Category Archives: Scripture & Such

7 Ways to Find Time for Bible Study

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As part of my goals for this year I’ve decided to get more intentional about my life and the things I do.  One of the big things I wanted to change was to become more intentional about daily Bible study.

I used to spend hours in God’s Word, soaking up everything I could and writing pages and pages of journal notes about my experience.  And oh, how I long for those days!  But at this point in my life it is hard to find that kind of time.  I’ve gone for far too long with little to no Bible study because I’m waiting for the “perfect” time of the day to do it.  I’ve tried getting up at that mythical hour before the rest of my family gets up.  It’s pretty much impossible right now.  My daughter is a rise-with-the-dawn kind of child while my son is generally up for a time in the 4 – 5 am hours.  That just makes for a cranky mama.  And nobody likes a cranky mama.

So while I would love to have my quiet time consistently before the kids get up, that usually doesn’t happen.  And that’s ok.  I’m telling you now that there is no perfect time for Bible study.  You don’t have to do it first thing in the morning.  You don’t have to spend an hour a day on it.  You don’t have to wait until you have that perfectly quiet and uninterrupted time.

Because how often does that actually work out, right?

The main thing is to have a yearning and a desire for Bible study and time talking to Jesus.  To set aside what time you can to learn more about Him and to grow closer to Him.  

So here are a few practical tips for taking time for Bible study and getting more out of your quiet time with God.  Some of them may work for you and some of them may not.  Keep trying until you find something that works for you.

  • Set aside a specific time each day for it.  If twenty minutes is all the time you have today, use it.  And remember, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning.  Utilize the baby’s nap time (cleaning can wait 20 minutes) or another block of time you have.  Just go into the day knowing that at a certain time you have to stop what you’re doing and get into the Word.
  • It doesn’t have to happen all at one time.  Only have 10 minutes right now?  That’s ok.  Read some now and come back to it when you have another 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Keep your Bible open in a conspicuous place.  Every time you walk by throughout the day, stop to read for a moment.  Meditate on what you read between times.
  • Try listening to the Bible instead of reading it.  There are several apps and websites to go to where you can listen to the Bible.  Pop in your ear buds and listen while you wash dishes, fold clothes, take a bath… whenever.
  • Use sticky notes for Scripture memorization.  Are you trying to learn a particular verse or passage?  Write it down on several sticky notes and post them around the house.  No, it’s not chapters of reading at a time.  But on those days when that’s all you can do, at least you have had some meditation on God’s Word.  And don’t forget to switch out your sticky notes every week or so.
  • Wake up 30 minutes early.  Yeah, I know it won’t always work.  But (in my case) my day seems to go better if I’ve started it off in the presence of God.  And if you do get interrupted?  At least you tried.  And maybe it’ll be easier to get back to it during the day if you start it off that way.
  • Have accountability.  Join a Bible study (online, with a church or elsewhere).  Call an accountability partner each day to discuss what you’ve read.  I know I’m way more apt to do something if someone is counting on me.

While I was writing this a question came to me.  What if you don’t have that yearning for daily Bible study anymore?  What happens when you’ve been gone for so long you’ve forgotten what daily fellowship with God feels like?

Friend, I’ve been there.  And I’m not going to lie and tell you an easy answer.  It’s something you’ll have to deal with yourself.  But making the time and the effort to talk and listen to Jesus daily is a step in the right direction.  It’s a habit like any other — the more you cultivate it the easier it is to do. 

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Being Intentionally Focused: Part Two

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Last week ago I asked a question:

What would your life be like if you were intentionally focused?

Since then I have been trying to live intentionally focused.  And God has shown me areas in my life that I need to change in order to grow closer to Him.

So let me be completely honest.  We’re all friends here, right? 🙂

The biggest area of my life that needs to change is the amount of time I spend at Jesus’ feet.  In both prayer and Bible study.  Too often in the mornings I hit snooze and then I’m unable to start my day off with Bible study and prayer.  Because after the kids get up… well, you can just forget being able to have quiet time.  “Quiet” isn’t in a toddler’s vocabulary.

And if I don’t start off my day the right way it is too easy to make excuses that I don’t have time to do it later.  Not only that, but I always, always seem to have a better day when I start the day in prayer and meditation on His Word.

And coincidentally or otherwise (and I really don’t believe in coincidences), this was touched upon in the Bible study I am doing right now.

