5 Ways to Make Your Quiet Time Meaningful

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Sometimes when we set out to have a quiet time with the Lord, things don't go as planned and we're left feeling empty. We didn't get out of it what we thought we would.

This is a good time to evaluate what you're doing during your quiet time.Sometimes all God asks is that we show up. So, if we're not meeting Him there, it won't be fulfilling.

How do we meet Him in our secret place? What elements make it meaningful?

Obviously there are some things we need to take action on. But God is quite simple. Just show up. By showing up, I don't mean to only get up early for God. You need to actually meet with Him. Don't grab a book or hop on the computer and call that your quiet time.

Meeting with God requires that you bring your mind into submission to focus that time with Him. So, you could have all the "right plans" to get up, get coffee, journal, and pray out--yet your heart still be far from Him. All because you didn't bring your heart and mind into submission to focus on Him.

We could read the Bible, pray, worship and still be far from God. If we only focus on the words we say, not the words He says, we miss Him. If we focus on all our wants and not His desires, we miss Him. If we focus on all the things we're doing and not what He did, we completely miss Him.

He has created us all unique and sometimes this plays a factor into how we connect with Him. For some it's done best through song. For others, they connect with Him through writing or painting or running. But these are merely tools, and not required to meet with God. Take all these away and God still remains.

The question is - will we continue seeking Him without the comforts of our gifts? We must understand what it means to connect with God. And at times that requires laying everything aside and it just being us and Him.

So, if your goal is to always meet with Him on your terms, you're going to have some rare, less than meaningful times with Jesus.

When we miss our "planned/scheduled" time with Him in the morning, do we just leave it at that? Or do we rearrange our agenda to make up that missed time?

If this scenario happens consistently, and we consistently miss time with Jesus and are rarely filled to full,  it's harder to come to Jesus when we're emptied. Often, that emptiness fills up with shame. The goal is to not allow ourselves to become that empty.

how do you make your quiet time meaningful?

1. Have a plan.

You will get nowhere if you don't have some kind of direction. However, be prepared for the Holy Spirit to lead you away from your plan. But if we aim for nothing, we'll hit it every time.

2. Have all your tools in one place.

Your Bible, journal, highlighter, pencil/pen, and anything else you will need during this time. You don’t want to be constantly getting up to find items and waste this precious time with the Lord.

3.Focus more in His word than in the wisdom of men (or other books).

That's not to say other books or men don't carry wisdom beyond our own understanding. But we should always go to His word first and pray for understanding and discernment. Discernment is just a fancy word for judgement or insight.

4.Submit your mind and emotions to God.

Don't just ask for a bunch of things. I mean, I know we all need strength and wisdom from God. But, sometimes our quiet time needs to be a place to empty ourselves so He can fill us. Sometimes, this requires that we be still and just wait on Him.

5. Walk away with something to meditate on.

When we take a truth away from our time and carry it with us throughout the day, turning it over in our head and praying it into our heart, it helps us believe and understand that truth and make it grow into fruition in our lives.

Recommended Resources (affiliate links):

Women in the Word

Savoring Living Water: How to Have an Effective Quiet Time

Secrets of the Secret Place

A Few of My Favorite Things | A Gift Guide for Your Girlfriends

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One thing I love about Christmas is the ability to bless people with sweet gifts and watch their faces light up. The Christmas season really enhances the giving spirit. But sometimes we're at a loss on what to give.

I am not one to buy items just because they are a good deal. I tend to lean towards gifts that are both inspiring and practical. Though I may stretch the practical just a bit. But buying trinkets or nicknacks or cheap items just to give someone something to open isn't really my style. I like gifts to be meaningful.

I hope this guide will offer you some direction -- either help you get started or finish up -- shopping for those special gals in your life.

 

 

 

 

FitBit

I think a Fitbit is a great idea for a friend who's been talking about wanting to get healthy, but just hasn't made it happen yet. Or for one who has made mention of wanting one or wanting an upgrade.  Check it out here {there are more colors and sizes to choose from}--> FitBit

 

Right now, you can get these amazing DaySpring planners for just $15 each. Check them out here---> DaySpring Planners

Mugs

Here are just a few of the beautiful mugs DaySpring is offering at buy one get one free. That makes some of them $5 each!! Including those pictured above.

