A new year awaits, and I’m glad for a fresh start. After the December crazies, I’m ready to get back into a normal routine. Traveling seems to always derail my long-fought-for habits. Anyone with me?
Here are a few tips for re-calibrating our time with God for this new year.
1. Keep it realistic.
There is no place in the Bible that says you have to have an hour quiet time, starting at 6am. Choose a Bible plan or Bible study that fits your journey. You know, the one you are actually on, not the one you wish you are on. Don’t allow an all-or-nothing mentality keep you from opening your Bible. If you know that a 45-minute workbook study is not going to happen right now, find a study or reading plan that will.
• TO ASK: What do I realistically have time for in this season of life? What are a few study choices that will fit into that window of time?
• TO DO: Take some time shopping around for different Bible studies that fit your time. Pray, asking God to guide you to a study that will work for you.
2. Make a plan and share about it.
Once you have found a few studies or reading plans that fits your schedule, make a decision. Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by finding the “perfect” study. Once you make a choice, let a few people know your plan. There may be others who would like to study alongside of you. Companionship and accountability always spur me on to spend more time in the Word. There are also many great online communities you can join, like HelloMornings, which provide accountability groups for starting your day off right.
• TO ASK: Who are a few people I can share my plan with? Which of them will I invite to join me?
• TO DO: Share your Bible study plan with at least two friends or family members this week.
3. Find a trigger.
I’ve found that if I try to make my time with God at a very specific time each day, I get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Additionally, it seems that just when I get into a rhythm of a schedule, something changes that throws it all off. So instead of having a set time for my Bible study, I have a trigger. When THIS happens, then THAT happens. Once I wake up, and grab a cup of coffee, I head to my morning space and I study. So, whether I get to sleep in on a Saturday, or rise early on a Wednesday, my trigger is that cup of coffee. Once in hand, I know what comes next.
• TO ASK: What are a few potential “quiet-time triggers” for me? After breakfast? The beginning of my lunch break? After I brush my teeth at night?
• TO DO: Choose a trigger to try out for a week. Be flexible and willing to try out a few different triggers, but also remember it takes a while to start a new habit. Don’t give up!
4. Think outside of the box.
We all have visions of what a perfect quiet time looks like. Remember, the Bible does not give us specifics on the length of time, the order or study, or the type of journal and highlighter we should use. It does, however, explore us to not let His Word depart from us, and to meditate on it day and night. We live in an age of technology with numerous and incredible tools at our fingertips.
Be open-minded about how you can spend time meditating on God through His Word. Maybe you can have 15 minutes of Bible study in the morning, and close out your day with a 10 minute reading plan in the evening. Worship through music in the car. Listen to a teaching podcast while you do dishes or work out.
• TO ASK: What are a few out-of-the-box ways I can get into the Bible throughout my day?
• TO DO: Choose one of these to implement this week, alongside of your traditional Bible study.
I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with! Share your brainstorms with us. We might just learn a new way to connect with God, through your ideas!
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor's wife. Mommy of 3. As a Bible study writer, retreat speaker, and local women's ministry leader, Katie is passionate about equipping others to walk intimately with God for a lifetime. Katie currently serves as the Social Media Specialist and Community Manager for Flourish.me, a ministry of the North American Mission Board to ministry wives. Learn more about Katie on her website KatieOrr.me.
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