Your time is precious. Any barrier, no matter how large or small, standing between you and your quiet time with God may completely derail your plans.
Here are four practical ways to cut down barriers to quiet time that I've been implementing in my own life.
1. Put all of your stuff in one bag.
Storing all of your stuff in one place is incredibly helpful. I have a shoulder bag that I use, or a backpack would work great, too. This makes it easy (and efficient) to grab everything you need as you head towards your favorite chair or coffee shop, whichever you’re in the mood for that day.
Here’s what I like to store in my bag:
• Small pencil case with a pen, highlighter, chapstick, and sticky notes
• Devotional (if applicable)
Your list may differ from mine. A journal allows me to jot my thoughts down so that my mind doesn't wander endlessly. Sticky notes can hold every thought regarding my to-do list.
The point is this. Fill your bag with the things that keep the barriers away as you spend time with your Savior.
2. Keep your bag in the same spot.
This week, it happened. I got my kids on the bus and wanted to immediately start my quiet time. I searched the house for the bag that I keep my stuff in. My Bible was still laying on the counter from church the day before. My journal was on a side table in the living room. The bag was nowhere to be found.
I hadn’t taken the time to put everything back into the bag and place the bag in its normal spot. Life happened.
Our lives will have moments where we get distracted. (I forgot to wash my hair in the shower last week so I get it. #momlife) If we can do our best to keep our bag in the same spot, it’ll help keep another barrier away.
3. Be flexible with time and location.
For a long time, I felt like I had failed if I didn’t read my Bible and pray before my feet hit the carpet in the morning. A "fake rule" I had created for myself.
Here’s the thing. I will never, unless a miracle happens, be a morning person. Before I hit the pour button on my Keurig, I cannot function.
Motherhood, mixed with my dislike for early mornings, has taught me to be flexible with my quiet time. Sometimes, I can do it first thing after my kids are on the bus. Sometimes, I do it during rest time in the afternoon. Great for summertime schedules! Sometimes, it doesn’t happen until I crawl into bed at night.
I prefer to sit on my couch for my quiet time. It’s comfy and I’m able to spread out my bag of quiet time goodies. Some people prefer to grab their earbuds and head to the coffee shop. Be flexible with what works in your life right now.
There is no perfect time or place to do it. Just do it!
4. Study with your community.
Studying the Bible with a group of friends keeps me in God's word. It gives me accountability to do my quiet time in preparation for our time together.
I know our lives are busy. We work. We have kids. We have so much on our plates. It can be hard to commit to a weekly in-person Bible study.
Recently, I did a daily Bible study with some friends from Ohio. Yep, I live in Tennessee and I did a daily Bible study with my dear friends in Ohio.
We grabbed a study from the Bible app, read it, and posted comments via the app. Isn’t 2019 fun? If we use technology wisely, we have so much access to community and scripture to help us grow spiritually.
Grab your friends and make it happen.
I encourage you to create a "quiet time" bag. Store your bag in one spot. Be flexible with the time of day and the place. Grab a group of friends for accountability.
Let’s be quiet time barrier crushers!
I’d love to hear if you have a quiet time bag and what you keep in it. Comment below with your helpful quiet time tips!