I can remember when I first took up my Bible and started reading it truly for myself. I was twenty years old living across the other side of the world from my family and friends and was in a rather large dorm room too, alone which may I add was such a huge blessing.
There was lots of spare time in and around classes and working on research for my dissertation and I was able to use that as I wanted free from the distractions which I would have had back home.
When I think back on that year it was a year of such growth on so many levels, I got to learn so much about myself and I truly believe its because I spent so much time learning about God within that year.
When I got back home, back to ordinary life with distractions galore, the Bible that I had poured over began to collect some dust. This wasn’t for lack of going to church, or being committed, I just couldn’t claim honestly to be reading it daily.
Life moved on at a rapid rate, my Dad passed away, I graduated from university and got married in an eighteen month period and within all that I would say a large portion of what I took from the Bible was commentary from other people.
What I would hear on a Sunday at church, or on a podcast or even themed Bible study. I would follow the prescriptive “turn to Chapter” and I would duly turn, to then pick what someone else had prescribed for me again the next week.
At the time of having our first son I had completed some in depth Bible Studies and, read diligently any book of interest on the “academic” section of Christian bookstore websites because of course they are academic they have to be good right?
I could find time for my Bible because Nathanael would take long naps but those children will grow up and I found that I would give myself a pass;
“its ok Kiri” particularly when Judah came along, “you are in the young baby stage, where is there time in the day with all the responsibilities you have.”
The thing is though I didn’t have any more or any less time than I had years ago, I had just chosen to prioritise my time on other things, extra sleep, time watching a TV show or a whole host of other things.
I would fit it in and around the stuff I had to do, or I would have weeks of afternoons spent in Bible study only for nap schedules to change or other things needing my attention, so my Bible was left back on a shelf.
In April of last year, I started a method of beginning my day in the same way. I hope this helps those who come to the Bible distracted, hurried or impatient. Perhaps you have littles and have been up all night with them, you can slot this time with God in at any point of the day and its structured well that if you are interrupted you can easily pick it up from where you left off.
All you will need is a journal or piece of paper, your Bible and a pen and you are good to go!
Start off by having a section of your paper for the below headings, you can divide up your page how you like.
Thoughts – I have a million and one things whirling around my brain and more often than not when I have made time to spend time with God it is at that point my brain starts whirling with a million and one things and I often would get distracted. I now write them down, sometimes its a huge list, other times it may only be one or two things, but whatever is on my mind I start by writing them down and then I can truly spend time with God without distraction.
Praise – I write down one thing to praise God for that is Him, nothing that he has given me, or done for me, but just declaring who He is, what His nature is, His character. To help with this I more often than not will pick a verse out and write that down for the day.
Thank You – Very self explanatory, I thank God for what he has done the day before or sometime during that week, it is a marker for me. There is always something that God is working on, or gracious enough to have given me I just need to open my eyes to the fact that “every perfect gift comes from above”
Forgive Me – So simple but its the whole point, I confess what I have messed up on, I fail in so many ways but thank God for his forgiveness!
I don’t take long on this, sometimes I can, it all depends on the littles, but I write this all down and then I pray through it – including my “thoughts section”, I pray through my list of To Do’s that I would be equipped to carry them out and to be wise when to let some things go. I have found I am always more productive when I hand over even the most mundane tasks to God.
Bible Reading – I then read my Bible, I chose one book and I read that from start to finish reading a chapter or two a day, I do not dip into verses here and there switching around each day. I stay the course through the entire book. It really gives you so much comprehension of the Bible if you just stay in one book at a time.
Once I have read the chapter I will journal what resonates with me that day, it can be using the S.O.A.P method or perhaps I will just write out a verse that I want to go back to and look up more, this is the part that changes for me each day.
I pray that this is useful as you start your day off with God or start your day off again if it is in the middle of the afternoon with toddlers around your feet.
Judah always loves to empty all my pens and get stuck in too if I have overslept!
I do hope that as my children grow they learn that I was a Mum that loved them deeply and prioritised her relationship with God first.