WFMW – Let’s Talk QT

wfmwIt’s backwards day at Works for Me Wednesday. I ask the questions and you all provide the answers. It’s wonderful! I don’t have to be profound, helpful, witty, or spiritual. That’s implying, of course, that we here at the Duckabush ever ARE those things.

We don’t have time to discuss that right now. :)

I have so many areas in my life which need assistance, as you already know, if you are a faithful reader of this blog.

oh dear!

Someone, please help this girl!

Lately I’ve been thinking and praying about developing self-discipline in my life. A friend spoke some intense words of conviction into my life on Sunday and I’ve been mulling about them ever since. I am trying to filter what she said through the reality of my life on a day to day basis.

Where are my priorities?
What are my goals for my family and myself?
Where am I letting laziness, distraction and self-indulgence prevent me from meeting those goals and addressing those priorities?

who is this shadowy figure?

It’s getting harder and harder to capture Joshua on film.

That’s where you come in. I want you to help me figure out my life, guide me in attaining my goals and teach me how to develop a core of self-control.

Or maybe not.

What I really want to discuss is basic Bible Study/Quiet Time habits. I know there are some amazing, godly women who do me the honor of visiting this blog and sharing their heart. I’ve been encouraged, prayed for and challenged by many of you. Thank you for taking time to read and comment. I am eager to be blessed by your thoughts on this subject!

I want to spend time with the Lord. I crave time with my Bible and journal. I’m doing a fantastic Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Daniel. I want to give the work some thought and attention.

I also have FIVE children. Five children who adore and love me and MUST be with me at all times. Between my younger boys who get up early and want to do their Bible devotions with me and my older son and daughter who are entering their teen age years and like to stay up late and just talk, my life is full! And that’s not even addressing the other responsibilities that come into play in trying to run a smooth household.

mother daughter time

And I LOVE that special one on one time.

I’ve tried to carve out some time in the middle of the day.
Did I mention we’re a homeschooling family? The middle of the day is not exactly prime “quiet time” material here.

The (late) evenings tend to be my only moments for rest and relaxation. I don’t have the depth of insight or energy that I want to give the Lord by the time that part of the day staggers along. Blogging I can do, studying the scriptures…no.

So I’m left with the morning. If I sleep in just a little bit it seems the entire morning vanishes. Little ones need help with breakfast. The laundry cries out for a little bit of attention – just a wee load before the day starts, it whispers.

I’ve been trying to do my Daniel study while David and Sarah (7 and 5) sit with me and read their Bibles.

Um, that does not work.

David, who can read, likes to do so aloud.

Are we in Daniel this morning, Mommy?
Yes, sweetie, chapter 6. You can read it in your Bible.

Several minutes pass while I try to answer the questions in my book, help David sound out words, and referee conflict taking place in the adjoining room.

No time for reading, let’s go outside!

It’s not exactly what I would call precious moments with the Lord.

Meanwhile, Sarah, who is just learning how to read, likes to describe all the illustrations to me … in detail.

So I’ve discovered that, while this is a lovely time of family devotion and an amazing opportunity to teach the younger children how to study their Bibles, it is NOT a place where I can effectively hear from the Lord.

Is this the longest Works for Me Wednesday ever?

Share with me from your experience.

Do you have time in your schedule set apart for one on one time with the Lord?
Do you read your Bible and pray on a regular basis?
Devotional? Bible Study book? Read through the Bible in a Year plan?
Do you journal?
Do you journal or record your prayers?
Do you teach your children to have a daily Quiet Time?
How LONG is your own personal time with the Lord?
WHEN do you find this time?

Remember I am a night owl with some early risers in the family. How early do I have to get up to set aside time in the Word? Do I hide out in my room and guard 20 or 30 minutes for prayer and Bible reading?

Stun me with your spiritual maturity and discipline.

Stop by Rocks in My Dryer to see how you can aid other desperate bloggers.

