Solitary Places.

Confession:  Lately my quiet times have been :nonexistent: 

For those of you who don't know me well, these days I am a student at The Salvation Army's Evangeline Booth College, and I'm finishing up my second and final year of training here.  I'm floating in a sea of class assignments, ministry assignments, fellowship opportunities, moving boxes, Legos, princess shoes, and jars of inchworms.  Although I'd like to blame my rushed mornings (where my prayers are especially short and sweet) on my busy schedule and season of life, I know that digging in my heels especially in these times will mean spiritual habits that can weather many, many storms.

In God's perfect timing, I have been lavishly ministered to by the women behind www.donotdepart.com and www.inspiredtoaction.com.  Both the HelloMornings and Savoring Living Waters ebooks I picked up from those blogs revived in me a dedication and stick-to-it-iveness for my quiet times with the Lord.

As I was thinking over my HelloMorning action plan, I realized that I have very formidable challengers to my quiet time success.  And they have defeated my efforts many times before!  Light sleepers.  Two to be exact (Butterbean and Buddy, my three year old and nearly two year old).  In our campus apartment this is even more a challenge, as most of our rooms have a connecting wall and hallway.  There have been so many well-intentioned mornings that have ended in chaos as I've crept past a doorway or dropped something accidentally in the living room.  Quiet time game over.

As I thought it over, the Lord gave me this verse:

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed."  Mark 1:35

Left the house.  What?  Left the house.  Really?  Left the house.  The light dawned.  How do I make that work?

Sounds of Choirs Singing ::Enter "Solitary Place Backpack"::

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My old backpack!  It's gathering dust most days, and now it will exclusively be my mobile quiet time space.  Every night I'll be certain it's full and ready by the front door with everything I need to leave the house and find a solitary place.  I live on a college campus right now, so I'm blessed with lots of options for my destination.  Maybe my new home in June will offer a small park or nearby recreation area.

So here's the packing list so far:  Key Word Study Bible, Kindle with my other two study Bibles loaded on, highlighters and pens, iPod Shuffle with worship and excercise playlists, prayer journal, study journal, devotional I'm working through, and my brand new $3 water bottle (taking care of the temple while I'm taking care of my soul).

I'm beginning my own personal HelloMorning challenge on April 1st.  My resurrection celebration with the Lord is my commitment to quiet times each morning from now until my graduation and moving date the first weekend in June.  Family and friends will be my accountability partners.   I am hoping that this window of time will cement this part of my daily routine as a bona fide thick and thin habit.

Anyone want to join in with me?  Comment below if you'd like to take part in the challenge!  Accountability is key to success, so come along!

Heeellloooo, Morning (and Hand, Foot, and Mouth Cooties).

We're Live.