I have the Jesus and Shine mugs and I LOVE them. These make wonderful gifts! Get them here---> Coffee/tea mugs.

Gift Sets

These gift sets are only $12 at DaySpring right now, and this only represents a few of them. Click here to see more---> Gift Sets

There are some great options here, many of them over 50% off!

Gracelaced Devotion

This isn't only a beautifully written devotional, it's also beautifully and illustrated by the author herself. This makes a gorgeous gift!! Get yours here---> Gracelaced Devotional

She Reads Truth Bible

I have the She Reads Truth Bible and I really love it. It has beautiful, inspiring graphics throughout, devotions, and Bible reading plans. It's a great Bible to keep at home for studying or long term goals for reading through the Bible. Pair it with a journal, and you have a great combination!

 

Right now, this Wooden Caddy is only $10!!! It's normally $30!! 

I use it for homeschooling--housing pencils, markers, and colored pencils in it. We use it every day!

Grab yours here--->Wooden Caddy

I hope you at least get a few ideas from these awesome things I love--many of them on fantastic sales right now!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see full disclosure here.

You Are Equipped for Motherhood

God gave you the gift of motherhood, not to see if you could handle it, but knowing you could because He has equipped you.

The echoing of, "Mommy, can you...", "Mommy, may I please have...", "Mommy, she took that away..." and "Ma Ma!" all ring in my head as 4 children all compete for my attention. The tension threatens to suffocate me and in an attempt to break out of it, I release it in a less than wise, "Everyone just stop!"

Who ever thought I could handle the needs of these beautiful lives; these little souls who beg to be shaped?

Do you ever feel like you just cannot do this thing called mothering? You wonder why God chose you to take on such an enormous task when you simply don't feel good enough or equipped for the job; when your patience has "run out" for the last time?

Sometimes you forget. Ann Voskamp calls it soul amnesia, and oh how I can relate.

But, you are equipped. Right now, right where you are. God has anointed you with everything you need to be a mother. Our dilemma isn't whether or not we can mother, nurture, and care for our children; it's whether or not we will.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Not only is this Scripture true for training your children, it's true for training yourself.

God gave you the gift of motherhood, not to see if you could handle it, but knowing you could because He has equipped you. When what you need seems just out of reach, pray. He has equipped you with the ability to pray.

You do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2b

But check your motives. Be sure they are pure. Do you really need what you're asking?

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

God will not leave us in need. Sometimes it's simply a matter of opening our eyes to a perspective we may not have considered. Sometimes we need to get creative with the resources we do have. Don't feel creative? That's something you can ask God for. He will give you the ideas you need. He's amazing like that!

What we need is at our fingertips; we just need to tap into it. Sometimes it's material items, sometimes it's spiritual growth. Sometimes, it may be knowledge or wisdom.

I remember asking God for patience when my first child became a toddler. Oooh those were tough times. Rather than "giving" me patience, He gave me 4 more children. He is equipping me in ways I never imagined! Each of my children is dear to me, and each of them have taught me something new and deeper about motherhood.

When I first began homeschooling, I wasn't sure how we were going to pay for all the things we needed. Some people are gifted with natural frugality. I wasn't. So I prayed for the means, and He provided.

God loves us and He loves our children. Picture a father wildly in love with his child. A father who doesn't want his child to lack in anything she needs and wants her to learn important lessons in life. Multiply that by a thousand, and that's God. Hard to imagine isn't it?

Living in America, our culture relishes on being independent. We have grown into a place where if someone offers help we generally turn it down because we don't want people to think we don't have it all together (or is that just me)?

African villages are communities. They thrive and depend on one another. Even the Proverbs 31 woman had maidservants! She didn't do it all by herself.

You do not have to do this alone.

Are we lacking faith, believing God doesn't really care about these little "issues"? I assure you, He does.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

This is not a license to treat God like a genie in a bottle. (See above verse, James 4:3).

It's an opportunity to depend on God when you are in need, and to trust that He'll come through for you.

Remember to do your part, though. When you need strength, read His word and meditate on it. The armor of God is something we must put on everyday. Pray throughout the day and stay connected with Him.

Be a good steward of what He has given you.

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Mother as though you were equipped with what you need, because you are! Walk it out!

Becoming a Warrior Mom in a Hostile Culture

We are raising our children in an ever-changing and hostile culture. We need to become warriors!

