GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Quiet by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!
Do you struggle to create space in your daily routine for quiet time with God? So many of us want to feel close to Him, but we have difficulty finding time in our chaotic schedules. Or maybe a lack of time isn’t the issue, but inconsistencies in our days or being pulled away by distractions.
Well, my friend, if this is something you struggle with, then be encouraged…
Today on the 4:13 Podcast, author Naomi Vacaro, creator of the Quiet Time Companion journal, gives you hope and a unique solution for creating—and maintaining—a quiet time habit. In this episode, you’ll learn that having daily time with God is simple, attractive, and achievable no matter what season of life you’re in.
So, it’s time to get out of ruts and into some grace-based habits. And Naomi Vacaro is just the person to point us in the right direction.
Naomi is first and foremost a wholehearted follower of Jesus. She grew up as a daughter to missionaries in Outer Mongolia and then moved to Florida for college. After graduating with a degree in graphic design, she created a journal called the Quiet Time Companion which accompanied an online ministry to help Christians develop a daily habit of seeking Jesus. Naomi now spends her time running the Wholehearted community and being a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, Matthew, live in Florida with their son.
I love this conversation with Naomi because she gets really practical about spending quiet time with God. But she also makes it very clear that quiet time is all about our relationship with Jesus; it’s not an item to mark off of our “good Christian” checklist.
As she talks about her latest book, Quiet: Creating Grace-Based Rhythms for Spending Time with Jesus, you’ll hear her answer questions many women just like you have asked about this very topic, including…
- What is quiet time with God, and what is it not?
- Should I put quiet time with God on my daily to-do list?
- How does spending quiet time with God change my daily walk with Him?
- What’s the first step I can take in creating quiet time?
- How can I develop a habit of quiet time based on grace instead of works?
- How do I encourage others to have quiet time without shaming them?
Naomi not only walks us through the importance of spending time with God, but you’ll also hear her suggestions on how to develop—or strengthen—this habit. And here’s the good news … they’re all completely doable!
Let’s spend some time with Jesus, my friend! It’s simply too important to miss! He’s the reason we can say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13), and since apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), it’s time that we make time for Him.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Naomi’s book, Quiet. Hurry, we’re picking a random winner on June 10. Enter on Instagram here.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Naomi Vacaro
- Visit Naomi’s website, Wholehearted
- Quiet: Creating Grace-Based Rhythms for Spending Time with Jesus
- Quiet Time Companion Journal
- Follow Naomi on Facebook and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Related Blog Posts
- Can I Find My Rhythm of Renewal? With Rebekah Lyons [Episode 99]
- Can I Bury My Ordinary? With Justin Kendrick [Episode 167]
- Can I Unhurry My Heart? With Jennifer Dukes Lee [Episode 175]
- Can I Let Go of Hustle and Rest in God? With Christy Nockels [Episode 146]
- Who Made the Quiet Time Rules, Anyway?
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Find Grace-Based Rhythms for Spending Time With God? With Naomi Vacaro [Episode 196]
Naomi Vacaro: And so that's why quiet time needs to be a rhythm of life. It's not just a checklist item that's on the same level as dishes or grocery store or whatever, it's the foundation we need in order to walk through the rest of our day, our week, our month.
Jennifer Rothschild: So many of us struggle to create space in our daily routines for time with God. We want to feel close to him, but we think, How do I really create a quiet space in my chaotic life or, Why is this so hard? Am I the only one? Well, my friend, you are not the only one. Author Naomi Vacaro, creator of the Quiet Time Companion Journal, is going to give you hope and a unique solution to create and maintain a quiet time habit. After this episode, you are going to find that daily time with God is simple, attractive, and doable no matter what season of life you are in. So it's time to get out of ruts and into some grace-based habits.
Let's go, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Let's do this. Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live what we call the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: This is Jennifer sitting right here next to my friend K.C. in the podcast closet. We have been having such a good morning already together hanging out. It's just been fun.
K.C. Wright: Oh, we have laughed so hard this morning.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. And so we want you to have just a wonderful time with us. Thanks for hanging out with us. If you're new to us, I'm Jennifer Rothschild. My goal is just to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. And life is full of all sorts of stuff.
K.C. and I were talking this morning about being on pet duty. And that also includes pet doody. Okay. But you got it? So our friends, the 4:13ers, they don't know about the newest addition to your family.
