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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Blue Chair

Special Note: Today’s blog is a little longer than usual but I think that you will enjoy it because it describes how I learned to form the habit of a regular “Quite Time” with the Lord. The Blue Chair is another setting whereby I enter “The Garden of My Heart.”

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8 NIV

As a child, I was raised knowing that it was important to read the Bible everyday. As a teenager I thought that reading the Bible was boring, when I became a young adult I was too busy, and after becoming a mother it was impossible! Nevertheless, all of these empty excuses heaped tons of guilt onto my shoulders. As a young mother I asked, “God, how can I possibly have time to read the Bible and spend time alone with you everyday?” This was a question that repeatedly haunted me, and then it happened, the blue chair!

The blue chair was a comfortable, cozy chair. It was one of the two pieces of furniture that my husband and I purchased when we first set up housekeeping. The blue chair sat in a corner of our family room. It fit my body perfectly. I loved it! One day, I got the bright idea to make a spot in our home where I could have a “Quiet Time.” My eyes went straight to my favorite blue chair. Next to the chair I placed a small table to hold a lamp, my Bible, and still leave enough room to set my favorite morning beverage, coffee. During the winter months I added a comfy afghan to the back of the blue chair. The picture was perfect; this was my little corner of the world. At last, a place to read my Bible and pray.

I would love to say that this was a perfect plan that was flawless and worked immediately, but that’s just not the way it played out. When I first purposed in my heart to set up an area in our home for a “Quite Time” retreat, I would often fail to sit down in the blue chair. Everyday I would look at the blue chair, and I knew in my heart that the blue chair was intended to offer me a place to read my Bible and to pray. Sadly, I would often pass by the blue chair and promise myself that I would get in the chair as soon as I finished whatever important chore I was currently doing. Some days I would make it to the blue chair and other days it would seem less of a priority.

No matter what the desire of my heart was, the busyness of life had a way of pulling me away from the very thing that in my heart I really wanted to do. There were still many days that I missed my appointment with God in the blue chair. The blue chair also became a very present and annoying reminder to me that I should have been in a place where I was not!

Over the years, I became more intentional and I frequently made time for sitting in the blue chair. I actually looked forward to this personal encounter with God and I couldn’t wait to wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sit in the blue chair. On the days that I absolutely couldn’t make it I began to feel cheated. When I climbed into bed at night, I regretted that I had missed a very special time that day with my Lord.

As my time in the blue chair increased, so did my need for a more organized space. I brought in a small basket and placed it on the floor next to the blue chair to hold my Bible, a journal, a pen and a devotional book. I then progressed to a larger sized basket, to hold even more study materials. Over the years the need for more space continued to grow as I accumulated even more of the same! Before I knew it, I had to move a small bookcase into the family room and sit it next to the blue chair for the exclusive purpose of holding my ever growing collection of reading and study materials.

As time passed, my appointment with God in the blue chair became a regular habit. I was finding that the time I spent alone with God was indeed sweet and enjoyable. It was also comforting, and encouraging. The blue chair became the regular place where I found peace and strength. It was a place where I could pour out my pain and frustration, a place to leave my guilt, a place to praise and worship God, and a place to say thank you to God for all of the many blessings in my life.

One of the bonuses of the blue chair was that my children expected me to be in the blue chair. When they came downstairs before leaving for school, they would often stop by and ask me to pray about their needs for that day. If I wasn’t in the blue chair, they wanted to know why not.

My children no longer live at home. I am now in yet another stage of life. In the past few years I have been known to let things in the house go undone, because I enjoy my time in the blue chair so much. What started as a twenty minute “Quiet Time,” many years ago has at times grown out of control! I now find that I would rather be having my “Quiet Time” instead doing laundry, cooking, or housework. Imagine that!

Over the years, I became acutely aware that I didn’t spend time in the blue chair because I was a person who had finally gotten it all together. No, it really was and still is quite the opposite! The truth is I need to be in the blue chair because that is where I meet with God; I have found God to be my source of strength, my teacher, and my friend. My “Quiet Time” is where I can redirect my focus to God and not my circumstances. The fact of the matter is, my blue chair will need to go to the garbage dump long before I will ever out grow my personal need to be sitting in it each and every day of my life.

At times the enemy tries to lure me away from the blue chair, and sadly to say, sometimes he does. But God is so faithful. Everyday His spirit draws me to Himself and to the blue chair. I now know deep within my soul, that it is in those few minutes of solitude each day that I am able to enter into a sweet personal relationship with my Lord. Of course, God goes with me many places through out the day, but for me it begins in the blue chair.

What God has taught me is that my “Quiet Time,” with Him is and has been an ongoing process. I had to start somewhere and for me it was the blue chair. Each season of my life has brought about many different responsibilities inside and outside of the home. I worked, then I became a stay at home mom, and then I again re-entered the work arena, and now God has provided a time of solitude that I believe is designed for my spiritual submission and refinement. I am so thankful that I followed God’s prompting in my heart many years ago, to set aside a time and a place to gradually form the habit of meeting with Him every day.

Spending time alone with God is a precious time. It is the best source of help, wisdom, love and encouragement that I am able to receive on any given day. The blue chair has been the icon that has daily drawn me to God. It is the place where God meets me where I am, He listens to me, He teaches me, and He pours into my heart His abundant and never ending love for me.

I now try to encourage others to find their own personal “blue chair,” whenever they can, wherever it may be, whatever it may look like. If you already have a special place for your “Quiet Time,” that is wonderful. In that case I would like to encourage you to “raise the bar” by beginning to spend a little more time with God each day. Explore new ways to study, spend more time reading his Word, and spend more time in prayer. Try memorizing some scripture; and learn what God has promised you in his word. You might even try your hand at journaling. One thing for sure, God will already be there in your special spot waiting for your arrival.


Have you ever been able to form the habit of having a “Quiet Time” with God most every day?

If not, what is hindering you from having a “Quiet Time?”

Would you like to try again to form this habit?
What will you do to begin forming the habit?

If you already have a regular “Quiet Time” what will you do to “raise the bar” during your “Quiet Time?”


Dear Lord,

“Quiet Time” with you seems to always elude me. God, I have a simple desire to form this habit and I know that you understand all that I have to do in my life. Help me Lord to make a place and start simple. I pray that Satan will not defeat me in this effort because of my inconsistency. During times of inconsistency, I pray Lord that you will help me to simply start back right where I left off. May I not view my inconsistency as a failure. Help me to see that you are with me in this effort. I know that as I mature in my faith you will help me succeed. I know that there will always be opportunity for me to “raise the bar” a little higher in the time that I spend with you.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.