Friday, February 19, 2010

My quiet time basket

I'm feeling better today, so much better that I can (finally) write one of the posts I promised long ago.  When I mentioned having a quiet time basket, many people asked how I set it up.  Mine has changed a little through the years.

I think it was in an Emilie Barnes' book that I read about her quiet time basket and I originally set mine up much like hers... a Bible, a devotional book, a journal, letter writing materials, tissues, etc.  I've had really big quiet time baskets with more stuff than necessary.

My basket now contains my NIV Bible, My Utmost for His Highest, The Valley of Vision, a notebook, and whatever "teaching or inspirational" book I'm reading at the time. I have enjoyed many devotional books through the years but I keep coming back to My Utmost for His HighestThe Valley of Vision?  Pure delight.  It makes my heart sing.  I also like Devotional Classics, which contains the work of many church fathers (and mothers).

I no longer keep "extra" stuff in the basket like letter writing materials or tissues.  I have found it very helpful to have a "teaching or inspirational" book kept just for quiet times. These are quite often my teachers and mentors in the Christian walk.  The best are those which can be read one chapter and set aside, then another chapter later, perhaps rereading a chapter now and then... by gifted teachers.

The book I am just starting is A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Mediations on God and Trouble by Paul David Tripp.  In the past, I have tucked numerous books by Elizabeth George, W. Phillip Keller, and John Piper in the basket.  I think the book that has the honor of returning to the basket most often is Holy Habits by Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt... it speaks to me.

I like an occasional Phyllis Tickle book, especially the Farm in Lucy series (and yes... I know she is not of a conservative persuasion but she also speaks to me).  Sally Clarkson's book Dancing With My Father (in manuscript form) was a very good quiet time book last year.  Although with that book, I couldn't leave it just for quiet times... I read it through quickly.  :)

My current basket was a thrift store purchase, obviously having been originally sold for Valentine's Day.  But I like red.  It fits nicely in the cabinet below the old TV in the living room, close to the table where I most enjoy taking my first cup of coffee and pondering.  Human nature is such that quiet times are accomplished more if we make it easy.

It's so easy to keep nearby or take out to the deck in nice weather... sunshine, warmth, flowers... someday. :)


Olde Common Scents said...

Love your quiet time basket! It is a great and peaceful idea. We have a family wish bowl that is so peaceful as well, (On my blog).

I'm currently reading Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas. Ever read it?

Thanks for sharing your quiet time basket. Does it include cotton for ears. I need that sometimes ;)

Emily said...

Hi Brenda,
I enjoyed the description of your quiet time basket, and I agree that if we make it difficult, we will be less likely to make it a habit to spend time alone in prayer, meditation, and God's Word.

My quiet time "basket" is actually the back of my couch. Since I must lie down to rest my back or ice it a few times each day, that is the perfect spot to store the books from which I glean inspiration and encouragement.

Right now I have my Bible, Common Sense Christian Living by Edith Schaeffer, Prayer for My Child by Tim A. Spilman, Let Go by Fenelon, Experiencing God Through Prayer by Madame Guyon, and Meditations on the Heart of God, also by Fenelon. Along with notebook, pen, and pencil, I can have my own little retreat. Thank you for sharing!

Have a blessed day in the Lord, and I hope you're back to normal health very soon.

myletterstoemily said...

love the quiet time basket. i have a quiet time
antique child's rocker next to my kitchen table.

mostly my bible and devotionals stay on the
table, but when i have to whisk them away they
are still where i can see them.

do i sound paranoid or overly attached. :)

you bet!

Linda said...

I just cleaned mine out. I was hoping that would stimulate me to get back to it, but it hasn't. I have these times. Maybe I need to start a new one. Linda

Vee said...

Ahhh, yes, you've shared about your quiet time basket before and I set one up that very day. It is no more and I really don't know why. Must've gone the way of spring cleaning or something. Anyway, it was a habit that I enjoyed for a few months and faded away and haven't thought about until right now. Perhaps I'll find my basket again and put it back together.

I have a terribly challenging time reading the Donald Miller types of the world. A lot of what they write is incredible, but then I find myself wondering how much one should absorb from a person whose values are so far from my personal conservative values. It's a sticky wicket for me. I've probably mentioned this before. I think that, by now, I've probably mentioned every single thing at least once before. Ha!

Adrienne said...

Hi, Brenda -
I loved having a peek inside your quiet time basket! Mine has my Bible, my journal, The Comforting Presence of God by Nancie Carmichael, Answering God's Call To Quiet by Neva Coyle and A Place Called Simplicity: The Quiet Beauty of Simple Living by Claire Cloninger. I think I need to put a couple of these books away, finish one and then pull another one out. It seems I need to simplify my basket!

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Why was I not surprised to learn that you and I keep very similar items close at hand and with our Bibles? My Utmost for His Highest and Valley of Vision are my two favorites. I replace them with something else, from time to time, but they always end up back in my own basket.

So glad to hear you are feeling better! Myself? I'm down again with yet another wretched virus. This has been quite the year!

Anonymous said...

I also enjoy Oswald Chambers and John Piper. I have purchased Holy Habits but have not yet read it.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better!!

Your basket is a cute idea! And the storage of it as well! That is my need...either pare down more (and working on that) and find better ways to store things in attractive ways!
Blessings, Elizabeth

Brenda Leyland said...

I was most interested to read your posting, for I remember that idea from Emilie Barnes.

But to be honest, I tried the idea and it never worked for me. I had it sitting there in a corner gathering dust a long while.

My inspirational material tends to gather around my bedside. On top of my night table, and if that gets to overflowing then on the shelves beneath (I won't mention the floor beside)....

Of course we all know the key thing is that we take the time to be with Him, in which ever way that works for us, because He waits with such a longing heart for us to come and be with Him.

Thanks again for sharing your pretty basket of inspiration with us. It was lovely to think of you with it as you rest in His presence.

Happy Weekend!

Abounding Treasures said...

It's a lovely idea but so far, I've not really tried it :o)

Mine sit on the right side of my chair at the table in a stack with pens nearby, but I think this would make taking it outside and to the living room easier and keep everything all together whenever I have to move it because we're having company for dinner :o)

Glad you're feeling better!!

Anonymous said...

Lovely idea. I usually keep my Bible, two favorite devotionals and a pad here and there, but this is so pretty. Inspired to take pictures and post as well. Thank you. Love your blog, btw.