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Busy Mom Bible Studies
January 2017 – It’s a new year! And with it comes a new resolve to try to be more intentional about studying the Bible and more regular in keeping the habit of doing regular devotions each day.
It’s sad, but in this last year my Bible has gone for days (even weeks) without being opened, and while my days are filled with short little prayers being lifted up here and there I have not spent as much time in focused and concentrated prayer as I know I should have.
Oh, I could come up with all kinds of reasons or excuses for this . . . I had a baby and our family had a very hectic year full of transitions and moves. We did, after all, live in three different houses and two different countries this past year, stayed in countless hotels and guesthouses, and were literally moving to a new place every week (except during the three months around having our baby).
It has been a very busy year and this next year looks as though it will be equally busy. But then, life itself tends to be really crazy, especially for a stay at home mom with really young children. If I wait until life “settles down” before I get back into the routine of keeping my quiet times and spending time in the Word, well, the truth is it’s never going to happen!
So, this year, I’m taking life for what it is with all its stresses and “to do lists” and instead of waiting for peace and quiet before diving into the Scriptures, I’m going to adjust my method of Bible study to more appropriately fit the busy stage of life that I am in right now.
The Busy Mom Bible Study Method
I give a lot of credit to those moms who are disciplined to get up in the early morning hours to spend some time with the Lord before the kids wake up. But this is just something that has never worked for me.
It seems like no matter what time I set aside to do devotions and Bible study, one or both of the little ones always senses that I am up and insists that they have to be up with me. After a lot of tries and a lot of frustration, I finally realized that I need a more simple approach to conducting my Bible studies –a method that can stand amidst all the interruptions and distractions that are just part of being a mom.
And so, I developed this “Busy Mom Bible Study Method”.
The method is very simple. Every day there is a scripture passage to read, write, and ponder. The “writing” is a key feature to this method, as writing things out is one of the best ways to form a complete thought and to stay focused amidst any distractions.
There is also a worksheet that you can download and print which can help you to stay on track and stay focused on the study (even amidst noise, chaos, and the inevitable interruptions).
Before You Get Started – Set Yourself Up for Success
These Bible studies are designed to be done over the course of a month, but if you’re really going to stick with it that long it does require a certain amount of commitment and “help”.
1) Make Bible Study a Priority!
The first step is to make it a priority. You can’t just passively think, “yeah, Bible study is important, let’s give this a try” . . . This kind of passive thinking (even with the best of intentions) will work against you when the going gets rough or other things are competing for your time and attention.
Making Bible study a priority means going beyond just acknowledging its importance to actually putting yourself in the mindset of, “this is more important than getting the laundry done today, it’s more important than having my daughter wearing matching clothes, more important than doing the dishes or having all our meals on time, and even more important than making a run to the store for groceries!” because you know what? It is!!
As we know from the story of Martha and Mary, spending time with Jesus is more important than any other thing we have to do today. And the great thing is, when you put God first, He honors that and actually enables you to accomplish so much more than you would have otherwise done on your own strength!
So put it on the calendar, write it on your “To Do List”, set an alarm or a reminder
on your phone, stick post-
2) Keep it Simple
Nothing will crush your “good intentions” faster than making your Bible studies complex or complicated!
One thing to note is the fact that we women are driven a lot by hormones and these hormones are constantly changing. You are most likely to start a new Bible study on a day when your adrenaline is running high and you feel ready to take on the world. You might feel like going all out and not only completing the required questions but also going on to dig up other Bible reference books, look up words in the dictionaries, do background studies on the characters, write an article on your blog, or who knows what else!
It’s all great for the first day or two, but when your hormones change are you really going to keep up with such high expectations?
When you start out on an adrenaline high it’s hard to maintain that excitement for the long duration. All it takes is one bad day to throw you off course and make you give up on the whole thing all together.