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Courtney from GMG had this to say:

“The Bible has been read out loud and recorded.  It takes a total of 70 hours and 40 minutes to listen to the entire Bible.  If you do the math and divide that number by 365 days you get 12 minutes a day.  12 minutes a day!  That’s it.  In just 12 minutes a day, we could read or listen to the entire Bible cover to cover –

every.
single.
year.

Doesn’t that seem doable?”

Yes.  Yes, it does.

And in that statement I felt totally convicted.  One of my goals last year was to read the Bible through.  And did I do it?  No.  Sure, there were a lot of days I got sidetracked researching a particular passage and didn’t finish my reading for the day.  But there were also many days that I skipped it all together because I was “too busy”.  Too busy to spend twelve minutes with my Lord and Savior.  Oh, how ashamed I am!

So what does this have to do with being intentionally focused?  If I am not intentionally focused on the one thing that truly matters in this life, how can I intentionally focus on anything else?

Living intentionally focused on studying God’s Word, drawing closer to Him, doing His will, praising His name, talking to Him… That is what should have my greatest focus.  Not the insignificant things this world throws at me.

And if I am intentionally focused on God I suspect I’ll in turn be a much better wife, mother, Sunday School teacher, blogger, friend, etc., etc.  Will it be easy?  No, of course not. Things worth doing are rarely easy.

But it will definitely be worth it.

This post is linked up at:

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When You Feel Discontentment and What to Do About It

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that I posted my goals for 2013.  I’ve learned a lot in the past year about many things — parenting, God, homeschooling, blogging, marriage and definitely myself.  Just to name a few.  🙂

And while I made some great strides on my goals for last year I also failed miserably at some of them too.  (I’ll be writing an update about all of that in a few days.)

One of the most important things that I learned about myself in the past few months is that I compare myself to others entirely too much.  And while that can be a good thing (I think one should always strive to be better and do better) it can also be very, very dangerous.

And I was living dangerously.

I was beginning to live in discontent.

The Bible has a lot to say about being content in your circumstances. (See Phil. 4, Heb. 13, 1 Thes. 5)   I am to have joy and contentment in all things!

I’ve taken the past several weeks to do some soul searching and realigning my priorities with God’s.  I’ve intentionally stayed away from most of the wonderful blogs I read.  Not because these women aren’t great, Godly women, but because my selfish heart wouldn’t stop comparing my life with theirs.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from this blog.  How can I post about being a happy homemaker if I’m living with a spirit of discontent?

Thankfully, and only through God’s help, I am dealing with these issues.  I know discontent is something I’ll have to continue to guard myself against and I know it won’t always be easy.  But who said life was easy, eh? 🙂

If this is something you are dealing with right now as well then I urge you to find joy and contentment in your surroundings.  Maybe try some of these things that helped me:

— Get in God’s Word.  It’s hard to be discontent if you’re in the will of God.  Study, memorize, pray and immerse yourself in the Bible.
— Recognize your triggers and stay away from them.  In my case, I unsubscribed from some of the blogs I read until I could get myself back to the place I needed to be.
— Write down reasons you have to be thankful.  Make a list and keep adding to it.  When you feel the discontent rising, take out the list and read it again.
— Remind yourself that your situation is unlike any other.  Every family is different.  Every person is different.  Your strengths may be my weaknesses and vise versa.  You can’t compare apples to oranges.
— Realize that the real world is not Pinterest perfect.  The bloggers you read usually show the best of themselves.  The pictures and posts you see on FaceBook are usually putting their best foot forward as well.  Most people don’t show their dirty floors or less than perfectly manicured hair and face when they allow you a glimpse into their lives via social media.

So don’t beat yourself up because your family life is not like the Joneses.  Just be the best person God made you to be.

Thanksgiving Bible Study

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If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I love the Good Morning Girls website.  They have such a great spirit and fully embrace their ministry of helping other women grow closer to God.  I have participated in a few of their Bible studies this year and I’m pleased to see that they are doing another one for Thanksgiving.

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The study materials are free to GMG subscribers (click on the picture above for more information).  I love that the theme of the study is to focus our hearts on gratitude.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I am really looking forward to see what I learn during this Bible study!

And it’s not even two weeks long so it doesn’t take a lot of commitment.  It’ll even be over before Thanksgiving.

I’m in… are you?

Thankful Thursdays

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Today I am thankful for a few things that I don’t have pictures for:

The giggles of children — so sweet and innocent.  Well, usually innocent.  Well…. sometimes innocent.  🙂  I just can not help but smile when my children are laughing that full, infectious laugh that they have.  You know the one I mean.  It just fills my heart to bursting!  Thank you, Jesus, for those sweet giggles from my precious children.

