I have a confession to make. This past year (2010) was a horrible one for my walk with the Lord. I don't know if I took giant leaps back, or was just treading water, but there was definitely no forward progress with my relationship with Jesus.
At first it was the wedding planning. I let that get in the way of spending time with Jesus. Starting in April my mind was fully occupied with dress colors, timing, song selections, location, and managing to survive 5 more months without being the wife of the man who's love consumed me. Partway through the engagement I realized I'd let an important thing slide, but I never made a genuine effort to fix the problem. Time with Jesus was, on my calendar, an optional thing I wanted to get to but often (usually) didn't. I think I figured that once I had the wedding behind me I'd be able to focus better.
Immediately following the wedding I learned what it is to have a real challenge to time with Jesus. For years the rule for quiet time has been: Do it in the morning or you won't get it done. But post-wedding I found out that my mornings were no longer my own.
After waking up I had just enough time to make breakfast, feed my husband, and get out the door to work. There was zero extra time for Bible reading or prayer. Doing it in the evening was also out--I generally have just enough time to get dinner together before my man walks in the door, and besides, by 5:00 my mind is full of all the things I need to get done before bedtime. Even if there was time to sit down and read my Bible, I wouldn't have been focused on it.
Additionally, it seemed impossible to get up earlier. I am a morning person, but my hubby is a night owl. We like to go to bed at the same time. He can sleep in, but my body won't let me. I was already getting up before my husband, and I was exhausted. Cutting even deeper into those precious hours of sleep just didn't seem feasible.
The end result? I could count on both hands (maybe one hand, but I'm being nice to myself) the number of times I had personal devotions during the first 3.5 months of marriage.
Excuses, however, will always be around. If I can't manage to get some quiet time with Jesus before I have kids, I may as well kiss my quiet times for the next two or three decades goodbye. And that just isn't an acceptable solution.
So I prayed about it, something I should have done from the beginning. I asked God to show me what needed to be done, and how (where!) to carve out time for Him. And He did. We are going to bed earlier now, and I am getting up earlier. It was such a natural change (I don't think my husband has even noticed) that I wish I prayed about it long ago. It has been such a blessing to get back to that quiet hour (or so) with the Lord in the morning!!
On top of that, the Lord lead me to a Bible reading plan that has me VERY excited!! It is intense, but I have been learning so much--seeing new insights, connecting new dots. Instead of being a discipline, Bible reading has become a joy!
What is this Bible reading plan?
Well, I'll share about it next Monday.