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22 thoughts on “WFMW – Let’s Talk QT”

  1. I wish I had the magic answer! My time is first thing in the morning, and has been for years. When kids were old enough to understand and obey – and be needy – I had to lay down a law to protect my time. Either I hid in my room or they in theirs until a prearranged time or until I told them. I don’t journal. I used to. It’s too slow for me. It’s as long as I need it to be or as long as I have… no set time. Could you assign the younger children to the older ones for whatever time is needed until you’re ready in the morning? Can you set a place off-limits until a certain time, and give particular assignments or tasks for them during that time. Reading or breakfast or tidying or schoolwork, but with mandate for quiet because Mommy needs it! No arguing allowed until 8:00 a.m. or whatever. Your kids can understand. J & R maybe can be referees? Can they do their QT alongside the younger ones? Delegate! Support Mom! Hope you get some great ideas here!

  2. I struggle with this too. I have found that I can listen to music on my iPod during home-schooling, so I’m going to try to listen to The Message instead. If that doesn’t work I’ll try listening while I cook. Not exactly quiet, but it would be more scripture in my day than I am currently getting.

  3. I wish I knew. I have trouble with this, and I only have three (7, 5, & 3). The earlier I wake up, the earlier the 5 yr old wakes up. once she’s up, she’s up, and so is her little brother. The earlier they wake up, the grouchier they are. But It’s like they don’t want to miss a minute of the day – neither naps. and by the time they are all in bed (littles by 8, big guy by 9) I’m so wiped out, that I can’t think clearly enough to process. I wish I had an answer for you… but I have to go break up another fight. *S*

  4. Here by way of WFMW :) I also am a homeschool mom with five kiddos – mine are all girls – ages 15-2 1/2. I do most of my Bible reading before bed. However, I listen to preaching/teaching CD’s while I shower, do hair, makeup, etc. We have a standing rule that no one bothers Mom in the bathroom, so this works for me (usually!). Also I am a minister, so this is when the Lord seems to give me sermons, messages or whatever you’d like to call it. Hope this helps!!

  5. I really think sometimes that the only time available is first thing in the morning, and that may include getting up just a little bit earlier every morning specifically to get in your spiritual study time. If you do it in the morning, it also sets a great tone for the rest of your day. Good luck!

  6. I thought a long question should get a long answer, so here goes.

    I wish this was an area I had all figured out. It seems that it’s easy to struggle with this sans husband and children, too.

    I generally set aside the first time of my “free” time (meaning time that doesn’t have designated activities, not actual free time!) for the Lord. It used to be in the evenings, but now it’s primarily in the mornings since I’ve started getting up at 6 EVERYDAY. I’ve only let myself sleep in 3x, and I’ve been at it for almost 4 weeks. Even then, I’m not as consistent as I’d like. It’s all too easy to get caught up in schoolwork, or other reading, or blogging.

    I do read my Bible and pray regularly, it’s just not as much as I like. Especially the praying part. I’m working on working it in. I got a cool new prayer journal hoping that would motivate me. So far it hasn’t. Of course, I think true motivation has to come from the heart (and the Lord’s work there)!

    I don’t do any sort of devotional or pre-made plan. I do read through books on spiritual growth (right now it’s Jerry Bridges “Respectable Sins”) that fuels my devotional life as well. I try to read the Bible in a year, in my own way. I’d really like to read it 2x in a year, so I ambitiously work on reading 5 chapters of OT and 2 chapters of NT each day. All told, this would take about 45 minutes which I could have, but I don’t always take. I like that, though I rarely get to my goal. I also like to spend time delving into particular books but haven’t done that lately. When you study the Bible for class, it can be hard to be motivated to study it on your own!

    I love to journal, but noticed this slacked off when I started blogging everyday (imagine that). I no longer journal everyday like I did, but I still do several times a week. I mainly journal my inner thoughts and things I’m mulling over but can’t really discuss with others. (I’m not all that private, but I won’t talk to one person about anothers issues or about some sin I see in their life that pushes me to look at the sin in mine).

