By nature, I am a night owl. I like to stay up late and work in the wee hours of the morning. The kids are asleep. The house is quiet. And ideas flow freely for me at that time of night. However, after having children – two of whom are early risers – this isn’t necessarily feasible anymore. Especially when one of them is our very curious, nosey four year old.
I used to do my Bible study at night before bed, because of the quietness of the house and I could be alone. It worked well when my husband worked the graveyard shift, because he wasn’t waiting on me to come to bed and I wasn’t keeping him up by reading too late. However, now that he is in a full-time ministry and my days begin around 7am…the 1am Bible study time doesn’t work so well anymore.
Getting up early isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I am one of those people that once I wake up – I’m awake. WIDE AWAKE. So, for months I tried getting up around 5:30-6am to do my Bible study before anyone wakes up. However, if your kids are anything like mine, it never fails that they will wake up early and be ready to talk away at 6:10…just as you start reading your Bible.
When that happens days in a row or even weeks, it is discouraging and I often give up. Not the best approach, I know. But, that got me thinking about how I could make a Bible Study System that worked! Here’s what I’ve come up with that works for me.
5 Steps for Creating a Bible Study System that Works
- Choose a time of day. Although I do believe it is important to start your day with the Lord, that doesn’t necessarily mean your Bible study time needs to be in the morning. My husband prays in the shower every morning, but his study time is later in the day when he is more focused and alert. As I mentioned before, I am a night owl, but have been forced to be more of a morning person. However, neither of times work for me, so I have selected a time during the day when I can get away and take a break while the kids are playing, occupied by a video or away from the house for one reason or another. This has served me much better. It can even vary from day-to-day depending on your schedule.
- Choose a style. This is probably the most important step, in my opinion. If the study doesn’t work with your learning style (you really should know your learning style) or align with what you believe, you will get discouraged easily and give up. You may enjoy journaling, in which case a journal-heavy study might be appropriate. If you like doodling, I recommend trying your hand at doodling through the Bible or using one of the Creative Bibles out there that has pictures already in them for you to color. There is also space in the margins of this particular Bible to write notes or draw as you wish. If you’re just a reader, but like to write out thoughts that come to mind when you study the Bible, I highly suggest the Good Morning Girls series. They do have groups you can join in online, but this is a great way for women to come together through God’s Word by studying and reading through one chapter a day. This has, by far, been my favorite method of Bible study. I’m not a great journal keeper for the sake of writing and I am definitely not a doodler. But, digging in to one book of the Bible, one chapter a day – that I can do! I have done several studies with my group online and even lead a group for the past 6 months. It is a very doable Bible study for busy moms. My mom did one of them with some women in her church and they really enjoyed it – so you can also meet in person to discuss your weekly readings.
- Gather your supplies. After you have decided which method of study fits you, and don’t worry if you need to change it up a few times before finding the right fit – gather your supplies. You will need a Bible, this one is my favorite. Some good pencils or pens, I prefer these pens as they do not bleed through and have a very fine tip. I also use these highlighters as I’m working through my GMG studies. If you’re a doodler, you might want to invest in some beautiful colored pencils or gel pens to make your drawings and doodles pop.
- Set up your area. If you’re like me, you need a consistent space set up where you can study. This is helpful for a few reasons. First, it allows me to have a space all to myself, where I can keep all my supplies in one area without having to move them every day. Second, I can give my children rules, such as: When Mommy is here and reading, don’t disturb her unless its an emergency. Third, it’s nice to have a dedicated space where I know I can go and sit to read and study God’s Word.
- Set an alarm. No matter what time of day you decide to do your Bible study, set an alarm. If you’re an early riser, set your alarm early so you can get started. If you’re one that likes to do your study before going to bed, set your alarm so you don’t get caught up in a project or television show and get too tired to do your study. If you’re going for the middle of the day, set an alarm so you won’t get sidetracked or too busy and forget. This has been a life saver for me, personally. Since I work from home and homeschool my children, its easy to get caught up in a project, blog post or any other part of my day and completely forget to do my Bible study and spend time with the Lord. And that’s a habit, I don’t want to keep.
What steps have you taken to create a Bible Study System that works?