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The Type A Quiet Time

July 16, 2010

I have loved reading about everyone’s personal time with the Lord … and have gleaned some great insights from each post so far.  I’m already trying to figure out how to add photos like Kathy and incorporate those Sabbath principles shared by Julie.

My life is routine-driven.  In fact, that might be the understatement of the year so far.  I’m definitely a “type-A” personality.  I like lists, schedules, and plans … I do not thrive in chaos nor do I enjoy spontaneity.  It should, therefore, not be any sort of surprise that my quiet time is much the same today as it has been the past 10 years.

As I mentioned in a Your Turn post, I generally get up before my family … remember my rule, “I don’t speak to anyone until I have listened to God”?    I have a comfy corner of the couch where I can look out the patio doors and watch the sunrise as I spend those early moments of my day with the Lord.

Sunrise on March 17, 2010: the view from my couch

I always begin my quiet time by journaling.  As I write out the events of the past day and what is coming in the day ahead, I find myself processing … that becomes a blend of recording specific events and feelings merged with prayers and verses that the Lord brings to my mind as I write.  For me, getting all of that out helps me prepare to hear from the Lord as I read the Bible.

I read a chapter of Proverbs every day. Sometimes I also read from another portion of Scripture as well … savoring the passages and making notes/prayers as I read.  But, honestly, there are many days when I simply read a chapter of Proverbs, choose a verse and focus on it for the rest of that day.

In addition to reading the Bible, I prefer devotional material that is at least 100 years old … something about the lasting nature of these writings draws me to them.  In 2009, I used Streams in the Desert which is not quite 10o years old but certainly qualifies as a Christian classic.  This year, I am reading several books by various authors … currently, I am reading The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross.  Using this type of material helps me gain perspective on the difficulties and joys of daily life.

My prayer time is filled with lots of stops and starts … generally I begin by just sitting.  Practicing the discipline of stillness … which does not come naturally to me.  As thoughts or individuals come to mind I pray for wisdom or healing or peace, whatever the situation demands.  Often I will use a Psalm as a prayer, taking a passage and praying it as it applies to me.    I use my prayer calendar as well during this time – dedicating each month to praying for a specific person or group.  Finally, I grab my Daytimer and to do list … I pray over each moment and task – in my life and for my husband and daughter.

Instead of trying to fight my organizational nature and my lists and plans, I use them to guide me … and in the process I lay them down before the Lord’s plans, trusting in His over mine.

Ho does your personality influence your quiet time patterns?  Maybe you are having such a difficult time because you are trying to fit your personality into a quiet time format designed for someone else … embrace the way God made you and commune with Him!


For Further Reading:

A Quiet Time Routine – Additional insights on quiet times from my blog.

Prayer Calendaring –  An example of how I have used a prayer calendar.

Books I have found useful:

Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas – Identifies 9 different “pathways” to connect with God.  This book has been very useful to me in helping others figure out how to improve their quiet times.

Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman – If you are facing difficulties right now, this is a great one-year devotional book packed with insight and encouragement.

Also, please check out our new Devotional Materials and Resources page for more book and website suggestions on this topic.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Robin permalink
    July 16, 2010 8:41 am

    From one Type A to another: FANTASTIC!!! 😉

  2. July 16, 2010 8:50 am

    Wow! Our quiet times match! I LOVE a schedule – always get up before the famiy – journal, watch the sunrise, read a Proverbs etc…the one thing you just taught me that I liked though is using materials over 100 years old – that’s an interesting insight…I do have those materials that I enjoy but they aren’t my regulars…thank you for recommending this and for sharing!

    Much Love,
    Courtney

    • July 16, 2010 9:00 am

      Thank you, Courtney! And I am looking forward to meeting you at Relevant! I think what I love about those older writings is that they are tried and tested … not filled with the “Christian Word of the Week.” Those thoughts and practices that have stood the test of generations and time are rich indeed!

  3. July 16, 2010 9:15 am

    Thank you Terri Lynne from one Type A mom to another. Although, I find I’m not as much Type A lately – but lazy. God is really convicting me and lurking around Scripture Dig is really inspiring me to get off my butt and create this daily routine. I started a “Good Morning Girls” group to only have them NOT hold me accountable – but its not their fault. It is just as much mine. I do good for a few weeks, then something happens and the habit doesn’t get formed. The days I spend in quiet time are ALWAYS better. In another words, if it is a bad day – it is still a better day than if I had not spent that time with the Lord. So, thank you for starting Scripture Dig and sharing your routine. I love to journal. I love Proverbs. Now, you showed me I can combine the two and being making the small steps towards this goal of developing a daily habit of quiet time with God. Thank you!

    • July 16, 2010 9:44 am

      I always tell people to start where they are. I’ll be praying for you … and I’m glad you are here with us at Scripture Dig!

  4. July 16, 2010 9:57 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I am whatever the opposite of Type A is. 🙂 Sometimes my Quiet Time is the only organized part of my life. This summer I’m using several short devotional books at various times of day. My husband is a teacher and he’s home for the summer, so any slight routine is gone. 🙂

    • July 16, 2010 10:19 am

      I have a few friends who are “Type Z” … they are the ones who keep me in check! So, I say celebrate our differences and know that God meets each of us where we are. I love the idea of using several short devotions throughout the day. That must help with refocusing. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

  5. July 16, 2010 2:04 pm

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful posts this week. Very encouraging. I love getting new ideas that I can use. I also love how you all encourage us to just start where we are.

    ~Blessings~
    Marita

    • July 16, 2010 2:07 pm

      Marita, thank you for commenting. I love giving people the encouragement to start where they are … and am glad that is resonating with you!

  6. July 16, 2010 4:08 pm

    Such a great post, Teri!! We are so much alike!! 🙂

  7. July 16, 2010 4:49 pm

    Teri Lynne, you must stop recommending books before I go broke!! Thanks for the peek into your quiet time.

    • July 16, 2010 5:06 pm

      I’m sorry! Truly, though, Sacred Pathways is an incredible book. And I think you would find it very useful in women’s ministry planning too.

      • July 16, 2010 5:54 pm

        Sacred Pathways IS a fabulous book. It really helped me understand my husband’s spiritual life…and my own.

      • July 17, 2010 11:53 am

        I have added it to my very long list! But it sounds like it should move to the top of the stack.

  8. July 17, 2010 2:17 am

    Oh this was sooo encouraging. Thank you for sharing what works for you. I don’t get to talk to my girlfriends enough about this sort of thing.

    I love the fact that you journal and that you are still before the Lord – 2 things that are near and dear to me as I seek to know HIM more.

    Thanks for being a channel of blessing!

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    July 18, 2010 6:21 pm

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  10. July 22, 2010 12:32 pm

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  11. medical assistant permalink
    July 22, 2010 5:38 pm

    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  12. August 12, 2010 2:21 am

    I have been looking for guidance on quiet time. Thank you so much for this.

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