    I hope that maybe this somehow can be encouraging. Please continue to blog as you work through these things. Though our situations are different, it seems many of the root problems are the same!

  7. “i have 5 children who MUST be with me at all times”

    kathy, i thot you were married to tim. i didn’t see his name mentioned once in your post. where is he in all this?
    i believe that parenting should be a partnership. does he spend time alone with the kids during the week?

    i think the other gals had great ideas but don’t forget that tim could take the kids for 30 min, an hour, 2 hours!!! each day to let you have your quiet time. whether it be morning, noon or night doesn’t really matter (except if you’re dead tired). if its your true desire to do this, and i see that it is, ask tim to help.

    and if the kids just want to be with mom ALLTHETIME, then this will be a good time to teach them that mom needs time with God, alone. that God is your FIRST priority even above them. kids learn by watching what their parents do. i remember seeing my dad having his bible time out in our dining room before we kids got up. and going into my parents room and seein my mom still in bed with her bible on her lap. that made a big impression on me as a youngster.

    God knows your heart, He hears your desire and He will make a way for you to have your quiet time. i go thru seasons of when and where it happens and if it happens at all. i pray to be faithful in this area too. there are a hundred distractions for us moms to deal with.

    hope that helps. hang in there.

  8. My dear friend, I fear it may mean you need to GO TO BED EARLIER. Ever heard that before?? :)

    MAKE yourself get up early- super early. (For me 5:30 is the good super early [but don't be deceived into thinking this is my CURRENT schedule. It is just what is BEST for me. But why would I do what is BEST? Anyway, back to you]) Seriously, by the time you get up at 5:30am three mornings in a row, you WILL BE tired earlier and WILL go to bed earlier. Currently I’m doing my quiet time during the day, but I only have two at home now, so that makes it much easier. I do best when I do super early morning rising, though, to get both quiet time and exercise in.

  9. I lock myself in my bathroom. No, I’m not kidding. It’s the only place the kids have been trained to not I have a very large bathroom and in the morning, I sit in a chair inside there with the bathroom fan running so I can’t hear any fighting that may or may not be going on, and I read my Bible. Then I do my exercises and take my shower. When I come out, I feel brand new! My older kids watch the little ones and no one has died yet.LOL


    Lisa in jax

  10. Honestly, I struggled with this for years and only seem to have gotten a handle on it once my youngest child is not very young anymore.

    I read my Bible daily, and most days I read 4 chapters in the morning and 4 chapters in the evening, on going to bed. I use read-through-the-Bible plans at double pace (sometimes triple pace), with occasional breaks to read a single book with a commentary. I journal when I feel like it–not daily. Having a twice-a-day habit means that if I miss it in the morning, I am extra careful to do it in the evening, and if I’m really wiped out at night, I can skip that reading knowing I read in the morning. That flexibility helps me–but I had to establish the twice-daily habit before I allowed myself that leeway.

    Reading through the Bible at a fast clip as I do is not the same as in-depth studying, but if you’ve not done it, you might be surprised at how truly beneficial it is. And my experience has been that once I had read through the Bible two or three times within a year or two, it became much easier to read at that pace and in that quantity daily, and I found myself making many more connections as I read, understanding everything much better, and simply knowing my Bible that much better.

    My youngest is 11, so you can see that I don’t have the demands on me that you and many other moms have! I rise early by nature–6ish most mornings–and go to bed at 10 because that’s when I’m tired, but that’s just what works for me, and I have no advice for the natural night owl! No one is up here at 6 unless it’s dh, and he’s in his office, very quiet, so no bother to me at all.

    I drink coffee first, surf the web and check email while I wake up, then read my Bible after that first cup of coffee–that’s what works for me.

    May God bless your efforts to spend time with him! Keep seeking his wisdom, Kathy–he promises to give it.

  11. One thing works every time–listen to the Holy Spirit.

    For years and years I beat myself up over missing devotional time. I have 4 kids and I homeschool, so many people that I talked to about it gave me the easy out–”It’s just the phase of life you’re in right now. Give yourself a little leaway.” That advise lessened the guilt a bit, but not the ache in my heart at missing time with the Lord.