K.C. Wright: Yeah, we have a brand-new family member at the Wright homestead. It's a little adorable bunny named Leo. I think it's a Lionhead bunny.
Jennifer Rothschild: How cute.
K.C. Wright: But the head of this bunny, it's got the lion look. It's Aslan --
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, I love that.
K.C. Wright: -- from Narnia.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.
K.C. Wright: And his ears and his little body -- he's so cute -- his little white tail.
Anyway, Eliana started asking for a bunny a couple months ago.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I remember this. By the way, let me just pause here --
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- to our friends. I remember, K.C., in front of me she would ask, and K.C. would be like, "No, no way, never again." And so now you have a bunny?
K.C. Wright: Yeah. I said absolutely not. Every time she would say, "bunny," I instantly just smelled urine --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: -- bunny urine. Because we did this several years ago --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you did.
K.C. Wright: -- okay?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: And it was, "Absolutely not. Absolutely not." And I am not trying to over-spiritualize everything, but we do live in a spiritual -- hello, that's what I --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we do.
K.C. Wright: But I'm just saying, I felt a prompting. I felt I heard from God and I heard him say, "She's only eleven once."
Jennifer Rothschild: Aah.
K.C. Wright: I did, I really did. I was even praying one morning, and I didn't even -- I wasn't even thinking about the bunny or nothing. But I was praying for Eliana and I felt a little scratch on my heart saying, "She's only eleven once."
So I ran and got the bunny while she was at school --
Jennifer Rothschild: You go, Dad.
K.C. Wright: -- and me and a rabbit were going through the carpool lane at school. And she hops in the car and she's -- it was perfect. She had had a bad day. And I didn't know, I just pick her up from school. She gets in the car and she's just -- she's a moping mess. Her hair is hanging down, she's sad. It's not been a good day and she's about to -- the worst thing I can do is say, "Ellie, how was your day?"
Jennifer Rothschild: Right, right, right.
K.C. Wright: You need to give her a window. And she turns to me and I'm starting to, you know, love on her and welcome her into the car and all that, and the bunny pops out from the side of me. And I mean -- this was the direct quote. She grabs Leo, the bunny, and she says, "Daddy, this is the best thing you've ever done for me."
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, that's so sweet.
K.C. Wright: That was the direct quote.
Jennifer Rothschild: So Leo is worth every bit of pooping scooping you will be doing.
K.C. Wright: Yes. And I did find some really nice -- you know, you want some stuff in the cage to eliminate odor --
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah?
K.C. Wright: -- and I found some stuff online that you don't smell the bunny.
Jennifer Rothschild: Really?
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Well, I know this is a small thing, but we are going to put that on the show notes. You're going to have to let me know what that is, because there are some rabbit owners out there --
K.C. Wright: Thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- who for the good of their family need to know about this.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. It's white, it's -- you put it in the bottom of the little cage, and it's odorless.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, we've gone through, in our history of child rearing, many gerbils and hamsters --
K.C. Wright: Yeah, I was going to ask you.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- and they do smell yucky.
K.C. Wright: What did the boys ask for?
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, they asked for everything --
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- that they didn't have. That's just what children do. So we went through every stage, even the iguana. Oh, my gosh, you talk about stinky pee-pee. Yeah. But the worst was the fish. I'm thinking this will be the most self-contained --
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- but a fish tank can smell.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And, you know, you want to teach your children responsibility and them doing it, but let's all be honest, you better be prepared, Mama and Daddy.
K.C. Wright: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: So -- I still feel guilty about this, but I'll go ahead and confess it. And, y'all, if anybody out there is an animal lover and feels the urge to scold me, you cannot scold me any more than I have scolded myself, so just pause and show grace here. Okay? So here's what I did. This little fish, he would not die. But he started having all this stuff growing on him.
K.C. Wright: Ooh.
Jennifer Rothschild: He did not look well. Like Phil even said it looked like something was wrong with -- like, little -- there was nothing in the aquarium with him, but it looked like little chunks were being eaten out of him. Okay?
K.C. Wright: Oh, no.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, he was a very sick little fishy. And he smelled sick, like it was, like, a little nursing home.
K.C. Wright: Oh, no.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. We did everything we need to do. Nothing was getting better. Out of compassion for this fish, and maybe just a slight little bit of impatience for the process, I decided I was going to help him get to fish heaven soon. So while our son was in school -- oh, this is so awful, y'all. I do feel guilty. I'm confessing my sins to the 4:13 family.
