July 27, 2017

Running on Yesterday’s Fuel

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I need some motivation.

Or some suggestions.

Or maybe both.

Many of you have read about my goal to read through the whole Bible this year. I am still working on it. And I am thoroughly  enjoying it.

I’m realizing the continuity and coherency of the Bible as a whole, in a way I’ve never experienced before. I’m discovering overarching themes firsthand, not just because someone tells me they’re in there, but because I’m reading about them in every single book. I’m seeing the big picture, not just all the individual details.

But lately I’ve been having trouble reading every single day. Lately I’ve been going two or three days, and then playing catch-up. It’s not because I don’t want to read. It’s not because I don’t think about it. I do, to both of those.

But life is busy, and unpredictable at times. And while it’s easy enough to schedule my time with God when I spend the day at home, it’s kind of hard when I’m out all day, and get home exhausted, and just need to decompress and turn my brain off for a while. My energy just doesn’t last like it should {can’t we all say that?}.

And I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Almost everyone I know has admitted to having days like this. Or weeks, or months. We are human, after all, and we are battling a very sin-filled fleshly nature, even as redeemed saints filled with the Holy Spirit. We still have an old nature. We still face temptation.

We still want to live according to comfort, not devotion. We want to walk the easy path, not trudge up the steep rocky trail that winds across the mountain. We want to be spiritual when it suits our own desires, when we can feel good about it, not when it feels like mere duty or obligation.

So how do YOU do it? How do you ensure that you spend adequate time with God every day? Not just prayer time, which you can easily have while you do other things, but focused time in God’s Word too? For instance:

  • If you’re a Mom dealing with round-the-clock parenting, how do you fit in enough minutes “here and there” to fill your soul?
  • If you work full-time outside the home, how do you push yourself through the tiredness at either end of the day?
  • How do you work it in, if you physically cannot get up earlier, you’re gone all day, and your brain is too unfocused by the evening?

What works for you? What tips or tricks have you learned that help you maintain consistency when life’s schedule is so inconsistent?

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Comments

  1. Elizabeth,
    I hesitate to comment sometimes on this topic. When I say I get up early, I always feel like I need to defend my choice. I have had the verse, “He gently leads those with young” quoted to me too many times to count. I am not saying every one should do this. It is just what works for me. The fact of the matter is, I do have small kids running around, and I do read through my Bible every year. So how do I get daily QT in?
    I get up early. Partly because I am a morning person. And I am my most fresh in the morning. I get up to exercise, and then I get my praying and Bible reading done. Early morning is the only really quiet time in my house.
    I vary between praying first, and then reading or vice-versa. If it is a running day, I tend to do a lot of praying while I am running. If not, I try to pray first. It is harder to pray with distractions. I can always plug my ears while reading.=)
    So, the sleep thing…in order to get my average 8, I am in bed generally between 9 and 10. I take my time from the evening in order to pick it up in the morning. But, I’m betting if I weren’t a morning person, I’d switch the pattern.
    I will say that last summer, after Meres was born, I couldn’t get up in the mornings. Middle of the night feedings made for a very tired mama. I slept in, then did my devotions, then got the day going. I often will still pick up more study time in the early afternoon when my kids are down for a quiet time. We all read our own material, and it works for me. I can remember how I finally felt normal again, about August, when I got back to my early morning routine.
    So, probably not terribly helpful. But, we are all in this together!=)

  2. I am there with you, friend. Some days, I am too dizzy to be able to read. Or on days that I get out of the house, I’m too exhausted. One thing that I am try to do (even on the days I am able to have my normal quiet times)is to memorize verses and to recite them during the day. Even when I’m down with a migraine or the intense dizziness, my mind can be focused on God’s Word and His truths. That coupled with an open ended prayer and praise songs in my heart, is what I have found to work for me when it is impossible to read. 🙂

    • Catherine, you make a great point. I have been working on memorizing some favorite Psalms, and they are so refreshing to recite when I don’t have that needed time in the Word. I’m glad you understand the physical side of the problem (well, not glad you deal with it too, just thankful for someone else who can really relate).

  3. Oops! “One thing that I am *trying* to do… 🙂

  4. Yep, this is one tough thing for me. Especially over the last few weeks with moving. There has been so much chaos and noise in my home, I can barely think. Like tonight, I opted for a quiet evening on my own instead of going to the local homemade ice cream place. I love ice cream and never pass it up! My brain is pretty fried. But, I find myself getting quiet time in more creative ways. I have not found any sort of routine or pattern to work for me. My kids get up very early, 5:30. What’s worse is that if they hear me up early, they wake up even earlier. So, my sleep and their sleep became top priority. I find myself meditating on scripture in the car, singing praise music to worship, or just being quiet and turning all noise off in my car and my home. I really try to get a sense for what I need in the moment, and make sure my conversation with God is constant and regular. He and I chat all day long. I lift up prayers the moment they come to me and don’t wait until I have a set aside time. I try and let my worship and quiet time flow within my day. Does that help?

  5. I have asked God to wake me up to spend time with him. Then the problem is getting up! He is so very full of grace for you, for us, that if you commit the problem to Him, He will find a way to solve it.

  6. I have had my quiet times at different times depending on my life at that time. I’ve gone through several different stages and have had to adjust each time. First, with young children in school it was early in the morning. Then as they got older and their school day started earlier, I would have the quiet time after I took them to school. Then I started homeschooling, so I had to go back to early in the morning because I wanted to be “filled up” before I had Bible time with them. I’ve also had quiet time during lunch, when the kids would go outside to play. Now that my kids are young adults, I find I can move my quiet time to whatever time of day seems to work. Right now late afternoons are good because I’ve finished everything else for the day and I want a re-fresher.

    I think as women we need to give ourselves permission to find that right time that works for us in whatever stage we may be in. We just need to make sure we are IN God’s word and communicating with Him in prayer.

  7. It was a lot easier for me before I had kids. It was just part of my morning routine, and the only times I didn’t really do it was when we traveled or something else was going on that threw off my entire routine.

    Now I’ve got two small children and it’s a lot harder. I try to get up before them, but my youngest still doesn’t reliably sleep through the night, and sometimes sleeping as much as I can is the best thing I can do for myself. 🙂

    But, even when I don’t get up before my kids, I make it my first priority, so the first chance I get I will read my Bible (even if it’s only for a minute or two.) I absolutely use the tv as a distraction for my son, so that he watches a DVR’d show while I read. If my daughter is also up, she doesn’t watch tv so I have to push my reading back to her morning nap, and then my son gets to watch a show. The way that I stick with it is just that I don’t let myself do any other fun reading (and I *love* to read) or internet or whatever until I read at least a chapter in my Bible. Once I start reading it, I generally will read more, but if I can only get one chapter in that’s ok.