[smawr-guhs-bawrd, -bohrd or, often, shmawr-]


1. a buffet meal of various hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, salads, casserole dishes, meats, cheeses, etc.
2.an extensive array or variety: The company has a smorgasbord of employee benefits.

Don’t you love a good smorgasbord? Buffets are always so much fun! Although we typically mean FOOD when we consider a buffet or smorgasbord, I want to offer you a Quiet Time Smorgasbord today!

At this blog, it has been my desire to provide tools that you can use to navigate through trials. My assumption is that most of us, when we are faced with suffering, trials, or a trauma of some kind, need some strategies to fall back on so that we don’t find our way into the pitfalls that have taken us down in the past.

Throwing a pity party, raging, “numbing out,” are all tastes from one kind of “buffet table.” We can select those to face a trial, but typically, when we finally get a hold of ourselves, we discover that things aren’t any better for our having used one of those tactics. In fact, things may be worse!

So what can we do to make it through our trial differently?

That is what this blog series is about.

In Christian circles, we often hear about the value of “taking time with God,” or having a “quiet time.” And many of us like the idea, but we really don’t have a clue what it means. So I thought I would offer a list of “activities” that a person could pick from for having a “quiet time” or “alone time with God.” Think of this as a buffet or smorgasbord! Or “How to Have a Quiet Time.” Pick as many items as you like…a couple, one, or a bunch and enjoy feasting!

  1. Play/sing along with a song from the Trial to Triumph play list (or one of your own favorites). Choose a song that is a prayer to God and pray the words even as you sing along with or listen to them. You might even print the lyrics out to use as a devotional reading.
  2. Open your Bible to a psalm and add to your God List.
  3. Pray Scripture for yourself or for a friend or family member.
  4. Work on memorizing a passage from the Bible–you can use the Bible Verse Memory app, if you have it.
  5. Write a song or a rap. 🙂
  6. Add to your Gratitude blog or journal.
  7. Sit in God’s presence. Close your eyes and just rest for a few moments, knowing he is there. Still your mind.
  8. Read an entry from the Streams in the Desert devotional app.
  9. Take 5 things from your God List and have a Praise-Fest.
  10. Journal–hand write or type–a prayer to the Lord.
  11. Using a song or hymn from a songbook or hymnal, invite God to be to you what is spoken of in the song or to impart the truths in the hymn to your heart.
  12. Use Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut app to work through a difficult emotion or situation. If emotional eating isn’t your issue, you can still use this app to renew your mind about a situation or emotion.
  13. Read a passage of Scripture you have never read before. Like Hosea, Haggai, Jude, or a chapter in Ezekiel. “Interrogate” the text with Who, What, Why, When, How, and So What? questions.
  14. Prayer walk – go for a walk either around your neighborhood or other favorite location. As you go pray for people and situations that come to mind–or have a Praise-Fest as you walk! Or express thanksgiving to God as you walk for anything and everything! The sunshine (or rain), the plants you see and the creativity of God expressed in each leap and flower petal, the animals, the sky, etc.
  15. Use the concordance in your Bible or an online concordance and look up a topic that is relevant to your life right now. Jot notes down in your journal to record what you learn.

You can pick as many of these activities as you like and come up with your own “blend” for your quiet time. Do two of them one day, a different three another day, one yet another day. If you try this, your “quiet time” will never get boring! Honest! 🙂

I hope this gives you a start on some ideas for “How to Have a Quiet Time” that will encourage and inspire you. I would love to know what you decide and how God meets you in your time. Share with us here in the comments! If you have other ideas to add to this list, please do! Let’s see if together we can come up with an even longer list of things we can choose from to have an awesome quiet time!