Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

When You Want More out of Time with God

70 Comments

 

Three practical tips for carrying what you read in the Bible with you for the rest of the day.

Morning times with God fill me with joy and faith, but later on in the day traffic jams, lost library books, and leaky washing machines turn me into a hot mess faster than nobody’s business.  During my quiet time I often sense God speaking. I feel peace. But during my hot mess times I whine, and I can’t for the life of me remember what I read in the Good Book that very morning.

Um, isn’t the Bible supposed to affect how I live my life? How is it that the same woman who heard God’s voice in the morning gripes at the kids for messing up the kitchen and snaps at her husband because the poor man left his tea bag in the WRONG saucer?

How can I carry what I read in the morning into the rest of my day?

 

Three practical tips for your quiet time.

I want the Holy Spirit to bring the Word to life in me. I don’t want to just read it; I want to live it. But how can I live it if I can’t even remember it?

That’s why I write down one verse each day.

We’ve heard about how we’re supposed to keep a spiritual journal. Only that sounds like something for nuns. Not for stressed-out, side-tracked, busy women like me who can’t seem to get it all together. Besides, keeping a spiritual journal intimidates me because what am I supposed to write, anyway?

What I can write is one Bible verse.

I call it Spiritual Journaling for the Busy and Distracted. Want to Join me?

Write Down One Verse.

Last week I wrote about reading less and choosing one verse to focus on. I copy my verse and read it a few times. Then I do one of two things:

Write a One Sentence Prayer

I take a few minutes to respond to what God is saying to me through the verse. Whether it’s a prayer of thanks or a request, I write one sentence in hopes that I’ll remember it later in the day. Here’s a snippet from my journal:

one sentence prayer

OR

Choose One Word

Now this is going to sound crazy, but it’s working for me. A friend suggested choosing ONE WORD from my one verse. So here’s what I’m doing:

  • I read my verse several times and hone in on one word that sums it up.
  • I write the word down and ask, “Lord, what do you want to say to me?”
  • Then I jot down one or two thoughts that come to mind.

The last two weeks words like Wait, Glory, Welcome, Listen, and Believe have encouraged me. One word is easy to remember later on in the day.

one word

Mind you, on many days I forget all about my verse. But on the days I remember? I have a default prayer I can lift up to God in hard moments, or just one word that sparks my thoughts toward what God spoke to me earlier. But even on days I forget, guess what I find in my notebook the next morning? Yesterday’s verse. It’s there waiting for me to read again.

Three practical tips for carrying what you read in the Bible with you into the rest of your day.

Obviously writing a prayer or choosing a word doesn’t mean I’m putting it into practice. Only when I give the Holy Spirit full reign in my life am I empowered to resist the urge to snap and rev into explode mode when I see a towel on the bathroom floor. But I dare to hope that as I write it down day by day, God’s Word will gradually have its way in me.

Now it’s your turn: Ever have hot mess moments when the word of God goes out the window? What helps you to keep it present in your mind?

I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,  Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, and Grace and Truth.  Check them out for more encouragement.

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Coffee cup photo credit: creative commons

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

70 thoughts on “When You Want More out of Time with God

  1. Hello Betsy, I write a lot too. Thank you for sharing your tips. They are very helpful.
    Your handwriting is beautiful😊
    don’t we all have those hot mess days?
    Joining you from Testimony Tuesday.
    God bless

  2. I have those moments more than I want to admit. I love your suggestions, have got away from journaling and I definitely forget everything I read and prayed so early in the morning ;( I will give your suggestions a try!

    • Journalling consistently is SUCH a challenge, isn’t it? Yet I find it helps me so much. May the Lord bless your times with you and give you grace for the hard moments, Sister. Believe me, I understand!

  3. I love this idea! Keep it simple so it’s easier to remember to keep with you all day. Will have to try this 🙂 Seems like a manageable and effective way to stay in God’s word, even amidst a busy, crazy day.

  4. I have had many hot mess moments when God’s word flew from my mind. I still have those moments but am finding that when you center yourself on God first thing to start your day and make this a practice, you are better equipped to make it through the day. The more I do it the better my day seems to go. What you are doing in your journal is beautiful and will keep you going back to the word. Hope your week is blessed!

    • I love that idea of centering yourself, Mary. Oh, and I need to keep focusing on that all day! 🙂 Today my word was “serve” and I’ve had planty of opportunities to serve God in little ways, not all ways I planned! 🙂

  5. Great suggestion, Betsy! I especially love the one-word recommendation. I have friends who journal, and I’ve been awful at every attempt at it. I can do this one-word thing! Visiting today at #RaRaLinkup.

