Quiet Time

We must do our business faithfully, without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to God mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him. ~ Brother Lawrence

I long to commune with God: to learn to hear, not just speak. In some Christian circles, a time of study and meditation and prayer is called having your Quiet Time. For most, this simply means a designated time, set aside for God and God alone.

Having a Quiet Time was a practice I picked up in high school and carried on most of my life. I’ve done prayer journals and gratitude journals and Read Through the Bible in One Year programs. I’ve learned a lot and none of the time was in any way without merit. It didn’t come naturally to me. Spending an hour or even a half hour a day for my Quiet Time was a challenge.

And now, the confession. I learned to be externally quiet, but my Quiet Times were a bit like telling a child they need to have a Time Out. The child may sit in the chair, but that doesn’t mean there’s an internal calming down or reexamining of behavior.

I sat in my chair and did my best to concentrate, but I’ve always had an unquiet mind. Regardless of the stillness of my body, my mind raced. As I prayed for someone, I’d quickly become distracted as I thought about their circumstances. Sometimes even switching from prayer to problem solving.

My mind wandered in my Bible reading. I found myself only vaguely aware of the 4 chapters that I’d just read in Lamentations. I had glimpses of what it was like to Be still and know that I am God, but they were fleeting.

In the last few years, I’ve begun to have some experience with interior stillness accompanying my exterior stillness. I think this comes more naturally for some people than it has for me. God, is His grace, has answered my heart’s plea to quiet my mind, not just my body. Some days, my mind still takes off without me! When it does, I’m reminded of Brother Lawrence’s counsel: We must do our business faithfully, without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to God mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from him.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

33 thoughts on “Quiet Time”

    1. Dear Linda – I have RLS – a rather severe case, along with PLM and sleep apnea. For many years I took Adderall. My tongue could hardly keep up with my mind, and I was one fast talker. I haven’t taken any for several years now, but keeping my mind in check is still a challenge.
      ~ Debbie

  1. Wow. When I get my externals quiet, my internals fall asleep. 😐
    I usually read “aloud”, whispering the words as I go, to help rivet my mind to what is going on with my eyes.
    And I do pray while doing laundry or whatever. We are supposed to pray without ceasing, so I guess that is how. Ithink that is what Bro. Lawrence did . . .

  2. Gracious one . . .you’ve once again got us all confessing. 🙂 Tis true of me too! I have the best intentions.. .sigh. Once, He told me that I was worshiping my time alone more than I was worshiping Him. And then I no longer had any time alone, but He showed me how to still have time with Him. 🙂 God bless you, Debbie, as He quiets you with His love!

    1. Dearest Deb – Oh friend, that is so true although I’ve never quiet said it that way. I have worshiped my time alone more than I was worshiping Him. I only place this in the past, because now I’m alone most of the time. Even alone in His presence, I’m sometimes still absent.
      You’ve taught me a great deal about listening through your poems. Thank you!
      ~ Debbie

  3. Great post, Debbie

    Thanks for sharing.

    There are days when I’m sitting down, but my heart is far from being quiet. Sure, I am there before Him, but my brain is running to and fro trying to get everything else done.

    So thankful for His mercies and the fact that He sees deep inside the heart and knows exactly what I need.

    Blessings,
    ann

    1. Dear ann – Oh yes! Quiet or pounding, He loves our hearts! I think He’s always honored when we show up, even if we are easily distracted! ;D
      Thank you, ann, for sharing your part of this story.
      ~ Debbie

    1. Dear Paulann – It’s so interesting how little a quiet space (inside or out) appealed to me, even 5 years ago. Have you seen The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood? In a sense, I, too, “dropped my basket”.
      Today I see a quiet mind just as you describe it – as a gift.
      ~ Debbie

      1. I love the Ya Ya’s, both in book and movie form. I watch the movie periodically and have enjoyed sharing it with others over the years. I may just have to indulge myself and watch it again. Sometimes “dropping our basket” is the path to wholeness. May your quiet mind be all the gift you need. ~ Paulann

  4. Awesome. I’m quieted. I’m engaged (not to Don) … 😉

    Thank you for sharing your absolute Faith, and your absolute “truth” re: God.

    To me (the expert) isn’t true fiath accomplished through questioning and comparing? I DO see peace with people who let their God help them. But i don’t think that Grace comes without “discussion”? 🙂 love mel

    I wasn’t reading wisdom while driving!! I don’t have a driver’s license! xoxo

    1. melis – LOL! I forgot that you don’t drive. Absolutely, faith and growth come through questioning and thinking and discussing. My problem is that when it’s just God and I, I tend to do all of the talking and forget to listen. 😉
      ~ Debbie

  5. You are not alone in this Debbie. I have always had a mind full of thougts that run from one topic to the next so quickly I forget how I got to where I ended up. Wow, did you get that? 🙂

    Seriously, though, I too long for those quiet times when I can get my mind so focused on the Lord that I can actually feel Him there next to me. I have had a few moments so amazingly clear, where it was as if we were actually side-by-side talking — but they are mostly in the middle of the night when there is no light, no vision to draw my eye, no noises or people (or animals) to distract — and when I am so tired I am nearing sleep and my mind is shutting down.

