Top 3 Obstacles to Consistent Quiet Time and How to Overcome Them

Learning to overcome obstacles to your quiet time with God will help you be more consistent.

Previously, we took an honest look at your relationship with God and your spiritual growth: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You did some important work of taking an honest and realistic look at where you are, what you’re doing well, and what needs some of your attention and focus. 

Today I want to dive deeper into some of the obstacles that you uncovered yesterday. When you do an assessment, you get a lot of good information about what’s going well and what isn’t. But if you don’t think through why that is you’re not going to be able to make any changes.

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There’s a possibility that things are going well for a reason. What is that reason? Maybe you can take that and apply that to something that’s not going well. You want to look at what’s not going well and think through why it’s not going well. 

It will help you identify obstacles. Once you identify the obstacles or the things that are tripping you up or keeping you stuck, then you can begin to create a plan to overcome those things so that you don’t stay stuck. 

I often joke that I gave birth to my biggest distractions. I love my boys, I do, but there are four of them. And often when I am trying to do something for myself, whether it’s reading, taking a nap, soaking in the tub, or getting into my Bible and talking to God, World War III breaks out in my home. 

I don’t know what it is about the fact that Mama is going to spend time with God that makes everybody decide to act crazy, injure themselves, or break something. But it’s like this radar goes off and all hell breaks loose in my house. Can you relate to that? 

That’s an external obstacle, but internally, that’s just me. I struggle to stay focused. I have ADHD, so my brain always wants to go in 5 million different directions on a good day. Having the added distraction of kids and other people just exacerbates that. It’s so, so difficult for me, but I have learned how to overcome those obstacles. 

Today, I want to help you create a plan to overcome your obstacles. Recently, I sent out a survey asking about the different struggles that ladies in the community were having when it came to quiet time. The responses were interesting. 47% of you said that you did not have a consistent time with God. 

I thought, oh my goodness, that number is too high. And then I just began to listen more. The top three reasons that you gave for why you weren’t being consistent were time, focus or distraction, and direction or not knowing what to do during that time. 

And I thought, okay, all of those things sound familiar because I hear that from so many women all of the time. And all three of these are things that I struggle with myself. And so once we know what our biggest obstacles are, then we can begin to make a plan for dealing with them in advance. 

Instead of spending your time with God trying to put out fires and address these obstacles, you already have a plan in place and then they don’t derail your time with God. You’re not spending the time that you want to be with God, dealing with those things that are keeping you from that time. 

When making a plan for your obstacles, It really is best to try to address one or two, three at the most that are tripping you up. You can always go back and address others later. Don’t worry if you’re not sure, I’m going to give a few examples today. 

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Obstacle #1: Time

Many times I hear, “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have consistent time because my schedule is constantly changing”. Maybe you’re a student and so your schedule changes every semester because your classes change. Or you are a mama who’s doing all of the things and you’re are up at all times during the day and the night. Either way, you’re having a hard time finding that dedicated time that you can just be you and God. 

My first suggestion for dealing with a struggle when it comes to time is to do a shorter quiet time. Sometimes you have preconceived notions about what your time with God should look like. I saw people spending hours and hours, or so they said, every day with God. 

Or they were getting up at four o’clock in the morning to be with God and I thought that’s what I had to do. It’s not. It’s so much better for you to say you’re going to spend five minutes with God in the morning while getting dressed and be able to stick to those five minutes than to say, you’re going to get up two hours early to spend two hours with God.

That usually never happens because it just doesn’t work for you, for your life, or your situation. So first I want you to consider shortening the amount of time that you are dedicating to your quiet time. Know that you’re not going to stay at that five minutes or whatever it ends up being forever. 

You want to pick something that’s going to work for you right now, not something that’s going to be so challenging and impossible that it never happens. Also, consider a different time of day. Yes, I know that it’s important to have that time with God before you begin your day, but if that does not work, it’s okay to pick a different time. 

Maybe lunch works or maybe nap time works better for you. Maybe you’ve got a commute that you can carve out some time. Find a time of day that works better. And then yes, by all means, protect that time. But just think differently about the time that you’re spending with God, how long it is and actually what part of your day you’re going to do that. 

Obstacle #2: Focus

The next obstacle is focus. I told you this is my kryptonite when it comes to quiet time. Try keeping a piece of paper, a notepad, a sticky note, or something right next to you while you are reading and studying your Bible or while you’re praying. I like to have just a blank piece of paper. 

Anytime a random thought pops in your head jot that down on a piece of paper that’s sitting right next to you and go back to what you’re doing. Here’s why this works, you’re getting it out of your mind by putting it on the paper so you don’t have to spend mental energy on that anymore. 

Once your quiet time is over, you can go back to that piece of paper and see if there’s anything here that you need to address. If not, throw it away and go on with the day. You’re not losing that information and you won’t forget about it later. It’s just capturing it there so that you can keep your focus where it needs to be during that time.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I wanted to talk quickly about a way to reframe how you view obstacles. Sometimes you have in your mind this perfect time with God, and what you want to happen during that time. No matter what you do, you just can’t get there. 

That’s not your reality or current season of life.  I want to encourage you whenever possible to embrace the season that you’re in. If you’ve got a house full of young kids, you might not have a quiet, quiet time. You might always be interrupted. Baby will need to nurse or toddler will need to go potty. Whatever it is. If it’s not possible for you to have that uninterrupted, quiet alone time, that’s okay. 

Don’t let that keep you from spending time with God. If you have to do your bible time with the baby in your lap and the toddler sitting on your head, do it. There were many years when I did quiet time with my boys around me in various ages, playing at my feet, reading their own Bibles, coloring pages, whatever. 

Turn the TV on if you want, whatever works for you and your situation. Embrace it and work with that instead of fighting against it. I know it kind of sounds a little counterintuitive because you think quiet time means being alone with God. 

That’s nice when it happens, but that might not be your season. And listen, God knows what you’re dealing with. He knows if you have small children, he gave you those children. He understands. It’s cool, I promise. 

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These tips will help you create a plan to overcome obstacles to your quiet time with God.

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