Build Your Own Quiet Time Basket

Build Your Own Quiet Time Basket -christyfitzwater.comWouldn’t you say that guilt is an interesting accoutrement to the classic Christian “quiet time” of spending time reading the Bible and praying? I recently talked to some women who felt guilty because of their Bible study habits or lack thereof.

Where does much of this guilt come from? I’ll tell you where –it comes from not having any actual rules about quiet times.

Do you realize there are no rules about having quiet times?

Nowhere in the Bible will you read: “Thou shalt read x amount of verses or thou shalt burn in hell” or “Thou shalt pray for three and a half hours or you are a slacker. S.L.A.C.K.E.R.”

There simply aren’t any rules about spending time with God. We just know he loves us and wants us to value his Words and talk to him nonstop.

Let me tell you that I love no rules. This is my briar patch. No fences. No list. Doing whatever I imagine, with every ounce of my creativity. Total artistic license. Yeeees. When I realized there were actually no quiet-time rules, it opened the door for me to have joyful, awake, vibrant times with God instead of guilt-driven, am-I-doing-this-right experiences.

But I know you (most of you), and no rules makes you need to breathe in a paper bag. So I want to give you an idea that allows for freedom but with a little baby fence around it:

Build Your Own Quiet Time Basket

A basket has edges. Does that make you feel better?

But your basket can be little or big. It can be made of tin or hand-woven fabric or wooden twigs or even just cardboard from a leftover Costco run. (But please tell me you care a little more about aesthetics than that, because pretty matters.) It can have handles or no handles. Covered or not covered. Expensive purchase or a great thrift-store find.

Now, what to put in it! Well, the two main activities you’ll want to include in your quiet time are reading the Bible and praying, but what about supplies? (Fun! Supplies are so fun.)

If your soul is a please-just-tell-me-what-to-do-and-I’ll-copy-you soul, then just follow my lead. But if you like to be creative, use my list the way you would a good sourdough starter. So here’s what’s in my quiet time basket:

  1. A “thinking well” box. (I put verses and quotes in here that help me think well. One of these days I’ll write more about this, so that’s all I’m saying for now.)
  2. A second box. (My boxes are papier-mache –super cheap at craft stores.) This second box contains my reading glasses, a pen, memory verses that I’ll teach in AWANA on 3 x 5 cards, and stacks of prayer cards. (Oh my word, I’ve tried 50 different ways over the years, to write out prayers and keep track of who I’m praying for. Finally landed on 3 x 5 cards, because I looooooove 3 x 5 cards. I’ll write about my prayer card system another day, too.) There are also lots of extra 3 x 5 cards in this box, for writing down important stuff. Sometimes I’m just like, “Oh my word. That is so good. I have to write that down!”
  3. Bible.
  4. A notebook. (For writing stuff.)
  5. A simple devotional book. (For the running-late or didn’t-sleep-well or my-brain-is-tired days.)
  6. A not-simple devotional book. (I like to read challenging theological books written by seminary professors.)
  7. This isn’t in my basket, but I also always bring my phone with me to my quiet time, because I love to text specific people and say, “I was just praying for you!” That makes me happy.

Okay, that’s my basket. Sometimes I use a few of my supplies. Sometimes only one. Sometimes (if I’ve got a huge mug of coffee) all six. Stop the train. But there’s no rule. God just wants me to seek him, read his words, and talk to him. And he’s creative (like –made the whole world creative), so doesn’t it make sense that we all can have different ways that we enjoy being with him? Reading, writing, praying, studying, memorizing verses.

Guilt free.

Yes, so relax. Just relax. Start with the basket and a Bible (or Bible app, if you’re one of the cool kids) and have fun exploring the ways you relate best to God. Maybe you need a journal for your prayers (ugh, I hate writing out prayers, but more power to ya.) Maybe you’re in a Bible study at church, and you need to add your workbook to the basket. Maybe you’re from Montana and need a fuzzy blanket in there, too. Hard to pray with cold toes.

Sky is the limit, sister. Sky is the limit.

Now what we all need is for you to light up the comment section below, with any unique ideas that I haven’t mentioned here. Ready? Go.


  1. I have a basket with nice post-its and stickers to mark or highlight a passage in the Bible that I want to come back to. I also have a Journaling Bible and sometimes I document part of my quiet time there.

    1. Okay, I just got up from my desk and put some post-it notes in my own basket. Thanks for the idea!

  2. The Lord loves to randomly put amazing worship songs in my head when I’m praying/worshipping/seeking Him. Listening to/singing worship music can be really good.

    1. Great idea! Someone gave me a devotional book once, that had a hymn and a devotion for each day. I’m going to grab that and stick it in my own basket. I forgot about it. 🙂

  3. I have a bible themed adult coloring book and colored pencils with my quiet time supplies. It gives me “something to do” as I talk with God. Like you, I don’t use it daily, but sometimes it helps keep me focused!

