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!