K.C. Wright: Good. And the Bible says you'll be healed.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: So let 'er rip, let 'er fly.
Jennifer Rothschild: I sprayed Tilex.
K.C. Wright: Oh, no. I thought you were going to say you just flushed it --
Jennifer Rothschild: No. That would have --
K.C. Wright: -- like the rest of us have done.
Jennifer Rothschild: No, no, no. I sprayed Tilex.
K.C. Wright: You killed him.
Jennifer Rothschild: He breathed it in and died. Oh, K.C., be my friend.
K.C. Wright: But this was years ago and you've been forgiven.
Jennifer Rothschild: I have been forgiven. And it was fish-anesia. It was like euthanasia for fish. It probably just did one quick gulp and he was gone, out of his misery.
K.C. Wright: Well, and you don't know, he could still be living in a lagoon.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, look at Dory.
K.C. Wright: He could have --
Jennifer Rothschild: You're right.
K.C. Wright: You know, when I went and saw that movie -- that was the worst movie, in my opinion, in my life. Okay? Because I'm like, just let this fish find its parents. That was the longest movie ever.
Jennifer Rothschild: You just couldn't handle the pain.
K.C. Wright: Ellie wanted to see it, and I'm like, let this fish find its parents and I want to go home.
Jennifer Rothschild: Either that or send it to Jennifer's house and let's end this thing.
K.C. Wright: But seriously, it could still be alive to this day.
Jennifer Rothschild: It really could.
K.C. Wright: You don't know.
Jennifer Rothschild: I don't know. And anyway --
K.C. Wright: So condemnation and shame off you.
Jennifer Rothschild: I really was trying to do the right thing. But looking back, I'm not thinking that was the right way to do it. And I promise you, when I come see Leo, I will have no household cleaners with me, so he'll be safe.
K.C. Wright: Well, I believe that we're going to have Leo for maybe seven to eight years. That's the life I've heard. But he is such a little character. He has so much personality.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's awesome.
K.C. Wright: I'm serious. This is not your normal little farm rabbit. It's like I'm living with Peter the rabbit.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, his name is Leo. He thinks he's king of the house anyway, right?
K.C. Wright: Right. Oh, he's adorbs, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I can't wait to meet him.
All right. So all of that has nothing to do with what we're going to talk about today --
K.C. Wright: No.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- but K.C. and I just had to catch up. And you're part of the family, so thanks for catching up with us. But we are going to get to hear from Naomi Vacaro. And by the way, this was the first time I ever talked to her. I was so impressed. So impressed.
K.C. Wright: Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: I think you will be too.
K.C. Wright: Naomi Vacaro is first and foremost a wholehearted follower of Jesus. Let that be said of us, Lord. She grew up as a daughter to missionaries in outer Mongolia and then moved to Florida for college. After graduating with a degree in graphic design, she created a journal called "The Quiet Time Companion," along with an online ministry that would help Christians develop a daily habit of seeking Jesus. She now spends her time running the wholehearted community and being a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband live in sunny Florida with their son. Now let's join Jennifer and Naomi for a life-changing conversation.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Naomi, let's start with two words that, at least for me, can evoke all sorts of guilt -- okay, I feel like we should have the music go da, da, da, da -- quiet time. Quiet time. Because I think we think, oh, it should look a certain way or it should last a certain amount of time. We're never sure if it's enough or if it's right. You totally get this. You've written a book about it. So let's start with a definition. I think that will help. What is your definition of quiet time?
Naomi Vacaro: So I'll tell you what it's not. We'll start there.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, good. That's helpful.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. It is not a religious duty, first of all. It is not a mandatory ritual that we have to perform in order to please God. It is not a recipe, a magical recipe for a happy day or a perfect life. And ultimately, you know, it is not only a checklist item on our schedule, it's not the ultimate proof of our Christian faith. Quiet time, which refers to the activities of Bible reading and prayer, is all about a relationship. Quiet time is a way we communicate with and connect to a person, the person of Jesus. And just like any other relationship, our relationship with Christ needs to be tended. This is why we have a quiet time. Not because it's what good Christians do, but because we want to live our lives in an intimate and healthy relationship with Christ. We want every aspect of our lives to be filled with Jesus, and having a regular quiet time really is where a lot of that begins. We just have to reframe our perspective of having a quiet time. It needs to be less about like perfectly crossing off our checklist and more about the relationship that we have with Jesus. And once we kind of change our perspective, then we'll actually be able to start building the routine. Because it should all be based in grace, it should not be a source of guilt or shame, and guilt never will produce the results you want, like, period. It's just not going to work.