    I tried putting myself on a schedule. I tried making rules for myself (You can’t pick up your pleasure reading book until you pick up the Bible). I would have tried hanging myself up by my toes if I’d thought it would work. All those self-imposed parameters depended on my willpower to accomplish them. I had to say “no” to myself. Ha!

    Over the last few years I’ve tried something else: listening to the Holy Spirit. It’s not that I don’t have a “regular” study time. Routine has its place, but it’s not life.

    When I hear that still small voice prompting me, I have a choice of the will before me. It’s not that I have to say “no” to myself, I have to say “yes” to God. It sounds like semantics, but it works quite differently. My authority over myself is weak and I do what I THINK I should, or what I THINK is best for me (at best–often I choose what I feel like doing), but when the Holy Spirit speaks I think twice about dismissing His request because He KNOWS what I should do and it’s ALWAYS what’s best for me.

    Whenever He prompts and I obey my day runs smoothly–sometimes “beyond all I could ask or imagine.” He has stopped me mid-school to run to my room to read for a while–sometimes a long while. Sometimes He tells me that it’s not time to read. When I’m in the listening mode I end up abiding in Him throughout the day. That abiding puts me at His feet every moment.

    Sure, I get distracted by worldly stuff sometimes, but when I feel that guilt or pressure, I have a choice to drop it all and begin listening again. That guilt and pressure come from self righteousness. When that is in play everything is distorted. The second that I accept His righteousness and begin abiding in Him and just listening, all that junk falls aside and I breathe fresh air and walk on hand-in-hand with Him. It’s a place of rest.

    Recognize the pull to be Martha, but choose to be Mary.

  12. Okay. I don’t have the answers as this is a question I am personally working through also. However, what came to my mind immediately upon reading this was the story of Moses and Jethro. Moses was trying to do it all; Jethro advised him to train up others to help…to delegate.

    Trust the training you have already given your children: respect and obey Mom, a healthy relationship with God. Give them a chance to play out their skills. Tell them that just like they love you and want to be around you and to share and learn from you, so you need and want to be with your Heavenly Father.

    The way I figure it, there are a few ways to play this out practically:(pick and choose whatever you’d like, just make sure it happens everyday at a roughly consistent time):
    1. Delegate sibling time. Your olders are definitely old enough to care for a younger sibling. Make a list of possible things to do together during that time. Save for emergencies, Mom is not to be interrupted at all.

    2. Delegate alone time. Each child sits on his or her bed away from all siblings. A stack of books or quiet things are on the bed. Save for a potty stop, no one gets off his or her bed during this time. Absolutely no talking.

    3. Get unabridged classic books on tape (ipods/podcasts) and delegate story hour. This is working great for me at the moment. I try to stop the recording at suspenseful times so they are begging for quiet story time the next day.

    There are many other ideas I am sure, but quite bluntly, if none of the above three work, then you best invest in some time training your children to be still. A too busy life is the fastest way to train someone NOT to be able to hear God in the stillness. Friends and activities are great, but not at the expense of a weak friendship with our Creator.

    Oh, man, I am so preaching at myself here. Now, I best get off this computer and use the time I have right now…

  13. Kathy, I am having the same struggles right now! So I’ll be spending some time reading everyone’s answers.

    Oh, and silly me, I just committed to start teaching a Tuesday morning Bible study. Starting this next week. Like, 6 days from now. Not only do I need to prepare to teach, but I need to arrange child care!!! I don’t know which I’m more nervous about!

