Having a consistent quiet time where we can be fully focused is hard to come by. Especially if you are a mom. Or a wife. Or have a job.
It never fails! Every time I sit down, I’m bombarded with distractions. Tiny tiptoes creeping down the stairs earlier than expected. An unending to-do list flashing in my brain like a giant billboard. The distractions change every day, but they are always there.
Yesterday we talked about why it is SO important to fight for this time and honor it as much as you can. Finding a time that will work best for you will probably change as you enter into different seasons of life. No matter what it looks like, make it happen!!
So, once you establish a set time each day, how in the world do we drown out the noise and stay fully focused?
I have heard over and over again how overwhelmed people get when trying to set – or stick to – a quiet time. As I was praying about what things to include in this series, I decided to hit the streets and poll the people. And by “hit the streets” I mean I turned to the ever-faithful Facebook. I posted on my wall and asked on multiple groups I am a part of on FB.
An overwhelming majority shared some of the exact same struggles. It breaks my heart to realize how easy it is for us to be distracted from something that should be our number one priority.
The overarching theme I heard over and over again is that most of our struggles for consistency all boil down to four main issues. Here they are, with a few tips that will hopefully give some fresh inspiration to help.
1 – “I never have alone time.” Every mother in America can attest to this one. When my girls were babies, I remember thinking how nice it would be when they were older and didn’t need me so much. THEN I could have uninterrupted quiet time. Ha! If I only knew.
It is rare to be alone these days. Many of us have children or spouses or co-workers who need us. Sometimes at every waking moment!
We have two options with this. One, we can figure out a way to have quiet time with our kids present. Schedule a reading time, their own quiet time, or a short movie to keep them calm. I think it’s healthy for our kids to see us spending time in our Word every once in a while! They should see us choosing to put this practice first. And they will learn to honor our “Jesus time.”
Two, if you know this isn’t an option for you, you HAVE to find a time where all is calm in your little corner of the world. Wake up earlier than the kids. Find time as soon as the kids go to bed or down for their nap. Ask your hubby to tap you out at some point so you can have some time alone.
2 – “My brain won’t shut off!” I 100% relate to this one. Over the years, I have learned a few things that have really helped me.
One tip I have is to write. Okay, yes, I’m a blogger. So you know I like to write. BUT I have prayer journals that date back to when I was 15. I wrote before I knew I loved to write.
Writing my thoughts, my prayers, my fears, my dreams helps me to stay focused. The physical act of writing crowds out all of the other thoughts warring for my attention. Sometimes it’s prayers, sometimes it’s verses, sometimes it’s just a bulleted list documenting my thoughts and prayers or the things I’m learning as I read. Write anything really!
Another thing I do is keep a pad of post-its nearby. Anytime something pops in my head and starts to distract me, I jot it down on the post-it and let it go. I can then fully focus, knowing I won’t forget that oh-so-important thought and I can come back to it later.
3 – “I don’t understand what I’m reading.” Just remember, at first anything is better than nothing.
Start small! Pick up a daily devotional like this one right here, Jesus Calling, and look up the scriptures that go with it each day. Commit to reading one daily passage from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers or Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado. Download the She Reads Truth app. She Reads Truth has many different topical Bible studies that already done for you. Some walk through topics. Others walk through books of the Bible at a time. The First5 app is also a great tool. It is designed to give you a daily five-minute devotional so you can spend your first five minutes in the Word before your day even starts.
Pick a devotional book that covers something you are struggling with. Write down the verses that stand out and speak to you.
Read through one proverb a day, pick one verse in that proverb to dwell on that day, and write it in your prayer journal. There are 31 proverbs, and 31 days in most months. It is perfectly sectioned to do one chapter a day.
Read only 3 chapters a day to read the whole Bible in a year. Three chapters, y’all!! That’s it! Three little chapters a day and you can read the entire Bible in just one year.
Pick one book a week to really dive into. Jot down your prayers and spend a few minutes reflecting on the truths you’ve learned and how you can practically apply it to your life.
4 – “So many things are vying for my attention, and by choosing them over my quiet time, I am essentially choosing to honor them before I honor Him.”
Ouch!! Look, the bottom line is we will never have a convenient quiet time. We HAVE to choose to make it a priority. We HAVE to make it happen. We HAVE to make it regular. By letting distractions hinder us – Facebook, Instagram, our to-do list, even our children – we are choosing to put those things before Christ. We are essentially choosing to elevate those things to be more important. And they aren’t!.Turn off the notifications from your social media. Put your phone down altogether. Light a candle. Turn on some music. Set a time for however many minutes and do not get up! If someone interrupts because, well, mom life, remind your littles you can’t get up until your timer goes off!
I hope this post sparked some new ideas that you can adopt to make work for you. I pray you find what works for you, and commit to a regular quiet time. We need it, friends. Our marriages need it. Our families need it.
What is something that you have found that helps you stay focused on your quiet time?