Jennifer Rothschild: No.
Naomi Vacaro: So that's my definition. That's how I would explain it.
Jennifer Rothschild: I like it. That gives a lot of liberty, because, you're right, you debunk a lot of myths of what it is by telling us what it is not. And just like any relationship that is meaningful to us, it's only sound and growing and healthy when we spend time with that person, and Jesus is the person that we have this time with. So what would happen, then, in our lives if we do reframe quiet time -- okay? -- like the way you've described it? So it's a habit or rhythm of life rather than just this other thing on our To Do list that makes us feel guilty when we don't do it.
Naomi Vacaro: That's right. That's exactly right. And I think it's important for us to recognize that today we live in a culture that is obsessed with To Do lists. We are productivity driven and accomplishment oriented, which means that a successful day in our minds is a day when we've crossed everything off of our task list. Right?
Jennifer Rothschild: No, I have no idea what you're talking about.
Naomi Vacaro: Right? I'm sure you don't.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I wish. I totally get this, yes.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. That's me. I mean, I am totally accomplishment focused, and so I feel like I have failed my day if I don't cross off everything on my list. And I feel like I've had a great day if I can cross everything off by the end of the day.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Naomi Vacaro: So I feel like this is so common in our culture. So when our task list for the day -- which I'm guessing most of our lists look like this. When they look like washing dishes, writing emails, having a quiet time, running to the grocery store, you know, when we have it all there, we're basically putting our relationship with Jesus kind of on the same priority level as all of these other productivity-oriented tasks. But the problem is we don't really need the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the grocery store, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Naomi Vacaro: Like, we don't really need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us load that dishwasher. And maybe some days we do.
Jennifer Rothschild: I was going to say, yeah, some days, yeah.
Naomi Vacaro: I think we might. We might.
But if that's all we really needed to do during the day, those productivity tasks, then I guess really having a quiet time that genuinely connected us with Christ wouldn't really be that necessary. It would make us feel accomplished to cross it off our To Do list, but it wouldn't really matter if our devotions were missed because the day could still be successful if we crossed off all of these other tasks.
However, in reality -- let's get a reality check here -- as followers of Christ, our true task list looks really different than what we normally put on our calendar. So if we were to write a list of everything that God has called us to do on any given day, it would probably sound a little more like this: love my husband selflessly, even if he hurts my feelings and drives me crazy; remain patient with my children even when they're driving me nuts; looking for opportunities to display the Gospel to my neighbor; loving other people well, even if it's inconvenient to me; and so on and so forth. Like, these are the more heaven-focused tasks that we're really called to do every day, and it's impossible to complete that list without the help of Jesus Christ. It's just impossible. And so now quiet time becomes absolutely essential for the rest of our day.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Naomi Vacaro: If that's our To Do list, oh, man, we need the Holy Spirit. We need his help to live in a way that is pleasing to God. And we need Scripture to fill us and overflow from us and we need prayer to just dwell within us and pour out over others. And so that's why quiet time needs to be a rhythm of life. It's not just a checklist item that's on the same level as dishes or grocery store or whatever; it's the foundation we need in order to walk through the rest of our day, our week, our month.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's such a good perspective, it really is, because it's shifting you from a productivity earthly mindset to a recognition of a heavenly mindset, an eternal perspective. And you think about it, Naomi. We don't put sleep on our To Do list, we don't put eating on our To Do list. You know what I mean? These are rhythms. And we need those rhythms in order to live. And so you're saying this is a rhythm that we need to be able to live.
So what advice would you give to someone who's, like, feeling inspired right now, or a light bulb just went off -- right? -- and they're wanting to start quiet time? Or maybe they're inspired to restart a quiet time habit or rhythm.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. I love that comparison, Jennifer. Just eating and drinking, that is often what I think of when I think of Bible reading and prayer. Like, these are not just things I have to do because I'll be in trouble if I don't, they are things I need desperately in order to function and flourish and thrive in the way I was created to. And so if you're listening to this and you are like, "I'm in, I'm ready, help me," then here's just some advice I would give you. First I would say do not overcomplicate things.
Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.
