SO, in all honesty, how’s your quiet time? (And you’re like my quiet whaaat?) Track with me here people. I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds. (Or maybe it is, but what’s wrong with being a little weird? Am I right?) Okay, where was I? Quiet times, yes. Let’s go.
This past July I was sitting in the hair salon gabbing away with my favorite stylist that I had been coming to for about a year. Remember how I moved from Atlanta? That means I also moved away from my stylist and I spent the first two years in Auburn searching for my new “person” and being constantly let down. Until the clouds opened up and I met Ashley in the summer of 2016. (Insert all the praise hands!) She not only is KILLER at my cut and color, but she is the most fun to talk to and catch up with. She’s also super cute and an incredible mom of three beautiful kiddos. She’s basically dominating at life. But ANYWAYS, where was I? We’re chatting away and then asks, “So how’s your quiet time?”. 1. I love that about her. She feels totally comfortable asking that. 2. I was totally caught off guard and was stumbling around looking for an answer. I don’t even remember what I said, but I remember feeling embarrassed that I truly didn’t have a good response.
But… what is a quiet time?
In August of 2006, the month I turned 17, I had no idea what a “quiet time” was either. Fast forward two months later, I started truly following Jesus for the first time in my life and was all about my “quiet time”. That time is so important and I believe is essential to grow in your faith.
First off, I think Christians can become too comfortable with “Christian lingo” and forget that not everyone grew up in the church (If that’s you, hi! You’re not alone! That was me too!). I didn’t know what a quiet time was and would never expect everyone else to know either. So you’re like “quiet time”, does that just mean a specific time of day that you’re quiet? Well, sorta. We refer to our “quiet time” as the designated time during the day that we remove distractions and have time with the Lord. This can be through prayer, bible study, journaling, even worshipping! “Quiet” doesn’t necessarily mean “quiet”! If you want to worship, get your praise on! I love it! It can be 15 minutes. It can be an hour. Your quiet time is all yours and like they say in my workout class, don’t worry about your neighbor, worry about yourself! Make your time what you want it to be.
I have been on my journey of truly following and pursuing the Lord for 11 years now. I have seasons where I am wholeheartedly committed to my quiet times and make them my top priority. I have other seasons where I am slow to make them happen everyday and sometimes, believe it or not, just don’t. (gasp!) What? A Pastor’s wife doesn’t have her quiet time every day? I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Sometimes the enemy wins and I choose myself, other things, or just straight up being lazy over coming before the Lord. (Tell me I’m not alone in this.) And that is where I found I was when I was talking with my stylist, Ashley.
You see, I’ve had ups and downs along my spiritual journey just like anyone else. I have weeks where I’m thriving in my quiet times, and others where I’m struggling to make them happen. But when she asked me that question I think I was at an all time low in making quiet times a priority and hadn’t even realized it. I was 6 months into motherhood and was just starting to feel like the ground beneath me was solid again. I think I was feeling okay about things because my prayer life was off the charts. When you become a mom and they place that perfect babe in your arms, all of a sudden your prayer life doubles (triples, quadruples... you get it) because you realize you’re responsible for this little one (keeping her alive as one of my friends says ;)) and being Jesus to her. That is a BIG responsibility so if you’re like me, you find yourself on your knees constantly begging Jesus for grace and wisdom. And that is great and all (not to make it small, because prayer is VERY important), but I was praying constantly as we went about our day, but not actually carving out real alone time with the One I was praying to. I was not studying His word or making my time with Him a priority. I was exhausted and just “getting by”. I was not thriving and I knew I needed a change.
So what to do now that the problem was staring me in the face? For me, I set a goal. (I love goals, and checklists, and all the endorphins you get from checking something off. Nerd over here and I’m okay with it.) I set a goal of 40 days. 40 days of fasting from specific things that were distractions in my life and 40 days of getting up before Anniston to have my time with the Lord. Sure this would be great to do for more than 40 days (say, forever?), but I needed something I could measure and something that would hopefully become habitual once those 40 days were up.
Oh my goodness you guys. Those 40 days were SO. GOOD. Not only was I accomplishing my goal (endorphins!), but I was happier! I was getting up earlier, but felt more rested! I was a more joyful mom and kind wife. Most of all, I felt in tune with the Lord and was at peace in the calm AND in the crazy. Those 40 days renewed my spirit and awakened me to what I had been putting on the backburner and the life I had been missing out on.
If you struggle with this like I did, I could not recommend this more. Set a goal for yourself. It could be 40 days, it could be a week. I suggest not getting too far out there in length because you want to make it a tangible goal that will encourage you when you finish. But then when you finish, start again! Get a friend to do it with you and hold each other accountable. Send texts of encouragement and let them ask you if you’ve had your quiet time for the day. You will not regret it!
Thankfully we serve a very merciful God that is always present and waiting on us no matter how long we’ve been away. You do not need to feel ashamed with wherever you’re at or however long it’s been since you last met with Him. He will meet you right where you are and makes all things new.
So what are you waiting for? Start today! I think I will too!