Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Quiet Time with a Little Help from my Friends

Bible study

A few weeks ago I asked for input from my friends and readers about the logistics of their prayer and quiet time. I like to do that in the morning, but I’m very slow to “rise to the surface” and be able to hold a conversation with the Lord (or anyone else) or to read anything that requires much thought, which I believe a quiet time should do. Then you know how it is after work, trying to take care of all the home stuff. Consequently, my prayer life is not what it should be.

So, thinking that surely I’m not the only one facing this kind of challenge, I put out an SOS and consulted my Board of Directors! … Here’s what I got back. And please, if you have something that works for you, leave it in the comments. Even if you think it’s simple and VERY obvious– it’s not! Sometimes we need a V8 moment to make us see a very simple thing.

Lisa at Deep and Wonderful Thoughts shared this:

Hey there! Here is my first post. It’s very short, but conveys a picture and a message on prayer and the bible. http://deepandwonderfulthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/solar-powered/ I hope it helps.
Have you ever heard of BSF (Bible study Fellowship)? It is a daily bible study and a world wide organization. Fabulous! That is what I do. There are 6 day’s questions and on the 7th day, we discuss them as a group. Here is a link….if you’re interested. http://preview.bsfinternational.org/about

Denise at Rejoycin’ said:

Hi,
(1) Group support is always good, At different times I have been involved in meeting with a bible study group and we selected a topic book to guide us– sometimes videos.

(2) Otherwise, I love this link for options:
http://www.esvbible.org/devotions/
There are numerous options that you can browse through to see what interests you. Perhaps start with a short devotion, such as “Daily Proverbs” for 31 Days. Currently, I have been using “Daily Light on the Daily Path” which is very rich.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done cover to cover– although I tried numerous times. I wind up picking up a (3) Jack Hayford study book and doing a topic study or choose a book and use:

(4) Pastor Chuck Smith Commentaries… love this guy!!!!
http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_author.cfm?AuthorID=1

If you decide you would like a partner or online accountability group, I am game.
Online seems to work for me that is why I like #2, the esvbible.org/devotions… you can write online and take notes in your online bible. ESV has become my base bible after much research is choosing.

From Sarah Tun at A Life Examined:

Honestly, to grow prayer time and depth, I find rising early best… when the house is quiet and there are fewer distractions. God meets us whenever, wherever we are, if we’ll just engage with Him.

Linda from  Life Station Express shared:

Early on, back in the day, yes I believe it was the late 80′s or early 90′s we had a woman come speak at a women’s conference at our church. Her name…Joyce Meyer. Yes, before she became JOYCE MEYER!!!   Ha ha, well she said something in her teaching that I never forgot. She said she would get so upset when she couldn’t keep a rigid bible reading schedule for herself. Beating herself up when she just couldn’t get it all in at the proper time each day.
She said that she finally learned that for some folks reading in the morning works, for others, evenings, and still for others, before bed. Some used a bible study format, others used daily reading guides and yet others read as lead. Whenever, whatever, however, it matters not. What does matter, is that you spend some time in reading and prayer with the Lord.
Some of us need that rigid schedule and that is fine, for others going at it a bit more freely is ok too. I fall into the second category, but respect those who meet with the Lord at a scheduled time each day.
Taking God along with me as I go face the day is imperative! Spending time with Him also. But how I do it often varies with the day too.
Hope this helps! He wants our heart, our time and our life. How we work that out is important to Him too. He embraces our desire to be with Him each day.
Thanks for the great posts! Linda

Lori, an IRL friend and coworker said this:

Hey Melinda- I have always struggled with a quiet time also. I think almost everyone struggles with a structured quiet time. Recently my husband and I started a study with 12 other people called “Masterlife.” it has completely helped! Thats not to say some of the others I’ve been through we’re not fantastic. I loved Ruth by Kelley Minter.  There is so much I could write but I will stop before it gets too long.

My brilliant son-in-law (I’m being serious, not sarcastic) shared his way:

Go to: usccb.org and read the Catholic Mass readings for the day
Go to: dailyscripture.net and read a reflection on those readings
Go to: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/daily.html to read another reflection on those reading
Go to: http://www.loyolapress.com/daily-inspirations.htm to read one final short reflection on those readings
 Then I spend about 10-12 mins meditating, usually on something from the readings (new 2013 practice that really helps me stay centered)
 Then I read email reflections that my mom forwards: one from Proverbs 31 ministries and one from Girlfriends in God. 
 Works very well for me.

