in. It felt impossible. There literally was not a quiet space in the entire house, ever. The moment I would sit down, a friend would walk in and start talking, or my homework would be looming over me. There was a social activity I could be at or a new Netflix series fighting for my attention. My priorities began shifting and suddenly spending time with God was taking a backseat to my freshman activities. I could feel myself losing touch with Him, but I didn’t know how to be close with Him anymore. During this season of my life, I learned a few things about how to have a quiet time in a not so quiet place.
Our lives are hectic and full of noise all the time. Whether it is your phone ringing constantly with Snapchat or Instagram notifications, sisters chatting in the other room, or your coworker chewing their food too loud in the next cubicle, we are surrounded by distractions. To be able to listen to Him, quiet is required. That could mean putting a sticky note up on your door that says “Working in here! Please knock” or “Come back in 30 minutes.” Unless there is a pressing issue that requires your immediate attention, people will generally respect your space when asked. If like me, you don’t even have a room during your freshman year, I would suggest leaving the house. Grab your Bible, journal, and yoga mat/blanket and go to a grassy patch on campus. Spend time under a tree and let the sounds of the campus breeze by you and clear your head. If you nanny or babysit, you can use the opportunity of the kiddos quietly playing or napping to get some one-on-one time with the Lord. Head to a new coffee shop, grab your favorite drink, and sit down! You can even try during your lunch break. Either way, create a peaceful environment that you can be attentive in. Try to make space for the Lord.
Between class, work, social events, and the need for sleep, it can feel like making time for 30, 20, or even 10 minutes to read your Bible impossible. But there is time! You just have to make it. Actually scheduling time to read your bible and journal is critical to the success of regular quiet times. If you like to plan ahead, take time on Sunday to schedule for the week. Or if planning is harder for you, plan a time to do it the next day before going to bed.
If you two had plans, you wouldn’t blow them off if something else came along. Schedule time for Jesus and don’t bail on Him either!
That being said, sometimes you will wake up at 6:30 AM and not have a moment of downtime until 9 PM. That is OK! Set attainable, realistic expectations for your life and schedule. If scheduling quiet times 3 times a week works with your classes or job, then do that! If you can do one a week, make it count! If you are an early riser and can do it every morning, that’s great, too! But be sure that you can commit and stick to the goals you set. As humans we thrive off reaching our goals. We feel accomplished and are more likely to continue if we feel we are successful. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals that work with your schedule.
Having a roadmap for your quiet times will help you feel more productive and enable you to better use your time. My personal favorite devotional book is called The Blue Book and guides you through week-long devotions related to specific topics like longing, image, and fear. Jesus Calling is another book that has helped me structure my quiet times. There are great apps too if you like to have it on your phone! Here at Live Salted we have two plans that could help you get structured as well. Follow the links to our Ephesians Bible Study, Bible 101, or Identity. It is great to have some direction in your quiet times. The Bible can seem like a daunting book, but having a plan for how to conquer it will help drastically in executing effective quiet times!
Go out and get quiet! Quiet times are wonderful for being alone with the Lord, but in order to receive His words clearly you have to set yourself up for success. Make a quiet space, schedule your time with Jesus, be realistic, and have a game plan! With all of this in mind, you will be able to execute a fulfilling and relaxing quiet time. There have been phases of my life where I open my journal and the last entry was from 6 months ago. It is never too late to start or restart. If you’ve fallen off the wagon of consistency, fear not! God is still there, waiting for you to come back and say hello.
I’m excited for your quiet times! If you’ve got a good set up, snap a picture and send it to our Instagram (@livesalted)! We’d love to see how you all get quiet with the Lord.
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