I am a follower of Jesus first, then a single mum, and then a writer and blogger. I live in western Sydney with my two beautiful boys and a dog. By day I am an environmental consultant and in my spare time I blog as Meet Me Where I Am and write books. My first is called Are We There Yet? My second is a work in progress (much like me).
Do you seek to have a daily 'quiet time'? If so, what does this time look like?
I do. It’s been hit and miss over the years as the various life events occur but it’s important so I’ve kept trying to carve out the time. I would love to be one of those people that gets up at dawn to commune with God but it’s rather more chaotic than that. Most days I read my Bible at 8pm when the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet (well, quiet-ish while the boys run around and “clean their teeth”). If it’s all too much, I do my quiet time in bed when the boys are well and truly asleep. I love it though. It’s not a chore at all. It’s the essence of “me time”.
How do you read the Bible?
For the last couple of years I’ve been reading the Bible from beginning to end on repeat. I wanted to work on my Bible fluency and just understanding the whole collective of books better. This is really working for me. I work to a rough plan of reading the Bible every 6 months and the more I do it the more I love it. At the weekends I’ll dive into one book in particular in more depth as a bonus extra.
What practices have you found helpful for engaging with the Bible?
I am a walking stationery shop. I read the Bible with a million highlighters and coloured pens so I can reference and annotate in the margins of a journaling Bible. I also listen while I read to help me focus.
What does your prayer life look like?
Horrible. I know that prayer is essential, and yet I can’t seem to keep it consistent. Some weeks are great and I can focus and pray in depth and for sometime. Other weeks I can’t seem to find the brain space to even brush my hair let alone take the focussed time to have a conversation with God. Having said that, I have a running conversational commentary with God a lot of the time. As little things happen I find myself thanking God or asking him to intervene. It’s an area I struggle to bring consistency to though.
Do you make use of any catechisms, liturgies or pre-written prayers?
I love the old school prayers. When I can't think of the words, the words of some of the old prayers are poetic and lovely and really express what I’m feeling:
“Be present merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night: that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, mat rest in your eternal changelessness.”
Do you fast?
No. I love food too much. I love the idea of it though. I’ve heard it can really focus the mind when mixed with prayer and Bible study.
Do you practice silence and solitude?
I wish I could. I crave the silence of a whole day to read scripture and pray and really listen to God. I fell like at least once a year I want to go on a silent retreat to stop the world, stop the noise, stop talking and just listen to God.
Do you make use of any other devotional practices? If so, what does this look like and how have they benefited you?
I love a bunch of resources from The Good Book Company. Their explore series is great and their “for you” books that delve into individual books of the Bible are really working for me. I also love the Dwell Bible app audio Bible. There’s a great podcast too - the Ten Minute Bible Hour that works through the book of Matthew a verse or two at a time which is fantastic.
I also read a lot of Christian books. With respect to prayer, Paul Miller’s A Praying Life was the most impactful and practical. I also find that if I read a chapter of a Christian living book at the end of the day, that most often spurs me to spend time in prayer properly before I go to sleep.
How have you failed or struggled in these areas? What has God taught you as a result?
I struggle in all these areas at various points! So much so that I write a book on it (Are We There Yet?). God taught me to persevere. He taught me to be kind to myself but he also taught me to not make excuses.
What routines, habits or rules of life have you found helpful?
I read the Bible in one year and it was kind of boring in all honesty. Then I read it in 3 months and that was amazing but it hurt. So now I read it in 6 months and I love it.
The second habit was from a friend of mine - when we went into lockdown with COVID, she organised a Zoom meeting every morning for 30 minutes so we could all do our quiet time together - no talking or anything, just doing our quiet time together. That more than anything else helped me to solidify my own routines for daily quiet time.
Who has been an example to you?
One of my best friends is an amazing godly woman. She influences me to think of God first when I’m facing decisions or about to respond to something. As I read through the Bible, it becomes clear to me in the amount of times that “they enquired of the Lord” how often people DON’T enquire of the Lord. My friend exemplifies that demeanour and it has taught me so much about leaning on Gods grace and allowing him into all the spaces and decisions of my life. I practice this very imperfectly but it’s something I strive to emulate.
What wisdom would you share with a younger Christian?
Life is going to be hard. There’s a lot of adulting to learn. So stick with God first and let him be your strength - don’t dive into being a grown up and leave God and church as the thing you’ll get to when you’ve got used to adulting. Trust me when I say I’ve been there, and adulting will only be less hard if you find yourself a church community and prioritise God.