Naomi Vacaro: Habits die -- like, habits die if we overcomplicate it. And it's so much easier to create a lasting habit if we start small and grow from there. So I would say that Bible reading and prayer really are the two essential elements to having a quiet time, and it's really okay to start with only these two activities. And here's why I believe they're essential. Any relationship, any healthy relationship, needs regular back-and-forth communication. Reading the Word is how we listen to God and we hear what he has to say to us, and prayer is how we pour our hearts back to God. And, of course, those can overlap, you know, but that's -- functionally that's really what those two things are, it's how we are speaking to and listening to God. And so that's why a quiet time really needs to include both of those elements. So you've got your Bible and then you've got a heart ready to pray, that's all you need to get started.
So I'd recommend choosing a Bible reading plan that works for you -- it's really helpful to have a plan -- and then just create a simple list of things to pray about every day. You'll learn about prayer over time. Don't try and pray like a saint right away. Just pray honestly and humbly. Whatever is on your heart, just start praying about it, start talking with God about it. And if you don't feel like praying, tell God you don't feel like praying and then you pray. You know, like, keep it simple.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I love that.
Well, you know, Naomi, one of the things I do that's just very practical is -- because sometimes it's hard to focus in prayer. And I literally will pull out my phone -- which everybody would go, oh, no, a phone during a quiet time, that's like -- you know, don't do that. But here's why I do it. I just go to my first five, seven text messages and I literally pray for each of those people, because they're usually the people that are in my world, you know. And it's amazing how even just that little tiny exercise refocuses me to being other centered even in what I'm praying about, and it just helps me. Then I do put down the phone. But, I mean, it's just a way that it's helped me develop the habit of praying for others.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah, absolutely. And here's the thing about habits and about a quiet time. I think it's kind of a -- it's not the right idea to think of quiet time as this super spiritual, like it always needs to be a spur-of-the-moment, Spirit-led kind of experience, a spiritual high every time. No. It can be a habit that you invest in and you can learn, okay, checking my phone and looking through those recent text messages, that helps me with the habit. And it's not like I'm diminishing the spiritual nature of this time by bringing my phone to help me, it's really okay. And the reason why I think that is because relating to Jesus will be like any other loving relationship. Sometimes it's really okay to go through the motions. You know, just because you put date night in your calendar doesn't mean you are treating your spouse like they aren't everything to you, it's you're creating a routine that's centered on the relationship. And that's what a quiet time is. It's the intention and action of love. Even if you don't feel the warm and fuzzies right away, or beforehand or afterwards, like, you don't have to feel all these feelings in order to act in love. And that's what this habit is, it's just all about loving Jesus.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that you encouraged us to start small, to not complicate things. And I know for me, sometimes in order for me to begin a habit, I have to displace perhaps a less virtuous habit, or a habit that's not as productive. So it may be that you get up in the morning and first thing you do is you have your coffee and you scroll through Facebook for 20 minutes. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with scrolling through Facebook. But if you want to make the relationship with Jesus a habit, perhaps that habit of Facebook is when you could displace and you could use that 20 minutes instead. So I think there's ways to develop these habits, and sometimes it means we have to displace perhaps some other habits, or at least move them to another part of the day.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. Yeah. I'm so glad you said that actually, because this is something that I do talk about in my book a little bit, is we all create habits whether or not we realize it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we do.
Naomi Vacaro: We're either going to have habits that happen to us or habits that we intentionally design. And quiet time, obviously, is one that we would want to intentionally bring into our day. But if you're not having a quiet time, I guarantee you you're doing something else.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Naomi Vacaro: And so, yeah, it takes a lot of work to displace the old habit and bring in the new. And that's when you can get creative and you can kind of tie the quiet time habit to another habit, you know, and try to link them up together. But yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that. It's so true.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and I personally need coffee for my quiet time. But listen, if I'm having --
Naomi Vacaro: Me too.
Jennifer Rothschild: If I'm going to sit with Jesus, we're having coffee, that's all I --
Naomi Vacaro: I know. And it's not -- it's not wrong to enjoy coffee with your quiet time. And not every Christian in the world gets to enjoy the amenities that we do, and you can have a relationship with Christ without those things.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Naomi Vacaro: But by golly, you can make it beautiful, you can make it enjoyable. Like, make it as enjoyable as possible because it's good and you should do that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Absolutely.
But, you know, as you describe this -- okay, so let's say we develop a habit, then we fall back into the temptation again to make this a check the box thing. Right? Oh, yeah, I fulfilled my habit. Right? So give us some practical tips to keep quiet time based on grace, grace, grace, grace, not our works.
