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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Quiet Time in the Seasons of Life

When I was in college, I got up early to read my Bible and pray. My Christian college let us get up at 5:30 a.m. It was very quiet until near 7:00 when a bell rang. It was the perfect time for Bible study and prayer.

. . . Or not.

I sat out in the hallway, Bible open on my lap. I started to talk to the Lord. Zonk! Out like a light. The only blessing I got was extra sleep.

I tried this day after day with the same result. I was so frustrated for not being able to successfully greet God in the morning.

Then, I heard a short talk by a lady professor that changed my life. She said something like this, “Choose your best time for the Lord. Some people are morning people, and some people are night people. When is the time that you are awake, alert, and able to commune with God?”

I already knew my worst time!

I started choosing the least roommate-disturbed morning hours for my quiet time. It worked! I could have a good talk with my Lord, stay awake, and really get something from the Word. It became my practice throughout my college years.

I got married soon after graduation. Life changed drastically. Now, I was job-hunting, keeping house, learning to cook, and I had a husband.

A year later, my sister-in-law moved in with us, followed by a different sister-in-law and a soon-to-be brother-in-law (one at a time). I worked full-time, plus part-time work in the evenings. To say I was busy was an understatement. My husband was in grad school, and I was typing his papers. We were also getting our feet wet in various church ministries. It was crazy!  

It was hard to find any time for consistent devotions. I would seize whatever minutes I had, sometimes right before work started, or late at night. My quiet time was more snatch and grab than steady and deliberate. My prayer life was probably more like “Help!” and “Please, Lord” than effective and fervent. I certainly didn’t do Bible study.

Then came deputation, including our first baby. Oddly enough, I had more time. I wasn’t running all over the city, trying to do a hundred things at once. My husband was out of school, and even though our lives weren’t anything close to normal—deputation is not normal—we had more time to dedicate to Bible memorization, meditation, prayer, and Bible study. Plus, we were constantly being fed the Word in missions conferences.

When Baby came, I found feeding times were perfect for reading the Bible and praying.

Then came Baby 2. A toddler and a baby! I learned to use their naptimes for Bible reading and prayer. This worked well.

I homeschooled. This means I had my children at home, with me, all the time. This also means that, without structure, I never would have found moments alone with God. Kids are demanding. They want time, attention, time, and attention. (And they should get it!) The children should also understand that Mommy needs her date with God, daily. I found that my best time was after our midday meal’s dishes were washed, before the afternoon activities got underway. My best place for quiet was in my bedroom with the door closed. (Matthew 6:6) The kids learned not to disturb when my door was closed. This is the stage of my life when I really got to know God.

I poured my heart out to God. I feasted on the Word. I enjoyed this time so much that I began to thirst for it.

Now, the kids are grown. The schoolbooks belong to others. Life is quieter than I’ve ever known it. It’s called the “empty nest.” (Funny term! I still have a delightful husband and a funny old dog. The nest isn’t exactly empty!) I no longer taxi my kids from place to place. I have much more time to think, to write, to pray, to study.

Probably, you saw yourself in one of my seasons. Maybe you are the young mother with toddler and baby. Maybe you have school-aged kids. Maybe you’re the young woman who works—a lot. Maybe you work and have a family. And maybe, like me, you’re in your grown-children years. (I like that term better than “empty nest.”)

            When is your best daily time for being with God?
            Where is your best place—somewhere that you can be alone, in quiet?

Whatever stage of life you’re in, make it your priority to get to know the Lord, to develop your personal relationship with Him. If you haven’t already, commit to a daily time with God. When is your best time, and where is your quiet place? Do it! You will never, ever regret it!

But it is good for me to draw near to God:
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
(Psalm 73:28)

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:2a).


  1. Mi mejor tiempo para estar con Dios, es por la mañana temprano. A veces según lo que tenga que hacer al día siguiente busco un poco de tiempo antes de ir a dormir, para hacer los estudios de la palabra, y por la mañana a primera hora hacer la oración matutina. Procuro no salir de casa sin a ver hecho mi oración. Es bueno tener un tiempo con Dios todos los días para poder estudiar la Palabra de Dios, te ayuda a comprender muchas cosas y es una buena guía para la vida.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Tere. I am glad for all you are doing to get close to the Lord.

  2. That was tough for me, once I found a routine that worked, to adapt to the changing seasons and circumstances of life. But I had to learn adaptability is just as important as setting up a routine. My best time is first thing in the morning, just after a shower. The shower wakes me up enough to keep going for a while. Usually if I wait til later in the day I am not as focused, and it's easy to forget to do it, but there have been times the Lord has met me at unusual times and places when the regular ones didn't work out. I agree, we need to give Him our best time, no matter what time of day or night that is.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Barbara. Shower and Bible sound like a good combination! And yes, God can meet us in "unusual times and places." :o)

      May the Lord continue to bless you!


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