the 10th interview in our Dwelling Richly series
I first heard of today’s guest, Kitty Hurdle, during her 31 day series entitled Table Talk: Being Intentional Without Being Awkward. I was so encouraged by her evident love for Christ and her desire to share that through her writing. So after following her writing and social media posting for a couple years, I asked her to be a part of this series. As always, more info + links will be at the end of the interview!
“I love these dark winter mornings for one reason. It means my family stays in the bed a wee bit longer and I get to spend some quiet time with Jesus. I set my alarm for 5:30/6 depending on what my husband’s work schedule was the night before, then crawl out of bed like a ninja and tiptoe to the living room where I’ve laid out my Bible, books and journal.
Now young mommas, hear me say, the first year we had our children and they were getting up multiple times each night, I put no pressure on myself to be up before the sun. I knew that God would provide other pockets of time for me to connect with Him. But now that they are sleeping *mostly* through the nights, the early morning is where it’s at for me.”
“Some days cracking open my Bible feels like returning my shopping cart at Walmart. I don’t really want to do it, but because I know it’s helpful, I do. There are days when I don’t emotionally connect with the Scriptures, but I know time invested in God’s Word is helpful. Other days, I can’t WAIT to be near to God through His Word. It ebbs and flows much like a marriage relationship. Regardless, with God’s help, I ask Him to give me a faithful, diligent heart. I struggled with this a lot last Fall and am excited to have a renewed heart toward reading the Bible. It has really been helpful to use the iBible audio app on my phone and to listen to podcasts that warm my heart to what my soul REALLY wants.
If I’m really struggling to connect and I have childcare, I’ll gather all my favorite books and get some different scenery. A bookstore, hotel lobby, coffee shop, park, whatever. A different environment can do wonders.”
“In the Winter you won’t find me without my robe and house slippers! That sounds so incredibly old ladyish, but those two items are like a hug for my heart.
In the summer, I have a light quilt that I always have wrapped around me in the mornings. I bought it in the midst of some health issues and because of His provisions for me during that time, the quilt always reminds me that His banner over me is love. Random, but true.
Otherwise, I love a good candle and a glass water bottle full of cool water is my home beverage option or if I’m out a hot cocoa or green tea MAKE MY LIFE.”
“This is one of my favorite ways to connect with the Lord. I feel like my brain needs a fairly long runway to get the plane of my spiritual focus off the ground. Personal Retreats are GREAT for this!
Before I was married I’d grab an affordable room at a Bed & Breakfast for a night or two at the end of Fall. I’d review all God had taught me, think through themes and spend time seeking Him for vision and priorities for the New Year. It was sheer bliss to steal away from my work and take time to reflect.
These days, it looks like setting aside the laundry piles, gathering all my stuff and tucking away in the corner of a coffee shop for a half day with the Lord. I aim to do this once a month, in reality it’s a few times each season. It’s a great way to have extended prayer time, review goals and priorities, study Scripture more deeply and journal without being interrupted. I can’t recommend personal retreats enough! Whatever you’ve got to do to get some time to unplug from the daily grind and reconnect your soul deeply with the Lord, do it!!! I’m putting my 1/2 days with the Lord for 2016 on the calendar NOW!”
Creatively. Spending time in God’s Word WITH them has been a huge win for me in my parenting and my own growth. But bottom line, it comes down to me getting up earlier than they do, using their rest times, listening to podcasts as I grocery shop and carpool and falling asleep to the iBible app. I just try to take it any way I can get it!!! I do a Wednesday morning Women’s Bible Study at a local church (that has free childcare) and it is wildly encouraging. You can hear the audio of that study here.
There’s so much to say here. This is a day-by-day journey that’s unfolding for us. Most days we read Jesus Calling for Kids or The Jesus Storybook Bible at breakfast. (Or if we are rushed, we listen to the audio version of these books as we drive to school!) Then we pray a blessing for their day before they hop out of the car. As we go about our days we try to look for spiritual analogies and ways to integrate Jesus into daily life. Over dinner we try to have some sort of round-the-table discussion, which at this stage is very short-lived, but it will hopefully lay a foundation for our family life. Then, at bedtime we snuggle, read and pray.
We try to creatively keep the Sabbath day holy by not making them clean their room or do chores from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. We are just now beginning to think through encouraging them to have their own personal time with God.
Mostly at this age, we love reviewing catechism, Scripture memory from church and school, online resources and listening to podcasts. Once a week we try to have a “family meeting” watching time where we read, sing and pray together.
What is your biggest takeaway from today’s interview?
I’m challenged to look for creative ways to make time for spiritual retreats. Even typing that out feels slightly impossible! But I know it would be so beneficial for my spiritual life – even if it means getting up at an insanely early hour every once in a while. And if I’m going to do it, I better plan it in the months before this new wee one arrives!
Thank you, Kitty, for sharing your time and heart with us!
Kitty has been married to Joel since August 2007.
They have 2 adorable children and are heavily involved in
ministering to college students through Campus Crusade for Christ.
Find all the Dwelling Richly interviews here!