Carving Out Time

PLEASE NOTE: If you’ve clicked over from the Made to Crave webcast, please join me each Wednesday for an encouraging & idea-driven post and some soulful support from some I’ve-been-there-and-still-am-sometimes cyber sisters via our Weight Loss Wednesdays cyber group. We’d love to have you join us!!! Just read the post and leave a comment. We’re headed down–the scale that is! We’ll see you then!

Congrats to Amy McCollister, the winner of the Jesus Calling basket from over the weekend. Send an email with your home address to me at karen@proverbs31.org. :-)

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Wow! The many of you who left comments on my last post, Jesus Calling, was both a comfort and a concern to me.

A comfort to know I’m not the only one who has a struggle carving out time alone with God each day and a concern for all of us because I know from experience that when we don’t, it can soon spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R in a gal’s life!

When I haven’t filled up with all things Jesus—His calm, His wisdom, His example in actions & reactions—as my fuel for the day and then along comes someone or something who jars me suddenly or even subtly, well then out of me can pour all sorts of things that look nothing like Jesus.

Harsh words.

Impatience.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Sarcasm.

You get the picture.

But somehow, (I’ve been a Christ-follower for over 30 years and I STILL don’t entirely know how!) when I’ve been intentional to sit and soak before the day gets going, something mystical happens.

My fuse lengthens.

You know, that fuse we women have that is oft-times way too short. It transports us to ugly in an instant when someone crosses us, or even appears to cross us!

At those times, what we need ladies, is the Cross!

Jesus doing what He did on the cross means we have full access to the Father and to His work in our lives.

But we have to plan time to sit and soak.

To sit—be still.

That means shut off your phone, unplug from the computer, put down the project and just be quiet.

And soak—like a spiritual sponge, drink deep of all God has for you that day.

Read His words to us.

Ponder them.

Internalize them.

Even memorize them.

So, I thought we’d do a little brainstorming together cyber friends about this topic.

Tell me, what helps you and what hinders you in your quest to connect with Jesus?

Here are a few of my thoughts:

~ Keep all the components of alone time with God in a special tote bag. That way, when you have a few minutes to steal away—to a quiet room, your back deck or front porch or even when you’ll be waiting in the doctor’s office or before a sporting event, you can take so time to connect.

~ In the bag keep a Bible, a devotional book, a notebook and pen, an MP3 or Ipod loaded with music that helps you center on God & some notecards and stamps in case you feel prompted to jot someone an old-fashioned, encouraging note.

~ Be intentional. While it is great to have this bag ready for those short bursts of time when you can connect with Jesus, nothing is better than having an appointment with His regularly.

No legalism now! I’ve had people try to convince me that if it isn’t first thing in the morning, then it doesn’t really count. Hello?? There was a stretch of time in my life when my kiddos were very small that naptime was my only window.

Then later, I’d often go to McDonalds, grab me a coffee and get a large fry for the kids to split. They’d frolic in the play area and I’d meet Jesus in a booth!!

Now, what about you?

What helps (or hinders) you when it comes to carving out time?

Your cyber-sisters want to know!

Blessings,

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14 Comments

  1. We have a new member, just joined our Church. As she and I chatted she asked that I pray for her. She said she is trying to be a witness to her husband and is failing dreadfully, “bad language, anger, not studying her Bible.” She also has not been attending Church. Your post today made me remember her words. Staying close to the Lord in studying His word truly helps us with the rest of it . . .

  2. Thank you for reassuring me that my quiet time doesn’t have to be in the mornings. While i know it’s a good time to ‘start’ my day – it just has not worked for me and has caused such a inner struggle with myself. Such a struggle that I just gave up my quiet time altogether. I felt there was something wrong with me in that I couldn’t get out of bed early enough to have my time alone with God. I would hear of other women commenting about how they are able to get up and it made me feel so inferior. As if I wasn’t “Christian” enough. Well, i’ve had enough of that so I’ve begun fitting it in when I can….especially when my children can see me. It’s hard everyday being a single mom to 3 children in elementary school and working full time but if I can show them that even just 2 minutes alone with God counts, then it’s worth it.

