Episode 2. Finding Time for the Quiet Time. Matthew 6:30-34
What if we thought about a quiet time with God differently? What if we kept it simple and manageable? What if ... instead of "having" to do a quiet time ... we start to be amazed that we "get" to have one. Let's marvel at the fact that God the Creator, Maker of Heaven and earth and you, wants to spend time with you and help you with your daily tasks. That incredible truth changes everything. Join us as we talk about finding the time so you get to be with God.
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Nicole 00:22 Well hello and welcome to Sweet Selah Moments podcast. This is episode two. Finding the time for the quiet time. If you were here last time we talked about our journey to stillness. That was episode one. Today we’re going to be reading from Matthew 6:25 through 34. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life. Whether you have enough food and drink or enough clothes to wear, isn’t life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds, they do not plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them and aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And don’t worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the fields and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
Nicole 01:12 And if God cares so wonderfully for wild flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things. Saying, what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the minds of the unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and He will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” So Sharon, I’ve assumed that as you get older and the kids aren’t waking up early in the morning, poking you in the forehead for breakfast that having a quiet time gets easier. Please tell me that it is.
Sharon 01:55 I wish I could, but no, I have so many friends that still struggle with it, Nicole, because until it becomes that disciplined habit, stuff happens. You get up and you’ve got to walk the dog, or you remember that you didn’t call your mother about her doctor’s appointment today or you just want to get dressed first and you just want to do this first and oh look at the bathroom. It’s a mess. Now it’s time for Bible study. You know, it seems to not matter what stage of life you’re at. It’s always hard. And I’ve wondered about that. Why is it so hard? And I actually think part of it is from the devil, really, from Satan because what does he want if he can’t keep us from accepting Christ, which of course he would like? He can keep us ineffective and so distracted doing the mundane. There’s nothing wrong with doing the mundane.
Sharon 02:56 Your children do need breakfast. It is true. My dog does need walking and appreciates it when I walk her, but I’m doing the mundane till it crowds out everything else. And part of this passage that you just read, that I love so much, is that verse 33: “seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need” and it’s that seeking it above all else that has to be in place in order to find the time to have the quiet time. It just does. And at different stages in my life, it was at different times. Did you do a quiet time in college? I don’t know if you did at that point.
(Nicole) Yeah. I had my little daily devotion book. I’d read first thing in the morning and thought, oh good job. You did it. A devotion a day for a year. And I went through the whole book.
Sharon 03:43 Wow. And you did it in the morning. See? Yes. I couldn’t do it in the morning. In college I would come home. I was a waitress. That’s how I made money to go to college. So I would come home after waitressing at 11:00 at night and, see, I have this energy problem. I was just so pumped that there was no way I could sleep, and so that’s when I had my quiet time in college. I had it in the evening and I was faithful. I did it, which I feel like is the most important thing is that you do it. Since college days. I’ve never been faithful during my quiet time unless I do it in the morning. I don’t know what happened after college. If I don’t do it in the morning, the day just gallops away with me on it and I don’t get back to it.
Sharon 04:26 So we touched on some of the ways to find time to have a quiet time last episode, but I want to kind of repeat and expand on them. One thing you said that I loved was, you find your place to have it. Yes. That’s, it’s such a weird thing. It’s like, well, you can talk to God anywhere. Why do you need a place? But it’s part of the building of a habit. I always go to my brown couch on the right hand side and turn on the lamp and have my tea in my little mug and I do it there. That’s my place. Where’s your place? Mine is the end of my brown couch.
Nicole Brown couches aren’t holier but, my brown couch too, right by the window. I’m by it with a natural light coming in. I have my little pretty coaster somebody made me, I can put my cup of tea there in the morning and I have my little basket now with my Bible and my notebook right there.
Nicole 05:22 My favorite pen. And then I have a nice fuzzy blanket right next to me. So if it’s cold I can just shuffle downstairs, sit there, wrap up and be ready. Be excited to, to start my day earlier than I would like.
