Morning Glory

Quiet time. A phrase often used by Christians to describe spending time with God.

You might ask what this looks like, or even means exactly. I'll start with what I consider the critical components, in general, for spending some quality time with the Big Man.

God [who never leaves you, so is thus always there] Self Undivided attention Time

You might be surprised that a Bible, journal, or even silence aren't included in the list. It's something I've come to be humbled on, realizing I can make spending time with God about a lot of things other than him.

Now, don't misunderstand me -- I believe His Word, the Bible, is absolutely vital to our lives. There are, however, ways to spend time with Him in addition to reading. Taking a hike through nature while praying, driving in the car listening to worship music, or going on a run, for example.

When I think of "quiet time", I think of getting my heart and mind quiet before the Lord. While some may prefer literal quiet for that, it doesn't have to be. I can be sitting in a coffee shop but instead of thinking about my to-do list for the day or working on blogs (cough), I give Jesus my undivided attention.

My daily way of connecting with God is through spending time reading the Bible when first waking up. I pour a hot cup of coffee, stir in some homemade pumpkin spice creamer and sit at our kitchen nook curled up in a blanket.

Some days I'll read out of my New International Version Bible, other days on our iPad from The Message or Amplified version. Currently, I'm reading through the New Testament chronologically, so that's how I decide where to start. I occasionally like to journal different verses that stand out to me, people I'm praying for, things I'm struggling with, cool moments I've had recently, and what I feel like God is telling me.

My typical QT elements: Bible Journal Coffee iPad G2 pen (I'm a nerd)

I also love to go on bike rides, bake, listen to podcasts, read a devotional book, or go in a quiet room and put on worship music, light candles and sing to God.

Because I'm so scatterbrained organized, I keep a notepad nearby to help me stay focused. If I think of a task that needs done later that day, I'll write it down so as not to let it distract me. I put my phone away. Headphones in. And do my thing. It might last 15 minutes or two hours. In my opinion, mornings are the best time--in the quiet, before the chaos of and yuck of the day have a chance to wear you down.

Bottom line: make time with Jesus a priority. Keep it fresh and creative. After all, I wouldn't want to spend time with my husband the same way every single day. Don't feel confined to a pattern or routine.

Some personal recommendations:

  • Books of the Bible
    • John, Galatians, I John
  • Podcasts
  • Devotional Books
    • Comforts from the Cross, Elyse Fitzpatrick
    • Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
    • For the Love of God, D. A. Carson (commentary that takes you through the Bible in a year)
  • Smartphone apps (free unless marked):
    • FighterVerse - Scripture memorization ($3)
    • YouVersion - tons of versions of the Bible
    • Bible 360
  • Christian music
    • Hillsong
    • All Sons + Daughters
    • Jesus Culture
    • Daylight Worship
    • Tenth Avenue North

How do you enjoy spending time with God? Any particular music groups or books you'd recommend?

Meltdowns + iPads

Clarion River. A beautiful, low-populated haven in Pennsylvania. My hubs’ family owns a little home on this river and we retreat here as often as our schedule allows. 

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Over Labor Day weekend we ventured over for one last stay before moving overseas. It’s one of my favorite places to spend time with Jesus--reading the Bible, journaling, praying and simply relaxing, free from the distractions of every day life. I couldn’t wait to sit on the spacious wooden deck, overlooking the river lined with morning fog, sip a hot cup of coffee, and curl up on the chair to read. 

As we were driving I was painting this vivid picture in mind, and all the sudden my heart sunk. I forgot (what felt like) the essential tools: my Bible and journal. I had a dramatic meltdown brief moment of disappointment until my husband brought me back to reality, reminding me that those things aren’t the only way I could spend time with God.

Silly me. I had limited the Creator of the universe to my way of doing things. While the Bible is a critical part of our relationship with Jesus, it’s not the only way to encounter Him.

It was a humbling experience for me, being reminded that our God can be experienced daily, from the simplest of things to the most extravagant. Not surprisingly, I had one of the best mornings with God I’ve had in long time. I pulled out my iPad and a legal note pad--it made for a wonderful study of the Bible.

His timing is always perfect. As we’ve just moved to Slovenia, I know my typical ways of worshipping God and spending time with him will likely be different. It stretches me to encounter Jesus in new ways and be enriched by His presence wherever I way be. 

Don’t limit the One who knows no limits. Seek new ways to experience Him. Let God surprise you with what He can do and remind you that He is everywhere. All of the time. 

What are ways you enjoy worshipping?  (If this idea is new to you or you’d like to know more about having a personal relationship with Jesus, I’d love to talk with you!)