Up until I had children, I found plenty of time to study the bible. I used to read so many different commentaries on every single verse. I would have a notebook full of notes, and my bible would get marked up really quickly. I had different colored sticky tabs for different topics, and different colored pens to underline verses. I even had notecards in my bible with some thoughts regarding a few verses that meant a lot to me.
Since having children (especially 3 so close in age) I don't have that much free time to dig deep into each verse that I read. Even though I spent more time studying His word before I became a mother, I can see that God has worked on me the most after I had my babies. Now instead of just reading and remembering, I need to apply His word daily in front of the ones most dear to me. Although I find that I'm constantly in prayer throughout the day (who wouldn't be continually asking for patience when juggling housework and 3 littles? haha) I'm not always praying for my family or for others, which is my biggest desire. Those prayers about others happen mostly during my devotional time.
I wanted to share my "routine" for devotions in hopes that it might encourage other moms to also spend time in His Word, even if it's a little bit each day. Although being a parent is demanding, we can't properly nourish their spiritual growth if we don't properly nourish our own spirits. We can't properly nourish our spirits and be more in tune with God's will if we don't actually read His word. I have been reminded many times that the most important thing I can give my children, is an example of a close walk with God.
We should never stop growing spiritually. We should never stop feeding out souls, even if we don't have much time. "Mother's don't have time, they make time"
On the front page of my notebook, I have a "get ready" section. Some encouraging verses and thoughts that I like to reread before I start reading the Bible. It helps me focus on what I'm doing. Center my thoughts on His word. Bring into perspective what I'm about to do. To be honest, I don't always read this first page. Most often I get right into reading the scripture
As I read, I list things that stand out to me. when I reach 3 things, I finish that paragraph and stop reading. Someone once mentioned that for daily reading, 3 is enough. If we search for more, we most likely won't go back to our thoughts later on in the day.
I list the date, and then the section I read, and the 3 things that stood out. 1 of these things needs to be an attribute of God. In our church's women's book study, we recently read a great book about the 10 attributes of God, and I have started to apply this to my devotional time. It helps me focus on God throughout the scripture, and not just on the people the New Testament is written about. One day I want to make a bookmark with the 10 attributes to keep in my bible.
At the end of my notebook, I have made a list of some of the attributes. If none really stand out to me during reading, I go back to this list and read it through and skim over the passage I read once more.
After this, I spend some time in prayer. This is when I try to focus on praying for my husband, my children, any needs that are in my church, my friends, or anyone else that has been on my mind.
I have a few verses that I pray specifically over my husband and over my children, but that will have to be another post.
Most times, I am interrupted mid-prayer by one of the children waking up from their nap (=