You wake up early. Make yourself some coffee. Sit down while the rest of your household is in sweet slumber. Open your bible. And the next thing you hear is:
Well, there goes another quiet time. “Sorry Lord, I’m not gonna make it again,” you say with a sigh of defeat.
That’s pretty much my life story right there.
Do your quiet times, or lack thereof, ever cause you guilt? You want to be consistent, and have deep quiet times with the Lord, but something always gets in the way: the day’s schedule, the young children who need you take them to the potty for the millionth time or feel the need to eat even though they finished breakfast 5 minutes ago (true story: this literally just happened as I type). You feel that there is a strict law to having the perfect quiet time. And when it doesn’t happen, and you don’t have that mountaintop experience, you feel guilty. When you can’t have those moments alone every day, you feel guilty. When you don’t hit that magic 30 minute time frame, you feel guilty. When your quiet time is anything but quiet (MOMMY!!!!!!), you feel guilty.
My sweet friend and author Emily Ryan has a message to share about that guilt we experience.
In her new book, Guilt Free Quiet Times, Emily exposes the top 10 myths that we generally believe about quiet times. Each chapter begins with a myth (which by the way, Emily’s gift is sarcasm so the myth will leave you giggling, promise), which is then confronted with a truth, followed by tips, suggestions and inspiration to help you let go of the guilt and embrace moments with the Lord.
To let go of that guilt, sometimes we have to say no. Emily encourages us to say no to legalism, no to someone else’s magic formula, no to walking through the motions and the biggest no to Satan’s lie that it’s all or nothing.
Instead, Emily wants us to say YES to freedom; “Freedom to chase after God in your own unique way. Freedom to stumble. Freedom to accept His grace, and freedom to get to know God himself rather than get to know how to have a perfect quiet time.”
Backed up by scripture, Emily debunks these myths. And it is powerful stuff. Life changing!
Embrace your responsibilities as blessings, not burdens. Consider your time with God a privilege, not an obligation. Fuel your relationship with grace, not guilt. -Emily Ryan
I struggle the most with myth #5- You must have your quiet time every single day. The Truth? – “Your goal of spending time with the Lord should be consistency and constant connectedness to Him, not perfection.” I honestly try to have a quiet time each day, but let’s face it. Motherhood is a season of chaos. True, it’s the best chaos I’ve ever experienced, but chaotic none the less!
Emily tells us we have three choices we can make in this season: we can keep on feeling guilty; we can give up and say goodbye to our quiet times all together; or we can give ourselves grace and get creative about our “quiet times.” Perhaps we have 15 minutes to read a short devotional or our bible; perhaps its dancing and singing to worship music with our children in the living room; maybe there is only 1 or 2 days a week that we can sit down to have an actual “quiet time” while the kids are at school; God understands this season.
The goal, rather, is to find that energizing zone where your “have to” becomes your “want to” and where you’re motivated by desire rather than obligation. This gray middle ground can’t be neatly defined or described because it is different for everyone. But you’ll know you’ve found it when you realize that your time with the Lord contains an element of sacrifice, but that the sacrifice is oh-so-worth-it. -Emily Ryan
Getting to know Emily and have the chance to read her book was certainly a divine appointment! I needed to hear this! Perhaps you do too. This book will defintily be a blessing to you. So much encouragement tucked in its 100 pages. You can read it alone or do it with a friend and do the discussion questions together. She even offers 47 guilt free quiet time ideas!
Tomorrow, I will be interviewing Emily about her new book and she is graciously giving away 5 paperback copies of Guilt Free Quiet Times!! If you just can’t wait to read it, you can get it for free by subscribing to Priority Ministries. It is also on sale for $2.99 for Kindle on Amazon and would make the perfect gift!
I leave you with my favorite quote from the book. See you tomorrow for the giveaway!
Jesus defined sacrifice when He died on the cross,
and His one sacrifice gave value to all other sacrifices.
He didn’t give His life so that you could have pretty quiet times.
He gave His life so you could know and be known by God.
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