As I was helping my 8 year old son prepare his part in teaching our weekly Come Follow Me for our family study group, this verse jumped out to me. I asked him how we can best hear that still small voice that is mentioned in 3 Nephi 11:3-6.
He immediately said, “We have to be listening and take the time to open our ears like we do in our quiet time at home.”
“Quiet Time” is something, quite honestly, that I instituted in our home March of this year, as a means for this tired, newbie homeschooling mama to get a little time each day to herself to think and regroup.
However, I also quickly saw the benefits for my children during the week, and my husband and I decided to designate an hour of “Quiet Time” every Sunday for all of us.
It has truly been a wonderful experience as we’ve used this time to put away technology, remove distractions and teach our children how to study His words, ponder, reflect and “Hear Him.”
With the constant influx of noise, information and distractions around us, this has been a wonderful tool for helping our children understand the “how” and “why” of receiving inspiration and revelation.
What is quiet time? Well, quiet time began once we all ended up at home-dad included, due to the pandemic and the closing down of schools and businesses. We were all scrambling to make it work, but ended up with a lot of noise, clutter, and in my opinion, way too much screen time due to all of the schoolwork being doing online as well as the online social interactions with friends.
In desperation for some quiet and solace one day, I designated that each day, the hour after lunch would be spent as a “Quiet Time” of sorts where everyone would be excused to their bedroom to do something that didn’t make noise (that part was originally for my benefit).
There was a bit of resistance at the start, but this turned into something that everyone looks forward to amidst the constant noise and bizarre turns that 2020 has had in store for all.
The screens and devices were left upstairs on the kitchen table, and everyone was invited to read, draw, craft, create poems and stories, or work on their individual goals that we discuss monthly as a family. I even encouraged them to practice some meditation and mindfulness and saw so much change in each family member as we continued this daily quiet time habit.
One Sunday, we asked each family member to share their thoughts on their designated Come Follow Me section that had been assigned. Sunday prior. No one had done it-admittedly, even me. The week had been so busy with school, at-home piano lessons and sports practices, etc. that was hadn’t devoted the time to this sacred study.
So, we extended Quiet Time to include Sundays in addition to weekdays, with the invitation that each of us spend the time studying the scriptures, reflect on our assigned section of Come Follow Me, and write in journals. Three of our four children also have accounts on Family Search and spend time learning about their ancestors.
This has led to some wonderful discussions about putting away distractions and intentionally setting aside time to #HearHim. We have each become a little better through this quiet time and we are planning to continue doing this on Sundays even post-pandemic.