When I first came back to Jesus, at the age of 23, I was taught countless “have to’s” about Christianity. Some were directly taught and others projected onto me - but nevertheless, I felt the pressure. Among those ‘have to’s’ was how my time with the Holy Trinity was supposed to look like.
We’ve all seen the reels and pictures - a perfect cup of coffee, our highlighters, commentaries, journal, a beautiful written-in-Bible, a bag of your favorite pens, and maybe even a lit up candle. None of that is bad, in fact - that is completely my vibe but what’s unhealthy is that I thought anything outside of that could not be considered “quiet time”. I remember hearing a sermon from my pastor at the time that said something along the lines of “always have a specific place and time to study God’s word”. And again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but the word ‘always’ tripped me up. It made me feel like I didn’t have a place while I was on vacation or visiting family or at work that I could meet Jesus in, so I didn’t.
In early 2020, we left the Church we were a part of and then the pandemic began. I continued the routine of what I’d always know - same place, time, and even aesthetic but then it hit me. What did I even know about God and the Bible? I realized that all those years I spent it growing as a Christian woman that was not necessarily an infant anymore but definitely a toddler. It had been 7 years since I came back to Christ and even worked at two Churches in those 7 years - but I was still a toddler in my walk with Christ.
Then everything changed. I prayed a very simple prayer and asked God to show me who He really was.
After that, I’ve been blessed with so many resources, ministries, and people who have taught me more in the past 3 years about Jesus and the Bible than I did in the span of 7 years deeply immersed in Christian culture. And that’s a ‘God timing’ thing for sure because just months after I prayed that simple prayer, I became pregnant.
So I became a mom and thought “what is time?” and “what is life?” Maybe you can relate? I was absolutely loving that season since I’ve always wanted to be a mom but time felt disorienting, plus - I had postpartum anxiety. But once my son hit 3 months is when the revelation really came to me.
The revelation was that for the next few decades, while my son is at home and perhaps we have other kids, what I have grown to know “quiet time” to be will drastically change with each season. Some seasons we won’t sleep at all and others we will, like right now since he’s a toddler that sleeps through the night (glory hallelujah!).
But later when he’s out of the toddler stage, life will look different. When he has school and friends, life will look different. Nothing will ever be the same for too long as long as we are parents. And the same goes for my entrepreneurial journey.
In 2018, I founded a ministry and small business called Full Collective. Since launching it I continued to work full time jobs at a Church and then later at an organization where I served human trafficking survivors and refugees. Just last year in September 2022, is when I fully left full time work to be home with my son more and to work for myself through my business, as well as through speaking and writing professionally. Again, a different season that’s nothing like my life in 2018 when I started my ministry or even 2022.
One of the most important things we can do for our spiritual health and connection with Christ is to acknowledge that life will hold seasons. When we don’t do that - two things will happen:
- We won’t adjust as well to the transitions and therefore have a harder time
- We’ll try to do the same thing we did in other seasons when the same thing can’t apply or work in our current season.
Then, that leads us to feel stuck and even perhaps places us in a spiritual rut. Honestly, that’s how I felt until my son turned 3 months and he shifted into a new season of his infancy. ThenI realized this would keep going until he left my house one day as an adult. So what do I do now?
This walk with Christ is beautiful, blessed, challenging, and mysterious. It ebbs and flows and looks differently all throughout our life. My quiet time right now isn’t the same everyday. Sometimes it’s at night before I go to sleep. Sometimes it’s right before I start working for the day at my desk. Sometimes it’s at my coffee table with my son around early in the morning.
Here’s what it looks like for me right now:
- Reading a specific book of the Bible (for me, I’ve realized this is not a season to be guided by a bible study guide)
- Having a time of Bible study to draw closer to the Lord and have it be seperate from time I study God’s word to write, create content, prepare for a message, etc.
- For my personal quiet time - I put my thoughts in a specific journal where I write out things based on this structure I’ve used for years:
- Pray - talk to God before I listen to His word and ask the Holy Spirit to be my primary commentary, clarifier, and only convictor.
- Read - reaching the passage I choose. I usually do one chapter at a time.
- Repeat - I read the passage again or listen to it audibly (usually in a different translation/version)
- Reflect - I write out my thoughts of what I feel the scriptures are communicating and how it points me to God and His heart. I also write out questions in this section.
- Research - If I have time or feel it’s needed in the moment. I’ll do a little resarch on Logos Software/app or online to learn more.
- Remain - I consider what I can remain in when it comes to what I just read. How do I want it to dictate my day, heart, mind, decisions, and connection with Christ.
- If time doesn’t allow me to do that structure - I read God’s word and sit in it for a few minutes before I pray.
It’s not always in a specific place and time everyday. It didn’t look like this when my baby was born 5 years ago, but right now in this season of life of mothering a 2 year old, being a wife, attending to home, writing a book, and doing everyday life things for Christ and my community - this is how it looks like and I’m content with it.
I have found freedom in that. And you too, friend, get to live in freedom.
This how my walk with Christ and how my life is structured. Maybe that’s not your story but what’s important is that you acknowledge your story and live in it with deep intention in such a way that your time with Christ is always a priority even if it changes in each season of life.
Maybe for you it’s listening to the Bible while you cook and then before going to bed writing reflections from the scriptures you listened to or if you’re able, asking a friend/family member/spouse to be with your baby everyday at a ceratin time so you can do that if distractions keep you from being in His Word or waking up before everyone to set out that separate time or allowing a Bible study book to guide you through a book of the Bible or something all together different.
It’s okay to grieve how it used to be while it’s also good to embrace what it is right now. He simply wants to be with us and isn’t looking for it to look a specific way. Our heart posture should be to want to simply be with Him back, everyday in every moment with every intention of purposefully noticing He doesn’t leave us just because our season has changed.
Pricelis Dominguez is committed to helping the body of Christ live justly and be healthy in their walk with Christ. She is the Founder and CEO of Full Collective - a ministry that ignited women to be sowers of God's Word and growers in their God-given callings. She is also the creator of the annual conference in NYC called Sowers Summit and the host of the Yas and Amen Podcast. Pricelis is an advocate, coach, Bible teacher, writer, and entrepreneur. Pricelis holds two Masters Degrees in the fields of educational leadership and social work is currently in Seminary. In 2024, Pricelis will publish her first trade book with Brazos Press. Pricelis is a Black Latina living in NYC with her husband and son.