Start 2013 the Right Way

It’s January first of a brand new year. I have put away the tree and decorations, cleaned out some clutter (four Walmart sacks full) and have started another journey through God’s Word just this morning. It’s cloudy here, and cold, but I love it! The last two summers were exceedingly dry and hot, so this wet, cold weather is a welcome change.

I have posted here about how I want everyone to read the Bible this year. Even if you read just one chapter a day, it will change your life. I tell my little Sunday school students to try reading one verse a day. It’s not much perhaps, but it will get them in the habit, and we all have to start somewhere.

I thought I’d share some of my morning routine to give you some ideas for creating your own quiet time space.

I get up before everyone else so I am assured of a true quiet time. Interruptions during Bible reading can be frustrating and of course, distracting. With five children, this means I get up before the sun. But it’s worth it.

I have my coffee {with vanilla creamer}, my Bible, my journal and my favorite pen in a safe place where no one will bother it. Nothing steals your Bible-reading-joy like starting to underline a verse only to find your pen is gone. I keep my things put up, but I have hidden a spare pen, just in case. (Insert evil laugh here) I like the fine-point blue pens. Fine-point makes it easier to underline or jot a note in a tight space and blue shows up better against the black or red print of my Bible.

Here’s my set up: Box of tissues (because I have allergies that flare up in the mornings), my favorite journal and pen, my Bible, my coffee and a little daily devotional booklet called The Baptist Bread (only available for churches to order). Notice the spiral notebook to the right of the computer screen? That’s very important. You see, I have a rather active mind. Okay, let’s just admit it, shall we? My mind wonders during my devotional time. I think about something I want to Google. A title for a book pops into my head, or a story idea. I want to remember to mail a note to someone, etc. These thoughts randomly pop into my mind (probably from Satan to distract me). I can either stop reading my Bible and go do those things, or I can wait till I’m done. The problem was that when I waited, I would finish and think, “What was that thought? What was I going to do?” (See! It’s got to be the Devil! Why else would I only remember during my Bible reading time? Fishy if you ask me!) So that old, mostly-used-up spiral notebook has been a great help with this dilemma. Now, when a random thought pops into my head, BAM! I jot it down, forget about it and get back to thinking about my Bible reading. When I’m done with my devotional time, I read my list and take care of those things that only came to mind during quiet time. Problem solved. 

This is my favorite journal. I have already gone through one. When I used it up, I did some research to find another one. I love that it has over a hundred pages which are lined. I love that it is hardback and spiral bound – it’s sturdy and easy to fold back to write on. I slide my pen down the little spiral thing for storage. Each day, I write the day of the week and the date on a section of a page (I usually only need to use half a page a day). Below the date, I write the word “read” and then I fill in the chapters which I read that day. Today, I read Genesis 1-2, Matthew 1 and Proverbs 1. Below that, I write in a verse that blessed me, or a thought on a verse. If nothing comes to mind to jot down, I just leave it. At least I can go back and see what passages I read on that given day. Sometimes, I write down burdens or blessings, since writing is my favorite thing to do. I just recently started writing down what the weather is on that day…because I’m an insane list-freak.

Here’s the latest addition to my “space”. 🙂 It’s a Mary Engelbreit day-by-day calendar! I love Mary’s artwork, don’t you? Each day has a cheerful drawing with a little saying. This adds some nice color to my little desk. I use this desk a lot – Bible time, grading papers and typing on my laptop – so I want to make it a happy place. 
I hope these ideas will help generate some for your own quiet time. 2012 is over, and it held many challenges and lessons for me. I don’t know what I would have done without God’s Word to guide me daily. It was my comfort, my teacher, my light and my encouragement through many dark days. I expect 2013 to be just as challenging. Why? Because I’m still robed in flesh, and my flesh is sinful, because I’m still living in a sin-cursed world, and because the devil is still loose on this world. Perhaps this will be the year that my Saviour will return. But if not, I’m thankful for His Word and His Holy Spirit. Let’s start 2013 the right way – with  God’s Word!
May the Lord bless you richly in 2013!

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