Get Focused! Tricks to Get You Focused or Your Quiet Time
“I just don’t have time.”
“My day is crazy busy.”
“I try but someone always interrupts me.”
“I would if I knew where to start.”
Excuses. I know you are familiar with them and I’ll tell you a secret, I am more than familiar with them too. It doesn’t matter what it is that you are NOT doing, those excuses pretty much fit every scenario. The best ones always seem to be about bible study. And yes, I hear them a lot because I live in the bible belt and especially once people know that I write about Jesus for a living. It’s fun to see the look of relief on their faces when I tell them that I think that way too. ALL of the time. I got sick of justifying these excuses in my own head and I decided it was time to change my plan of attack. Lucky for you, I am going to share the new plan with you today! So here it is, 4 Tricks to get you FOCUSED for your Quiet Time! – AND a free checklist to keep you in line! (see link at the bottom)
Trick #1 – Admit that you have a problem and actually need help.
As they tell addicts, admitting you have a problem is the first step. This may seem trivial, but it’s important. If you are making excuses to yourself, thinking you have it under control or, you will get it under control once XXX is done, then you are just being dishonest. There is absolutely NO way you are going to get even as little as 10 Mins of quality time with God in when you can’t even be honest with yourself. Suck it up, pray and WHOLE-Heartily, tell God you are barely treading water and you need to re-vamp your life. The peace that comes from any time spent with God is a miracle drug. You need it desperately. God will help you get it, but you ask.
How do I personally, use this trick? – This is an absolute MUST for me. I am bad about trying to fix things myself. I need to have this checklist for me to turn to when I am struggling just so I START here. I spend 30 seconds, get down on my knees and tell God the OPPOSITE of what I want to say. That I DON’T have it under control and I am drowning without finding even as little as 10 minutes of rest in time spent connecting with Him. Literally. On my knees. Yelling. (I am careful not to lay my head down though, that will just cause an unplanned nap that there is NO time for.)
Tip #2 – Connect with A Spiritually Solid Friend
Reach out to someone you consider a mentor and explain your frustration with your lack of quality time with God. It doesn’t have to be a best friend or someone you even see every day, just someone you know genuinely cares about whatever it is you say to them. Message them, invite the over for tea, go play shuffleboard for all I care. Just don’t sit back down in your wallowing pit along. They won’t necessarily have an answer for your problem, but they will definitely pray with you. What does the bible say about“When 2 are gathered together….?” That could bring you the connection to God you are craving PLUS, you know this person isn’t going to let excuses fly so you will have to work out the problems you’ve been allowing to linger. Make sure it is someone who will not just say, “yeah me too!” but someone who will challenge your laxidasical attitude and expect more from your answers than the sorry excuses you’ve been giving. These people aren’t always easy to find, but they should definitely be cherished. TRUE Accountability is an amazing motivator and grows your spiritual maturity immensely!
How do I personally, use this trick? I connect with either my good friend who is just as messed up as I am OR my partner in crime,Denyse (Check her out HERE!). These are 2 ladies that I consider “Spiritually Under Control.” Does that mean they are holier than thou? No, not by any means. They are my friends so they must have some sin tenancies in them somewhere. I think of it more as meaning that their priorities are with God and they are confident in their relationship with Him. This is an important thing to someone like me because I live in my freedom in Christ and I don’t think I could be “spiritually fueled” by someone who doesn’t understand that. Things are not black and white in my world, I need people who live like they agree. This may not be the case for you, you may need other characteristics in your spiritual booty-kickers and that is awesome. Find someone you feel you are on the same playing field with. Someone who you know you will be vulnerable and honest with. And don’t get your feelings hurt. There’s no time for that.
Trick# 3 – Put On Some Worship Music!
Whatever it is that you are doing, turn on Pandora and find a good worship song channel. I like to search for channels using a song that I like instead of a name of a band or genre. Even if you are just cleaning dishes or sitting on the couch pretending to read a magazine. It always works to lighten my mood and get me wanting to do my bible study or finish that journal entry I started a few days ago. (One little extra tip, don’t put on depressing music, even some of the more solemn Christian music can be a mood killer. Let it be a happy song or one that is important to you.) There are tons of statistics on how music affects your mood. (You can look them up on your own. I am a busy person, but trust me they are there. And if you don’t trust me, trust Google or ask Siri)
Don’t sit and wallow. It’s YOUR fault if you don’t get out of the funk because you didn’t do anything to change your mood. It doesn’t take much. Maybe it’s just one song while you’re folding clothes, or maybe it’s just one spontaneous version of kitchen karaoke to a Toby Mac song, while you’re kids are eating lunch (mine are mortified by my performance which instantly puts me in a better mood.) Don’t take this lightly. Sing, Dance, Put on some music and just listen. I promise you will feel more centered and ready to tackle some quiet time with God in the midst of your chaotic day.
How do I personally use this trick? – Well, you got the visual. I usually go find my kids, wherever they are, and dance and sing a Jesus song. They get this look of horror, especially when they have a friend over, and freeze right where they are standing. (Which, if they are lucky, is outside, away from our Karaoke machine, thank you, Nana Lizzie) It’s like they don’t know how to respond because they feel guilty asking me to stop singing a Jesus song. I have like 10 Pandora stations that I turn on and let play while I am working on a bible journal entry or working through my current study. You don’t have to be jumping up and down executing a performance that is Taylor Swift-esk, Maybe just hearing the music going is enough to get you focused again.
Trick #4- Another one of my favorites, Get on Pinterest!
I can hear some of you literally cringing as you read that. Get it out of your system so you can pay attention. Pinterest is a distraction, Pinterest could be telling you WRONG information, people on Pinterest may not be qualified to talk about Jesus….. That last one is my favorite. Really?
Pinterest is like a garden full of possibilities meant for you to skip through whenever you need to be inspired. Go to the search bar and type in ANY keywords related to the bible and see what comes up. Find an article to read that asks you spiritually provoking questions. Heck, find an article to read that is INCORRECT and research the answers! (When it comes to your faith you should ALWAYS ask questions. If it is truth, then it will be confirmed in more than a few instances) Read bible verses, find free studies, watch a YouTube video about Jesus Skateboarding. Just let your brain mull OUTSIDE of itself. (And don’t trust everything you read!)
How do I personally use this trick? – In my opinion, Pinterest is the best thing invented because it’s like having a million filing cabinets all in one small place. I pin things and go back to them later. I pin OLD scripture reading plans to use when I am in a slump. I pin bible verses I want to hand letter. Bible journaling entries that I think are amazing. ANYTHING that inspires me to spend time with God. One of my go-to favorites is to search for “scripture writing plan.” Even if I have no reason to be writing whatever it is that the plan tells me, I write it anyway. I always manage to find a connection or message meant for me and it only takes about 10 mins at a time!
Obviously, there are MANY other ways to get yourself in the right mindset and really use that 15 mins you have to spend with God well. These are just some that I try first because they are EASY and quick! I can’t come up with an EXCUSE to avoid them. These are simple practices. There isn’t any magic to any of them. It isn’t about finding the “right tool” so that YOU can be effective. It’s about getting in the right frame of mind so you can lay yourself down in front of God and ask Him to make it happen. That’s all He really wants anyway (and it’s less pressure on you!)
HAPPY SINGING! (Or any of the other 3…)
Click Here to get your Free Printable Checklist! (it’s about postcard size and so you can print out 4 on a sheet. Then you can put them all over your house! NO EXCUSES!) ENJOY!