What keeps you from sitting down with Jesus? Time, distractions, work, social media, or family members?? Let’s chat about some ways to add JOY to your personal devotions. One of the best way to do that is to think about your environment, with the intention of making your quiet time spot inviting. It should be a place you like to visit!
My favorite quiet time spot is a cozy chair with a blanket and my dog. Get this: I used to read in my closet in the morning with a book light before my children woke up. (Mamas have to be stealthy in the morning!) Sitting propped up in bed with pillows works great as well, but it’s not always feasible. There’s something special about a cozy corner that’s just for me and Jesus.
INVITATION TO SIT: CHOOSE YOUR SPOT
Choose a spot without a lot of distractions: This may sound obvious, but having a designated space that is quiet, tucked away, or at least set apart makes a difference. Some ideas for you:
- Bedroom corner with a chair or beanbag
- Living room chair with lamp
- Prayer closet (with a small stool, you can sit on the floor and use the stool for your Bible and journal)
- Outdoors (as weather permits)
- Kitchen table
- Propped up in bed with pillows
- Anywhere with a pretty view
TAKE NOTE: UNBURDEN YOUR HEART
Set out a notebook and a pen to have with you. Even if you’re not a journaling kind of person, you will LOVE keeping track of a few bullet points each day. I like to jot down a quick list of my prayer topics for the day. I pray as I write. It feels good to get things down on paper and out of my head. I also like looking back to see God’s answered prayers.
My prayer journal has a lot of different things in it, including prayers that I write out so I don’t get distracted, but I also do a bulleted list quite often. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I often write down, “Lord, I’m lifting up to you:” and then I put bullet points below with names and items that are on my heart that day.
As you write things down, you will feel less burdened because you’re no longer carrying those things alone and have actively lifted them into Jesus’ hands.
THE TO-DO LIST NOTEPAD
Make sure you have a separate note pad close at hand: This is really helpful for cutting down distraction. Whenever you think of a “to-do” for the day that you’re afraid you’ll forget, jot it down on the separate pad. I’ve found that my “to-do” list is often also my prayer list.
Don’t feel as though your deadlines, chores, phone calls, email messages, errands, and doctor’s appointments for the day aren’t part of your time with Jesus. He’s interested in all of it. Ask Him to order your day and help you with any sticky issues or stressful list items.
Each time you stop your Bible reading or prayer time to jot something down, pray over it, lift it up to Him, and keep going. It’s all part of your quiet time.
LET THE LIGHT IN
Lighting is a big part of setting up your quiet time space. This will help set the mood, but it will also help you see well and stay awake! Answer a few questions for yourself and try a few things:
- Do you like natural lighting?
- Do you prefer bright, overhead light?
- Do you like the softer lighting of a lamp?
- Do you enjoy reading with a book light in the dark?
SELECT YOUR BIBLE
Finding a Bible translation and a Bible that fits your needs is important. For the Bible translation, find one that is readable and accessible for you personally. Don’t read one that’s really hard to read if it will discourage you from reading. Some people enjoy reading one translation for their personal devotions and another for Bible study. Here are a few tips for selecting a Bible or plan:
- Take note: There are many Bible now that have a journaling area built in. I personally write ALL OVER my devotional Bible. I buy a new paperback copy of the One Year Bible every few years and scribble all over it. Do what works for you! If you don’t like the idea of writing in your Bible, that’s okay. You can jot down specific verses and personal application in your journal. Either way, write things down and make the verses personal.
- Make a plan: I personally read the One Year Bible because it helps me to open my Bible and know right where to read each day. Some years I read all of each daily entry. Other years, I focus on the Old or New Testament. The plan you use doesn’t matter – just make sure you have a clear plan.
- Electronic options: Many people now read the Bible on their phones, tablets, or laptops. There is nothing wrong with that if it works for you. Just make sure that you can truly concentrate and not get distracted. I personally cannot allow myself any electronics nearby. I need to tangibly hold God’s Word in my hands and jot down notes in the margins or in my journal. It’s a tactile thing that really helps me connect.
MAKE IT COZY
This where you add your own personal touch to your quiet time space to make it inviting and happy. Your quiet time spot should be a place that’s special and is attached to many sweet memories with Jesus. Some ideas for making your spot your own:
- Add a blanket that’s cozy and pretty
- Light a candle or turn on a lamp
- Make a cup of tea or coffee
- Cuddle up with a favorite pet
- Prepare a light snack if needed
- Select a new notebook, pen, or Bible
- Play soft music (if you don’t find it distracting)
YOUR JESUS APPOINTMENT
Finally, choose the time of day that works best for you and can be consistent. Many people like to start the day with Bible read and prayer, but if you’re not a morning person, work on finding a time that works well for you. Others know they will fall asleep if they try to have a quiet time in the evening, but they feel most alert in the morning. There’s no wrong time of day for your devotions. Times of day to try and consider:
- Early morning before the house wakes up (this is for the early birds)
- At the breakfast table (before or after other household members eat)
- On a morning break or on your lunch break at school or work
- After dinner
- Before going to bed (this is for the night owls)
- Outdoors after a morning walk
Whatever you do, make your quiet time spot a special place. It should be the place where you can retreat from the world, gather your thoughts, and spend time with the God who loves you. Do what it takes to make sure that your personal devotions are refreshing and enjoyable.
Do you have a special quiet time spot? If so, please tell me about it in the comments below! If you have any other tips to add, please share them as well.
Grace and peace,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)