It's a new year, and that usually means everyone sets out with lofty goals they desperately want to implement in their lives. And I hope all of you accomplish that. Seriously, even if you only last a month something is better than nothing right? Better to aim and fail than not aim at all.
Anyhow, often one big goal is to be in the Word more (at least for Christians). So I thought I would share what my quiet times are consisting of these days, in case it helps you to be in the word more as well.
In October I picked up a Jesus Calling devotional. I have heard so many people rave about how good it is, and I needed something short but good to focus me at the end of pregnancy. I am so glad I did. She has written the short devotionals for each day as if Jesus is speaking directly to you. So instead of it reading "we should focus on Jesus..." it says "you should focus on Me my child." Such a small shift that makes a big impact. I really recommend it. Even if you just have it on hand for days when you know you can't do your longer study or something.
So currently, I start with Jesus Calling. It has usually two or three passages at the bottom that the day is taken from, so I read those scriptures next. Almost always one of them is something I really need to meditate on, so I will rewrite it in my journal and just pray through it.
Then I journal some prayers. I have never been great at journaling, but in September a friend gave me a journal as a sweet gift out of the blue. That motivated me to use it so the gift wouldn't be wasted, and now it's turned into a habit. Yay! My journaling sometimes is long complete sentences. Sometimes it's phrases or single words about what I am praying for bc I don't have time to write the whole thing, so I pray in my head which is much faster.
As of Jan 1st I also added two more elements to my time: scripture memory and gratitude for the day. I have tried to be good at memorizing several times then given up. But I am gonna try once again. So I signed up to do the challenge with Beth Moores blog. You commit to memorize two scriptures a month. It seemed doable to me. So I write my verse each morning in my journal, then look it up to check my work.
After that, I add to my gratitude list. I am just keeping a running list of things I am thankful for. No certain number a day, just as many as I can identify in whatever time frame I have. I am doing this to try to cultivate a heart of gratefulness and the ability to see God's hand all around me. (Great book about that is 1,000 gifts by Ann Voskamp)
So though it sounds long, all of this can be 5 minutes in the morning, or an hour. It's flexible and that's what's working for me right now. I am just not in a stage of life where I can do a long workbook study or something. And in the past I have let that keep me from digging in, bc I didn't feel like it was enough. But the Word of God is powerful. Anytime spent with Him will change you. Period. Something is better than nothing.
I am also going to try a new bible reading plan this year, but take my time with it (so I don't think I'll finish it in a year or maybe even two). It's where you read each book of the bible 20 times. Yep, 20 times. To really let it get in your heart and mind. Find out more about that here: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-change-your-mind1#When:08:01:00Z (you will have to copy and paste bc my phone doesn't let me do hyperlinks).
Two other great resources you may want to check out are:
- shereadstruth.com : they will email you a short bible study each day, or you can download the app or even order a hard copy of you prefer. Their studies are great.
- doorposts.com : they have several Bible Studies for Busy Mamas in their shop. And they are designed to take 5-10 minutes a day. I did the Colossians 3 one and it was soooo good! Try them out.
So what are you doing this year to get in the Word? Share your ideas in the comments to help others get ideas!
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