How to Make Your Quiet Time Creative

I love quiet time with God, but often I find it helpful to do something creative with my time.  I am a creative person, after all, so why shouldn’t I?

Innovation

The basics of time with God:

  1. Scheduled – If it’s not on the calendar it won’t happen.
  2. Time – It has to be more than a passing prayer or thought.
  3. Alone – Remove distractions.
  4. Bible – God speaks most often through his Word.
  5. Prayer – Speaking with and listening for God.
  6. Journal – Often it helps to write down your thoughts.

In reality I could simply read the Bible, speak to and listen for God, and journal every day and probably have a good relationship with God.  Ultimately exclusive time with him and a heart inclined to him are all that are needed.

But if I am honest I sometimes can slip into routine and take God for granted.

Here is where creativity comes in.

Creativity can:

  1. Refresh your interest by breaking routine.
  2. Reframe old truths in new light.
  3. Reveal new truths because your mind is working differently.

Recently I decided I wanted to do something different, something creative.  The verse of the day on my YouVersion app was 1 John 4:18-19 (CEV):

A real love for others will chase those worries away.  The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid.  It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.

This verse really struck a chord with me, so I decided to dive into it a bit more.  Here is what I did:

  1. I read the verses in several translations to get a full picture of the verse’s meaning.  I usually read the Amplified Version (AMP), the New International Version (NIV), the Contemporary English Version (CEV, and the English Standard Version (ESV).  Sometimes I also read The Message (MSG) translation.
  2. I wrote out how the verses impacted me in light of what I was experiencing in my life.
  3. I wrote out my conversation, or prayer, with God.  I have found that writing out my prayers can be very illuminating.
  4. I wrote a song based on those verses.  So far I have only two verses and a chorus (it needs a Bridge), but I felt like I was able to put into song form the encouragement I needed that day.

Here are the lyrics:

When I am afraid
I will trust in You
When life is hard
I will trust in You
When feelings fade
I will trust in You
When friends betray
I will trust in You

Your love is deeper
Your love is fuller
Your love has overcome my every fear
All of my worries
All of my trouble
Your love has overcome my every fear

When I am alone
I will trust in You
When I am wrong
I will trust in You
When my words fail
I will trust in You
When hope is gone
I will trust in You 

Your love is deeper
Your love is fuller
Your love has overcome my every fear
All of my worries
All of my trouble
Your love has overcome my every fear

What creative things have you done during your quiet time?

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Why I Love To Write

True confessions. I have not missed a publishing date in months, and I was not happy about not getting a post out yesterday. My personal goal is to publish every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I don’t like being inconsistent.

Writing consistently helps me to stay fresh, to think well.

Sometimes I just think better on (virtual) paper.

Ever feel like that?

Writing for you makes me think about others.

Writing regularly forces me to stretch.

I need wrap my mind around issues and ideas rather than just tacitly believing things without truly testing my thoughts. If I have to write action points for someone else, I have to make certain what I am writing makes sense.

So thank you for making me a better writer and thinker, and for helping to stay others-focused.

I love you for it.

What does writing do for you?

morning update

I guess you all have become my accountability group where I ‘fess up if I don’t prep the way I should.  Last week I was enjoying the invigorating times working early in the morning and getting to bed a bit earlier.  This week I have had a really hard time getting up early and being creative before tapping into technology.  I have been able to spend a lot of time writing this morning and a little earlier this week (at a gas station!!), but that is it.  This weekend my boys will be with me and so I am considering my options for being creative before Monday.

On the plus side yesterday I began a new music project – a small piece for my choir to sing as a call to worship – which was really fun.

I’m curious: what morning routines work for you, and how successful have you been this week in those routines?

ink

I forget where I first saw this line, but I find it so true:

Ink is cheap therapy.

I’m talking about writing, not tattoos.  I have no experience with the latter, and do not care to.  Writing, on the other hand, is a dear friend.  Sometimes I find that simply sitting down and writing helps my mind unkink itself.  Seeing your thoughts on paper somehow makes them more real, more permanent, more . . . kinetic.

Fears or dreams roaming in the mind do little more than upset mental furniture.  In order to produce change in the world these thoughts have to be released on the world as we know it.  Once they are released the laws of physics kick in: every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.

Once I wrote a thought down and I was immediately repulsed and embarrassed by it.  I could not blot it out fast enough.  Many other times I found peace spreading through my soul as I wrote out my thoughts and the words God seemed to be placing on my heart.  For better or for worse we speak things into existence when we write them.

Writing becomes even deeper therapy when we write what has hurt us, grieved us, saddened us.  I find peace as I acknowledge what I am feeling.  Over the past few years I have done hospital visits from time to time in my church work and I have found, as my dad explained to me once, that people just want to be heard.  Everyone wants to be validated, to know that their feelings matter and are not lost in the sea of humanity.  You do not need to agree with them, you simply need to validate their thoughts, feelings and opinions.

When no one is around to tell us our thoughts and feelings matter, writing is our way of telling ourselves your thoughts and feelings matter.  You are not crazy.  Acknowledging and validating feelings and thoughts and experiences allows us to move on and not be trapped by them.  Feelings such as fear, and memories of injuries and wrongs are poison, and if we do not rid our system of the poisons floating around in our bodies, we will not be able to live fully as God intended.  Fear, and Satan himself, only have a hold on us when we hide in secrecy.  His biggest fear is that we will bring things out into the light and see that we can indeed move on and find healing.

Ink is cheap therapy.  What do you need to write down so that you can move on?