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 Highest. The 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. :)