  6. Betsy, I love this idea! I usually keep track of several verses in a Word document each day (because the Word of God always seems to be my best inspiration for writing material), but this idea of yours to keep a notebook and reflect on one verse or word each day…I love. I think that I might just have to try it. 🙂 Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  7. Betsy, what great tips! Both are simple to do and will definitely help remember throughout the day. I journal a lot each morning, but I like the idea of highlighting one word that stands out. Sometimes I have so much written down, it is easy to forget a lot of it.

    One thing that has been a great blessing for me is memorizing scripture. After a mission trip years ago I made a determined effort to memorize at least one verse a week and did so for a long time. I was amazed over and over how God would bring those verses to my mind at just the moment they were needed. The last couple of years I’ve let that discipline slip. But this very morning, I made scripture cards for the verses I had memorized previously to start reviewing again. (Reviewing is so important!)

    Fortunately, I had placed all my memory verses in http://www.ScriptureTyper.com. And they are still there, ready to review again. I love this app! I recommend it highly to anyone who is wanting to memorize scripture.

    Thanks, Betsy, for encouraging me!

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Sabra. Do you know I’ve kind of let scripture memory slip too. For several years I was very faithful to it and was so encouraged by having the word “ready” in my mind. I want to go back to it. I’ve heard great things about scripture typer. Will have to have a look.

  8. Another great article following on from last week 🙂 taking these thoughts into my summer bible readings x

  9. What beautiful simplicity. I do something very similar to this every morning and it has changed my days. I’m not a great at journaling, but bible verses are one of the things that I can manage to get down. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Love this idea, Betsy! And yes, I need to have a go-to prayer that I can remember in those daily struggles:) I’m starting today writing one scripture and a one-sentence prayer. Thanks for the idea!

    • Yes, I needed it today, Kristine. My word was “serve.” And I prayed along the lines of being willing to do whatever God wanted. Then today an opportunity to SERVE in a capacity I didn’t really want came up!!!! So I had to go back to that word “serve.” God is patient with me.

  11. Absolutely beautiful and practical. (And I loved seeing Temmuz/July on your bilingual calendar. I don’t have nearly enough appreciation for the world of cross-cultural God-followers.)
    I have a habit of carrying a verse in my pocket, scribbled on a 3×5 card — until it disintegrates, or I succeed in memorizing it — or until I wash it by mistake. . .

    • The notecard idea is a good one. I’ve written verses down, but never succeed in carrying them around with me and actually LOOKING at them. I might have to give that another try. 🙂

  12. Wow I wish my handwriting was as good as yours – i wrote about keeping a prayer journal but I was pretty sure no one wanted to see my chicken scratch!!! Lol!
    Anyhoo, I LOVE this concept! Choosing one verse and one word from it to remember throughout the day (and what comes along with it)!
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your mornings with us, dear Betsy!

    • Yes Ruthie, brain-challenged, distracted cases like me have an easier time remembering ONE WORD. Today mine is MERCY! 🙂 And for the record, I’d LOVE to see your chicken scratch. 🙂

  13. I try and keep my gratitude journal nearby- recording 1000 gifts Ann Voskamp style- am up to over 700 and it usually snaps me out of my grumpy places. Sometimes I just take a deep breath, pause and actively align my spirit with Gods. This is good stuff. Thanks for sharing on #RaRaLinkUp.

  14. Great suggestions. Beautiful blog.

  15. Hi Betsy! We are on the same page this week, as I wrote about asking ‘why’. I think that word is the essence of whining!
    I think it’s a great idea to write down a key phrase or word from Scripture. It’s all meant for our instruction, we don’t have to read large sections, and it’s probably better not to. Slowly, quietly making your way through the Word sounds like a wonderful way to have it really soak in. That’s what we all want!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    • Interesting thought, Ceil. That why is the essence of whining. Hmm. Need to think about that. 🙂 May the Lord bless you and renew your mind as you make your way through His word.

  16. Great ideas again, Betsy. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Betsy – Thank you for sharing and for including pictures of your journaling – I love the one word idea!!! visiting from #RaRalinkup

  18. These are such wonderful ideas, Betsy. I want to live the Word too, not just read it. I have found that writing those verses helps me remember them throughout the day. I’m going to try writing the prayer, too. Thanks for sharing.

  19. What practical application, Betsy, thanks for encouraging women around the world to be authentic and to pursue the Lord!

  20. Like you, I try to prevent more hot mess moments by keeping His Word at the forefront of my mind. I choose a verse a week to memorize and keep it with me at all times. Since I teach, I frame the verse and keep it on my desk as a reminder to seek God before I respond to students or parents. I love your idea of choosing one word to focus on. Joining you from #TellHisStory today.

    • Choosing a verse a week! I love that, Debbie, especially the part about keeping it in a frame. Sometimes I choose a verse to memorize, but I write it on the card and never see the card again! So I like having it out and visible.

  21. This is so awesome and yet so practical, Betsy! I’m so glad you shared this… I’ve been looking for a better way to get scripture into me so that it comes alive!

