Life is increasingly busy. I realized that last week as I ran around like a crazy woman. I had the Night to Shine event at church. A devotional to write – that I had committed to and needed done by Sunday. I had 12,000 boxes of girl scout cookies in a container in the driveway to sell. I had a 7 year old to homeschool. A hockey tournament in Boulder this weekend. A husband to care for. And my check engine light came on.
Then the text came. “Life group tomorrow morning, be sure to have read chapter 4!”
I checked my calendar and decided I would skip – my weekly to-do list was a full page long. I decided I was going to skip the life group. Of all my priorities, spending an hour sitting and chatting was so incredibly low on that list. (Except we all know that a life group is so much more than sitting and chatting, that the enemy was doing a victory dance as I was lowering God on my priority list.)
So I sat at the kitchen table the next morning as I do every morning. I had my planner and my prayer journal in front of me, as I do every morning with my cup of coffee to prepare my day. I had an ever-growing to-do list. I had 3 missed days on my “Bible Reading” check list. I hadn’t touched my prayer journal since Sunday. I heard God’s whisper “You have life-group at 10.”
That moment brought my to my knees. In the insanity of daily life – although it’s such a wonderful insanity – I had lowered God on my priority list. I had pushed him aside, assuring myself that I was still praying daily – so that was ‘enough’ for now. He knows I’m busy.
I left my notebooks untouched, my day unplanned. (This is a HUGE sacrifice for me, I write out my plan for EVERY day first thing in the morning!) I grabbed my 7 year old – still in her pajamas (Could I pass it off as her homeschool uniform?) and we rushed off to the church. Where of course, my life group was discussing “Surrender” — God knew how much I needed that lesson. He wasn’t going to let me skip out.
So that afternoon I wrote out a promise to myself. I was going to dedicate time to God multiple times per day. Sure, I am trying to give him my everything – which is part of why life is so crazy! But I’m going to set aside moments, times, events, appointments for me to just sit at His feet.
Here are a few ways I make my daily appointments with God!
1. Give God your lists!
Each morning as I sit down with my cup of coffee and my planner? I write down my to-do list, where I’m going and what I need to do. Then I pray over each appointment, each item. Why not invite God into my laundry room with me? He truly cares about all the little details, even the ones we don’t care about as much! It also helps me to be more intentional with my time.
2. Designate a specific place as “Prayer Zone”
My daughter and I have made my car our “Prayer Zone” when we’re the car, running around like the crazy people we are? We pray! Sometimes we discuss a specific need/want/desire when we first get in the car and we spend the trip to the grocery store praying for that person or need. Sometimes we do “popcorn” prayers, taking turns praying for our friends and family. But when it’s just she and I in the car? We make sure to always say a quick prayer!
3. Get an accountability partner!
When life gets crazy? I have a friend I text – I tell her “Hey, I need accountability!” And she’s always game. She’ll send me texts throughout the day asking if I’ve read the word. Have I prayed yet? She knows when I’m avoiding her because I haven’t, and she’ll send me a link to a devotional, anything to kick start my accountability to spend time with God.
4.Put God on your Homescreen.
My iPhone goes everywhere with me. But I realize that sometimes I’m spending too much time on Facebook. Pinterest. Instagram. So I’ll move my time-killing apps to the back screen, and my front screen will hold my favorite Bible apps. That way it’s the first thing I see. (And my lock screen is always a Bible verse or prayer.) I can’t look at my phone without being reminded that I need to be spending time with God, not the internet.
5. Take 5 minutes.
Just 5 minutes. You can spare that. (Even if it is in the shower, like I mentioned last month!) Just pour out your heart to him. Praise him. You can listen to one worship song. Can’t you? Take that time! Make HIM a priority!
-Jacque – Hebrews 6:19