Neglecting My Quiet Time

November 14, 2016 |

I was busy. I hadn’t set aside time to read my Bible all week… maybe even all month. Between life as a mother of four, volunteer work, book deadlines, and a million other things on my calendar, I just didn’t have the time.

We all know how that works. Life as a woman in the 21st century is busy. We simply don’t have time. We rush around trying to do everything and stress about all the things we still aren’t getting done.

That’s where I was. The thing I was stressing about missing was my quiet time. I knew it was important, I wanted to do it, but I just never made it.

Pursued

God didn’t let it go though. While I didn’t make time for Him, He still made time for me. I could feel Him pulling at my heart to step away and come to Him.

The truth was, I was turning productivity into an idol, and I knew it. I knew it was wrong, but it still drove me. I have a to-do list longer than a Texas summer and I didn’t want to fall behind.

It's not a matter of time, it's a matter of values.

Writing the words, I know just how wrong it is. We all do. But we still do it, or at least I do. I still get my priorities mixed up. I prioritize the good things, and forget the best thing. But what God has shown me is that even things that are worthy of our time, things that we do for His glory, can still become idols if we aren’t careful.

We all get just 24 hours a day to do what needs to be done. And we will all accomplish the tasks we value the most. It’s not a matter of time or resources, it’s a matter of value and priorities.

Is your quiet time a priority? Click To Tweet

I learned that lesson the hard way when I was a child. Someone I loved told me they couldn’t afford to come see me. The gas cost too much. But when someone else took me to go see them, the person who couldn’t afford to come see me bought candy bars for everyone in our group. I knew enough to know that the cost of gas would have been more than covered by what they spent on candy in that one trip to the store (remember when gas was that cheap?). The lesson I learned that day was that I wasn’t as important as their candy bars, and it broke my childhood heart.

God brought me back to that this week. It’s not that I don’t have time to spend with Him, it’s that I don’t value time with Him as much as I value the other things on my list. And that realization broke my grown up heart. Probably just as much as the candy bar incident did when I was little.

What it comes down to is this: We won’t have time, find time, or even make time for God’s Word if we don’t value it enough to invest time into it. 

Jesus once said to a woman named Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 20:41-42).

I have been a Mary my whole life. If I must choose between the dishes and my Bible, I’ll choose Jesus hands down (and the state of my home will testify to that)… Or at least I use to. Something has happened this Fall where I have just become too busy. To anxious and troubled about many things. And because of that busyness, I have forgotten the one thing that is necessary. I have forgotten to invest time in my relationship with Jesus.

How do you invest in your quiet time?

So in all of my brokenness, I wondered: What makes us want to invest in our quiet time with Jesus? What pulls us to our Bibles when the dishes need washed, the kids need fed, and that blog post needs to be written?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, but I also want to share one thing that helped me this past week.

I was blessed with the opportunity to review the Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire, and I knew that by reviewing it I would have to use it, which would drive me to my Bible.

Almost two years ago, I purchased an ESV Single Column Journaling Bible, and I love it. I don’t use it for drawing pictures and artsy stuff like some of you probably do, I use it to take notes and record thoughts. So, when I opened it up to start putting in the stickers and tabs, I was confronted with all of these notes God had spoken to my heart through His Word.

I knew my notes were there, but I hadn’t taken the time to just flip through and read them for quite some time. And when I did I was so blessed. I was reminded of how amazing our God is and how powerful His Word is.

The Bible Journaling Kit most certainly drove me back to God’s Word, but it was His words that kept me there. Seeing my notes and reading the passages that went them, I could have sat there all day with my Jesus just reminiscing about times gone by. I think all relationships need that from time to time.

Do you remember the last time you sat with a friend and said, “do you remember when…?” What about with Jesus? Do you ever just sit and reminisce with Him? If not, I absolutely recommend it. If you have struggled to prioritize your quiet time, flip back through your Bible, journal, notes, or whatever and see how He has moved during those times.

Related Post: The Spirit of Sabbath & One Woman’s Struggle with It

About the Bible Journaling Kit

Create a work of art on the pages of your favorite Bible. Draw, color, or journal your thoughts, dreams, and prayers. Highlight your favorite verses or the encouragements that speak to your heart with pencils, stickers, and tabs. Kit includes:

  • 4 sheets of word stickers
  • 4 sheets of alphabet stickers
  • 24 tab stickers
  • 1 journaling pen
  • 8 colored pencil twists
  • 1 pouch with adjustable strap to fit Bibles of all sizes
  • 1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines

Note: Journaling Bible not included.

A Few Notes From My Review

I absolutely love this Bible Journaling Kit. The colored pencil twists remind me a lot of the twist-able crayons my kids had a few years back. They seem much softer than a pencil. I’m a little concerned that the journaling pen might bleed through thinner Bible pages. It looked like it came close a few times on mine, but it never did, so maybe not.

The pouch that goes on your Bible holds everything from the kit except for the page protector mat. And it fit nicely on my Bible cover (again, I have the ESV Journaling Bible and it has a hard cover. If you have a soft back Bible I would not recommend attaching it). I was a little concerned about the metal parts that make the strap adjustable, but they didn’t seem to hold the Bible cover up very high at all, and didn’t damage it when I put the Bible’s own elastic strap around it to keep it closed.

You Might Also Like

  • Terri says:

    What a great giveaway. I have been wanting to get into bible journalling but so far I have not, maybe I will win this and get a head start 🙂

  • Justina says:

    I have always wanted to do this but not sure where or how to start! I don’t want to cover the whole page in the bible. Will this be KJV and have margins?

    • Hey Justina, this kit doesn’t come with the Bible itself, just the tools to use with the Bible of your choice. I added a link above to where you could find a Journaling Bible on Amazon. They have so many to choose from in various styles and price ranges.

  • Kay says:

    Loved this words, “While I didn’t make time for Him, He still made time for me. ” How convicting!

    • Those words are so true!

      2 Timothy 2:11-13 reminds us that “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

  • It is very easy to get side tracked or even to get focused on things that aren’t as important as our relationship with Christ. Like you He is often the one initiating, softly whispering, “Come to me. Let’s spend time together.” When I make that time, I never regret it.

  • I loved your quote about how we make time for the things we value, and your heartbreaking story about the candy bars was a reminder to me (a Martha – though in my case you wouldn’t know by the usual state of my house ?) of how God is grieved by the number of things we put before him, to the point of leaving him out altogether. Thanks for the challenging post, Heather!

  • Rachel Tuggle says:

    I needed this post this morning!! I have definitely been a Martha lately, which is totally my tendency. But, I need to reprioritize desperately.
    If you are interested in going deeper, I just read a book called Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens. It was very good!

  • Kaitlyn Boyd says:

    This post is great! I find myself in the same spot. I usually end up spending time with Jesus in the morning before I have stuff going on or way later in the evening before bed. I’ve found that I love to add lettering as a part of my time with god and writing down his truths. I’m not always perfect about it, but my heart longs to always desire him first! Xo

  • To address your question, “What makes us want to invest in our quiet time with Jesus?” – I think it’s like any relationship; when we love someone we want to spend time with them. But sometimes it takes spending time with someone, getting to know them on more than just a surface level, to love them! So I think discipline in our quiet times in the beginning helps us to develop a love for Jesus, but as we invest more time and get to know him more, the motivation comes from desire, not discipline. I also think that when we see how time with the Lord transforms us, it becomes a motivator to do it more often. I’m afraid the discipline/desire cycle resets when we go for long periods of time staying busy, at least that is my experience. Just reading this post has encouraged me to carve out some time today (even if it’s just five minutes in the bathroom with the door locked!) to just be with the Lord.

  • Andi says:

    Oh to try and remember to have quiet time

  • I can most definitely feel it when I neglect my quiet time with the Lord. I’m more anxious, grumpy and distracted. Thanks for the review. I’ll check it out.

  • Tara says:

    You really nailed it when you said we make being busy an idol. I am guilty of that myself. I have found that I love Bible journaling too. Even my little 6 year old is getting into it!

  • Hilary says:

    I love this! I’m a doer too and it’s easy to neglect time with God because I don’t always feel like its “productive” and yet without it, I lack the energy and strength to get my to do list done! To help with this, I recently started a Christian blog and find myself hungry for His Word and message! Thank you for this!

  • Sarah says:

    I am trying to make more time to be with Him. It’s so amazing to me how patient He is as we move through our days forgetting or not taking the time we should to sit with Him. I always make these grand plans and don’t follow through. Thankful for Grace upon grace. ?

  • Alana Terry says:

    I love how many journaling options are available for stuff like this! Awesome giveaway too. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Barb says:

    It is so easy to let busyness intrude on our time. God is always ready and waiting for us to seek him.

  • Stephanie says:

    Such an encouragement to read this. Loved it.

  • Sharita says:

    Ah Heather… Preaching to the choice, sister! Jesus has brought me a LONG way in my walk with Him, especially in the realm of quiet time. When I first started following Him, I did a super-fast, half-hearted legalistic QT each day… Just because I thought I “had” to. But I was missing out.

    As he molded and taught me, I realized there was a lot more to this than just rules– it was a relationship.

    A couple years ago, I made a “prayer closet.” Now QT is one of the first things I do in the morning– and I am a better mama/wife because of it.

    Thanks for sharing here– and my inner Jesus nerd things the Bible Journal kit is super cool! Glad I stopped by from Women With Intention link up 🙂

  • Christy S says:

    Thank you for this opportunity .. Your blog has really opened my eyes to see what is right before me.

  • ~ linda says:

    OUCH! These words hit me right where it hurts: “I don’t value time with Him as much as I value….” To realize this truth is hard yet an honest assessment of what we deem as important. Your childhood hurt really brought this home too. We can be taught hard lessons at early ages and they may carry through to later. I tended to pretend some of those lessons never existed yet they seem to resurface now.
    I am grateful for a forgiving God. I am also grateful to my husband who has made it a point and an honor to keep us reading in God’s Word each night before we go to bed. We discuss what we read and dig a bit deeper as well. He is a good guide for me too. God placed it on his heart a while back that he was not valuing the time and thus we both are sharing this precious time together in the Word now.

  • Casey Capra says:

    I have have have to get mine done first thing in the morning, right after my husband leaves for work. I try really hard not to open my laptop or open Instagram before I have spent time with Him, just so that my head is as focused as possible.

    One of my favorite things to do, though, is to keep a notepad or something nearby, so I can write down the little thoughts or to-do’s that pop in my head while I’m spending time with Him. That way I can get them “out of my head” and I can focus on them later.

    • Keeping a notebook or paper to jot notes on is so helpful! Often times I do that, and keep my planner there too, so when I’m done I can pray over my day and look at my to do list. Great tip, Casey! Thanks for stopping in.

  • Ami Coote says:

    Oh Heather, it’s like you looked into the window of my life and saw me shirking my quiet time with Jesus. I love how you spoke so openly about your struggles and how you returned to your first love. I’m excitedly looking forward to re-reading the messages that God has revealed to me over the past few months.

  • Ouch, I have been convicted in a good way! Thank you for the reminder that as we strive to be Marthas for God and serve Him with all our hearts, what God really wants is our hearts! Thinking about God as I go about my day is not the same as simply being still and enjoying His presence.

  • Lori says:

    YES! -We won’t have time, find time, or even make time for God’s Word if we don’t value it enough to invest time into it. Spending time with God is the most rewarding time of day for me, but if I wait later in the day to have it, it would be done. For me, it has to be as soon as my husband leaves for work. Thanks, Heather, for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  • […] A few years ago I ordered a copy of the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible and fell in love with it (watch my video review here). I originally purchased it because I wanted a Journaling Bible and it was super affordable. But I couldn’t ask for a better Bible for every day use. My notes in the margins make flipping back through the pages extra special (I wrote about that here). […]

  • >
    Read previous post:
    life lessons
    What My Daughter’s Cat Is Teaching Me

    Some people are dog people. Some are cat people. I am both. However, for many years we have had only...

    Close