Friday, July 14, 2017

Staying Close to Jesus Through a Busy Season

How to Have Quiet Time When You're Busy

Anyone else having a busy summer?!? I am not usually the busy type. Without any kids, a three day a week job and a husband who works all of the time, I usually have plenty of free time. I know, you're rolling your eyes at me right now, but it's true! 

Lately though, with remodeling a house, keeping up with this blog, vacations, work and regular household responsibilities, I have been a little overwhelmed. The one area of my life that has really taken a hit is my personal time with God and I'm starting to feel the effects. I've been more anxious, easily stressed and just plain moody.

Jesus promises rest to those of us who are weary (Matthew 11:28), but we have to make time for Him in order to receive it.  

So if you've found yourself in the middle of a busy season too, keep reading for some practical ways to stay close to Jesus when life gets chaotic. 

Play worship music

I love worship music. It gets my focus off of my circumstances and back on Jesus. Download some Christian music onto your phone or find a good Pandora station and whenever you would normally flip on the radio, listen to worship music instead. It will bring a positive energy to your day. 

As you listen really focus on what the songs are saying and offer up the words to God in prayer and praise. 

Some of my favorites are Elevation Worship, Kari Jobe, Hillsong, Bethel Music, Lauren Daigle and All Sons and Daughters. 

Listen to Podcasts

There are a lot of great podcasts out there. You can find sermons from well known pastors and messages from Christian speakers and authors. Most churches offer their sermons online as well. 

Always have some earbuds handy and listen while you're in the car, mowing the grass, laying by the pool, waiting for an appointment, cleaning the house etc. 

Podcasts are also a great option for when you're out of town and have to miss church. 

If you need a good place to start, you can my find my churches sermons here

Keep an Open Dialogue 

Prayer doesn't have to be done in a certain place, on your knees with your eyes closed. Instead, try talking to God all day long. Change the monologue in your head to a dialogue with God. 

As you fold laundry thank Him for providing you and your family. As you pay bills, thank Him for blessing you financially. Pray for those less fortunate as you recognize just how blessed you are. When you think of a prayer need don't wait until the perfect time to pray, pray right then. 

I think sometimes we obsess so much over the details of when, where and how we should pray that we end up not praying at all. God just wants us to talk to Him. The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I think that simply means that we should always keep an open line of communication with God. 

Utilize your Drive Time

I do some of my best praying in the car. It's the one place that I feel like I'm completely alone and there are minimal distractions. It's just me and Jesus and since most cars have Bluetooth capability people don't think twice (I hope) when they see me talking to myself! 

On those days that you just can't seem to find any extra time, use your time in the car as your quiet time. Pray, listen to a podcast or crank up the worship music.

Be Flexible

I like to spend time with Jesus first thing in the morning. I believe it's the best time because it sets my day off on the right track from the very beginning. But there are so many days lately that I have so much to do that I simply cannot focus first thing in the morning.

Be open to trying out a new time of day. Just because you didn't have your quiet time in the morning doesn't mean you can't do it another time. Maybe you could focus better at night when your day is done, try it out. During your lunch break do a quick devotional or read a few verses instead of scrolling through social media. Quiet time at an odd hour is better than no quiet time at all. 

Maybe you're used to sitting down and reading multiple chapters of the Bible at a time, really studying them as you go. Give yourself grace in this season to do a little less. It's much better than not doing anything. Try out the First 5 app or use the YouVersion Bible app to find a short reading plan.

If you're like me and when you sit down to have some quiet time all you can think about is what else you need to be doing, keep a piece of paper close by and jot down your to do list before you get started. That may help clear your mind so you can focus. 

I believe that the key to staying close to Jesus during a busy season of life is to weave Him in to every aspect of your day. I hope these tips help you to do just that. 

If there are some other things that have helped you, leave them in the comments. I would love to hear them!