My Not-So-Quiet Time

NotQuietTime100313Is it hard for you to find a few minutes in the day to nourish yourself in God’s Word? If you have young children, you probably can’t even hide in the bathroom to read a few verses, because who says you get to go to the bathroom by yourself when you have little ones?

Getting up earlier than everyone else never seems to work out all that well either. Somehow they know that you’re up and that you need their company.

When our guys were little, I sometimes managed the get-up-earlier-than-they-do approach. When that didn’t work, I figured God was wanting me to use the disciple-them approach. What better way for our children to understand how important God’s Word is to us than to see us studying it — and to join us while we study?

My college art-major days had left me with a drawer full of lovely colored pencils. I started using them to mark different words in the Bible as I read. I also used a fine-point pen to draw simple little pictures that related to what I was reading. I drew these in the margins of my Bible. 

The kids were fascinated with what I was doing.

One or two would sit at my side, watching, questioning, asking to help.

They were delighted when I would let them highlight a word for me. Or better yet, how about helping color one of my little drawings?

Ones who could read helped me look for specific words to highlight in the text, and those I really trusted even drew tiny pictures in the margin for me once in awhile.

Did I have a “quiet time”?


But I did have children who were excited about the Bible! I had the opportunity to talk to them about what I was reading and to answer their questions. They had the chance to see me taking time in my busy day to read God’s Word.

So, tell me. What’s more important — a quiet time or a not-so-quiet time while God lovingly draws my kids into His Word?

What’s better — not reading my Bible at all because I can’t do it alone, or reading what I can with my children at my side?

God speaks to us through His Word. If we can’t find a time to read the Bible alone, then it might be time to invest in some colored pencils. 🙂


P. S. By the way, stay tuned! We start our next 30-Day study in just 28 more days! 5 minutes a day in Philippians 2 for you, and plenty of ideas for doing the study with your kids!)


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  1. Bless you, Pam, and thank you for blessing me today. Today is one of those rare days that I am up before the children baking, cleaning, preparing my husband’s lunch, and I felt a strong but gentle pull toward my Bible while waiting on the baked goods in the oven. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start because I haven’t been finding daily time to dive into His Word. I instead chose to see if you had started a new 30-day study, and what I found was more encouragement than you can imagine. Thank you for speaking to me today. My visit to your blog was threefold: I got your message through words, I got to enjoy your illustrated Bible before heading to my own, and I now know that I don’t have to wait too much longer before we dive into Philippians 2! Again, bless you.

  2. So excited to start the next study with you. We always enjoy them. And I love the reminder that even a short time in the Word IS still time in the Word. Sometimes I have trouble knowing how much is “enough”, and would love to do more, but when the littles get up and need to eat, that cuts off the time. Thanks for helping me not feel guilty about that.

    What a blessing to be reminded that our time discipling our children in the Word “counts” as Bible time. It’s so obvious, but sometimes I forget that. We do it together every day, so even if I don’t have that extra time on my own in the morning, I am still in the Word.

  3. Which bible are you using? I always have trouble finding a bible with margins wide enough to take notes and jot pictures down in. This one looks mighty spacious! 😀

  4. Pam, I just want to THANK YOU for inspiring me to draw & highlight in my Bible. Adoring past posts here showing samples of your inductive Bible study drawings, I just had to purchase some nice colored pencils & the right pens and have been really enjoying drawing in my Bible for some time now. Although I’ve read & studied my Bible for over 40 years, marking my Bible more has brought a deeper dimension in my studies. I’m no art major… more like an art flop, but that’s okay, what I draw is between me & the Father. I look forward to joining in your next 30-day study. ♥

  5. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement -again. Now I know what to do with a little boy who like to wake up early. I felt bad with him just sit there waiting for me to finish. He is very patient. But he sure doesn’t like me singing in the morning. “Mom, just because you sing to Jesus, won’t get you to heaven.” Out of the mouths of babes. Reminds me of a song we sing, “The only way to heaven is by loving and obeying the Lord.”

    Looking forward to studying with everyone again.

  6. This is fantastic! I was just encouraging some ladies in my bible study last week that requiring ourselves to have a “quiet time” at this phase of life (we all have preschoolers and younger) is pretty unrealistic. I have renamed “quiet time” to “Mama’s Bible Time”. If the kids want to go play while I study…great! If they want to sit at the table with me… I will read out loud to them. If some are being loud, I read a little louder! 🙂 Its just a phase of life, but you are so right that its more important to get into the word…however we have to do it!

  7. How encouraging to those of us who feel so guilty when we just can’t make quiet time go the way we envisioned!

  8. April, the Bible in the photo is an ESV Single column Legacy edition. It does have a lot of space for notes and pictures!

    The New Inductive Study Bible is another good choice. It has wide margins and also includes tons of notes and helps to direct you in the inductive Bible study method. It is available in ESV or NASB.

  9. Thank you Pam for this blog post. It was freeing to read to know that my Bible time doesn’t always have to be on my own or done quietly if that’s not always possible. Often, my quiet time in the morning is something I fight for since I know how much I need it and when I don’t get it, I often feel frustrated. But I know that’s not how God wants me to respond, especially since He allows all of the circumstances in my life. I try to remind myself that He will give me the time I need in the word as I make the time either with or without my children. Thank you so much for being a great encourager to us moms with young children 🙂

  10. Wow! What a refreshing way to overcome the excuse of not having time for God’s word. Thanks for sharing.