Naomi Vacaro: Right. So here's the thing. The Christian walk is so much more than having a daily quiet time. Our relationship with Christ should be all consuming. Our desire should be for every single aspect of our lives to revolve around Jesus. And this means that love for his Word and speaking with him in prayer, it doesn't only happen during a 30-minute quiet time or an hour quiet time, right? Scripture should fill our lives and prayer should be something that we just naturally slip into all throughout the day. But here's the thing. Even though the Christian walk is so much more than just 30 minutes of Bible reading and prayer, it is definitely not less than those things. I just don't know -- I don't think that there is a single mature believer in Christ I know of who doesn't have this routine, this regular habit in their lives of meeting with Jesus. And it looks different for different people, but the habit is there. And so unless we make spending time with Jesus a normal and expected part of our everyday routine, it really just won't happen. Like, it will not happen at all. And we can't expect the Lord to accidentally become the center point of our lives unless we bring him there, unless we pull him into our mornings, our evenings, you know, our ordinary habits and rhythms.
So it really is okay to put quiet time on your checklist. Right? It's not wrong for it to be a checklist item. What matters more is your internal view of Bible reading and prayer, and that's really what we're getting at. If we see quiet time as our Christian duty for the day and then we're off the hook, then your relationship with Jesus will only ever live in your planner. You will not experience the beauty of a life wholeheartedly devoted to Christ unless your relationship with Jesus becomes more than a checklist item.
And then on the other hand, if you see quiet time as the foundation for the rest of the day that is centered around Jesus, then you will experience the joy and fruit of a spiritual discipline that is only a small piece of a larger devotion. And so practically what that looks like -- I love this because it feeds into each other. The more you spend time with Jesus, the more you will want to spend time with Jesus and the more you will be drawn to see this as grace and not guilt. You'll see it not just as a checklist item, but as your all in all.
And there will be seasons when you'll be tempted to just go through the motions and -- kind of like what we mentioned before. That's okay. Just keep the habit, maintain the habit, and I promise those feelings -- that wind will blow again, the delight will return, and it will start overflowing into the rest of your life again. You just need to stick with it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's a good word. And really, when it's all said and done, it's all grace. It's grace that we're even able to respond to Christ, to desire, to learn, to know. It's grace, grace, grace.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: But I appreciate you showing the difference between. There's not always going to be the delight, but you can still maintain the discipline. But the more you maintain the discipline, the more the delight grows, which fuels the discipline.
Naomi Vacaro: Yes. Amen.
Jennifer Rothschild: But you said a couple of things too that perked my interest just in a practical way. You said 30 minutes, you said an hour, you said this or that. So I'm curious for you -- let's hone it right down to your life. Okay? Because I think now we're all wanting to know. So what about you? What does your quiet time look like, if you're willing to share? Because you're a mom. It's not like you just sit around and light candles and play beautiful spiritual music. So you've got a real life with kids and a schedule. So what does your quiet time look like?
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. You know, I think that young moms are probably the demographic that struggle the most to spend time with the Lord. If my experience is any way accurate there, I would just say that that's probably the case. So, yeah, becoming a mom, it just completely changes all of your routines. And it affects your quiet time, but it also affects everything else: your sleep, whether or not you shower that day --
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Naomi Vacaro: -- like, it affects everything for sure.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Naomi Vacaro: It was especially hard for me in the newborn and infant phases and I really just had to accept that that season was going to look really, really different and that seeking the Lord, I was going to have to get creative. I couldn't just rely on this, like, one-hour routine every day at the same time anymore, I needed to let go of that idea of, like, a perfect quiet time and realize that even if I'm not spending as much time with him right now or it's looking different here and there, God is still working on me, he is still working in me, he is still active in my life, and he still delights in me. So that's just a word for any really young moms who are with very small babies right now, because I know how hard that is.
But right now my son is actually a toddler, he's 18 months old, so he's a little older now. And thankfully I am married to just a wonderful guy and we are able to tag team the morning in order to give one another the time we need to seek the Lord. So I get up around 6:00 every day with my son and I watch him for the first hour while my husband gets to spend his time with the Lord. And then at 7:00, my husband takes over and I get to spend some time with the Lord. And then at 8:00 he's off to work and I'm on baby duty. So, yeah.