(Back to Auntie Em) And isn’t it funny how God works? Right after I asked for suggestions, a friend posted on Facebook that she wanted to start a FB Good Morning Girls group. I’ve seen their studies and glanced over their SOAP method, but have never done one. So I took the hint from God and signed up! We are starting next Monday morning.

Thank you so much to everyone who shared! My prayer is that we will all find SOMETHING that works for us… and remember, that ultimately, God is our Heavenly Father who loves us. We don’t have to use a system or ritual; we just need to plug in to our Source of life and power, regularly, and with intention.

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Auntie Em’s Open House

I used to wonder why some stores would have a grand opening several weeks after they had been in business. Now I get it- they want to get situated, get some kinks worked out, see what sells and what doesn’t. So, 6 weeks after the first Auntie Em post, you’re invited to Auntie Em’s Open House!

Since it’s a virtual, and not a flesh-and-blood open house, I’ll build my virtual house for all of our enjoyment!

Come on in! I’m so glad to see you! A few weeks ago, I examined myself and came up with some principles that I believe have helped me have a successful life, and I am only too happy to share what I’ve learned in hopes that somebody else can “read the textbook” and not have to “take the field trip!” A blog is the perfect medium to share, and I’ve had lots of fun, good mental stimulation, some serious Bible study, and I’ve met new friends. I’ve discovered that these bloggy friends are such nice people!

Please, come get someting to eat, then you can look around. I’ve borrowed my friend Carolyn’s gazebo and china service specially for today.

Courtesy of Carolyn at Aiken House and Gardens

My first post was Auntie Em’s Guide to Life, in which I gave a few guidelines that I at least TRY to follow! Now, finally, I have posts that elaborate on all those guidelines!

Be honest.

Examine yourself.

Know your rules; Know THE rules; Know the difference.

Be frugal.

Decide what YOU want.

I bet what you really want right now is to go for a little dip in the pool? Then we can get to the rest.

Let things go.

Extend grace.

Be kind.

Use real butter.

Plant things in places they will be happy.

Amend your soil and use mulch, and your gardens will flourish. (Again, both literal and figurative use applies here!)

Ask your husband what you can do to make him feel loved, and do it.

Make your husband your first earthly priority.  (not your kids)

Get a board of directors.

Read your Bible.

And that wraps up our tour! Thank you so much for dropping by, and this is the one time I will ask you to share this post with friends you think might like it; go “like” Auntie Em’s Facebook page if you haven’t already; follow me on Twitter and Pinterest (buttons are on the side) and follow my blog if you have enjoyed your visit! Leave a comment below saying hello and where you are from, please! Help me spread the Auntie Em love all over! And here is a little something for you to take home…

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Living with Mr. Safety

Around our house, we sometimes call Mr X “Mr Safety.” He works for a large electric utility company, as a service rep for large industrial customers, many of them oil refineries that are so prevalent here in Southeast Texas. Safety is serious business in all these places! He also teaches the Smith driving system to people in his company. He puts safety cones behind his truck when he parks, and has red and white reflective tape on the back of the truck!

We were driving to Houston the other day and I spouted off some safety rule–   “See, I’ve been listening!” So I proceeded to revisit the safety lessons I’ve learned.

  • If you see a potential “trip hazard” in the aisle at the grocery store, pick it up! (a pencil, a piece of paper, etc)
  • If you drive through standing water (which you don’t do at all unless you KNOW how deep it is! Watch the cars ahead of you for this.), use your brakes before you need them, to dry them out and make sure they work efficiently.
  • While driving in rain or other low visibility, increase your following distance.
  • For Heaven’s sake, never text while driving. He also says don’t talk on your phone. (GUILTY. This is a hard one, but I’m careful about the driving conditions where I talk. Never in heavy traffic.)

This year we’ve implemented an important safety standard in our house that should have been there all along: reading Scripture and praying together daily. We have the Youversion Bible app on our iPad and phones, and keep 2 devotion plans going. We’ve gone through several so far, with Joyce Meyer there all the time- she has lots of devotions and they are all good! Sharing needs and concerns, then praying for one another and for friends and loved ones is a very intimate thing to do, and it’s hard to be mad at somebody while you’re praying. You know you will have to swallow your pride and work it out. If your husband is reluctant to lead out in this area, one way you might encourage him is to ask him specific ways you can pray for him, and ask him to pray for you in specific ways. It will at least get the conversation started, and not in a pushy way. And then you pray!

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