The best way to keep our sanity and joy during this busy week:

Is to spend time with Jesus before each day begins. 

For many, this will be a busy week full of family, food, late nights, early mornings {and in many cases, family dysfunction}.  For others, it will be a week of sadness and remembrances of loss.  Because of holiday movies and magazine spreads, we tend to have higher expectations for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day than we do for the other days of the years, don’t we?  They are special days.   But for those of us who walk with Jesus on a daily basis, every day should be marked by thanks-giving and the celebration of His Life.  These higher expectations put undue pressure on us and on those around us… And this should not be.

In fact, a wise friend of mine said about Thanksgiving expectations, “The truth is that people are going to act on Thursday how they act on Wednesday and Friday.”  That’s SO true!  So, my friends, let’s determine to release ourselves and our loved ones from unrealistic expectations this week, and let’s put our expectations on the ONLY ONE who can meet them: Jesus Christ.

Psalm 39:7 tells us, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.”  If our expectations are in God alone, He will NOT disappoint.

The question then becomes, “How do we keep our expectations on God and off of others?”  The answer: We must meet with Him and be filled with Him each day.  And that’s really hard – especially if the house is full of company and the schedules are packed tight.  But if we don’t get away with Jesus and seek His filling, our actions and reactions will be full of self, and it will not be good.

One Thanksgiving break, while visiting away from home, I knew I would need God’s filling, so I asked the Lord to help me not miss my time with Him.  I did this not because I wanted to check it off of my scheduled “to do” – but because I NEEDED Him and His Strength, Word, and Presence to be within and out flowing from my life.  And praise God, with the Lord’s help, I got to meet with Him at the start of every day. He helped me keep my focus on Him, and helped me operate from His filling rather than my own “selfish” nature.  And all was well.  My heart stayed expectant on Him and my family was released from those unrealistic expectations, to the glory of God!

As I think back on that Thanksgiving, I can’t help but chuckle and hear the background music to “Mission Impossible.” To carve out early morning time with the Lord – especially while sleeping in a room with the rest of your immediate family – may seem like an impossible mission. Therefore, like any “impossible mission,” in order to accomplish it, you have to be “stealth” – and intentional.

Stealth is defined as “moving carefully and quietly, so as to avoid being seen.” This is the goal – having a careful and quiet time with the Lord before anyone else in the room or house sees you!

Here are some tips on making this Stealth Quiet Time work for you.

1. Imagine yourself on a secret mission to meet with Jesus before anyone else awakes, and plan for it the night before. I prepared the things for my QT (Bible, pen, & paper) before I went to bed and placed them, along with a flashlight, under the side of the bed I was sleeping in. Then I prayed for the Lord to awake me before anyone else was awake – and to keep everyone asleep while we met together.

2. When the Lord awakes you – don’t go back to sleep! Thank Him and tell Him “Good morning.” Then ever so gently roll out of bed onto the floor – where your Bible, QT things, and flash light await you. (Be careful not to make a “thud” sound. Grin.)

3. You’re already on the floor, so why not spend some time on your face pouring out your heart to the Lord? Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; In the morning I prepare a prayer, a sacrifice, for you, and wait for you to speak to my heart.” (Amp)

4.  Use a devotional guide or the Proverb of the day – something to get a taste of the Lord’s Word, then respond to Him in praise, thanksgiving, and confession.  After that, stealthily rise up and walk in the Joy of and obedience to the Lord.

This is a quiet time guide I shared with our Sunday School class.  There is a page for each day of this present week.  If you need something to guide you in your quick time with the Lord before your busy days begin, this quiet time booklet will help you pour out and fill up with Jesus.  Then, when bumped this week, He is the one that will spill out of you.

The result?  Sanity and Joy!

Many blessings of the Lord to each of you this week.  🙂

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. You reminded me that I need to ask God to wake me in the morning, because I have found when I do earnestly ask, He always does wake me. Funny isn’t it? Just ask. Thanks for this post.

  2. Thank you for this reminder to remove undue expectations of myself and others.

    Also, oh, I have never seen it written — the stealth quiet time but that is what I have had to do to get at QT in!! I’m not a morning person & no -one expects me to be awake. So I when awake earlier than anyone expects me to (though others might be awake, they have learned to stay quiet & away) then I stay quiet in my bedroom — they think I am still sleeping. Instead, I am meeting with the Lord. And when I come out of the bedroom, I am more ready to face the day. But recently, I’ve gotten away from that habit so the consistency has also gone away… so thanks for the reminder!