Raising children in today's hostile culture requires we raise warriors--and that means we need to become warriors!

When I dreamt of being a mother, I never imagined I'd be having the conversations I have with my children today. There was a time early on in my years of mothering I was lead by fear and wanted to keep my children in a bubble, safe from the world and all the influences that were counter to my values and beliefs. I was afraid the world would eat them alive. 

Eventually, there came a point when I knew I had two choices: 

1. Hide my children away from the world in hopes of protecting them

or

2. Raise my children to be warriors for Christ 

See, when the culture began making significant shifts, I knew raising wimpy Christians was not an option. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I don't want my children just to know of Jesus and believe He existed. They need so much more of a foundation than that if they are going to withstand the storms that will inevitably hit them. And they will. And not just as adults, but as kids growing up around other kids who {have and} will challenge their values and beliefs head-on.

I needed to commit to the task of truly pouring into my children to help them understand why they believe what they believe, and encouraging them to ask questions when they didn't understand something. I try hard to be proactive about talking about life so they are somewhat prepared to handle what it throws at them. 

That's when I began praying fiercely and fervently for wisdom. I needed God to guide me through these waters I was not prepared to navigate. And I really believe prayer was such a huge proponent of God giving me courage and direction to do what I needed to do, as a mom who values the same things Jesus values. And that was to step out in faith and raise warriors for Christ.

It reminds me of a scene in Wonder Woman when Diana wanted to train to be a warrior but her mom had forbidden her to learn to fight. Hippolyta was trying to protect her by keeping her close and in the dark about who she really was. But Diana's aunt was wise to convince Hippolyta that training her to fight would be the best way to protect her, the only way to truly protect her.

Now get this: once Hippolyta agreed to allow Diana to be trained, she told Antiope to train her 10 times harder than any Amazon before her.

Moms, this is where we are right now in the culture we are living in and this is what we need to do. We have a real Enemy on the prowl. He wants to destroy families and steal our lives by breaking us down little by little. He feeds on our weaknesses and that of our children's. Kind of like Aries, the god of war. {Who is fictional, yes. But it's a great metaphor}. 

We need to raise and train our children harder and to be stronger in order to face a culture that is counter to what Christ stands for: righteousness.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12

The first thing we must teach our children is love and compassion. 

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:2

As they encounter people who are different from them and have different values, it's important they stand for what is right while still loving people. Otherwise nothing they stand for will matter. Those who are not of the Christian faith will not embrace Christian values, so we can't expect them to. But we can love them right where they are while continuing to live out the life Jesus has called us to.

A MomStrong mom understand that she is a warrior, not just for her kids, but for the generations that follow. -Heidi St. John

Heidi St. John {The Busy Mom} has released an excellent book for moms who want to become "MomStrong"; who want to fight for their families but aren't quite sure where to start.

 

Heidi offers some very practical and encouraging tips to become that mom warrior your children need you to be in the hostile culture they are growing up in.

"And in order to prepare warriors, you have to become a warrior yourself."
~Heidi St. John, Becoming MomStrong

 

As moms, we need to be sure of our calling and stand firm in our role as mothers. We are shaping the next generation and it's not something to take lightly. Not only because of future generations but because our children need to be properly equipped to remain strong in their faith in Jesus as they encounter the world. 

"If we're going to raise a generation of strong children, we must learn to engage our enemy rather than run from him."
~Heidi St. John, Becoming MomStrong

It's time we become Warrior Moms and fight for our children against the darkness in this world. God has given us this responsibility and no one can do it like He has equipped us to. 

I love how Heidi breaks down some of the most important aspects of motherhood and how to meet those challenges head-on. She offers real-life examples from her own experience of how she went through a season of surrender.

She explains throughout her book what being a "MomStrong" mom looks like.  Here are just a few:

  • They embrace the fact that they are loved by God and are precious to Him
  • They have uncommon courage because their courage comes from God Himself
  • They never lose sight of the goal of becoming
  • They don't trust in their own abilities but in a strong, sovereign God

Maybe you're not there yet...and that's okay!! That's exactly what Becoming MomStrong is all about!

For His Glory,

Christin

I was given a free copy of Becoming MomStrong so I could have the privilege of sharing this review and giving away a couple copies. Please see my full disclosure here.