It was a few weeks ago when I went searching for my Bible. I couldn’t imagine where I had put it. I checked all the regular places– by the computer, on the corner cupboard, in the bathroom, by my bed, inside my purse. It was M.I.A.
Finally, finally, we located it… in the car, where it had been since the last Sunday.
With all the changes going on in our lives I’ve found that my Bible time has swiftly slipped through the cracks. And with the realization that an entire week had passed since I’d opened it, and the fact that I just shared in a podcast how reading the Bible changed my life, came a burning desire to get myself back on track. Quick. Before summer caught me up in its current.
I’ve been making some changes, putting some things back into place and introducing new life-with-children versions of my old practices. Here are the five main things I’m doing to get more of God’s Word into my daily life:
1. Proverbs with breakfast
Mr. Richey was my second grade teacher. I’m sure he taught me many valuable things but there is one that stands out: Proverbs has 31 chapters and many months have 31 days. He encouraged us to read a Proverb every day and grow wise.
My daughter is in second grade, and when we were trying to decide what to do for family devotions, Mr. Richey’s words came back to me. It turns out that reading a chapter of Proverbs a day creates really great teaching-times for kiddos.
And it also turns out that I need the daily reminder to be training up my child in the fear of the Lord. (If you don’t know what that means, I’ll tell you in 8-year-old talk: “A deep, deep, deep respect. Fear because He’s big and wonderful but not being ‘afraid’ because we know He loves us.”)
2. Memorize a verse a week
It’s not hard, y’all. For real. When I was younger with more brain space and more time, I would memorize by the chapter. Let me tell you, that ain’t happenin’ today.
But it turns out that a verse or two at a time isn’t that difficult. In fact, all I have to do is write the verse on a sheet of paper (Use colored construction paper. Seriously. It’s way more fun.) and say it once a day. By the end of the week, I’ve got it. Of course, I’m not going for any Esther 8:9 here, just some nice simple verses like Psalm 121:1-2.
3. Keep a verse in your pocket and your Bible at your fingertips
When I was a teenager, struggling along to learn how to follow God (Hey, not much has changed!) someone told me to write Ephesians 6:10-18 (the armor of God) on a 3×5 card and keep it in my pocket. By the end of that season, the card was worn and ratted, and my heart was calmer and my spirit more in-tune with Christ.
Over the years I’ve used different Scripture verses, the latest being Romans 8:1-11, and I’ve kept them on me– in my pocket, with my cellphone, in my wallet– wherever they need to be to catch my eye.
Another option? Just carry your Bible with you. Everywhere. Stick it in your back pocket, in your purse (several years ago I went through my purses and threw out every single one that my Bible didn’t fit inside), or keep a copy in the car.
There are dozens of moments in a week when I have 5-7 minutes to wait, and if my Bible is on me, I can open it up and keep reading. If I don’t know where to go or what to read, I always head to 1 John or Romans.
4. two words: audio Bible
Seriously. You can get free apps for smart phones (or so I’m told, I actually still own a not-so-smart phone which is still too smart for me, thankyouverymuch), or listen online, or bite the bullet and purchase the entire CD collection. <-Yup, that was my choice.
But it works. It is simple and easy and with just a few clicks, your home can be filled with the spoken Word of God. And it’s good, friends. Very good.
5. Read a “story-book” to the kids
While it’s true that there are large sections of Scripture that children will struggle to understand, there are also entire books that can capture their interest. With an eight-year-old girl around the house, when story-time rolls around we often go right for Esther or Ruth– and read the whole book in one sitting. It’s a story and she will sit through an entire historical chapter novel, so why not a book of the Bible?
We’re hoping to read Jonah this week and then we’ll probably be back to Ruth since that’s her favorite.
Every few years I like to do a simple “overview” study of Scripture, to remind myself of the context and placing of the events. I’m currently using The Bare Bones Bible Handbook which goes through every book of the Bible and gives a short summary. While I haven’t finished it yet, I am loving it so far.
Many Bibles also include information at the beginning of each book, which works well for helping you gather information to understand the context and setting, in relation to the rest of Scripture.