  14. Hi Kathy,

    I am Brooke Parsons’ mother. Brooke just loves your family! She has your blog posts delivered to her email. Anyway, she reads aloud to me most of your posts. What a nice family you have! :)

    I felt compelled to respond to this post, since you are asking for comments. :)

    It seems to me that you are in a different season of life right now is all. A season filled with child rearing. You ‘are’ busy! Does God ‘expect’ you to spend x amount of time with Him daily, just you and Him? What about leaving several Bibles open in key areas of your home, snatching and meditating on key verses or passages that you have time to glimpse at? Read a ‘Daily Light’ in the mornings – they are super quick. Do ‘your’ daily Bible reading out loud with the kids. Maybe start their school day with ‘your’ daily Bible reading. You could all take turns reading out loud. Why fragment everyone’s daily reading? God just wants you to spend time in relationship with Him as well. Set your timer every 1/2 hour, for a quick thank-you, praise to God.

    Have you read the book, “Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God” yet? It devotes the better part of a chapter to this very issue of Bible reading / study for mom’s. You can buy it from my blog or my web-site, via my Christian Book Distributor links. Web-site addy is: My blog addy is:

    The next day really begins the night before. Go to bed at a decent hour, so you can get up on time. Do a little planning the evening before. Get your clothes laid out for the following day. In other words, ‘prepare’ for tomorrow the evening before.

    Are you familiar with Nancy Campbell & Above Rubies? What a treasure we have in her!!! She is coming from Tennessee to Olympia (Black Lake) for her annual retreat. It is to be held this month. It is only $37.50 for Saturday only (includes one meal – Add $10.00 for each additional meal). She will SHOW you for sure how to get it all together God’s way. She will inspire and encourage you to return to the basics in a way that no one else I know seems to be able to accomplish. In short, she is amazing. If you can at all make this retreat, please do so! Brooke and I will be there Saturday morning and afternoon only. The information and registration addy is: We hope to see you there!!! :)

    And finally, I think it is wonderful that you have many friends and blogging friends that you can ask for advice. Be sure to always ask your husband for ‘his’ advice in all areas first. And ultimately, listen to ‘his’ advice the most. :) God gave your husband to be ‘your’ leader. :)

    Many blessings & prayers! :)


  15. Hi again Kathy~

    OOOPS…I forgot to mention that the Above Rubies retreat with Nancy Campbell is coming right up! March 14 – 16. Gather a bunch of your friends and please do really try to come! You would surely be blessed with new insight and motivation!

  16. Kathy,
    Every time you make mention on your blog about trying to become a reformed night owl, I’m totally agreeing with it all. For the last (I’m almost embarassed to say this) three years God has been working on me to change my dedicated night owl habits. I’m getting better but I’m not there yet. Typically I am now in bed by 10pm most nights instead of midnight or later. To get up before children (I have 3 boys), I would need to be up by 5am. I can count on one hand how many times that has happened. It’s rough. I tried giving my kiddos (especially the two younger ones ages 4 & 6) a clock to show 7am so I could get up a bit later & now have them about. That didn’t work really great although it’s been over a year since I tried it. I’m eagerly reading all the responses & just wanted to say – I feel your pain. ;-)

  17. These are great, great questions. Exactly what you have posted has been on my heart for some time now. I am not a morning person and I have tried to set my alarm but I just can’t seem to get up. And I also can’t get out of bed in fear of waking up my 3 and 1 year old. My husband works nights and sleeps during the day. And I, as you said of yourself, can focus on studying at night.

    I will be making time to read all your other commenters and gleaning from their wise advice.

    Great post!!!

  18. Kathy, no great advice here, but this is what I have been managing these days.

    I also am a night owl and do some of my Bible reading at night, but often find I am not as “fresh” as other times of the day.

    I like to listen to sermons on the MP3 player and often do that while Gabe goes to sleep. (He likes me to stay with him until he goes to sleep.) I can listen to a great sermon and work on my stitching.

    I have been doing my Bible in a Year Reading from a book by D. A. Carson, called For The Love of God, while the kids are eating lunch.

    I like to journal on my laptop as it helps me to stay focused better and I can type faster than I can write. I don’t do it everyday, but often.

    I usually have a good prayer time before I go to bed, but never quite long enough before I doze off.

