Bible Study for Moms – Part 5

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the Undeniable Responsibility as Mother

Need the Word

God has given mother’s such a unique role. And our role requires that we run to Him on a consistent basis or we run on empty very quickly. Based on my experience alone, I know that when I am not constantly in God’s word and seeking Him, I come up dry very, very quickly.

Children, by nature and no fault of their own, are very needy beings. They require so much of their mother, and if you have multiple children, you can multiply those needs. It is imperative that we equip ourselves regularly in order to care for the needs of our children: physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually.

In order to teach the Word, it’s good for us to be familiar with it.

Can I tell you, it is such a gift to teach my children about the Lord. It is so amazing to watch their faces light up with revelation from the Holy Spirit when something is taught and they understand it. There is nothing like it.

No Sunday school teacher can replace you, Mother. They will never be able to reach your children in a way you can through your influence and your teaching of God’s Word. Do not make the mistake of believing that the Sunday school teacher will do a better job because they have the “know how”.

Even without the fancy felt figures (though they are fun!) and games, your children will learn best from you.

So, make it a point, mom, to fill up your tank so you can fill the tanks of your children and fulfill God’s mission one day at a time. Do not neglect the great responsibility you have to yourself, your children, and your husband by failing to be in the Word. It’s not a matter of “following the rules”, it’s a matter of feeding your soul necessary food.

Don’t get in the word because you have to; get in the Word because you need to.

Read the rest of the Hopscotch Summer here:

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Bible Study for Moms – Part 4

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The Bible versus Devotionals

The Bible Stands Alone

I really think it is important to understand there is a difference between Bible reading and reading a devotional. They are definitely not the same thing and often we use those terms interchangeably as if they were.

This is not meant to convince you that devotionals are bad (although some are pretty bad) or don’t have their place. They do. But they should never trump the Bible in terms of authority.

There is nothing a devotional can do that the Bible can’t; but there are plenty of things the Bible can do that a devotional cannot.

You see, devotionals are only a guide. They are not the guide. The bottom line is, the author had a personal connection with God on their own personal matters. What God conveyed to them, personally, was then laid out for other people to read. While some may certainly benefit from some of the information and even be guided in some aspects, it can never give us a full taste of what God has for us, personally. 

Authors who write devotionals are not the final authority on what God’s word conveys. Only the Bible has that authority.

Having said all that, however, devotionals certainly have a place. I have a few of my own favorites and have also written one. They are meant, really, for encouragement and to point us to the authoritative word–the Bible. Because, there is power when we read His word with our own background, with our own struggles, with our own insecurities and needs.

We read more then a verse or two, more then a mere devotion can offer, and we find ourselves saturated in a healing balm of His truth. Rather then someone else speaking to us about how God used a verse to work in their life, God speaks to us directly with His truth, knowing us personally and knowing what we need.

Can God use devotionals? Absolutely. But. But, but but…they can also be a hindrance to His voice if we only rely on devotionals and neglect reading His word; the final authority on Truth.

Devotionals should never be a replacement for God’s word, but instead be read alongside, or not at all.

I admit, I am very, very picky about which devotionals I read. I don’t like a lot of fluff and honestly, when it comes to a devotion, I don’t want it to be all about the author. There is a place for that (testimonies). Devotionals should shift our thinking to God’s thinking and encourage devotion to God.

We can very often take the author’s words as if they are always meant for us, and they aren’t always meant for us. But the Bible, the words of Truth, no matter what our circumstances or what our personality, are always meant for us.

I encourage you, if you read a devotional, that’s fine! But don’t allow it to stand alone. Have a Bible reading plan of some sort as well. Read the scriptures for yourself and see what the Holy Spirit would speak to you, personally. This will also protect you against false teachings because not every devotional is lead of God and Truth.

The devotional I am enjoying currently is (affil link) Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts devotional. The one thing I really love about her devotional is that she does not claim to know all the answers, but often asks many questions throughout  her devotions. It encourages the reader to seek out answers from the Word for themselves. She uses illustrations from her life, but does not suggest that there is a one-size fits all for every person. Instead, she invites you in to her quest, full of her own questions.

What is your favorite devotional and why?

Bible Study for Moms – Part 3

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You can read part 1 & 2 here:

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Shift Your Perspective

Useful Bible Study Tools

Today I want to share a couple Bible study tools that are helpful and useful for Bible study. While not necessary, they make studying the Bible more in depth, organized and focused, at least for me.

Since beginning the Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mama’s, I have obtained this new tool for Bible study.(Affiliate links are present within this post)

Bible Study Tools

It has really helped my colorful personality to have something fun to mark up my Bible with and make certain things really stand out to me. Before I purchased these, I tried using regular Crayola colored pencils and I really had to press hard to get them to show up. This can actually result in tearing pages in my Bible. So when I received the Prismacolor pencils in the mail, I was happy that the color was quite rich. I didn’t need to press real hard to get it to show up.

Well worth the little extra cost and since these are only used for Bible study purposes, they will last quite a while.

This Bible Study book itself is a tool. It helps me dig into the Word in a more focused manner; in ways I may not have thought of on my own.

Here’s what a typical day from the Bible Study for Busy Mama’s – Colossians 3, looks like:

Busy Mama's Bible Study Bible Study 1

Each day, you will read Colossians 3. Then you will re-read it looking for specific things in the passage. In this case, it’s making a list of all the things that we are to throw off as Christians. All negative commands.

Bible Study 2

This study I began before I had my colored pencils. So you can see I used regular pencil to square off the negative commands.

Bible Study 3

Spending time in God’s word helps me remember His truths on a regular basis. In addition, I feel a heart connection with Him. His presence stays with me, even when I’ve closed my Bible, in a much richer sense. I have a greater sense of peace, simply knowing I’m not alone, because reading His word reminds me of His promises.

Other tools include:

Highlighters

Journal

Commentary

Concordance

Series:

Bible Study for Moms Part 1 {Intro}

Bible Study for Moms Part 2 {Shift Your Perspective}

 

Bible Study for Moms – Part 2

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Busy Mama Bible Study

Shifting Your Perspective

I think there are many wrong mindsets that can bog us down. I’m battling some of them even now. I know the truth, but trying to get myself to believe it by living it is proving to be a challenge.

At the same time, I want to be careful I’m not throwing out the wheat with the chaff. While I know some things are toxic, some really just require a bit of priority shift and discipline.

Disciplines are important, but not at the expense of a heartfelt relationship with Christ.

We need to understand our motives. If our motive is solely duty, we will dread our time in the Word, or never do it.

However, it is important to understand we are called to obedience and staying in the Word is an act of obedience as well as an act of the will. Having a discipline is simply a tool to help us remain in the Word. It is very easy to allow our time with God to slip away day after day if we haven’t set up a specific plan of action to read.

It is so important to understand how disciplines work, though. They won’t all look identical. There is no law written that you absolutely have to do your quiet time with God in the morning. I have definitely found benefits in doing this, but truth be told, not every season will allow for it. And it’s a legalistic notion if one thinks that’s the only time to meet with God.

Some people thrive just as well in the evenings as others do in the mornings. Some can only find a quiet moment during nap time during the afternoon.

Which leads to my next point.

There is no set time to be in the Word or prayer.

Something is always better then nothing and a small study or concentration on a verse can really pack a punch. The reason I am loving this Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mamas is because it’s about a 5 minute per day study and it really packs a punch. You study an entire chapter for a whole month. You really dig into it a little everyday and it has to be the best Bible study in 5 minutes I have ever come across. I can use this study as a guide for future studies of my own.

The goal is to be fed, not spend a certain amount of time reading everyday. Anybody can read for an hour and not take a thing away from their time in the Word. That’s not our goal.

But here’s the thing…

While we don’t want to be legalistic about spending time in the Word — how we do it, when we do it, or where we do it — we cannot neglect our time either and be lazy or complacent about it. We still must do it. Not out of duty, but out of need. Consistently avoiding or neglecting our quiet time will soon prove disastrous.

Think of your house. It doesn’t matter when you clean, just so long as you are cleaning. It doesn’t matter what system you set up or how you clean. But when you stop cleaning, the house will slowly become quite messy and chaotic. It will be noisy and become cluttered. It will be harder to find things, and keep the dirt up when there is stuff all over. You will find it’s harder to walk because there is stuff all over the floor.

So it is with our mind and spirit when we neglect them. Our mind becomes cluttered with worldly thinking and it will be harder to find the Truths we once read. We must read continually to keep our hearts tidy with Truth; to defeat the lies of the enemy and of the world; to have a clear path to walk down that is not littered with garbage, making the path unclear.

Don’t mistake legalism for lifeline.

What lies are you battling regarding your own need to be in God’s word?

*Doorposts gave me a free copy of the above Bible study for review. Links are not affiliate, however. 

Bible Study for Moms {series}

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Bible Study for Moms series

Find the above Bible study here: Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mamas

It’s an incredibly common struggle for moms – finding time and tools to read and study the Bible. It’s so easy to allow it to slip out of our priorities. I’m speaking of myself here, too. I know how easy it is. So when you read the series this week, know I am totally talking to myself here, too. What better way to know the need then to be in need?

I am not kidding when I say there are many days I try to steal time by sneaking outside to the porch or to my room to get a few minutes of Bible reading in today and I never even get the Bible open. Either someone will find me because they need something (no biggie, that’s why I’m mom), or I’ll sit there and it’s like there’s literally a battle with me opening my Bible. I just sit there, with it in my lap.

Maybe it’s the lies. Maybe it’s the guilt. I just freeze. Sometimes I lack direction–”What do I read?” Sometimes I talk myself out of it because a few minutes just isn’t enough time to devote to God. So, I devote nothing.

Can you relate?

Satan would love nothing more than to keep us buried in these lies and from reading God’s truth. (After all, the truth will set you free).

I think we need to ask ourselves some very serious questions. Who (or what) are we truly living for? Because that truth will press us into the things we truly love. I know when I remain connected to the heart of God through His word and pressing in with prayer, He is not far and there is a peace that’s unexplainable.

But when I allow time to put a gap in our relationship, His voice of Truth is harder to hear because it’s further away. The door has been opened wider for other things to leak in and eventually pour in, drowning out His voice so I can no longer hear His direction or encouragement. I need to make the steps to go to Him and be fed.

Stay tuned with me this week as I share some things about getting into God’s word. Before we dig in, the first thing you need to do is release any guilt you may be having for not doing what you *think you should do* in this regard. Just let it go. It’s useless and will only weigh you down from moving forward.

We have freedom in Christ to dig into God’s word when it works best for us. So let go of that guilt, but do be prepared for a fresh perspective and fresh start.

For more Hopscotch Summer, visit us at the iHomeschool Network. And be sure to visit again tomorrow as I continue this series.

Part 2 – Shift Your Perspective

Part 3 – Bible Study Tools

Part 4 – Devotionals Versus the Bible

Part 5 – The Undeniable Responsibility of a Mother

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He is Faithful

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Whenever I begin to doubt what God might have ahead of me, I remember where He’s brought me already. I remember the other times I doubted and how He was faithful.

Being faithful can be a misunderstood concept, though. Being faithful doesn’t necessarily mean that we will get what we want from God. It means that He will stay true to His Word.

He promises to never leave us. Yet, that doesn’t mean we haven’t moved.

It’s no surprise that I feel less connected to God when I regularly skip my quiet time with Him. I feel distant from Him, not because He has left me, but because I failed to show up at our meeting place while He was waiting for me. It breaks that continuum of fellowship a little bit every time, and my soul begins to starve from lack of bread and Living Water.

This also affects other areas of my life such as my mothering. I am way less patient and often forget my spiritual manners–joy, gentleness, peacemaking, etc.

We cannot expect to walk in the Spirit when we fail to invite Him in.

But, He is always faithful to show up–always. Even when we fail to.

My best time of meeting with God is in the mornings, yet these last few months have been failed attempts to get up. As a result, my life is lacking His counsel because I’m not filling my mind with His word so it’s available when I need it. My days are less intentional because I’m not laying them at His feet.

Yet, He faithfully waits. Tomorrow morning, at 5am when I usually get up to meet with Him, He will be there waiting. I can either choose to sleep in, or fight the battle of the flesh and get out of bed. Regardless of whether I am faithful or not, He still is.

God’s faithfulness to us does not depend on our faithfulness to Him. If that were the case, His faithfulness would cease to exist.

I think one of the biggest struggles for me is believing that God is faithful even though I consistently fail. He is not keeping tally marks. He simply loves and wants to be in communion with me.

Christ died so the sin wouldn’t get in the way of our relationship.

Don’t let your own failures and shortcomings keep you from fellowship with God. He longs to meet with you!

Is there something in your life you are struggling to see God’s faithfulness in?

Managing the Home {POP31 Chap. 7}

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I love how Amy subtitled this chapter: “I’m a homemaker but my name ain’t Susie”.

Back when I had one child, I almost felt like Susie “Homemaker”. Seriously. I thought I had it all together. Our second child put reality into perspective for me; not merely because I had two children, but my second child was born with major food allergies and asthma. It put me on a road I never expected. And although he has been healed of most of those ailments (and is now 6 years old), I now have a total of five children. Susie left a loong time ago.

In recent months I have come to learn something about myself. Maybe this is true of you as well, but you just haven’t realized it yet.

I like to keep things simple. I have always been like that, but it’s become more intentional in recent months and I have further justification for choosing this lifestyle.

I do not want to waste my life constantly reorganizing my “stuff” to make it more manageable.

I would rather spend my time creating with my children, reading to them, writing, and helping others. So I have learned to simplify everything; from toys to clothes, books and furniture, decor and nick knacks. Everything. I keep the best of everything and let the rest go. It really helps me breathe and makes managing my home easier and allows me for more time with my family, and to be quite honest, for blogging, too.

Amy leaves you with some wonderful ideas on how to help manage your home.

What is something you can work on this week to help better manage your home?

 

For a full list of books, click the banner. Honestly folks, this is a deal you don’t want to pass up. This is a ONE TIME offer and it runs this week only. I own about 8 books on this list and they are all awesome.

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Mothering {Chapter 6 POP31}

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This blog is centered around raising our children in the Lord. We have a mission field right in our own homes. Children being born into a Christian family doesn’t secure their salvation. Perfect parenting doesn’t secure their salvation either.

Only Jesus secures their salvation. Our responsibility is to lead them to the cross; lead them to the throne of grace. We can’t change their hearts and we can’t whip them into shape. But we can guide them and love them until there’s nothing left and rely on Jesus to keep loving them.

What we can do is love them so deeply it drives them to Jesus; not constantly bash them for making mistakes or being childish, because they will mature as we continue to guide. Guiding them means being intentional about what we’re doing and teaching every.single.day. Not just once in a while pulling out the Bible because we feel guilty we haven’t in a month. That’s a harsh reality to be faced with, but friends, what are we compromising when we don’t make Him a priority right in front of our children?

My goal isn’t to take the soapbox today, however. Amy has some things to share with you so I’ll give her the floor. ;)

The winner of Grace for the Good Girl is commenter #4, Alison. Congrat’s Alison!

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A Blissful Marriage Doesn’t Just Happen {POP31 Chapter 5}

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This was one of my favorite chapters in Amy’s book. I love how she opens the chapter with Mark 10:9 and offers an insight I had never considered before.

Many people get married believing their wedding day is a “sealer” or guarantee of some sort that everything will  be great. The truth is, when you have two sinners living under one roof, this is simply not the case. Disagreements and hard times will come.

Many things need to be considered and we should always be proactive in our marriage. Last week I wrote about a few things that I have found vital for the health of my own marriage.

There is something even more vital that comes before all of that can even happen.

Your love for God.

Excellent thoughts here Amy. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.

I love all the feedback in the comments from last week and I have read every single one of them. It takes courage to recognize areas we fall short in and I commend you ladies for that.

This week I want to challenge you to seek God and pray that He would mold your heart to be receptive to Him. Pull out a journal and write down your prayers if it will help you focus. Do not neglect your time with God because it ultimately effects everything else, including your marriage. God must, must, must be the center of everything.

This week’s giveaway is for the book:

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman

Today, let’s discuss what is hindering us from being diligent to seek out time with God daily. This time is crucial for us to grow in our walk with the Lord and also in our marriages. The two are intertwined. Our marriage cannot grow if our relationship with God lacks, is strained, or isn’t regularly nurtured.

In order for your entry to count for the giveaway, you must add meaningful discussion in the comments.

Last weeks eBook winners are:

Motherhicks and Vickie

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Be His Wife {Chapter 4}

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Welcome to week 4 of our Pursuit of Proverbs 31 study. In an attempt to rally some of you back in to the study, we’re going to be offering a giveaway at the bottom of this post, so stay tuned!

I know sometimes when we get behind on a study we can feel like we’ve failed and just give up attempting to get back on board. Don’t do this! It’s better to jump in where we are at then to just give up the whole study altogether. You can always go back to those chapters, and visit the series here to watch the videos at any time. Let’s just keep moving forward and not worry about what we left behind. Nothing’s perfect, right? Let’s make the most of it!

Today we’re touching on being a wife and help meet to our husbands. Amy makes some excellent points in this section, so if you don’t own a copy, get it here!

Here are some of my thoughts and experience.

Your relationship with your husband should be first priority under your relationship with God.

Having a good foundation in your marriage sets a good foundation for your children. Having a good foundation with God sets a good foundation for your marriage {which perhaps I could have mentioned first}.

Children need to see their mama respect, support, and love their daddy unconditionally. Not only when you think he deserves it or only after you get your needs met, but simply because you want to show love to him. Which I know can be so hard when it’s not a lifestyle you grew into in the beginning of your marriage. But nothing is hopeless and I have heard of countless marriages transformed just by having transformed thinking.

We must remember the design for marriage God has given us — He’s given it to us for our good.

Here are some key elements that I have found imperative for the health of my marriage:

Communication & Prayer

When my husband and I don’t communicate well, it can lead to major frustrations and a sense of insignificance. However, getting to know my husband has helped me understand how he works, and as a result of this, I know he doesn’t do things to intentionally make me angry.

For example, when he’s running late (really late) from work and doesn’t call to let me know, and I try calling him and get no answer. I used to get so irritated at this because I would worry! Often, he doesn’t even realize the time because he is so deep in his work, trying to get it finished so he can come home. Since I have come to understand this, it’s easier to set my mind at ease. That doesn’t mean we’ll always understand everything our husband does, but we can still show understanding and grace.

I also pray for my husband, in general and specifically. Two weeks ago he hurt his back at work and was on work restrictions because he couldn’t lift or bend much. I specifically prayed and I asked my Good Morning Girls group to pray as well. He is almost 100% better now, doing his full work load again. Our husbands need our prayers! But please, mind your prayers. Certainly it’s important that our husband’s grow in the Lord, but don’t allow your prayer life to become a list of complaints against all the things your husband isn’t doing right. And certainly don’t ask your girlfriends to pray for all his “wrongs”. That would shame your husband. Yea, don’t do that.

Love & Respect

These are probably the two most important factors in marriage. Husbands are to love their wives, and wives are to respect their husbands. Obviously, we also should love our husbands and they should respect us. But isn’t it powerful how God knew what a man and a woman would need? Women need to feel loved and men need to know they are respected–especially by their wife.

I never had an all out desire to purposefully disrespect or dishonor my husband. Rather, there are little things that I had to learn that were disrespectful to him–and I’m still learning. For example, a big pet peeve of his is when I correct his disciplinary action of the children, in front of the children.

It used to be a really bad habit that was hard to break. Sometimes I just  felt the need to come to their defense if he didn’t know the whole story or if I thought the discipline didn’t fit the “crime”. However, that doesn’t justify my disrespectful behavior in front of the children. This is where communication is SO vital. My husband was wise in telling me this bothered him, rather then letting it stew and me never knowing about it.

Forgiveness & Unity

These are also very important elements in our marriage. When my husband and I get into a nasty fight, which are really rare, but they do happen. It hurts. I have a mix of anger and pain. Because although I might be angry with him, I am also hurting from being in disunity from him. We are a team. So when there is a disconnect, I feel that divide. These are the times when I really pray. I pray for God to work in both our hearts.

Regardless of who’s right or wrong, I apologize. Because if my husband is angry or hurt or upset, it means that my actions have caused those feelings. I’m not the one feeling them, so I cannot say what he should or shouldn’t feel based on my actions. The simple fact is, my actions wronged him in some way. So I apologize. Unity with my husband is much more important than who was right or who was wrong.

Ladies, we want to challenge you this week. What can you do to make your husband feel respected by you? Is there a specific area you fall short in? Do you struggle overall? Choose one thing, pray for God’s direction, and work toward it this week.

 Giveaway

We’re keeping this simple. Whoever adds meaningful comment discussion will automatically be entered for one featured eBook of winners choice. There will be two ladies chosen.

Featured eBooks

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