Typically, I spend time in scripture in the mornings. On the days when my kids are at school I go to my desk; if they are home I'm at the kitchen table. I tend to camp in one book of the bible for a long time, too stubborn to move on when I feel like there are bits that I don't understand or sections that make me squirm with conviction. I usually read for 10-15 minutes—the whole time scribbling notes and questions in my journal. When a verse grabs my attention, I make note of it and look for other passages in scripture that say something similar or speak to the same issue. As I find verses I write them out. I have a tendency to go down rabbit holes after reading things that I don't understand or can’t wrap my head around. In order to keep myself focused and spend my time reading actual scripture rather than articles and books about scripture, I will write myself a post-it note and go back to it later in the day when I have time (typically once my kids are in bed). I wrap up by praying.
I've started journaling my prayers, and that has helped keep my mind from wandering to what I'm going to eat for lunch or who needs a red shirt clean for school tomorrow. It has also been really beautiful to go back and write out when specific prayers have been answered and have such a tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness.
As a recovering “quiet time” legalist, I have been freed from several rigid ideas of what my personal time in scripture should look like. I have tried all kinds of reading plans... early in the morning, late at night and leaving my bible open on my kitchen counter all day long so that I could read for a minute here or there. In each season there has been grace, and different methods have served me well as I have grown and changed. The only time I haven't seen fruit is when I have believed the lie that if it didn't look a certain way, I may as well not do it at all! I wasted a lot of time thinking that because I was not a natural student, in-depth study of scripture would be out of my reach. What I have learned is that God is more than happy to meet me where I’m lacking, and through the Holy Spirit he gives understanding when I seek it.
Our relationship with the Lord is just that, a relationship. Time spent with Him in prayer and in His Word, the Bible, are primary ways to see that relationship grow in intimacy.
In order to give you some very practical examples of how to get started, we asked a few women to share different ways they spend time with the Lord.
This week you heard from Katelyn Whitten.