How to Get More Scripture

As a mom of little ones, at times it can be so difficult to try to find time for the Word... and yet, it is SO essential!  I have to confess there are times when I've fallen into discouragement & gotten out of the habit of regular intake of Scripture.  However, there is nothing like having God's Word in your heart and mind as you go about life as a mom!  Scripture is necessary for our encouragement, training, and strength... it is what we need as we minister to the people in our family!

Now, I absolutely don't want to contribute to legalism or a sense of failure for anyone out there, but also, I know there are many who are trying to implement new habits in Scripture as you begin 2012.  Some of you have just had a new baby, some are homeschooling several children on different levels, and some of you may be chasing toddlers for what seems like 72 hours each day.  In an effort to encourage your commitment to the Word, I offer up these ideas; use them as you see fit.  Please view none of them as an absolute command... rather, see these as possible methods to utilize.  I hope they will bless you as you seek ways to weave God's Word into your day.

Here are some ways, in various seasons of motherhood, that I've found to get more Scripture in my heart and mind:

  • Find an audio Bible that you love to listen to, and download books.  Listen to Scripture as you go about your day... while you're building block towers, putting in a load of dishes, or folding laundry, your mind can be engaged in the Word!
  • Set your Bible on the counter and read while you work.  As you flip pancakes or wash dishes, open up your Bible to the place where you are reading.  Read a Scripture or two, and then let your mind focus on that verse while you do the next thing... then look back down and move through a passage a verse or two at a time 
  • Wake up early and spend time in the Bible in the quiet of the morning.  This is not something I have gotten into the habit of doing, but I've had friends for whom this works well.  Our apartments and such have always been set up in ways where I would wake up the rest of the household if I got up, and so instead, I've opted to maximize sleep for everyone and find other ways to work Scripture into my days.  But if this works for you, go for it!
  • Use your first discretionary time each day to have time in the Word.  Particularly when I have a newborn, I find this method to be the most helpful.  It allows me to get the rest I need to have, and meet my baby & children's needs, but also, once those needs are met, helps me remember not to putz around on the internet or take up a new sewing project with my few free minutes, when I haven't yet spent at least some time in Scripture.  So with this, there's no set "time" or "method" so much as just trying to jump into the Word once I get a few minutes free.  
  • Spend more time on a passage, not less.  This may seem counterintuitive, as many Bible reading plans have you going through heaps of Scripture in a day's time, but I've found that I actually benefit more from the message of Scripture when I slow down and focus in on Scripture over the course of days.  For example, for several years in a row, I took a "Book a Month" approach, and let each book's message percolate in my mind over the course of 4-5 weeks.  Then I'd move onto the next book.  That method allowed the heart and soul of each book to get more clear in my mind, as opposed to just sprinting my way through the Word.  Each method of intaking Scripture has its own benefits, but I think particularly as a busy mom of little ones, this idea of parking in one place for a given length of time can give freedom and time to really draw the marrow out of a passage, and not contribute to a sense of feeling perpetually "behind". 
  • Read it out loud.  Whatever passage you are reading, read out loud to your children.  Use your voice to emphasize different parts, and let the message of Scripture be heard in your home just as you would do with a read-aloud book on your child's level.

Hopefully one or more of these have given you a new idea or approach to consider.  Perhaps you have another idea or two that could help other moms increase their Scripture intake?  Please share them in the comments!  


Mrs. David Hankins said...

Thanks for the encouragement to spend more time on a passage rather than less. We've been using a Bible reading plan to read through the Bible each year for a good while, but really felt that we needed to slow down this year and spend more time meditating on God's Word and thinking about the implications of various texts rather than rushing through to keep up with a more formal reading plan. I do love reading the Bible through each year but thought with five kids under nine and another on the way that it was time to do something different for a short season. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Nice to 'hear; from you again Jess :-)

A tip from my mother which I have used on and off over the years... reading the bible in the BATHROOM! A place where we visit every day ;-) ...alone... :-)

I find the Bible-in-a-year Bible to be good for me.I have tried loads of different methods, but for me, this one is what fills me up with Scripture. I love to read, and just ploughing through big chunks of the Word over a year is something that I enjoy and grow from.

As mothers, we go through different seasons - pregnancy, newborns, toddlers, busy school agers and sleepy (morning) teens (but wide awake evening teens!). So we need to adapt our habits over the years to accommodate our changing family.

All your suggestions were good reminders to help think outside the box of the current stage of life, and help us to think about adapting for the next. so thank you!

simone in oz :-)

Cat said...

It's good to hear from you! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who prefers "quality time" to "quantity time" Scripture-wise. When I've tried some of the reading plans, I felt like I was barely skimming the surface of what was being read. My reading is usually done at night before bed, after the kids are all asleep and the house is quiet. I never see this recommended but it works for me. Getting up early here also tends to wake up some of the younger children, then morning time is a sprint of getting my two school-children ready and dropped off, then coming home to chores and homeschooling the other kids while chasing the toddler.

Sanders said...

Hmm, I just tried to post a comment - and think it may not have worked. If it did - and this is a second one - please delete! :O)

1. I'm amazed at your having gone to Istanbul by yourself - gadzooks! So glad your trip went well and that you were able to make good use of your time.

2. Just wanted to say thanks for posting about the election cycle. I get rather discouraged when I read online about it all - which is rather rare due to the business of life around here. It's encouraging to read your take - thanks for writing it.

3. Thanks for writing in general. I'm grateful you keep this up and am often challenged by what you share here.


Allison said...

I know this is kind of late, but I really, really wanted to share it. For an easy way to access an audio Bible, you can go to and select the "Audio Bible" tab. It will read to you whatever Bible passages you want, in a variety of versions and languages. And it's ABSOLUTELY FREE! I use it to listen to whole books of the Bible at a time when I'm doing mindless household chores.

That's all for my little commercial. ;) I've benefited so much from this in recent months, so I just had to share. :)

Phyllis said...

If the last comment was late, then mine is really late! My personal favorite is the Daily Audio Bible, a podcast that goes through the whole Bible in a year: