I’ve been having trouble the last couple of days making time for some alone time with God. I laid in bed the other night and tried to figure out what the problem is. No surprise that I struggle with pausing my busy activities and busy mind long enough to sit with God.
I remembered Psalm 46:10 when the Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” Be still. Be. Still. How do we do that in days filled with littles who need us, work deadlines, chauffering kids all over town and a long to-do list that needs our attention? Here are a few ideas I’ve found that work for me.
- Turn it all off.
Turn off the phones, computers, TVs, music, podcasts, etc. and just rest in the silence. I barely remember what silence sounds like. We even use a sound machine at night.
- Go outside.
Go for a walk, sit on your porch or patio, go on a hike or to the park. Pay attention to the sights and sounds of nature, and let them soothe your soul. God created a beautiful planet for us to enjoy.
This would be torture for some of you, but often, journaling my thoughts is a great way to clear my mind and empty it of whatever I’m stewing about. You could do this on paper or use an app like Day One.
- Use a meditation app or guided meditation.
Don’t wig out on me just yet. Meditation doesn’t have to be an anti-Christian, Eastern mysticism sort of thing. Meditation really means to think deeply about something or reflect. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do with the Word? Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” I have used the Calm and Headspace apps, which simply help you to focus your thoughts on what your body is doing (breathing, tension) and your senses (what you smell, hear, feel, etc). It really does calm your mind. Another great option is Encounter by Christa Black Gifford, a set of Christ-centered meditations. (Now, let the hate mail commence.)
- Get up first.
In all honesty, this one is so hard for me. I used to get up super early and workout at 5 a.m. but that was pre-kid and a part of my wakeup routine. Waking up early to pray and study the Word is much harder. But it truly is the best time. My hubby is at the gym and my little one is still asleep. It’s my only guaranteed time for quiet.
- Find a place without distractions.
If I try to read in the kitchen, I’m distracted by dishes that need to be put away or breakfast preparations. If I go to the living room, I’m sidetracked by my hubby coming in or Francesca waking up. The best places I’ve found are in my closet or outside on the front porch.
- Do it first.
If you’re anything like me, I’m always tempted to jump head first into my to-do list as soon as I get a free minute. It’s hard for me to sit still for a second when I know there is so much to do and limited time. A big goal for me when I have a block of free time (when Francesca goes down for a nap, when I drop her off in the nursery, when my hubby takes her out to play) is to stop and take the first 10 minutes to be quiet and still. A great blogger/fitness friend of mine, Rachel Meyer has the best advice: Do something during your free time that refreshes and recharges you.
Okay, what about you all? Am I the only one who can’t shut my mind down? How do you find quiet?