Don't misunderstand me; I read the Bible. In fact, even in the midst of a super-busy first half of the school year, I managed to read the Bible most days. All I managed to do were short devotions, and there's not anything wrong with that. Most days, I would read from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening which, don't get me wrong, is quite a bit to chew on for devotions, but I was feeling like I needed more from the Word than just that.
This is stupid: I had begun to think that I didn't need Bible studies. For some reason, I thought that I could just read the Bible on my own and the Holy Spirit would instruct me. Which is true! BUT I had completely forgotten about other basic Bible studying disciplines: journaling, observing, applying the Word, meditating on it and praying it. Duh.
Here's the other thing...I needed to get up earlier in order to fit this discipline into my life. UGH. I have ALWAYS struggled with getting up early. I'm the kind of girl who stays in bed until the last possible second, then get up and get ready really fast. This makes everyone cranky and rushed every single morning, but for some reason, until about a week ago, I was completely oblivious to this. (You know what has really convicted me? This quote by John Piper.) I've tried to get up early in the past, but it never stuck, life happened, and I wound up where I was a week ago: overwhelmed, overburdened and wondering when everything would ever get done, ever. But I have been working on getting up early to study the Word, write down some stuff about it and pray about it and the people I love. And you know what? God has blessed it and given me the grace to continue. It's not easy, but it's getting easier.
So what do I do? Here's what I do; it's not magical, but it's working for me. It takes about a half hour.
- I wake up! (See what I did there?) I literally get out of bed and I sometimes make coffee.
- I go downstairs to our guest bedroom and turn on the lights. There I can be alone and isolated. I sit on the guest bed and even have an extra blanket to wrap around myself in case it's cold.
- Right now, I am reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. I jot down observations and applications from the chapter. I also have my eye out for scriptures that 1) I need or 2) my kids need.
- Then I meditate on what to pray for, write down prayers and praises, and pray.
- By then, Jonah is usually babbling in his room and it's time to get everybody ready for school!!
So what's the point? Right now, if you have never had a quiet time routine, I want to encourage you to make one up. Try something out. Be alone for a little bit to study and pray. Try the S.O.A.P method underneath the video here. Here's some inspiration for journaling, and here's some encouragement to rise early. What are y'all doing in your quiet times? Do you need to re-establish a routine? Feel free to share in the comments; let's encourage each other in this! Soli Deo Gloria, y'all.
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