Here are some ways to make yourself available to hear what He has to say to you and your family. You will notice there are daily, weekly, and yearly sections. Remember, baby steps work – if you are moving forward, however slowly, at least you aren’t moving backward.
[Tweet “And remember – you really never just stand still.”]
No one size fits all means you will need to seek the Lord for what he specifically
has planned for you and your family.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1Pe 5:8 ESV
Daily quiet time – This is the bread and butter of hearing from the Lord. I know your lives are busy. I’ve been there – three babies in five years, Eric had leukemia, Dan worked 12-14 hours a day, and we were homeschooling. There are still days I’m tempted to just dive into my day when it is a busy one. But…if you don’t find time for anything else, find a way to spend a few minutes in the Word and with the Lord.
This is my quiet time verse because I need a constant reminder to be still before the Lord: “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 KJV There are lots of ideas out there about how to have a quiet time and how to fit one into a busy day, so I won’t spend time here. If you want some ideas email, call, or catch me or an older woman at church, but figure out how to get some daily time with the Lord.
Morning Bible and prayer –As a family if possible, or as many family members as possible. This does not replace your private quiet time. Now you’re probably thinking I’m a fanatic! I’ll stop here and tell a little story. Our children were 2, 4, and 6. As I mentioned above, Eric had leukemia, Dan was gone 12-14 hours a day, and we were homeschooling. The first few months of school I was barely able to get through a few of the basic subjects, never got to Bible and prayer, and our days were a mess. I always felt like a failure. Then on a date night Dan suggested that we prioritize – we put reading the Bible and prayer with the children first. He said, “If that’s all you get done you will have had a good day.” He’s a really wise man! He realized that we could catch up on academics, but character needed to be developed from a young age so we needed to spend our first time and energy on what we considered most important.
It might sound like a little change, but putting the Lord first has totally changed our days. The children and I still get together almost every morning for prayer. Our first hour up is making your bed, personal hygiene, and your own quiet time. Then we meet together, share where we’re at, talk about what’s on our plate for that day, and pray. We help each other prioritize our schedules when we are feeling overwhelmed or just need a fresh pair of eyes to see what we’re missing and then go on with our day.
Putting good habits in place is a great way to be sure to get the important things done on a regular basis. [Tweet “Putting good habits in place is a great way to be sure to get the important things done on a regular basis.”]
Other daily habits we’ve put in place and try to maintain are:
- Evening meals together – not in front of the TV
- Dan and I try to take five to 10 minutes right after dinner to reconnect
- We are always reading a good quality book or two as a family. Dan reads to us a chapter or two almost every night. Sometimes we are reading a book of the Bible, other times something by an encouraging or challenging Christian author, and sometimes something just for fun, like 101 of the Dumbest Things People Have Done by Ray Comfort, which we are currently reading.
- Dan prays with each of our children most nights before he goes to bed
Weekly Date night – Ok, so how does this fit in? God put you in a family, remember? You can’t just go off on your own and figure out what the Lord is calling you to, you have to go with your family (although that doesn’t mean there won’t be things you do alone), and your husband is the head of that family, so it’s good to know what the Lord is saying to him. A good way to work on your marriage and to hear what the Lord is saying to your husband is to have a weekly date with him. Once again – I know it can be difficult to find the time and the money, but it is possible to do inexpensive things, so if you need help figuring out a way to do this, ask me or another older woman for some ideas.
If you aren’t married perhaps you have a parent, sibling, or mentor that you could meet with on a regular basis. We all need to build some accountability into our lives and it never hurts to have other believers praying for us.
Yearly planning time – This is when we look at the big picture and seek to determine how we’ve done with the plans we made the previous year and what the Lord wants us to do in the coming year.
We started out in 1995 taking one day and it’s become such a valuable time for our family that in recent years we’ve taken a week
During this week Dan and I will spend four to six hours a day, broken into two-hour segments, praying and talking. We will also have individual times of prayer and discussion with each of our children. We begin by going over our list from last year and we mark down what we accomplished so we can start on a positive note. This year our planning time is going to be later than we like – January 30 – February 7th. Your prayers for us this week would be greatly appreciated.
So, start slowly and build ways into your daily, weekly and yearly schedule to meet with and listen to the Lord. We use our January planning time to set a course for the next year. Then as opportunities for service, fellowship, or work come up we can more easily tell if they will help us toward our goals. Our weekly dates help us to determine if we are staying on course or veering off course. Our daily quiet times help us seek the Lord for his plan for that day.
As C.S. Lewis said, “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road: in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
And one of my favorite Scriptures, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isa 30:21 ESV
The Lord is waiting to share His plans with you.
For more information please check our our planning materials
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