I must admit that many times during young motherhood, I’ve felt as though I were floundering through my personal Bible study time. Some studies demand too much; I honestly can’t fit it in to my brief moments without the kids. Then, I struggle with the guilt of not being able to do what is required. Then other studies don’t seem to go deep enough; I’m left with a shallow surface thought about a text pulled out of context.
But I’m excited to say that I have finally found a method of studying the Bible that seems to be the perfect fit for my time, my personality, and my spiritual growth. I love it!
I came across the idea on a friend’s blog when she began using Journibles. The idea of Journibles is taken from Deuteronomy 17:18 and the idea of scribes copying down every word of Scripture. (You can read more about it here.) On the right-hand pages, you copy word-for-word from the Bible; on the left-hand pages, you write your study notes on the passage. Unfortunately, Journibles has prompting questions on that notes page, which really cramps my style. The creator in me doesn’t like to color in someone else’s lines. Still, I loved the concept.
So I bought a lined journal from Staples and began in the book of Hebrews. It’s been absolutely awesome!
Let me list all the reasons why.
- Writing word-for-word keeps me focused; I’m not thinking through my grocery list or wandering off on all my mental to-dos.
- I can customize to fit my time and my day. Some days, the kids actually sleep in a little and I can make it through several verses. Other days, maybe I’ve had a late night and accidentally slept in, leaving me only a few minutes for a verse or two. It doesn’t matter with this system.
- It allows me to meditate. Writing the verses and reflecting on those verses keeps them fresh on my mind. I write thoughts that come to mind, praises or prayer requests that are prompted from the passage, or questions that arise that I want to study more in depth later (or ask my pastor-husband about). I find that both the writing and the notes, keeps that verse on my mind all day. I’m meditating more on the Scripture I’ve read, not merely crossing it off my checklist and moving on.
- I’m more in tuned to the context with this approach. Writing that passage allows me to concentrate on punctuation, complete thoughts and continuing thoughts, etc. I’m paying more attention that this verse is continuing his explanation from the verse above, and that verse is giving an explanation for what he just stated.
I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s intentional Bible study, and I’m thriving on it.
Oh, and another new “love” I recently found is my Frixion pens, pens that erase so my journal stays nice and neat.