My health.  Although I am overweight (and I’m working on that!), I am healthy and strong.  I am able to do the things that I need to do throughout the day.  I can keep up with my kids and keep a (relatively) clean and inviting home for my family.  Thank you, Jesus, for my health.

What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursdays

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Today I am thankful for:

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That first, tiny glimpse that the season is changing.  Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year — fall foliage, the cooler weather, the smell of burning leaves, hot chocolate and snugly blankets.  I just love it.  I could go on and on about it but I’ll spare you the torture. 🙂  Suffice to say it just makes me happy inside to see these few leaves turning red and brown already.

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My lace up shoes.  {And yes, I am a Flylady follower!}  This is a habit that I rebelled against for a long time but I found that I was so much more productive if I had on my shoes!  I still like to go barefooted so I made a compromise.  I put them on every morning after breakfast.  It’s a signal to myself to really start the day.  Well, shoes and coffee.  I need both to have a really productive day.  😉

What are you thankful for?

 

Thankful Thursdays

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Today I am thankful for:

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Baby monitors.  Really, how did parents survive before these were invented?  I mean, don’t get me wrong — sometimes I just want to turn it off and pretend the baby is not crying at 2 o’clock in the morning.  But most of the time I’m thankful for it.  Otherwise I probably wouldn’t get much sleep… I’d be waking up to check on the baby every half hour.  (Ok, probably not anymore, but when both children were bitty babies I was constantly checking on them.)  In my opinion, they are worth their weight in gold.  {And I would totally love to have a one with video capabilities but can’t see spending the money for it right now.  But how nice would that be??}

I’m also thankful for:

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My little garden.  It’s been my first experience growing my own garden (although I used to “help” my grandma with hers when I was a child).  I have found the experience to be quite rewarding, albeit a bit hot this summer.  And there is nothing like fresh produce that has come straight from your very own garden.  Now if I could only keep the worms off of my tomato plants… 🙂

What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursdays

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A few things I am thankful for this week:

Coffee.  Pure and simple.  I like it black, nothing in it.  I don’t even care if it’s hot or cold.  I’m not even really sure if I care if it has caffeine in it (although I’m sure that helps).  I just love the taste of coffee.  It’s so relaxing to just sit down with a good old cuppa coffee.

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Veggie Tales.  I know, it sounds strange but hear me out.   Before I had kids I always said I wouldn’t be one of those parents who put my child in front of the television and let them watch TV.  I was thinking like a hour a week would be more than sufficient.  Like I said, that was before I had kids.  I soon found that sometimes Mommy just needs a few minutes of relative peace and quiet and she will do a lot of things she said she wouldn’t do… and letting kids watch some TV is much better than locking herself in her bedroom to have a mini-meltdown on those days that just aren’t going well.

We still don’t watch (or even have) regular TV channels.  We do have quite a collection of Veggie Tales and What’s In the Bible DVDs.  I guess my conscious doesn’t scream quite so loudly since I know my kids are at least watching wholesome TV instead of some of the stuff they have on air now.

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Thankful Thursdays

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I couldn’t start this blog series off without posting the two things I’m most thankful for!

My personal relationship with my Lord Jesus — and my Bible.  They kinda go hand in hand.  I couldn’t grow as a Christian without the Word of God.

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My wonderful little family.  I can’t even begin to describe how much they mean to me and how blessed I am to be a wife and mother.

 

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursdays

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The word thankful is defined as being conscious of benefit received.  I realized recently how unconscious I was of the benefits I receive.  It’s so easy to just go through the motions; to go through the moments of life and not actually be present for them.  Sometimes we don’t realize how much we have been blessed — in things great and small.

Sometimes we just take them for granted, these gifts from God.

But life is so, so short.

I don’t want to take things for granted anymore.  I want to be present in my life.  I want to live in each moment, no matter how mundane or insignificant it seems at the time.  Because those are the little moments that make up life.  Those are the moments in which I should be thankful.

I have been blessed beyond measure.  God has given me so much.  The least I can do is give Him thanks for those things.  To just take a moment and be conscious.  Take joy in the little things.  Be thankful for everything.

So each week I will be highlighting a few things that I am thankful for during the week.  I think this will be a way to help me stay joyful and be thankful for what I have been given.

To be conscious of the benefits I have received.