So please, do yourself a favor and keep it simple (especially at first). Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
3) Set a Specific Time of Day
For me, my “time of day” does not revolve around the clock. I used to try and follow the clock and keep an “appointment” of meeting with God at 8:00 every morning. Well, every morning is different in our house, some days I’d need to sleep at 8:00 because I was awake all night with sick kids. Other days the kids would sleep in and just be rousing about the time I went to do devotions, which would make things really stressful with trying to arrange breakfast for them while still trying to keep my devotion time.
If it works for you to set a specific time, that’s great. But if not, how about setting a specific “period” or a specific slot in your daily routine? For me, I’ve decided that my devotion time is after breakfast, and that has really been working well for me. Of course, “breakfast” may happen at any time between 6am and noon, but regardless of what time we eat in the mornings I know that after the kids are settled and fed then that is my time to sit down with my Bible and do a little studying.
It doesn’t matter when you do it or what time of day it ends up being, the important thing is to make it a very real part of your daily routine. Consistency in your routine is a huge part of setting yourself up for success.
4) Set a Specific Location
Doing your devotions in the same place every day is a great way to psychologically train your mind to develop a strong and lasting habit.
Where do you feel the most comfortable doing the devotions? Where can you situate yourself so you can keep an eye on your kids at the same time? On the couch? At the dinning table? On the front porch? In the kids’ room?
Think about the needs of your family and the environment in which you are able to focus the best and then pick a specific location and aim to do your devotions in that same place every day. Not only will it help with developing your own mental habit, but it will also help your kids to get used to the fact that when mom is sitting “in her spot” she doesn’t want to be disturbed (at least not too much).
Also, I think you’ll find that after some time there gets to be something very special (even magical) about the place where you have your regular devotions. Even if it’s the plainest spot in the house, it can become something very special to you when you consistently meet with Jesus there!
5) Gather Your Supplies
One great thing about this Bible study is that it does not require a lot of supplies. But even so, you’ll want your Bible, some pens (more than one, incase the “one” you grab ends up quitting on you half way through the study), and the printouts of the lessons all together in one place.
You can very quickly become discouraged from doing your Bible studies if you can’t find your Bible, can’t find anything to write with, or lost the worksheets, so try to find a place where you can keep them all together and not have to be scrambling to find them every time you want to sit down to study.
I would really suggest that you get a box, book bag, tupperware container, or little caddy to keep all your supplies in. Keep them all together in one place and NEVER use the items for anything other than your daily Bible times. No one is allowed to borrow pens or papers out of your Bible study box!
In fact, it might be a good idea to have two Bibles even – one Bible to take with you to church or to have on hand for general use, and one Bible that is specifically for your personal daily devotions, which stays in your Bible study box so you never have to go digging around for it!
You are much more likely to follow through with your Bible study if you don’t have to go searching high and low trying to gather up your supplies every day!
6) Gather Stuff for the Kids, Too!
If you really want some uninterrupted time for studying it’s a good idea to prepare something in advance for your kids as well. I like to put together a box of books and toys that are ONLY for special times (aka: when mommy needs a break!). The kids have their every day things they can play with whenever they want, but the best of their toys and books are saved for when I really need them to occupy themselves for a while.
It’s also a great idea to put some pens and paper in their box, and their own little Children’s Bible, so that they can be “just like mommy”; when they see you reading your Bible and writing things on paper, they can follow your example and do it too!
And, if worst comes to worst, we have a Kindle with children’s movies and game apps that can come to the rescue on those hard days when nothing else seems to work to keep the kids quiet so mommy can have a few moments to concentrate.
7) Do it Right Now!
Once again, good intentions are not going to get you anywhere. If you really want to set yourself up for success then get off the computer, stop reading about Bible studies on this (or any other) website, and actually get up and go do it!
Gather your supplies, print out the Bible study worksheet, choose a Bible study from the list below, and get started right now!
Busy Mom Bible Studies
There are more Busy Mom Bible Studies on the way, so check back again soon!