Word Before World

Word Before World

I'm going to be completely honest: my quiet time with God was pretty sparse since the birth of my third child. Even though Elora completed our family in May 2020, life with a newborn during a pandemic was anything but normal, as I'm sure you already know. My middle child starting school online was also another challenge. Navigating life is that way most of the time. One challenge after another. This summer, ear infections and sinus colds were our obstacle. I've used every excuse in the book as to why I wasn't able to fellowship with the Lord.

Not anymore.

A week before the back-to-school excitement, I knew I had to get things under control. How could I expect my own children to live more intentionally when I couldn't even get ahold of my own priorities? That's why I set my alarm clock for 5 a.m. one Monday morning, and I haven't looked back since.

When I wake up and spend time in God's Word, something amazing always happens. Even if the day is full of pacifying toddler tantrums or helping my older babies manage their big emotions, I am much more capable of tackling what the world throws at me after starting it with Truth.

I'm not a Bible expert. I still consider myself an avid beginner. I can read the Bible until the cows come home, but I still struggle to interpret exactly what I'm reading most times. It can be overwhelming when the Truth goes right over your head, or when you're not sure of the context the scripture is describing. That's why I love teacher-led studies, because I am not ashamed to say I need the extra knowledge and experience of those wise beyond my years. I want to use that first hour to get all I can out of the Word.

Enter Living Proof podcasts.

I didn't get into the hype of podcasts until mid-pandemic 2020. I was seven months pregnant, and the only escape from the house was a picnic blanket in my backyard as my older children would play. Luckily, God blessed us with beautiful weather. And while my children laughed and ran around me, I would sit and listen to Beth Moore with my Bible open. It was a very special time for me. No one could have imagined what the world would be going through, and yet I found so much peace of heart and comfort as Beth would take me through a passage of God's living Words.

Getting back on track was as simple as pushing "play."

My current morning Bible study sessions go as follows:
After my alarm goes off I grab my materials (see below) and spend 45-50 minutes listening to a podcast while taking notes and highlighting passages in my Bible.

For the following 20 minutes or so, I write in my prayer journal. First, I always start with what I'm thankful for and praise God for Who He is. Then, I take note of the requests that I have, and also jot down my response to the podcast teaching.

My current Bible study materials include:
A composition notebook to write my prayers in. This one is a gorgeous option.
Loose leaf paper in a pretty binder to organize my study notes.
A pen and pencil to take my notes with.

For me, that hour and a half is the best part of my day. Afterward, I'm full of love and gratitude and can pour it all over my people as they start their day. Of course, there's been a day or two when my mornings didn't start off as planned, but any hour is the best hour to meet with God, even if you have to divert from your original plan a bit. When life happens, I don't want to come up with more excuses, I want to keep my priorities in check and get back to that sacred time at the next available opportunity!

If you don't know where to start or if you're in between studies, I highly suggest downloading the Living Proof app and starting a podcast series. Beth is one of my absolute favorite teachers due to how thorough she explains each passage. Her research goes beyond Biblical context, but includes a breakdown of the original language, and how the passage relates to other scriptures. It will be well worth your time to give the podcast a listen!

I'm currently going through the book of Romans and all of the wisdom I have gleaned from the first four chapters alone (around 10 pages of notes) is astounding! The Word of God is truly alive and no amount of time will be able to capture the wealth of blessings it contains within those holy pages... but NOW is the best time to start studying up!