Browsing Tag

be still

When Your Quiet Time isn’t so Quiet

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Yes. This. Everything about the above verse makes me want to type in all the praise hand emojis. Because quiet, alone, unseen, rewards, secret … all these words tug at my busy-mom-of-three emotions.

Then … reality hits.

Mark 1:35-37 is more my reality …

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

“Everyone is looking for you!”

Is this your life too? I assume I’m not the only one who gets up and goes to a solitary place to pray, only to be followed by little people. *wink*

Even if I wake earlier than usual, odds are one of the children will wake up and interrupt me. They will need breakfast or help going potty or help finding their favorite shirt or something. That’s how it is. This is my reality in this season.

So yes, many of us have very, very little time to ourselves right now.

I’ve included below a few captured “quiet times” of my own so you can see what I’m talking about.

I used to think because of this lack of privacy and silence, my quiet time wasn’t meaningful or productive, so often I’d grow frustrated and even resentful for not getting “ideal” time with God.

But I’ve learned – am learning – that God can and will use my not-so-quiet moments to grow my knowledge and relationship with Him.

No matter how hard I try, some days my “quiet” times are going to be filled with doll babies, nursing real babies and feeding eggos to older babies. All with Peppa Pig blasting through speakers.

But I know God is with me wherever I am, whatever I’m doing and no matter who is around me.

While I still crave and love the literal “quiet” times I get with Jesus, I’m learning to roll with it and recognize not every moment with God has to be perfect and serene, with all the spiritual type of feels. Because REAL LIFE, friends.

So how do you have a productive quiet time in a not-so-quiet scenario?

Here 4 things that help me have meaningful Not-So-Quiet Time.


Keep Him handy.

This is number one for me. Keeping scripture quotes, bibles, devotionals, even prayer prompts handy is great for when I do find a few silent moments throughout the day. If His Word is right there, it’s easy to take advantage of the time that does pop up.

I keep my phone close by me almost all day long (I know, I have a problem), so it’s easy to hop on a Bible app (YouVersion and the First 5 app are great for quick and short reading) or listen to an audio Bible.


Plan ahead.

Okay, so we’re going to devote time to God, but we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, if we’ll be interrupted or sidetracked.

Pick a bible reading plan to follow or a book that studies the Bible. When I wake up, I know which book I’m going to grab (right now I’m finishing up Wendy Blight’s I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God) and get through what I can. If I have to stop in the middle, I have to stop in the middle. I don’t waste time flipping through the Bible, wondering “where should I start?” 


Plan to not follow the plan.

Let’s be real. It isn’t always going to play out how we imagine it. So if you are currently trying to read through a bible study book, and you’ve been unable to sit down that day to read it, you’re going to have to engage a new tactic for the day. Sometimes, I will go back to the First 5 app or something similar, where there is a ready-made and short devotional quickly available that I am not currently following.

Here are another couple strategies I use as a back-up plan (adapted from [re]SOURCE, by my good friend and pastor, Jessica H. Morris).

[re]THINK – Reflect on what you learned or read in your last quiet time. Re-ask some questions to yourself about the subject and ask yourself what stands out most to you about it, that applies to you most personally.

A good strategy here is memorizing scripture, as well. Take a scripture verse and meditate on it all day, write it down in an email to yourself, chant it over and over, write it on sticky notes posted all over your house, or whatever you need to do to keep thinking about God’s Word.

Here, the goal is to re-engage your brain to meditate on scripture or what God is telling you.

[re]PRAY – Pray a prayer familiar to you. Maybe you re-pray what you prayed about yesterday, because it’s still relevant. Or you pray the Lord’s Prayer. Maybe you speak to God through a Psalm of Thanksgiving or Psalm 23, both effective and familiar to many.

The goal is simply to speak to God. Speak to him while you drive, while you shower, while you climb each stair in your home. But to simplify it and keep persistency, pray what you’ve heard or prayed before.

Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. (Colossians 4:2)


Do it out loud.

Okay, so you’ve woken up early, settled in for some QT with Jesus, and your little one sneaks downstairs.

This is often an “UGH” moment for me. But I have to force myself to remember it doesn’t have to be, nor does it for you.

We can pull them up next to us and read out loud, pray out loud, or explain to them what God is teaching us. Remember in Mark 1:35-27 when Simon exclaimed to Jesus during His quiet time, “everyone is looking for you”?

Well, do you also remember how Jesus responded?

“Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (Mark 1:38-39, emphasis mine)

He taught.

Let’s take a page out of Jesus’ book, and when people are looking for us, let’s teach them and pray for and with them. He reminds me our people should be inclusions, not interruptions. Because this is why we are here.


So there you have it. These are some of my tricks for meeting with Jesus during a non-quiet or restful season of life.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for connecting with Jesus during your Not-So-Quiet Time. Post them up so we can all learn from each other.