    I love The Practice of the Presence of God — will have to read it again.

    1. Dear Drusilla – I’ve had such a great advantage this past year, working nights and having a job that allows for some times of quiet. Minimal sensory input has been such a change for me and so helpful in quieting my mind.
      I definitely got how you got to where you ended up. I end up there A LOT! I expect we’ll be bumping into each other any day now! 😀
      ~ Debbie

  6. This is wonderful sis–I love the part about quiet time seeming like a “time out”. I am not good at sitting still and quietly before the Lord, and I’m sure it amuses Him sometimes, and He’s probably gotten used to me asking if we can have our “meetings” while I wash dishes or walk to the bus stop. It’s not perfect, but it’s still better than me not communicating with Him at all. But you have indeed inspired me to keep trying for that “quiet time”, to learn to “be still and know that He is God”–so, thank you very much!! God bless you abundantly this day and always.

    1. Dear Caddo – Certainly praying without ceasing means meeting on walks to the bus stop and at the kitchen sink. I rather expect He delights in that! I think even 5 minutes of stillness is can be rather remarkable. 😀
      ~ Debbie

  7. I think I am even worse at being quiet as I get older. That says to me that the quietness I thought I had before was more superficial than real. In any case, the learning to be quiet and listen has been a very up and down process for me. And my life is about to get noisier – and I suspect that the only way I will survive the noise is by gaining more internal quiet, kind of a compensation.
    Thank you for your posts.
    Carroll

    1. Dear Carroll – What an honest, thoughtful response. You’re so right, the noisier our lives become (whether it’s an external or an internal ruckus) the more difficult it is to find some interior quiet. Thank you for the encouragement your comments bring.
      Warmly,
      ~ Debbie

  8. Debbie,
    Don’t Buddhists call it having a Monkey Mind? If so, mine is probably the monkiest. But I like your idea of quality, calmly calling it back to the task at hand. You give me hope.
    –SueBE

    1. Dear SueBE – Did you ever listen to the original theme song that Randy Newman wrote for MONK: It’s a Jungle Out There? Sometimes it’s also a jungle in here, inside my head, too, monkeys and all!
      I love the Brother Lawrence’s example of ‘recalling our mind to God mildly, and with tranquility’. No shame or apology, just picking up where we left off. 😀
      ~ Debbie

  9. A peaceful mind, that is like saying I should stop breathing! Well that is what it feels like anyway! I fail more than I succeed, but I try. You are not alone Debbie…I’m right here with you. 🙂
    Great post!

    1. writinggomer – 😀
      I’m finding when I tell my mind to be quiet, it’s like saying, don’t think about a pink elephant! On occasion, the Father quiets for me. For this past year, I’ve had the advantage of working nights where there’s so much less sensory input. I’ve been unemployed for a week and living in the daylight with everyone else. It’s a lot less quiet here!
      Thank you, for your honesty and your humor! We’ll try to keep encouraging each other!
      ~ Debbie

  10. True peace comes to me in the middle of the night when all is quiet. I set with my eyes closed and I feel surrounded by God’s love. It is a true blessing.

    1. Jill – Yes, my friend! That’s one of the great gifts of this job. I love the quiet nights (when the coyotes aren’t too close and no one is snaring a wild boar outside my window)! 😀
      That’s been one of the true gifts of this job – being awake when everything and everyone else is asleep affords quiet like I’ve never known. It is a blessing – you’re so right!
      ~ your friend on the night watch,
      Debbie

  11. WOW! Debbie, I am right with you (or maybe were). I can make the external quiet, but when I can get that quiet it seems that my mind takes over and I start thinking of all kinds of things that prevent my inside quiet. I long for that inner quiet so I can hear the Holy Spirit of God speak to me. I also love what Brother Lawrence said, “Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord.” Oh, how I would love to be there.
    Thank you for the post, and for the words of Brother Lawrence.

    1. Oh Steven, we’re definitely in the boat together! I didn’t mean, by any means, to imply that I’m even approaching dear Bother Lawrence’s ability to Practice the Presence of God. Honestly, for most of my life, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a quiet mind! 😉
      Thank you for joining in the fellowship here.
      I just read your about section and I’m trying to not me too intimidated.:D
      You’ll quickly find that I’m not a real writer and I am the most pathetic proofreader. If you can overlook my most apparent flaws, these posts will continue to reveal my more hidden ones.
      Warmly,
      ~ Debbie

  12. Only He could have made such changes. Your sweet spirit was always evident, but it is beautiful at rest. Fruit abounds, Debbie. You bless us every time you post!

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