Sharon Doesn’t it make it easier when you’re half asleep? If you have to find your Bible, find your devotional or journal or whatever’s. If you have no pen, I’m never getting out of bed. No kidding. Or by the time you get it all together, it’s too late. You know? So to have it all in one place is so good. So not only do we have to have a place, but we have to have the stuff we’re going to be with in a place and mindset. There’s a coffee table right in front of the couch that has a door and I just have to open the door and pull it out.
Sharon 06:05 So I used to have it in a bag, but now it’s in my coffee table. But it’s in its place and it’s always there and that makes it easier. And I’ve talked to people that have said ‘I couldn’t do it in the morning. I’m too tired’. And I say, that is what the tea is for. You bring the tea, you take a few sips, and your eyes actually open a bit. Then you pray and say, Jesus, you know how tired I am but wake me up. I’m so glad you’re here with me. And then you kind of go on assignment. You’re like, okay, I could do this day by myself and I’ve done days on my own before. It hasn’t gone well for me or I could do days with you. So today I choose to do the day with you. I’ve got a really funny story about a day I didn’t do quiet time.
Sharon 06:51 I was teaching, it was a long time ago before BC, before children. So Whoa, we’re not going to talk about how many years ago that was. But I was teaching in a Christian school and I had talked about quiet times to my students and how important they were. And I had offhandedly joked, you don’t want to see me on a day. I haven’t had my quiet time. So I went to school one day and I hadn’t had my quiet time. I forget what happened, but I didn’t have it. And I was in a mood, I mean a mood. And evidently everyone in the classroom sensed the mood. And one seventh grade boy raised his hand, Nicole, I don’t know how he got the courage because I was in a mood. And he said, ‘Mrs. Gamble, we would all like to know if you had your quiet time?’
Sharon 07:39 He was a brave little soul, wasn’t he? And I’m like, no, I did not. Let that be a lesson to you. But I’ve never forgotten it because it was like an object lesson that I didn’t expect. I mean I was kind of joking, look out for me if I don’t have my quiet time. Evidently you really do need to look out if I haven’t in my quiet time. So, that kind of reinforced for me the value of sitting with God first and saying please don’t leave me today. Which he won’t. You know, I don’t want to do the day without you because that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, I don’t find it easily on my own. I really don’t.
Nicole And I like that it’s for me, I was doing it at night for a while when we were first early married cause you just have long days; you sit there and I’m a night owl too so reading it before bed was nice but you read it and then you sleep and then you wake up and it’s gone. And crazy starts.
Nicole 08:33 So having it first thing, that peace, patience, joy, love carries with you. So you are a better person throughout the day. Yes, I am not a nice person away from God. It’s so true and so scary. Yeah.
Sharon And it’s funny how you can grow up knowing God and knowing the Bible, but you still need refreshers all the time about how you should behave and what things are right and wrong. I need to be reminded not to be bitter. I need to be reminded to forgive. I need to be reminded to respect Ray even when I want to roll my eyes, because I’m like, what are you talking about? You know? And if I’m not in the word, I forget that stuff. And I just, I, it’s like I’m not, I’m not making a column left and deciding to rob a bank, but I’m veering from the best.
Sharon 09:22 Right. And I don’t want to veer from the best. So, okay. So the best way to have a quiet time is your first available moment. And I loved how you said it’s for you. You get the children off to school because you’ve got to get them up. You’ve got to do all that stuff. So have you found with your little ones that you’re still able to do a quiet time with the two that are home?
Nicole Yes. If I don’t get up before them, then once half my crew leaves, there’s just the three of us at home. I’ve been finding that some days I have to, okay, I need my Jesus time, be quiet, leave me alone. Like grumpy mom saying I need you Jesus. This isn’t the best example. So I was trying to change that into something to lead more by example.
Nicole 10:04 So they have their little children’s Bible. So I sit them down. I’m like, okay, you can do your quiet time with Jesus and mommy will do her quiet time. And I mean, sometimes it is only five minutes, but it’s enough. I’m not expecting, Oh, I’ve got to do this. You have to be quiet and leave me alone so I can absorb this. It’s more like, okay, join me as much as you can join with me and we’ll do this together.