    I would love to fit in a quality Bible study time, but that is just not working right now. I try and do what I can, when I can.

    I am enjoying reading the other posts.

  19. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for visiting my blog! It looks like you’ve already gotten some great advice on this topic, but here’s my 2 cents. I just bought a one-year Bible. It is printed with all the daily reading from the OT, NT, Psalms, and Proverbs all together. For example, March 5th’s reading is printed all together, so I don’t have to follow a chart, or flip around the Bible to get to all the passages. Somehow this just makes it seem easier to me. To do the daily reading takes about 15 minutes. Hope this helps a bit! ~Carol

  20. So, I am so sorry to be so long in answering you. You posted a question to me LAST week regarding homemade yogurt and if wheat germ in smoothies is noticeable- and I am just now getting back to you. Sorry about that. The answer is no- not very. It seems to grind up nicely and be about the consistency of the itty bitty ice chunks. Try it without saying anything and I bet no one will even notice. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  21. I didn’t read all the comments, so I may be repeating. Please forgive me, if so. I recently read a book called Scream-Free Parenting. I looked at this book several times, but didn’t buy it because I’m not a screamer. I found a great deal on it, though, so I took the plunge. I LOVED this book. One of the main things it spoke to me about was taking time for myself. Sometimes in homeschool circles we find such a self-sacrificial attitude. And, I admit, we have to be self-sacrificial to homeschool! And sacrifice is a good thing. So, don’t get me wrong, but how can we lead our children if we’re not healthy ourselves. And if I never have anytime for myself (quiet time, exercise time, whatever…), I’m not going to be very healthy. I’ve been putting myself last for 15 years now, and with a 2 year old, I’m looking at 16 more years. No way can I do this! SO… all that is to say… take the time for yourself. I do mornings, 20-30 minutes. I’m reading through the Bible (sort of – NT, Psalm and Proverbs) this year. I also throw in a few pages of whatever “Bible” book is coming up in Landon’s Sonlight (right now, that’s The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey). Then, I pray. I just started a week or so ago writing out my prayers after reading Jeannie Fulbright’s blog on this. I am loving it. It is keeping my mind from wandering. I hope that answers your questions. But whatever time, method, etc., you find, Kathy, you must find time for yourself!

  22. I share your frustration and I am convicted. I am a homeschooling mom to 4 kids and a night owl as well. I use the evening and late nights to surf the web, blog, and sometimes (haha) prepare for the next days lessons with the kids. I do not get up early, neither do the children, so we are all very relaxed around here. Nothing gets really going until 10 am (school gets started). I do start with a short devotional over breakfast with all of us, but I sometimes feel as if I need MORE for me. I too am working through a fabulous Beth Moore study, but like you, I am trying to manage those thought provoking questions amid math and grammar and pb&j’s. sigh

    I have found that afternoon quiet time is a great time to get some quality time in. Our 13 yr old is a reader and my 9 and 11 yr olds love stories on tape/cd. So when the 3yr old goes down for a nap, I send everyone to their rooms for quiet time as well. I wish I could say that this works wonderfully and we never miss, but sometimes, given our late start and somewhat pencil resistant boys, this time is devoted to “Get that done before your dad gets home or else!.” Sadly, given their current pencil resistant state, I cannot slip away. If I am not lording over them with an evil glare, they will fritter their time away doing things not remotely related to the subject in front of them. (One has completely illustrated, in full color, his entire Math U See book) Those are probably the days I need the quiet time the MOST! LOL

    Anyway, I know tis was not an answer, but I hope it served as an encouragement that you are definitely not alone in your quest for more of Him. I know that He is honored by our hearts DESIRE to be with him and he is gracious to understand that in this season, we must steal moments when we can.

    Some wise women have posted before me (which is why I am convicted) with some practical advice. Maybe tomorrow will be better for both of us, eh?

    Found you through the blog party…I also read Rocks (Shannon is hilarious) and I have poked around here enough to know I will probably be back. We have a lot in common. =)

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