 

Because I’m Hardcore Like That

I get a lot of questions about the tattoo on my wrist.

I got it after going through a stressful time with my past job. I was ultimately trying to control all aspects of my life, and well… it wasn’t working.

The tattoo comes from scripture – Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God.

And that’s exactly what I needed to do.

I almost got it in regular script, but decided it would be cool in Hebrew. So I did some research on the language and came up with this.

I wanted it in a place where I could see it when I needed to. To be reminded to allow God to be God.

So here it is, the branded promise to myself that I am going to allow God to do His job – right there on my wrist.

CLICK HERE to read about “Being Still!”

 

There’s a War Going On

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
(Exodus 14:14 NIV)

There’s a war going on right now. And the prize is you.

You can’t see it, but I guarantee you can feel it, just like I can. We feel it when we’re torn between saying something hurtful about someone or praising them. We feel it when there is guilt after losing our temper. We feel it when there is an urge to do something we know we shouldn’t.

It is spiritual warfare that is happening, and it’s happening right above our heads. God is fighting the enemy for both you and I, right at this moment. He’s fighting for our attention, and above all else, our soul.

Do you want to know a something cool about this battle? Scripture tells us “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).  And we already have the Weapon needed to conquer. This weapon is found in His Word (Ephesians 6:11-17).

The sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) tells us through Exodus 14:14 to be still and the Lord will fight for us.

Do we truly believe that? Do we believe the Lord will actually fight for us?

If so, let’s be still. Stillness allows us to focus our eyes on God and compose ourselves, with confidence in Him and His promise of salvation, our protective helmet against the enemy. As believers, we prepare for battle and stand against the enemy (Ephesians 6:11-14). But it is God who is on the front line.

When we are still, we rely completely on God.
When we are still, we allow Him to do what needs to be done.
When we are still, we can focus on Him.

So how do we do this? How do we ‘be still?’ Especially when we’re in the midst of the fight?

  • Read the Word.

The more we read the bible, the more acquainted we become with the Lord’s personality and His will for our life. When reading, commit verses to memory. They will pop back up when you need them most. Lisa Allen once mentioned in a lesson how we should “linger” in His Word with Him. I love that. Let’s plan to linger with Him more often.

  • Prayer.

Ask God to help you recognize times of warfare. If we don’t recognize a battle that is not our own, how can we properly stand in it? The more we know about Christ (from reading the Bible), the better we will recognize how to handle situations. Then, let’s thank Him for the protective helmet of salvation He’s provided. (Isaiah 59:17).

  • Cease from acting outside the will of God.

One of the definitions of this Hebrew word, “be still,” literally means “to cease.”  So during warfare, we need to cease from both speaking and acting on behalf of ourselves. We must allow scripture to come to mind and act as Christ would.

Let’s focus on Him and His Word. When we focus on Him, He will focus on us. (James 4:8)

When we believe and act upon His word, we turn our backs on the enemy and march straight toward victory with the Victor.

Let us be the one others say about, “…the Lord is fighting for them…” (Exodus 14:25). And let’s show we believe that. All we have to do is look to His Word, be still, and know the battle has already been won (John 16:33).Exodus14.14

Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God.”

(Psalm 46:10)

“Be still.”

It’s mentioned over and over in the bible.

And it’s such a simple command.

Or so it seems.

In our day and age, to be still is anything but simple. There are meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, dinner to put on the table, errands to run… The list goes on and on. So much of us is demanded at all times – from both ourselves and from other people. I can distinctly remember certain points in my life – certain days, weeks, months and even years – where life was extremely overwhelming. In fact, I went through this just recently. But it wasn’t the first time I have felt it – where I felt like I would literally crack if one more minute or one more thing was asked of me.

We’ve all been there.

So why would God command something of us so simple sounding, yet extremely tough? Because of one simple fact…

The seasons of life where I have felt overwhelmed with life are the seasons that, in hindsight, I realize I have tried to play God. I tried to manage every detail of my career, my family and my friendships.

And guess what? It didn’t work. And I’m willing to bet it hasn’t worked you either.

When we pause in mist of the hustle and bustle of life and “know that {He} is God,” we provide Him the opportunity to come into our minds and hearts. If our minds are too preoccupied and worried about the next deadline or wondering what is for dinner, we don’t focus on Him and allow Him to be who He is. I know when I come to that cracking point, it’s a red flag waving in my face, telling me I need to take some quiet time and go be with God, reading His word. This helps me reshift my focus and remember I can’t do it all – but He can.

And you know what the great thing about all this is? He plays God way better than anybody else in this world can. So I’m going to go ahead and let Him do it.

Psalm46.10

 

CLICK HERE to see my daily reminder to BE STILL!