  4. Lots of coloured pens, highlighters, etc. Whether you use them in your Bible or journal. When I write prayers on notecards for myself or notecards with prayers to give to others I like to write special words in different colours to really make it Pop. Words the Holy Spirit was really emphasising.

  5. Being in northern Ontario, I definitely want a snuggly basket!

    But also very important is some mints (for when my eyelids are fighting with me to close). Can’t wait to get started on getting a basket together and decorate it! Thanks.

    1. That’s a challenge -staying awake. Maybe I should put a pack of gum in my basket!

  6. I have a feeling our mutual “Club 31” friend would suggest some chocolate to nibble on. 😉 And Gracie suggested maybe one of those coloring bible journals. Maybe an essential oil roller??

    1. I like the whole coloring journal craze, although I haven’t jumped on board. It seems like if you’re slowing down enough to color that it’s a fun way to meditate. And chocolate -definitely chocolate!!! (I’m on my way to suggest that to Santa right now.)

  7. Diane Nickerson says:

    It took me far too many years to figure what would work best for me and how my brain works. I have finally landed on a pretty pink canvas bag (rather similar to your box) and a 3-ring binder. The bag holds spiral notebooks (because there are different notebooks for different notes, like Proverbs 31/Titus 2, or really good quotes, or whatever book I am reading), the Bible study book I am currently doing, a pen for underlining verses, a pen for taking notes, a ruler (so underlining is neat), and a highlighter for the book(s). It also holds the current Bible reading plan. The binder has sections for prayer…one for my hubby, one for the children, one for the grandchildren, and one for everybody else. There are also a couple of page protector pages so I can put short-term prayer requests from others on sticky notes and attach/detach them easily. It’s portable, makes my heart happy, and makes it far more likely that I’ll stay consistent! LOVE your ideas!!

    1. Okay, you are the professional. Thank you so much for sharing your different way of doing things! And also for letting us know that it’s okay for it to take years for us to figure out our own unique way of keeping track of Bible study and prayer. (And life is always better with sticky notes, if you ask me.

      1. Diane Nickerson says:

        LOL I wish. I just like lists (and what is a notebook except a big list, sort of?). I also know if I don’t have myself organized, I won’t do it. I hope it can help save someone else some of the frustration I went through because I wasn’t doing quiet time “the right way”. And yes, sticky notes and 3×5 cards definitely make the world better!! And pens. And, well, stationery stores in general. 😉

  8. This is so good, Christy! A year or two ago a friend whose Bible study habits I really respect asked me how I was currently studying. I was kind of surprised by her question, assuming she had it all figured out, but she said she tries to mix up her study habits every few months to keep things fresh. I’m not sure why exactly, but this was so freeing to me. We don’t have to be stuck in a rut. There is freedom here!

    1. Thanks, Katie! Freeeeeeeeeesh. Yes! I think “mixing things up” surely makes God smile. He made our female brains, after all.

  9. Sharon Beach says:

    Morning Cristy. I’ve so enjoyed your blog and look forward to each one. I was the Children’s Supervisor for Bible Study Fellowship for 13 years. During that time I used many of your writings to encourage the Children’s leaders I trained. After I retired from the children’s program I had to organize my quiet time differently. I had an oval box my daughter-in-law gave me years ago that I had tried to use for lots of different things but nothing really worked and it was just decorative for years. Now it is my devotions basket and it has been super. Just big enough, the lid keeps it private, and it still looks pretty. I’ve enclosed a picture. It contains 3 devotionals, a Bible, a notebook and various sticky notes and a pen. It sits beside a chair in an empty bedroom. Perfect for just me and God. Thanks so much for your encouragement, wisdom, and helps and humor.

    1. Thanks for the sweet encouragement, Sharon.

      Nobody does children better than BSF. What a great 13-year investment you made!

      I like your idea of having something with a lid, since it is a private little world we’re building -just us and the Lord.


    Christy, I love this!! I like to give quiet time baskets and this is the time of the year when I do. So….could you please
    tell us about your “thinking well” box soon? 🙂

    1. Oh my word -you give quiet time baskets as a gift? Best idea EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I want to write more about my thinking well box in 2019, but I’ll just tell you that I write down verses and quotes from Bible-rich books that help me in how I think about myself, God’s attitude toward me, relationships, etc. They cards are arranged by category.

      1. LORELEI SMERDEL says:

        Thank you! I better get to work! 🙂

    2. Diane Nickerson says:

      Such a great idea!!! A quiet time basket would be such a wonderful gift!

      1. kathy metcalf says:

        I would be really nice to see pictures of your and others baskets. 🙂

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