Last week I asked if some of you would be interested in learning more about the concept of snacks and meals with God. (If you missed the original post click here.) I asked if you would like to get serious about planning some extended time with God. I’m thrilled that so many of you have followed up through the blog or Facebook or Twitter saying “yes, I want to plan some meals with God!”
The theme verse for this endeavor will be Isaiah 58:11:
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs…and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
After all, what mom doesn’t need strengthened???
Here are some steps to make a reservation for your first dinner appointment with God:
1) Decide on dinner time. It can be the first 15 or 30 minutes of your child’s naptime. It could be the first hour after the kids get on the school bus. The amount of time is not as important as making the reservation and sticking with it. It could even be the third Thursday of every month! If you’ve never done something like this, 15 minutes may be the perfect timeframe for you! If you’re used to reading the Bible or talking with God, setting aside an hour or even an afternoon may be just the right amount of time for you.
2) Put together a “Dinnertime Basket.” In the basket you can put anything you want to use for your time with God. I have my Bible, a devotional, a notebook, a pen, some index cards, and a highlighter. I also have my “to do” list with me when I do a mealtime because when I sit down to be quiet I think of all the things I need to do like “thaw hamburger for dinner” or “call Austin’s math teacher.” Once I write them down they are out of my head!
3) Turn off the phone or make a decision to not answer the phone during your dinner date with God. Just check messages on your machine or voice mail after you are finished.
4) From this point on you can use your time any way you want.
- I like to start my time reading the Bible. I am using The Message Bible these days and I absolutely love reading God’s word in today’s language. If you don’t know where to start the first time, read the Proverbs chapter that corresponds to the day of the month it is. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are also good places to start. I jot down verses that are important to me in my notebook. If there’s a verse I really want to be reminded of, I write it on an index card so I can post it somewhere in the house. Don’t hesitate talking to God aloud or silently as you read. This time is designed to be a conversation with you and God. He’s talking to you through the Bible and you’re talking with him about what you are reading…that’s prayer!
- I usually use a devotional to continue focusing my thoughts and guide my conversation with God. Some of my favorites are books by Jane Rubietta. I’ll share some others in the future.
- After I read, I write out my prayers in my notebook long-hand. You certainly don’t have to do this…you can just talk with God if you’d like. I like to write out my prayers because it keeps me focused and it serves as a diary of sorts. I can look back and see how God has answered my prayers! The notebook also gives me a place to write prayer requests so I can really remember to pray for someone who asks me to pray for them!
- If I have time, I then spend some time just listening with a pen in my hand and my notebook open. Sometimes God impresses something on me and I write that down. Sometimes I just experience God’s truth in action: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
There is no right or wrong way to do a mealtime with God. Some days I do nothing but sit and read the Bible. I get so wrapped up in my reading that I just can’t put it down. Other days I spend only talking with God by writing down my prayers. Your time can be whatever it is that you need.
Most Tuesdays I’ll post about different ideas for successful Dinner Dates with God and I want you to share your experiences as well!
As moms, we need God’s truth to build us up and we need His strength to get us through our crazy days. If you are joining in, please share with us your “advance decision” on when you’ll plan your dinner dates with God!
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I am going to make Friday's at 1:00 pm my time. I usually do not have any commitments on Friday afternoons. I am going to let my two children who are still at home watch some "clean" TV which is a huge treat for them and I hope to soak God into my heart which I always seem to need but especially before the busy weekends.
I love this one on one time just to be alone with God and give Him our undivided attention. May all who chose to do this receive such blessings from God and may He do a wonderful work in their lives.
Love and Hugs ~ Kat
This is such a great idea, Jill!
As I have taken some blog-time off this past week, I've really been reflecting on how to use my time a bit wiser while my son naps. This is just the answer and encouragement I needed! You have no idea! I was also just telling my husband I need to get into gear with my bible reading and be more consistant with it. I was going to seek out a small group at my church (which I still might do) but this might just be a great way to kickstart something right away.
I'm excited to read your ideas on Tuesdays and how to strengthen this time with God. Thanks for this and all you do to encourage us moms!
Thanks for sharing how you do your dinner time with the Lord. I think the whole idea of writing down your prayers is good. Since Saturday's are our day of rest, I'm going to try and start setting aside one of my little one's nap times (she has two each day), to spend dinner time with God. I'm going to be thinking more on the specifics of how I want to do this throughout the week probably so that I can begin this Saturday. Now, I need to go find me a basket…..
Karen, Kelly, Kat, and Laura,
Thanks for sharing! I love hearing your plans!