Depending on whether you went to church or not as a child, and if you did -the church you grew up in, you will view the idea of spending time with God in different ways.
Many people call it a 'quiet time', others call it their 'daily devotions'.
I was brought up with the notion that this quiet time was something all good Christians did, it happened early in the morning and the length of it was the measure of your faith.
But I was just given a book to read and told I should pray, and basically left to get on with it.
I was never taught about prayer, mornings were painful and I've always struggled to read....so it didn't go so well!
(I have a weird visual impairment, am dyslexic and have autistic tendencies due to childhood trauma. Plus, my disabilities cause too much pain first thing in the morning.)
Over the years I've started to see jokes about how people 'do' their devotions/quiet time, and how a 'liturgy of actions' get built in to them: Make a coffee, sit in a comfy chair, either ensure silence or worship music, and then work through your chosen notes. (To many of you reading this - I know doing that might seem a far off dream!)
But there is something in this.
This liturgy of actions helps to build a habit. The routine can settle us into preparing to speak to and hear from God. To associate a particular place with the peace of meeting with God can give a place to sit, calm ourselves and say that one word prayer 'HELP!' when things get too much.
When you have children, especially children with additional needs, finding a place and regular time for private devotions is nigh on impossible! This is one of the many reasons I started Pondering Platypus Resources!
Many children, especially children with additional needs, need routine, so to identify a specific place or object with a spiritual activity is helpful.
I believe it is the same with adults too, especially adults dealing with constant pressure in the home.
We need to identify that place or object of safety - a chair, a blanket, sitting under the table, the edge of our bed, an electric candle or even a lava lamp.
In the next post on this I will be introducing some ideas on how to choose and create a pondering space.
(Note: If you are children/family worker looking to support families in doing this - first understand the family dynamics of different families: the pressure points, the difficulties, what brings a smile, what gives a feeling of safety).