Sharon Yeah, I love that. It’s been kind of fun. And they’re seeing you do it right? Yeah. My little grandson, Erik is an early riser. Erik needs no sleep. I do not understand this child. When he was two Nicole, he would be dancing in the best mood at 11 at night. Oh my I am not kidding you.
Sharon 10:45 And Kathryn, my daughter, would look at me and say, do you see this? This is every day. And I’d say, but he’s not grumpy. And he wasn’t. But anyways, I digress. He, goes to bed late. He gets up early. So when I’m visiting their house, no matter how early I get up, Erik is waiting for me. So I actually, from Word radio, got a Bible. I forget if it was an adventure Bible or an action Bible they gave to me and I gave it to Erik and he uses it when I visit. That’s his quiet time Bible. Yeah. He can read; he’s eight. So he sits and he reads and I read. And then sometimes we pray together and it’s the same thing. Instead of excluding, you’re welcoming them in, but you’re also not, not doing it.
Sharon 11:34 You’re saying this is important, right? It’s a priority and my mommy needs to do this. This is so important to me, but it’s not so important that I’m going to like push you to the side and you need to not be here for that. Right. Don’t interrupt me kind of thing. You’ve included them. Yeah. Now I did it a little differently because I had Mr. Rogers Show as my best friend. Oh Mr. Rogers. And so for my quiet time there was Mr. Rogers so it was okay. I would put on Mr. Rogers and they would know that was mama’s half hour with Jesus and that worked really well because I trusted that show, you know, I figured it was fine and I was just in the next room anyways if they really needed me. But it gave me that time. But I think the theme song here is children should see their parents doing a quiet time, whether they’re watching Mr. Rogers to be quiet cause mom was just dying to be with Jesus or whether they’re sitting alongside, if we give them the gift of seeing that it is part of the rhythm of life.
Sharon 12:35 This is what we do. We brush our teeth, we eat our breakfast, we meet with Jesus. Yes. And trust me darling mama’s going to be kinder if you let her have her time with Jesus all the time. Yes. You want me to have this quiet time? Trust me, you’ll benefit from it too. So much. So do you find, cause I did, but tell me if you do, that holidays and vacations and visiting other people are the hardest times to maintain a quiet time.
Nicole Oh wow. Yes. I’m so glad you said that. Cause I always feel like I would have more time during the vacations to do that. And I, I’m a very scattered high energy person too. And I need schedule and routine or I fall apart. It’s like, oh, vacation, this is fine. And then wait, what day is it? I don’t think I read my Bible.
Nicole 13:24 Three days have gone by, what happened? God, I’m so sorry.
Sharon Isn’t it wild? When your routine has gone, it’s the hardest time to maintain. It really is. That sort of progressed in layers of really wanting to do it daily as almost a time sacrifice to God. Even if it didn’t feel fun every day. We don’t sacrifice animals anymore. We don’t bring the best lamb. Thank goodness. I can’t imagine. But how do we say we love him? You know, part of how we say we love him is to offer time. It’s a time sacrifice. So I want that every day, you know, a joyful sacrifice, not a forced one, but just ‘here Jesus, here’s my time again’. So my last horizon was vacation and then visiting other people. How do you have a quiet time when you’re in someone else’s house?
Sharon 14:14 And so vacations I just managed because I did it first. So if I did it first, that then became my pattern again. I just had to say, if I’m getting up at nine instead of 5:30 AM I still do it first. And if I have something to do at nine on vacation, then I get up at eight you know, and just back it off. But in someone else’s house you have to be super proactive. And I always will say ‘I do a quiet time in the morning and I don’t want to disturb the household. Is there a place where I could just be tucked away for a little bit alone’? Hint, please don’t talk to me. Sharon 14:53 Oh, thank you so much. So then the hostess provides this little place for me and I’ve, I’ve done two things. I’ve found my place, but I’ve also established that I want that quiet and so, and it’s not a mean way to say it. And if it’s in advance, if you ask it in the morning when they’re talking to you and you’re like, I have to go do my quiet time. You know? And they’re in the middle of telling you a story and then you feel rude. Yes, you do. They think that I’m bored with their story and I want to run away from it, but that’s not the point. So if I do it the night before, then I know where I’m going. I have my materials there and then there I am and they leave me alone.
