A Real Woman's Guide to Personal Devotions - Part 1
You know that old saying about the perfect being the enemy of the good? Well, I think that applies to our devotional lives every bit as much as it does in other areas. We have an ideal image in our mind of just what it should look like to have a vibrant devotional life, but we live in a real world, not that ideal one.
Try Googling "woman reading Bible." You'll come up with images of relaxed women leisurely enjoying time in the Word. Much of the time she's sitting somewhere outside, sometimes with the ocean or a stream nearby. Sometimes she has a cup of tea or coffee in her hands. She's alone, and dirty laundry or dishes are nowhere in sight. It's peaceful. Lovely. Just not terribly realistic.
Unfortunately, sometimes we allow unrealistic expectations to keep us from spending time with God. If I can't rise before dawn and spend an hour in quality bible study followed by another hour of intercessory prayer, why bother?
So even though this perfect woman exists in Christian magazines and blog-land, she doesn't live at my house. And probably not yours either.
Because I'm an ordinary woman. One who is busy. Distracted. Tired, oh so tired. And not infrequently stressed.
But these things make it even more important for me to spend time each day with the Lord, not less. So how can I make it happen?
Over time I've tried a whole bunch of ways of building prayer and Bible reading into my life. Many of these things have worked, at least for a particular season. Other strategies have failed. Over the course of several posts, I'm going to tell you what I have found helpful and what has been unhelpful. Because everyone is different, I'll try to give you a number of ideas which you can sort through. I'm going to talk about how to have a growing relationship with the Lord even in the midst of a crazy busy life filled with all the messiness that real living brings. My hope is that we can each give up our unrealistic expectations but instead discover patterns which can lead us to a more vital devotional life!
A note on pictures: Since I've just returned from my fourth trip to Purdue in the past couple of weeks, I'll be illustrating these posts with pictures from the lovely (yes - really!) Purdue campus.