Day 12: In other news

Viewing the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel
Viewing the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel
In view here are the regions where Jesus did most of His miracles
In view here are the regions where Jesus did most of His miracles

Since life is still clipping along at an ordinary pace and there is not much to report from the day, I thought I would talk a little bit about one of my goals for this time.

I believe it is a common theme among young mothers who claim to be followers of Christ that finding time to devote yourself to Him in prayer and Bible study can be at best elusive and often downright frustrating. I definitely have to confess that this has been a struggle for me.

I have also realized that simple devotional reading (i.e. go to a passage, read, think: what does this mean to me?) does not suffice for learning the Bible and therefore learning of Christ.

If I can copy off of my husband and some of his professors, you must determine first of all, “What does the passage mean?”, before you can ever make a conclusion regarding what it means to you.

This requires the skill of diligent Bible study.

This past semester my husband was required to read The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study by Oletta Wald. His praise for it caught my attention. “This is the best book I have ever read on teaching someone how to study the Bible!” My ears perked up; one, because he is extremely careful about how people teach/interpret the Bible and rarely speaks so well of a book; two, because I noticed the book was very short – maybe I could work through it! And finally build a foundation for how to study the Bible.

Well, in case you haven’t guessed already, one of my goals for this time alone was to begin reading and working through that book.

This book really is wonderful. I’ve actually only gotten through the first chapter and practice exercise, but it has been so helpful. It’s really teaching me how to dig through a passage, not to find something that no one has heard of before, but to understand the true meaning of the text.

In all honesty, I’m ashamed at how little I have studied the Bible, especially through these last five years of childbearing.

Is it difficult to find the time? Yes; but it’s also difficult to live day in and day out without that all-satisfying water of the Word. Believe me, I know.

Lord-willing, I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I continue to work through this little book. Interested in checking it out? Here’s an amazon link: The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Day 7: I need you

Day 8: An answered prayer

Day 9: Letting others be there for you

Day 10: the weakest link

Day 11: exhaustion setting in

New Year Resolutions; my plan from last year and how it worked

Pictures 2 357I’m a huge NYR lover, always have been.

The past two years, though, I really wanted to make a way to keep myself accountable all year.

Two years ago, while we were driving home in the freezing cold in the middle of the night, I made a list of seven things on the notepad of my phone. Then I set reminders on the beginning of every month so I could look back at the list and remember. It worked pretty good! I was at least mindful of it all year and did make progress, even though it’s never as much as you would want (at least with me).

But last year, I really stepped it up a notch. My first goal was to set monthly goals; the rest of the “year” goals had to do with different things I wanted to accomplish or “be” this year.

I would say nine out of the twelve months I did this and then evaluated at the end of the month how I’d done. Overall, I was pleased with the results.

But all this is just babbling; let me see if I can give you the idea in a quick, understandable fashion.

My New Year’s Resolution plan from last year

Pictures 2 362Write out a list of the goals you have for this coming year. Think through all areas of your life.

Make general goals to work towards the entire year.

Plan to make monthly goals in all of these areas, breaking up the general goals into more specific ideas.

Every weekend sit down and make a list of things that you know you can do that week. Check them off as you go and keep remembering your specific purposes for that month.

At the end of each month, it’s helpful to evaluate how you did in accomplishing your goals. Keep in mind that as you go, you will realize that some “kinds” of goals are helpful and attainable and others just didn’t work that well. As you set your new goals for the next month, use what you’ve learned to make your goal-setting more productive.

This system really did work well for me. I definitely was mindful of my resolutions all year, and felt that the weekly and monthly goal-setting made accomplishment much more practical.

pictures-2-365.jpgI’d love to hear your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. What are some that you have kept? Which do you find are the most easily forgotten? Are there methods that have helped you continue your purposes throughout the year? 

This year, if you’re interested, I’m slowing things down to hopefully focus on just one thing that I sense is dangerously lacking.

And here is an example of the monthly goals I made in November.

Happy New Year!

NYR: A goal about love

It just occurred to me as I was sitting here reading online, that maybe I should only have one resolution this year.

You see, there is so much that I’m horribly mediocre at; I long to grow in my decorating and cooking abilities. I want to become a consistent disciple-maker of my children. I want to read more and make better use of my time.

But the one thing that I feel that I want the most often becomes the last priority on the list.  Which we all know means I don’t really want it at all.

I want to love Jesus. But I just love myself too much. It doesn’t matter what I say; my actions speak the truth.

So what if this year my one goal and resolution was to love Jesus?

I know that you have to put more arms and legs on it than that, but here’s my idea for right now. What if at the end of every day, or at the beginning of each morning I survey the past twenty-four hours and ask myself, “Did I love Jesus? Was love for him the motivation behind each action and the constraint behind each refusal?”

I will have to think on this more. I do know that while I look back at this year and am satisfied to see tons of improvement, there’s something major missing. Last year’s goals were great, but it’s time to go farther.

(God is so faithful to lead when we seek Him. Just after these thoughts occurred to me, I came across these posts from girltalkhome.com)