Nicole 15:33 This is the key to all of these: it’s thinking ahead, before, like pre planning, being proactive about it, whether you’re traveling, on vacation or daily. It’s like stopping to think the night before, the day before, and planning it. So planning is huge. It’s super huge.
Sharon It is. It’s got to be intentional and I think that’s any good habit. If you’re going to be a runner, you don’t just go, well, I wonder if I’ll feel like it. Right? Right. You have a running schedule. Or, if you’re going on a diet, you eat these foods. And these foods I can’t eat. There’s always a planning that goes into it because that’s how we’re wired, to have a plan and a rhythm. So we need that for quiet times too. So. Well, let’s look at the scripture again. Unless was there anything else you wanted to say about this part?
Nicole 16:19 Hmm, no, I think you covered it. I love the planning stuff. I need to incorporate that in some more aspects of my life because I’m not a very good planner. I was like, let’s try this right now. Let’s try that. I know it doesn’t always work. It has to be that verse: “seek the kingdom of God above all else” until it becomes above all else. You don’t do it.
Sharon And that’s, and that’s the thing, you know, for some people it’s the physical exercise that is above all else. They’ll never miss it, you know? Or if they’re super lean, which would not be me, because of what they’re eating, above all else, they’ll never have sugar. Right? But if I’m going to have an above all else thing, and I can’t have too many of those because it would be too exhausting, my above all else is going to be Jesus.
Sharon 17:02 Right? And then the other things come in and they’re important. Nothing is more important than that above all else. So that’s where I start. And the other things that are less important are things that we think are still important. They fit in better after God is above all else.
If you find time for God first, everything else just seems to fall into place the rest of the day. I don’t know how he uses the extra time but he just fits it all in and I’m like, Oh thank you God, I was stressed about this whole big thing. But you spend that time, that sacrifice of time with him first and it does. It works. Gifts. He’s generous with the little bit we give him, he just dump loads us back with it flowing. Yeah, that’s really good. Well I’m going to go back to part of the passage again cause I want to look at verse 32. I’m going to start at verse 31 in Matthew 6 “so don’t worry about these things.”
Sharon 17:56 And you went through that list of clothing and all this stuff. Don’t worry about these things. Saying, what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father already knows all your needs.
Nicole And I was thinking that that’s another thing that can distract you from a quiet time. Things that dominate. The worry, the panic, the, you know, I’ve got to grocery shop, I’ve got to… what are the kids going to wear today? There are no clothes that are clean, you know, that kind of thing. And it’s very easy to have the less important dominate the most important because God waits. You know what I mean? If you don’t have a quiet time with him, no lightning bolt falls from the sky. Although you might get questioned on your crabbiness, that’s the worst that happens.
Nicole 18:50 But if you don’t feed your family because there’s no groceries, there’s a lot of loud noise, so much loud noise about it. Right? So I heard someone call it ‘the tyranny of the urgent’ and I love that phrase because this describes those things that are so loud and right in front of you. It’s so hard to step back and just be still in the middle of the daily, the feeding and the clothing, the child care.
Sharon Wow. Right? Yeah. And they can dominate. They can easily, for me in my life stage. What can actually dominate sadly is Sweet Selah Ministries, which is all about rest, right? Because I’m like, oh, I have to prepare for a podcast and this book has a deadline and it needs to be done by such and such a day. And you know, I guess for anybody that’s in the working world, you’ve got all these work assignments to do.
Sharon 19:38 And fortunately I know that it would not honor God in Sweet Selah Ministries where I’m all about stopping to be with God. If I don’t stop to be with God because I’m busy teaching people how to stop and be with God that keeps me on the straight and narrow. But in terms of where I am in my life, that’s what could dominate me. Even a good ministry. But that does not take the place of sitting at his feet. It doesn’t, and not sitting at his feet to prepare a podcast, sitting at his feet to be Sharon, just his kid, you know? And hearing how I should be nice to Ray or hearing that I need to call a friend. The things that he brings to your mind when you’re sitting there, you know, so what dominates for you? What are the things that could rob you of that quiet space?