And, you know, more specifically, what my quiet time looks like is -- I have a tool called "The Quiet Time Companion," which is something I designed a few years ago, and then I have my Bible. And I start off by journaling a little bit, and then I read different passages from different parts in Scripture according to a plan I follow. And then if I have time, I'll really dive deep into prayer and I'll go over a list. But if I'm running short on time, which always changes because you know motherhood --
Jennifer Rothschild: Right. You never know.
Naomi Vacaro: You never know, yeah. So if it runs short, then I write out a prayer and just give my day to God. I surrender all of the unspoken prayer requests to him.
So that's how it looks now. Trust me, it is very different now than it was when I was single and when I was married without kids. Man, I had just the longest quiet times before I had a baby.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I was asked before, you know, what's the best Bible study that you could do, or what's the best way to do a quiet time, and my answer is usually, "The one you will do." Not the one someone else does, not the -- you know.
But I love your quiet time journal because it does become this guide that helps you focus. But it is -- you're right, it's what you will do. So to create the habit -- and I agree, Naomi, I think in the morning is usually best, because the day seems to take over before you feel like you let it do that. It does it without your permission. So to get up a little earlier always does help. I've learned that the hard way over the years.
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, last question, girl.
Naomi Vacaro: Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: So you've given us some very practical ways, which I really appreciate. But we're in a community of women, most of us, and we've got buddies, we got friends, we got Bible study buddies, whatever. So how can we encourage each other to do this thing, to develop these habits and rhythms, without it feeling like we're checking in and comparing or shaming or -- you know, the things. Let me just tell you this little example. I have a friend who would never in a million years -- she's never shaming, ever. But even when she just says little things that she does, she reads out of a certain book, she plays a certain music, she lights a candle, and I think, oh, my gosh. I'm in my yoga pants with my iPhone, reading my text messages to know who to pray for. You know what I'm saying?
Naomi Vacaro: Totally.
Jennifer Rothschild: It is so completely crazy. So how do we help each other do this well without it becoming, you know, shaming or awkward?
Naomi Vacaro: Yeah. Man, that's such a great question, and I think it's something we could probably talk about for a long time, because I'm still trying to figure that out. Obviously -- you know, and this is true whether we are wanting to encourage our friends or our family or our children in having a quiet time.
The first thing is to just stay faithful in your private devotion to Christ. That's always the first answer. Just trust that the Lord will use your faithfulness even if you don't display it, even if you don't post about it on Instagram. Just trust that your example is being seen, even if no one else -- even if you can't tell if anyone else is seeing it in the moment. So just stay faithful yourself, trust the Holy Spirit to be the one to convict and encourage others. Pray for specific people that really struggle in this area.
And then more practically -- this is something I talk about in my book. But there is so much benefit to finding an accountability partner for having a quiet time. Like, this is just a really basic and practical way that we can help each other. Find a friend who also really wants to create this habit and give each other permission to actually follow up and remind each other and check in on each other. And then it won't feel like shaming, you'll actually be just walking in accountability with one another.
K.C. Wright: Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, quiet time is hereby unintimidated.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: If you don't have a quiet time rhythm yet, I know this conversation surely inspired you to start one right now. It inspired me for sure. And you can get Naomi's book to help you get the hang of it. We're giving one away -- winner, winner, chicken dinner -- at Jennifer's Insta profile. Go to @jennrothschild on Instagram. You should be following anyway because there's daily Scripture, inspiration. It's a boost and a shot of joy and hope in your heart every day on Instagram. And you can also go to the show notes to win this book at 413podcast.com/196 to connect to Instagram and link to the book. And we'll also have a link to Naomi's Quiet Time Companion she mentioned right here today.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And you're also going to find a transcript there so you can review this conversation, because I just got to say, there's someone who you need to share this with. You know who she is. So you hit "Share" there on the app that you're listening to right now. And if you haven't yet followed the podcast or subscribed, please do that. We want you to be part of our official 4:13 family.
K.C. Wright: It is such an honor to be a part of your life. And thank you for all the kind reviews. Oh, my goodness. Thank you for giving us all stars. Because the more you leave a review, the more people we can reach with the love of the Father. Give us a review. Your feedback encourages me and Jennifer and it helps others to give the 4:13 a big 'ol listen.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.
K.C. Wright: All right, let's do this, family. Let's spend time with Jesus. He's the reason we can truly say I can do all things through Christ who gives me supernatural dunamis strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.
K.C. Wright: So you want a bunny? Seriously.
Jennifer Rothschild: You'd really give me a bunny?
K.C. Wright: No.
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