  3. I like to make it like a date with Jesus. Honestly. I turn on (hehehe…how things have changed!)the fireplace, I light a candle, I keep the rest of the lights sort of low. And I meet with Him as close to 5 am as I can get. Actually, the alarm goes off at 5 am, I get dressed, get my coffee and then settle in. I have a journal that I write down all the things that need prayer that I go through (because honestly, if I don’t write down something immediatly when I become aware of the need to pray for it, I forget. The other blessing of this is that I get to go back and mark the date of when each prayer was ansered and write a little note of how it was answered.) and then I go through the current Bible study I am in. I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. I started this 3 months ago. The mornings I ‘think’ I need to sleep in, my days are a mess, I am a mess, everything is a mess. But when I spend time with Jesus each morning, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill me, I am more able to handle what comes at me every day.

  4. My idea is similar to what others shared when with little kids. While I regularly try to have quiet time either during my toddler’s naptime or after he goes to bed, sometime I have to have focus time while he’s awake! After we’ve just finished a meal or played a lot together, he will sometimes get to focusing on and playing with something on his own (like “reading” books by himself after we have read a few books together). I will sometimes take that time to read the Word beside him and pray quietly (or out loud). And then I’ll read it out loud to him!

  5. I am always in the kitchen doing something so I have put my Made to Crave book there with my journal and I actually find I have time to sit and read and write while something is cooking or baking. I may try this with my devotional stuff. Having it by my bed just doesn’t work, bed is usually when I am tired before bed or tired from waking up…..tired doesn’t work well with devotions for me!

  6. I run a nice hot bath, turn on worship music, place my Bible next to the tub along with my journal and a pen- I lock the door and I soak! I soak not only my body but I soak in His presence and Spirit- it restores me every time!!
    Blessings!

  7. I love the idea of the bag… Currently my Bible is beside my bed and all the paper and pens, etc. I thought If I put them there I would see them first thing and do it then.. But… I allow life to happen. And it gets put to the way side.. I’ve just started reading your book “The Complete Guide to Getting and staying organized” I’m hoping this will help me. with everyday life.. And “CARVING OUT TIME”.
    I use to be…Like Terry’s comment.. I long to be like that again. I just allow other things to consume my time.. Things that aren’t really important.. O, I’m rambling.. Karen, You are such a BLESSING to me…

  8. A couple of things that help me are: 1) Get to bed at a decent hour the night before, so I am able to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. 2) Since remodeling I have a quiet corner in our walk-in closet with a comfy chair and table. I love to cuddle up in a blanket and spend time with my Jesus in the morning. It has literally become my prayer closet and it was an unexpected blessing at the end of a never-ending remodeling project. Love it!

  9. Wow. This post was a blessing to me. I am a mom of two girls. one is 4 years old and the other is 3 months old. Since my 3 month old has been born, I am having a hard time sitting down to connect with God. Your post has shown me, I should put my God around them and not the other way around. Thanks!

  10. I have been very good at meeting daily with Jesus…I use a tote bag by my comfy chair as well…until everyone’s schedule changed this fall. My husband began working from home, so my alone time is gone. My oldest began shift work and he never works the same schedule from week to week, and my youngest went to school for the first time (I have always homeschooled) and I am on the road way more than I used to be. I feel like my house is in a fruitbasked upset. I’m lucky to get together with Him 2 times a week. Ugh!! I miss it so much. I’m still trying to figure out a constant time to do it, and I think that is my problem. My schedule differs from day to day so much that I need to figure it out one day at a time. Hope this makes sense!!

  11. Next to my favorite reading chair, I keep my Bible, Bible Study book, pens, highlighter, pretty paper, envelopes, and the church directory so that I have easy access to the addresses of people at my church the Lord places on my heart to write a note too. I love to send a handwritten note of encouragement. Many times my devotion has held a wonderful truth to send someone who might be sick or just discouraged. Lots of times, I write a prayer inside the note too for some added encouragement to let them know that someone is praying. I also try to keep an extra copy of the church directory at work in case the Lord speaks to me to send a quick note while I’m there too!

  12. I LOVE the tote bag idea. In everything I do, from scrapbooking to my teaching, my tools must be collected and organized for my time to be well spent.

    I have a bible/note pad/pens near each of my “favorite” spots–bedside table, side table by my couch, on my desk in my office. This allows me to use that time where I sit and think “What should I do now?” for some spiritual growth time.

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