For me, having a dedicated quiet time means that I get up before Rowan wakes up, grab a cup of coffee, and sit somewhere quiet in the house. If I can get to that point, I've conquered the hardest part. :) When I've gotten out of the habit of a regular quiet time, I usually just spend those first few days sitting quietly and practicing turning off distractions. It's so easy to turn on the TV, get on my phone, or start checking email first thing after I wake up. As many of you know, each moment of free time is like precious gold. After a few days of sitting in silence while I drink my coffee, I switch to adding a bit of journaling to the mix. I typically start out just writing down my thoughts. Not necessarily directly or intentionally talking to God, but just writing my thoughts completely unfiltered. I write down if I'm angry, if I'm stressed, whatever I'm thinking. Typically, this turns into prayers or thoughts directed at the Lord. I start intentionally focusing on joy and thankfulness after I feel that I've broken the barrier of communication. And then, after a few days of that, I add in some of these other resources. I've found that this helps me to transition back into a regular quiet time successfully. Especially times where I feel distant from the Lord.
FAVORITE FAITH-FILLED RESOURCES
1. // Jesus Calling by Sarah Young - One of my all-time favorite devotions. I found this in college when I was looking for something that I could use as a starter for my quiet time. It's perfect for me because the topics are short, real to life, and have scripture to co-inside. After using the book for the longest time, I found that they have an app for this. (I should have known - they have an app for almost everything these days.) I typically like a physical book better, but the app has quickly become my favorite now. For one, it writes out the entire scriptures to go along with the devotion whereas the book just gives the reference. It also is wonderful because I always have my phone with me, so I never forget to bring it on trips or wherever I might be. You can also write notes in the app, mark favorites, and set reminders.
2. // The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller - My favorite book on marriage. Drew and I read this together during our pre-marital counseling and it changed so many of our thoughts about what marriage is all about. We loved it so much, we even used a portion of it in our vows to each other. I recommend this book to any of our friends who are engaged, married, or thinking about marriage.
3. // Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore - Another amazing devotional. I just started it a few weeks ago, but I am a huge fan of Beth Moore and her writing. This devotional is one page of written material followed by several journaling prompts that Beth has you focus on - PRAISE, REPENTANCE, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, INTERCESSION, SUPPLICATION FOR SELF, and EQUIPPING. This devotional is great for digging deeper and practicing more intentional prayer time.
4. // She Reads Truth - The She Reads Truth app is something I discovered a few months ago and have been using several times a week. This app's focus is all about getting you to dive into Scripture. It's wonderful because, again, it's on your phone so you're much more likely to use it. It also has reading plans you can join, beautiful artwork for your phone, a full Bible, bookmarks, and notes.
5. // StrengthsQuest - This is a book we were required to read in our leadership program in college. It was part of many tools we were given to better understand who we are, what strengths we have, and what God's purpose is for us. We each developed life mission statements based on what we learned about ourselves and it has been an invaluable resource for us as we say "yes" and "no" to things that come our way in life. When you purchase the book, you're given a code to take an online test that is pretty extensive. Once you take the test, they reveal to you your top 5 strengths and more about what that looks like in your life and how to develop those strengths.
6. // Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers - If you're like me (and probably every other woman out there), you struggle constantly to put to rest thoughts of either anger, doubt, confusion, depression, anxiety, condemnation, or general self-loathing. This beautifully written book gives you tools and advice on how to focus your mind and win the battle. I absolutely love the personal struggles shared in this book that make it relatable and make you feel you're not alone.
7. // The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges - I read this book in college and it completely changed my perspective on holiness and what our part is in it. It helps to define what we should expect God to do and what we should do ourselves.
Thanks so much for letting us share some of our favorites books and resources! We would love to check out some of your favorites if you'd like to share in the comments below! :) Have a great Friday night friends!