What is Not-So-Quiet Time?
Not-so-quiet time is one of the ways I spend time with Jesus every single day. I grew up in Church and, as a result, heard all about quiet time, devotional time, prayer time, and the like. People I knew were masters at devoting an hour a day to quiet time with the Lord in their closets, in the car, quietly studying scripture, and on and on. And those things are really great! These can and SHOULD be ways you regularly deepen your faith – the Lord calls us to be still and know. There is a time for that!
But God made me loud. He made me a boisterous, extroverted, laugh-out-loud, sing with the windows down, dance like nobody’s watching kind of girl. And maybe that’s you too! So, while I do try to discipline myself to have those moments of quiet reflection with Jeuss, I also know that my everyday quiet time is often….not so quiet.
Let me be the first to set you free from this “rule”.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE QUIET AND REFLECTIVE TO SPEND TIME WITH JESUS
You can spend time with Jesus however you want to. And for me, my most natural state of being is loud. It takes a lot of discipline for me to be quiet and read my Bible and pray for an hour. It takes a LOT of effort. And with a baby, a job, a blog, and a podcast….settling my mind to have that time is increasingly difficult.
One day, I was working out in my garage and listening to a Backstreet Boys album. The words rocked me to my core. The Backstreet Boys were singing about love, but to me it felt like it was Jesus singing directly to me about how He feels about me. I was shook, as the youths say. I threw my hands in the air, continued working out, cried a little, and talked to Jesus out loud in my garage. He and I, we had a great time together that day. And that was the day I discovered my not-so-quiet time.
Not-so-quiet time is all about finding something that moves you. It can be anything that you are passionate about. For me, a lot of times it’s music while working out. Music speaks to my soul in a way almost nothing else does. And not just Christian music either; (although I love me some Bethel and Hillsong worship). I connect with Jesus through all kinds of music. For you, it might be running, painting, playing fetch with your dog, having a dance party in your living room, making up a song on the piano…who knows? The point isn’t WHAT you are doing, it’s the mental posture with which you do it.
The important thing is that you use it as a way to connect with Jesus. So, to get started, here are a few tips to make your not-so-quiet time successful.
5 Tips for Making Your Not-So-Quiet Time Successful
Start by thanking God for the passion, gift, or hobby you are using
For me, when I get out in my garage to work out and start my playlist, I start by mentally thanking God for making me who I am. I thank Him that I get the opportunity to work out, that I get to better my body. I thank Him that He lets something as cool as music move me deeply. I thank Him that He created people who make awesome music like this everyday and that they get to share it with me. I thank Him for giving me a voice to sing, and emotions that feel deeply and connect with rhythm, melodies, harmonies, and song. I thank Him for my ears to listen.
I want to encourage you not to let this become a discipline or a chore. Just thank Him for what He gave you that makes you passionate about whatever you are doing. If you are painting, thank Him that you see the beauty in colors and painting styles. If you are making music, thank Him for your love to play. If you are running, thank Him for the nature you get to run in and your legs that carry you long distances. This shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a quiet (or loud!) moment of appreciation for what you are about to do.
For me, I find that this gets me in the right headspace.
2. Don’t make firm plans.
Let me be real with you for a minute, this one is hard for me. I’m a planner, as you probably know if you follow me on Instagram. I like to know how long I’m going to be doing something for, what my goals are, where I’ll go, and how many steps it will take to get from A to B. I can’t stress it enough, I like to plan. But when I want to have some not-so-quiet time, the whole point is to let my relationship with Jesus guide the way. It’s not about disciplining myself to 30 minutes or an hour a day. It’s more like getting coffee with an old friend, chatting on the phone with your mom, taking a walk with a neighbor. This is casual. This is fun. This is NECESSARY to build a real 2-way relationship. So don’t plan it too much. Just plan to enjoy each other’s company. That’s it.
3. Let yourself be a little loud if you need to
This one can obviously be a bit hard depending on where you are or what you are doing. But I just want to go ahead and prepare you for the inevitable…you’re gonna feel some stuff when you do this. Sometimes you will let out feelings you didn’t even know you had.
When I am jamming out with Jesus, sometimes I start to feel angry at Him for things I didn’t even know I still held on to. Sometimes I get sad, sometimes I literally want to laugh out loud, remembering something in my life.
I want to let you off the hook again: it’s ok to feel this stuff and articulate it to Him. Guess what? He’s a big boy. He can handle it.
If we want and desire a real-life relationship with Jesus, we gotta let all the junk out of our trunk sometimes…so to speak. We have to be ok having moments, even if in the solitude of our own garage, where we let down the walls of perfection we try so hard to build and maintain. Even if we can only let it down with Jesus, let’s let them come crumbling down. Let ourselves feel. Be honest with Him. and if you need to, get a little loud.
A SIDENOTE: Sometimes, you may feel some big feelings when you go through this process. It goes without saying that, when big feelings come out, we sometimes like to stuff them away and stop doing whatever the thing was that made us feel that big feeling. Let me encourage you now: Do. Not. Quit.
Don’t shy away from those big feelings. Lean in. Feel them. Let them out. Process them. If you need to, speak with a counselor, a trusted friend, or your pastor. I promise, It. Will. Help.
4. Don’t Feel Like It Has to Look a Certain Way
Not so quiet time looks different for everyone. Like I said earlier, mine is usually me singing and working out in my garage while I jam out to music. Yours may look totally different (although I will mention that I think music speaks to us as humans deeply and I highly encourage you to try yours with some music at some point!). Don’t feel like it has to look or be a certain way. Don’t even feel like it always has to be deep and emotional.
Some days I cry, some days I get angry, but honestly a lot of days it’s just a lot of fun! I talk to Jesus, jam, workout, and we enjoy a good hang together. And that’s OK! Don’t put pressure on yourself to get in a super emotional space all the time. It will happen when it needs to happen. Let off the pressure, and just enjoy.
Ok, ok, ok. Let me start by saying I TOTALLY get it if you are not a journaler. But I do think that reflecting on this time after you are done is super critical. Let me be the first one to say, I’m not an avid journaler. In fact, I’m such a perfectionist that, if I don’t journal every day, I have a strong internal tendency to never journal because if I can’t keep up with it all the time, I don’t want it at all. That shows you how type A I am!
BUT, when it comes to processing how I am feeling, establishing goals in my faith journey, deciding where I want to go and who I want to be, I find that it’s super beneficial for me to put it down on paper. Even if only to get it out of my head and hold myself accountable to what I want and what I’m feeling called to do.
It helps because it makes the scary stuff look less scary and it also helps me hone in on what’s important in my faith.
So, all that to say, when you get done with this time, just take a couple of minutes. Reflect. Journal. Whatever you want to call it. And if you don’t want to start with a blank page or need some help getting started, you can use my free Christian journaling template to help you get started. I release a new one each month, and you can find it here.
Ultimately, use whatever works for you! I know lots of people who use journaling Bibles, plain notebooks, planners, whatever. Just get those thoughts written down.
Now that you know my top 5 tips for your not so quiet time, your task is to get started. Do it today. I know you’re busy. I know you have a big to-do list. But you can take 5 minutes even to get started. Find a song you like. Pick a hobby or activity you love, and just do it. Just take a couple minutes. Get started. Go spend some time with Jesus. You’ll be so glad you did.
With Great Joy,