Nicole Right now the biggest thing I think is homeschooling; that takes a lot of my energy and then the guilt of ‘well I should be spending more time with reading with her or math.’ There’s no off switch when you’re teaching them at home, when they’re home. So two of them are in school now, so some of that has gotten better.
Nicole 20:48 But that is really hard for me to struggle to balance that. Oh, I could be doing more, I should be doing multiplication tables while I’m doing the dishes. So just the daily getting ahead so Josh can come home to a not-crazy-messy house, not a perfect house, but not like tornadoes went through. Because they do go through every day, frequently. Oh my goodness. Do you want to create that calm in the house? And not realizing that sometimes that chaos comes from me not having that time with God or just being so frazzled that he can come home and the house can look great. But I’ve spent the whole day whirling around not stopping with God. So I’m completely exhausted and I think he would rather have a peaceful wife with true peace then, ‘Oh look, the tables perfectly set’. ‘Yes, and don’t touch anything. Don’t sit there, go right to bed. No one move.’
Sharon 21:36 Exactly, And over and over, God has proved to me that if I set aside that time I get it back anyways, like you said, because he’s just overly generous with us and he can fit things into the tiniest spaces when we’ve given him the best part of our day, not the left over part of our days. So, I guess our encouragement to you today, Oh, podcast listener, is to find that space to offer that time sacrifice to have that quiet time with God. We have some resources on Sweet Selah’s Ministry’s website. You can look at the show notes on those. We actually have a little method of quiet time called the Four R Method that teaches you step by step how to have a 10 minute time with God that’s rich in meaning. And we’ll have to do a podcast on that, Nicole. Because that’s a really fun method. And then occasionally we have on our Facebook page and on our website an online Bible study. And when we do that, we all study the same passages together and we find a verse that means a lot to us and we write about the verse and the response and then we share them. And those are some times over vacations, which is good. We need accountability.
Nicole 22:55 Oh yeah, that’s right. The Christmas one. You did an Easter one. Yeah, those are great. Those can actually help keep me on track during holiday drifting. Yeah.
Sharon 23:03 Yeah. And I want to do one in June this year. Yeah, it’s almost summer, but that can help you generate a habit too because then you’re doing it with other people. So we do invite you to check out the show notes on that. But let me pray for you. You, who if you are a normal human being, have struggled with quiet times like Nicole and I have, let me pray for you before we close. Oh, heavenly Father, would you please bless every single podcast listener today with increased hunger for you because there there’s no greater blessing, Lord than to pant and thirst for you. I pray that in each unique situation and you know, Lord, I don’t, you would help them make a way that they’d find their brown couch equivalent; that they would find the right devotional or a just sit and study your word. Oh Father, help us to be faithful to come to you. Help us to trust you enough that we know that when we give you the first fruits of our day, you will help us so much with the rest of it. Even with that little bit of less time. Forgive us, Lord, when we don’t notice how great and awesome and kind and good you are and how we praise you that you are always there when we call on you ready to teach and guide and love us in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Nicole 24:35 Oh, we’re so glad you joined us today. We’d love to hear how you fit in your quiet time too. We hope a tip or two from this show today has spurred you to meet with God who loves you, right? It’s on our show notes and be sure to follow us and share us on your favorite podcast. We are newbies here and we need your help to spread the word, so next time we’re going to be going back to Psalm 46 and we’re going to study the first few verses and talk about fear and anxiety in this crazy scary world. There were earthquakes and wars in David’s time too. How do we cope and not, as David says, in Psalm 46 give way to fear? If you are in need of some comfort and help in the area of dealing with the daily news join us for Episode three “When the mountains fall into the sea”.
Announcer 25:17 We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a cooperative production of WORD Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast, including show notes, can be email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining us.
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