How I study the Bible with Little Ones

This is my process. Sometimes I only get through 2 steps, sometimes I sit in all 4. It's not a list to check off. It's a way I get my heart to realign to God every morning. It's an invitation from my heart to his, an eager expectation for Him to speak to my tired mind.
  • Read the daily entry in my New Morning Mercies devotional by Paul David Tripp: I know, I know, I'm not actually starting with reading the BIBLE, but let me be real with you. My brain is a little fried. I'm not always ready to jump in deep into theological exegesis. This time in my life, filled with physical demands and emotional extremes, means I often need something pre-processed first. