Setting Up a New Quiet Time Routine

schedule quiet time

With a new season approaching, the time to plan a different quiet time schedule can arrive as well. Whether changing jobs or experiencing a spouse changing jobs, deciding on a new school year plan, or just needing a change to prevent monotony, setting up a new quiet time routine can be challenging. Recently I was thinking through my personal quiet time routine and evaluating what is going to work well in the fall between Bible study time and prayer. Today I’m sharing a few of the questions I asked myself in that evaluation.

1. How much daily time do I want to spend in purposeful prayer?

Honestly, God and I have an ongoing conversation throughout the day. I’m sure some of what I say to him would make no sense to the average person if they overhead our conversation, because I have a tendency to jump around randomly from topic to topic. Sometimes that conversation is based on the experiences of the day and sometimes it’s just based on what is going on in my head. But besides this ongoing conversation, I believe having a purposeful plan with time carved out to pray is so very important in our personal relationship. So I need to decide on a time or times to be purposeful about praying to the Lord.

2. What method of tracking prayer requests or prayer journaling would be good to use in this season?

In other words, who am I praying for and how do I want to be purposeful in those prayers? Just as an example, I want to be sure to pray for my husband daily. I’ve found many ways to do this, but one of my favorites is simply to have a phone reminder that pops up at the same time every day with his name.

3. How much time do I feel the Lord leading me to spend reading the Bible?

Reading God’s Word is personal; it is his love letter to us. I love reading personal letters; don’t you? If my hubby gives me a note or card, I keep it visible where I can read it over again sometime throughout the day. I’ve found that choosing a Bible reading plan keeps me focused on a daily reading.

4. What method of Bible reading or study is right for this season?

Many times I’ve felt a topic coming up over and over again in my life through sermons, conversations, or articles. When a Bible study came available on that topic, then I knew God was asking me to do it. There have been seasons of life where I could not participate in a community Bible study due to timing, etc. but I found an online Bible study, an individual Bible study or a Bible reading plan that would be practical for that particular season in my life.

No matter the reason for the need to set up a new quiet time routine or schedule, my hope is that the questions I’ve used to evaluate the change will help you in your walk with the Lord. I’d really love to read about what has helped you with making a change in your daily quiet time!

What has helped you the most in making a change in your personal daily time with God?

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

The Secret to Our Sanity

family for blog sanity

Some moments of life are not meant to be forgotten.

The day my baby girl was born blue and had to be resuscitated.

The night I stared into nothingness because I realized what the “something” was that was wrong in my marriage.

The phone call telling me that mama was diagnosed with leukemia.

That midnight I Googled “mucopolysaccharidosis” and realized my daughter had a number of years assigned to her life.

The moment I kissed my mom goodbye and whispered I’d see her in Heaven one day.

The day I watched a baby exit my body far before her time and lose her opportunity of life.

I haven’t forgotten a single one of these moments and you?

Your moments are etched in your mind too. The close calls in labor and delivery… the marital problems and perhaps, divorce… the terminal diagnoses or death of those closest to your heart… the miscarriages… the list could go on and on.

Jesus said we would have trouble in this world. I love what he said next.

But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Take heart! Have courage. Stop relying on your own strength to get you through the trouble and focus on me- I’ve already won.

Those close calls in labor and delivery bring us closer to Jesus. Marital issues are redeemed through Jesus. Disease can be healed by Jesus. Death has been conquered through Jesus. I’ve experienced that no matter the issue, Jesus is the answer.

From those deepest aching places and empty heart spaces, I face choices pivotal to both mine and my family’s future. After years of these choices, I recognize that each one could make me bitter or better.

I can hide behind: “Not me.”

Or empower others with “Me too.

So as a wife and mom to 7, I make the choice to share life- as-is. With our 5-spills-in-one-meal record and revolving front door, with the never-ending laundry piles and an ongoing dishwasher saga, I choose to share my “secret” to “How in the world do you do it?” It is simply that I do my best to focus on God’s Word, where I find strength.   I write as a reminder that each of us experience trouble in all different forms, but with Christ, we are overcomers.

Take heart.

Rachel

PS:  I have an incredible opportunity to compete on GSN’s American Bible Challenge show on June 19th, 8/7c. Hope you’ll watch!

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

10 Ways to Maximize Moments of Rest

ways to rest

Most of us moms are busy and we say so. And it’s true, we’re learning how to make choices in an age of information overload. When to intake, what to intake, how much to intake…the day seems endless and we’re told that rest is pivotal in our current culture. Today’s  health professionals are reiterating what David penned in song…

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

But how do we accomplish this within the confines and demands of a single day? Today we’re pausing to creatively manage our time and discuss 10 ways to maximize moments of rest. These ideas are designed to simply remind us to take the time to be still.

1. Enjoy a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage without any accompanying digital devices.

Simply choosing to slow down long enough to enjoy refreshment for a few minutes is rejuvenating.

2. Begin the day with quiet time with God.

Yes, this can be challenging with little ones, I know. As soon as they hear a peep, their feet hit the floor. One strategy I’ve used over the years is to pray and read before I even get out of bed.

3. Pause between loads of laundry or other daily housework, schoolwork, or work and just breathe.

A few deep breaths are cleansing for body, mind, and spirit.

4. Take advantage of those moments of waiting that happen throughout the day and close your eyes for just a few minutes if you can.

Waiting in the parking lot? Rest your eyes for a few moments. Placed on hold while on the phone? Just take a moment to close your eyes.

5. Stand up tall and stretch, then sit down in your favorite chair for 5 minutes.

If I’ve been moving at a fast pace all day, then I often will use the timer to make this happen.

6. Take a moment to do something that encourages rest.

Whether this is 5 minutes of reading, playing a musical instrument, no matter the activity, change your pace, slow down, relax.

7. Rest while travelling.

If someone else is responsible for driving or logistics, then take a moment to close your eyes and pray. I often do this when my husband is driving. (not because of his skills, just because I can. J )

8. Stop and listen to your environment.

When the room contains a lot of noise, this can be overwhelming, even if you are accustomed to it. Focus on one pleasant sound and be thankful for it in the moment of rush. My little girls and I will often talk about the birds in the spring and giggle at the conversations we pretend they are having.

9. Remember that you don’t have to close your eyes to pray.

God loves to have ongoing conversations with his children and prayer always brings rest.

10. Laughter brings joy, which yields peace and rest.

Basking in the presence of restful moments throughout the day can prevent the escalation of overwhelming feelings. When the opportunity to rest is before you, seize it and train yourself to be still. You’ll be glad you did!

Which one of the ideas above is one that you want to embrace? And do you have ideas to share that have helped you be more at rest? We’d love it if you’d share them with our community!

Rachel

RacheWojo.com

4 Sanity-Saving Tips for Balancing a Large (or Any) Family

4 tips on balancing a large family

When I was a little girl, there was hardly a time that you didn’t see me taking care of dolls. Lined up in a row, I would talk to them, feed them, change them and you know- the whole life routine. I always wanted to be just like my mom and I feel incredibly blessed that God saw fit to provide my large family dream.

After growing up in a family of 9 children and having a tribe of my own, as part of The Better Mom series on balance, I’m sharing 4 tips for balancing a large household. Can I tell you I’ve not hit the professional household manager mark yet? Please know as you read the tips that I consider myself an experienced learner, but NOT a perfect expert by any stretch of the imagination. With that disclaimer, here we go:

1. Write out a definition of “balance” and be sure it is realistic.

If “balanced” means you can eat food off your kitchen floor at any point in the day, then the definition itself is out of balance.  One of the best illustrations I’ve seen on life balance was a wheel, not a scale. Life priorities should be in the center of the wheel and activities around the outside.  As the wheel turns, activities will vary in position. At certain times of the day, a baseball game might be the top activity or focus. Then when it’s time for bed, nighttime routine needs to be the focus. I like to think of balance as: “living with enough structure for our family to function well, but with enough flexibility to enjoy living.”

2. Keep a family calendar and use it consistently.

Many methods of calendaring are available, whether you use your smartphone, paper calendar, or Google calendar. The method is a preference; the point is to find a system that works well for you and your family. Keeping a family calendar has been a critical component of striving for balance in our home.

3. Set your calendar limitations; do not over-schedule as a family.

With the number of bodies in our household, there is a lot of daily action, interaction and logistics. Knowing who has to be where at what time and making it happen can take its toll quickly. Discover your own limitations and set them firmly; communicate the boundaries to everyone involved. For example, my children know that Mommy and Daddy only allow them to participate in one extracurricular sports activity per season.  This is just what works for us and everyone knows the rule.  Another tip that has worked well for us is to have one day a week with no appointments scheduled during the day hours. For us, Friday has suited well for this purpose. If someone asks to schedule an appointment on a Friday, I simply say: “I’m sorry; our family doesn’t schedule appointments on Fridays.” With 8 people living in the house and multiple others floating in and out, having one guaranteed appointment-free day each week can be sanity-saving.

4. Accept and solicit assistance when you know it is needed.

This point was a tough one for me to learn. I enjoy taking care of my family and I want to do it. All the time. But honestly, I can’t do it well and do it consistently without some help.  As our family has grown and needs have changed over the years, we’ve:

  •  hired babysitters as we could afford
  • accepted help from neighbors
  • requested assistance occasionally from our church family
  • and bartered child care with other families.

It’s not always easy, but in the long run, I can tell you it is worth it. For those you blessed with family members living close by, enjoy their help and don’t be afraid to ask when you know you really need it. Raising a family is a marathon; not a sprint.

There you have it! My top 4 tips for attempting to keep the Wojo tribe lassoed in and still enjoy large family life to the fullest.

I’d love to know: Which one is resonating with you?

Rachel

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

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