Having a daily quiet time with the Lord

“Spending time in God’s Word is the best way you can spend your time. Before you start to feel guilty, let me explain that I am not talking about spending time in God’s Word because you should. I am saying, if someone handed you a simple key to unlock wisdom and virtue and a glimpse of the loving Creator who made you, a key that would change every room you entered for the better, would you ask them if you had to use it?” - Cindy Rollins, Beyond Mere Motherhood

Finding time in early motherhood to have a “quiet time”—when life is rarely quiet—can be challenging! It seems that as soon as you endeavor to wake up early to meet with the Lord, your kids wake up even earlier and stumble into your room, full of needs.

For years, we had babies who didn’t sleep through the night, so getting up before everyone else felt impossible. My quiet time was often a few minutes reading the Bible during afternoon naps or listening to an audio Bible while pushing a stroller around the park.

These days, our kids are a bit older, so I’ve found a new routine. I aim to be in bed by 9:30 p.m. in order to wake up by 6:00 a.m. and squeeze every quiet minute out of the morning hours before the kids come downstairs at 7:30 a.m. This shift—going to bed early and getting up early to spend time in the Word—has been the single most life-giving practice for me as a mom. His Word is your very life (Deuteronomy 32:47), and God promises to strengthen and equip you for the demands of motherhood. 

But if you’re not in the season I’m in, don’t feel bound by the notion that meeting with the Lord has to happen at a designated time and place or even during morning hours. While a quiet time is a helpful rhythm to establish, it’s not a rigid requirement. Here are some alternate times and places I’ve found to meet with the Lord: 

  • You can listen to the Bible using the Dwell Audio Bible app while taking a walk and pushing a stroller around the park.
  • In the shower, place a psalm or a passage of Scripture in a small ziplock sandwich bag and tape it to the shower wall. This help you meditate on truth or even memorize it. You could also try these Shower Scriptures that stick to the shower wall or a mirror with just a little water.
  • Having worship music playing always helps my perspective. I created this Morning Worship playlist that we play almost daily.
  • “Pray without ceasing.” Throughout the day, talk to God! He is your Father who loves you, his child, and wants to hear from you! Talking to him throughout the day—expressing your gratitude, your needs, your worries, and your fears—is powerful to keep you connected to him and leaning on him for strength and wisdom.
  • My kids (ages 5, 6, 9, and 11) are now old enough to play at the park with less supervision. So sometimes, I bring my Bible and quiet time journal to the park and sit at a picnic table while they play. 
  • What about ending your day with the Lord? Write out your prayers and your worries, casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. This is a wonderful way to wind down.

My favorite tools

  • BibleAll you really need to meet with Jesus and grow in your faith is a Bible. I love my ESV journaling Bible from Hosanna Revival (you can use the coupon code BRIGHTERDAYPRESS for a discount on your order with Hosanna Revival), and I also keep a study Bible nearby to read study notes on passages that need clarity or feel overly familiar. I have the Gospel Transformation Study Bible and also an ESV Study Bible to reference. I love both! If you’ve never read through the Bible, I recommend starting with The Bible Recap reading plan and podcast. And if the pace of reading through the entire Bible in a year feels overwhelming, take it at a slower pace. What matters is that you’re meeting with God consistently through his Word.
  • Quiet Time CompanionI have used a Quiet Time Companion by Wholehearted Quiet Time for the last three years. I use it for journaling, for keeping track of prayer requests, and for jotting down sermon notes. I keep it in a basket with my Bible and my favorite pen, and it's ready for me each morning as I meet with Jesus. I love that it features a Bible reading plan as well. The Quiet Time Companion is an investment, but it's been a worthwhile one for me. If you've been interested in purchasing one, now is the time! These journals will no longer be printed in their current form, so they are currently 30% off with the code BYEFORNOW. These journals are beautiful, durable, and at the pace I use them, each one lasts me well over a year!
  • Bible study workbook—I have loved all of the studies from Lydia Brownback's Flourish Bible study series. Each one dives into a book of the Bible (there are lots to choose from!), and you can take it at your pace, either by yourself or with a group. These books keep me accountable to dive a little deeper into the Word. 
  • Bible study cards—I also recommend our Morning Moments for Moms Bible study cards if you’re looking for a guided study. They are easy to self-pace but provide an in-depth study with rich insight into the books of Philippians or 1 Thessalonians. You can also use this card stand to display them on your nightstand and then work through them as you are able.
  • Missionary biographies—Reading the stories of faithful believers puts my own life and problems in perspective and strengthens my faith! Here are a few favorites: 

Other ideas:

  • Set out books and supplies the night before so you can really look forward to the time without having to hunt for a book or a pen. 
  •  I love listening to a chronological Bible reading plan. I keep my physical Bible open but listen to the words being read over me. I love the Dwell Bible app for this. 

Looking for prayer prompts for your family? I’ve created free printables of prayers to pray for your husband and prayers to pray for your kids.

What my quiet time looks like, step by step:

This is just the rhythm I’ve discovered works best for me, and I hope it’s an encouragement. Adapt it to meet your needs for the season and circumstances you’re in!

  1. First, I pray that the Holy Spirit would meet me and teach me as I seek to know and love Jesus more through studying his Word.
  2. I go to the Dwell Bible app and play the next passage in my chronological Bible reading plan. As I listen, I open my Bible to that passage and read along. Hearing the Word and seeing it at the same time helps me stay focused.
  3. After reading a few chapters, I use the journaling section of my Quiet Time Companion to engage with the text. I write down verses that stood out to me, encouraged me, or confused me. Then I consult the notes of one of my study Bibles to gain more insight, as needed. (Sometimes, I’ll use this time to work through a Bible study workbook or, if my church is reading a book together, I’ll read a few pages of that.) If there's time, I take a look at the Scripture memory section of my journal to practice the passage I'm working on.
  4. I close my time in prayer by looking through the prayer lists I’ve made in my Quiet Time Companion. I have created ongoing lists for each of my family members (both immediate family and extended family), for our church, for our homeschool, for close friends, for our small business, for our finances, and for our goals. I spend a few minutes praying over a few sections, aiming to at least touch on every section once a week (but spending most of that time praying for the family members in my home and for my own heart). I also jot down how I see God working and answering those prayers.

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