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Throughout the years, I’ve struggled with finding time for my daily devotional time. As a teenager, I clung to the misconception that there was only one time of the day that was optimal for devotional time– first thing in the morning. I don’t remember if a teacher or a pastor actually ever said those words to me or if it was simply something that I gathered on my own. Yet I believed this as truth for the longest time. I believed that if my devotional time wasn’t the very first thing in the day, as soon as my feet hit the floor, then there was no use to do it at any other time of the day. In my misconstrued way of thinking, I wouldn’t be able to start my day off “right” or meditate on a scripture passage if I hadn’t absorbed it first thing in the day. So the teenage me did not have much of a daily quiet time, and the adult mom me found it next to impossible. I’m not a morning person, and I hit “snooze” too many times. Oftentimes the kids wake up unexpectedly before my alarm even goes off, and the busy mom thing hits me pretty hard in the morning. Those trying to be helpful have told me that I just need to get up earlier or put off morning responsibilities to get a quiet time in first thing. This never panned out for me either. Honestly, it left me feeling defeated. If I couldn’t get my devotional done in the morning, and that’s when I was supposed to be doing it, would it do any good for me later on in the day? It messed with my mind, and I would brush off doing a devotional or dedicated quiet time with the thought process that I would just try again the next morning.
Please don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with getting up nice and early and spending quiet time in the Bible or a devotional. Mark 1:35 even speaks of Jesus doing this. Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
But as a battled on with my lack of daily Bible reading, I realized that my way of thinking had been nothing more than an excuse. Would the God of the universe really say, “Well, if you can’t do it at 6am, you might as well not do it at all.”? Of course not!
If the struggles of busy early morning mom life and family life resonates with you, I hope to give you a simple word of encouragement today. Don’t wait for the perfect time or there won’t ever be one. Make time during your day that works for you. Your best time may be in the morning. Or maybe it’s while the kids are taking an afternoon nap. Or, if you’re like me, it may be after the kids have gone to bed for the night.
This year, I became truly serious about making sure that I included a daily devotional/quiet time in my day. So far, I have been successful in maintaining this time, and I have noticed a big difference in my attitude and perceptions. If you are serious about it, too, here are a few things that helped me that may help you as well:
- I try not to get discouraged if it’s not the same time each day. Some days I can squeeze in time during day if the kids take a nap, but if they forego the nap I’m left with the end of the day. And that’s okay!
- Whatever passage or thought that I’m reading, I try to take time to absorb it. In our scurry of life, it’s easy to get caught up in speed reading a quantity, and, in the process, we lose the quality aspect. I’ve heard pastors preach that I should be reading a chapter a day or for fifteen minutes a day. But what good is reading a large quantity if I’m not letting it sink in and absorb what God is speaking to me?
- I meditate on what I have read. Even I read evening before, the next day I meditate and think about what I have read.
- I use a combination of the Bible and a daily devotional book. While absolute truth for a Christian comes from the Bible, I like being guided in my reading and pondering by a daily devotional book from a reputable source. I have also began utilizing Bible journaling in my quiet time as it allows, but that’s another topic in itself!
If I waited for the perfect time when there was nothing to do and no kids to tend to, I discovered that I would never have a daily quiet time. When it comes to the best hour of the day for my daily devotional, the best time is when I can find a moment of quiet time to myself. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning, the afternoon, or at night before bed.
Are you looking for an awesome daily devotional book to jumpstart your daily quiet time? Earlier this year, I shared a list of 20 Daily Devotionals that I recommended to add to your reading list. This past week, I began another devotional that I am definitely adding to the list: the Not a Fan daily devotional by Kyle Idleman
My husband and I went through the Not a Fan Bible study, and this made me excited to go through the devotional. So far, the devotional has lived up to my expectations. The readings each day are short, but they are accompanied by Bible passage readings and though provoking questions and tasks. The book is designed to be completed in 75 days, making it a devotional that anyone can finish in a little over two months.
I’ve enjoyed using the devotional to guide my daily Bible reading and meditation time, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to add it on their reading list!
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Disclosure and fine print: Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only.Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. Giveaway sponsored by Family Christian Stores. Must be 18 to enter. The winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winner will be notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email in order to change their prize before a new winner is chosen. Prize will be shipped Family Christian Stores. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaway ends at 12 am 2/18/16.