My parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary is this Saturday, June 1. In preparation for that, I’d like to share something that I wrote several years ago to honor my Mother, who has molded my life in many ways. I LOVE YOU, MOM!
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. (Mark 1:35, NASB).
I still remember what early mornings were like in my parents’ home. My alarm would go off, and it was time to get ready for school. I walked down the hall to the bathroom and passed by the entry to the family room. A low light cast its soft glow into the dark hallway. The familiar sight always gave me a sense of stability and expectation. My mother was sitting in her “chair”, the lamp on low, and her Bible open in her lap with a cup of coffee nearby. Usually when I peeked in her eyes were closed–she was praying for all of us.
This was where my mother had her daily quiet time–the time and place where she met with her Lord. I could count on finding her there every day: same time, same place. She met Him early while the house was quiet and peaceful. Whenever I passed by, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, I wish my quiet times were like that. She made having a personal relationship with the Lord look so real and appealing.
My mother taught me several things about making my quiet times meaningful. First, she explained that I needed to have a time and a place where I consistently met with the Lord. For my mom, it was early in the morning in her recliner. She explained that the way to ensure intimacy with the Lord was through the cornerstone of consistent, daily time with Him.
Mom also encouraged me to maintain variety. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing every day. When you get bored with something, she said, it’s easier to quit. She suggested having several options for your quiet time: reading a Proverb each day, keeping a couple of light devotional books handy, even reading through hymns. That way it stays fresh. So my mom kept a basket of goodies near her chair–full of all the things she loved to read–her Study Bible, several devotional books, and a dictionary. She also kept her Amplified Bible nearby.
You could tell by watching, Mom’s relationship with the Lord had top priority in her life. She spent the first part of every day with Him, reading the Bible and praying. Mom told me that, with each change of season in our lives, the time and place we meet with the Lord might change, too. Her special chair is now in her bedroom. Her basket has expanded to include a bookcase! Now that her children are grown, she spends extended time there–not just in the morning–but also at different times throughout the day.
Many years have passed since my two sisters and I have lived in the same house. Although we have our own lives, we share something in common–each of us has created our own special place where we meet with the Lord. There is a favorite chair and a basket nearby, which is filled with many of the same items Mom had. My Study Bible and my journal are in my basket, along with devotionals or other light reading from my favorite authors: Ruth Myers, Elisabeth Elliot, Jill Briscoe, and Jerry Bridges are a few. I also keep encouraging notes from sweet friends, some note cards to send my own notes of encouragement, and whatever Bible study material I am currently working on.
When my younger sister moved and was deciding how to set up her room, my mother said, “Claudia, you must have your chair!” Excitement and anticipation filled my sister as the truth of what Mom was communicating to her came to life. Eagerly, she found a basket that she could fill with her favorite Christian books and began to set up her meeting place.
My mother is still passing along to us what she treasures most. It may look like “a chair and a basket”, but in reality, these things are not the legacy. The true legacy is the love relationship with the Lord that they represent. She told me recently, “The chair has become a place of comfort–to receive healing and nurturing when no one but God can go with me into deep places of need. I conduct ‘divine business’ there. God and I carry on intimate conversations, intercession, and on more times than I would like to say, He brings His Word to show me needed correction, teaching, and rebuke.“
Today, my chair and my basket are in my living room. When I walk by and glance in that direction I feel a tug in my heart – an invitation that says, “Come, and sit with Me. Let’s spend some time together.” It’s the voice of the Lord calling me to join Him, and I anticipate the following morning’s get-together. I pray that my children will come to know the privilege of sharing an intimate relationship with the Lord. It’s the legacy I hope to pass along.
Here are some verses that have encouraged me to have a quiet time …
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere… (Psalm 84:10a, NIV)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
Be still, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10a, NIV)
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord,” (Jeremiah 29:13-14, NIV).