  22. Betsy, I love the Spiritual Journaling for the Busy and Distracted, great stuff! Beautiful way you shared how you dig deep into scripture. Such a great way to study the Word!

  23. Betsy,
    Thanks for sharing wisdom 🙂 One word and/or one verse…as an anchor…blessings to you 🙂

  24. Oh it is lovely to hear that I am not the only one who can have a lovely quiet time with God, and still be mean to my family soon after 🙂 Keeping one word or verse in mind all day to chew on is such a good idea. So convicting when that comes to mind in a ‘mean’ moment, thanks Betsy x

  25. Love this, Betsy! Sharing with my online prayer group.

  26. This is a great idea, Betsy! I’m going to do it…I used to have a prayer journal, but, it has fallen by the wayside when things get overwhelming. However, choosing one verse, one word, one prayer…is a great idea! Thanks!

    Blessings, Joan

    P.S. Lyli Dunbar posted the link to this post and I’m so happy I followed it! 🙂

  27. I love this Betsy! I journal but I can see that this would be application carried with me through the day. Oh, this will be especially good in the next few weeks as my calendar gets super busy and I *need* the Word dwelling in me richly. Thank you, thank you for your encouragement today.

    • I hope your times in the Word will be blessed during busy upcoming weeks. I can relate to that. I have a busy month ahead too. We need to get God’s Word IN! 🙂

  28. Ah! Its one of my most favorite things to do each day also! Some mornings I write the Scripture that is included in the devotional I’m reading. Other times its something that i go digging for because I desperately need it! 🙂
    I found your blog from the Grace and Truth link up! Glad to meet ya!

  29. Great idea! I love this system and the one word focus. Your posts always bless me. 🙂

  30. Hi! It’s my first time to your site. This is just what I needed to read today. I had been thinking earlier today that I need to take a different approach to my morning Bible Study as I seem to be getting mired down. This is just the ticket! My life is so busy and I’m so overwhelmed and there is so much I want to do. That is a problem – it makes focusing on which study exhausting. More ideas are showing up in my inbox everyday. For now, a simplified approach is what I need for my morning Bible Study and Prayer time. I thank the Lord for guiding you to write this post and share on your blog. I look forward to focusing on one verse, maybe even one word of a verse tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • I’m praying for you now, Pam. I know that information overload is such a real problem in our modern lives, makes it harder to focus on God’s voice, doesn’t it? I pray you’ll have blessed times in God’s Word and that you’ll hear His voice.

  31. Thank you so much for the tips. I like it. I write my Bible verses on colored sticky notes and stick them on the kitchen cabinet that hangs over my two sinks for washing dishes. So I see them every day …

    • I’m glad you liked the tips, Ariella. Writing down your verses on colored sticky notes is a good idea. I spend lots of time at the kitchen sink, so that would work for me too!

  32. Love these suggestions, Betsy! I’m going to have to try this! I have verses written down that I am trying to memorize but I hadn’t thought of using just one verse as a way of journaling and praying. Thanks for the tips.

  33. Betsy, what excellent suggestions! I like how focusing on less helps you to dive deeper into the scripture itself and apply it to your own life. I’m going to feature this in tomorrow’s Grace and Truth! Thanks!
    Jen 🙂

  34. Hello Betsy,
    Thank you for these fantastic ideas on keeping God close throughout the day! I came over via purposeful faith to read Abby’s post and then I was curious to see who she was guest posting and here i am! I have found that writing down scriptures really helps me in keeping God’s word close to my heart. I sometimes write a scripture down that impacts me while reading and I continue reading it every day after my quiet time. It has help me memorize some and one verse became the “mission” verse for my blog! Colossians 1:10. I am so encouraged as I see and meet other Christians sharing their faith in their blogs! Thank you again for allowing me to visit. May God continue to bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

    • Thanks so much for reading my post, Horace. Your encouragement means a lot. That is a great idea to read the same verse every day after your regular Bible reading. I sometimes do that too. Blessings on your life and ministry. Just followed you on Twitter!

  35. You’re words are speaking to my heart. This is a huge battle for me and I have felt guilty because I don’t remember what I read a lot of times. I have littles ones ( 6 & 3) and I just blow my top too often. If I am supposed to be the first example of Jesus to my littles as a stay at home mom then I want to be able to remember his teachings throughout the day!

    • I’m praying for you now, Nikki! The last thing you need when you can’t remember what you read in the morning is to feel guilty! May the Lord give you grace with your kids and with yourself. Blowing your top is easy. May He fill you with Holy Spirit power to be a light in your home.

  36. I’ve found too that just writing a verse a day is so powerful (when I remember 😉
    I really appreciate your idea of turning just that verse into a prayer. I’ll be incorporating that in, thanks!

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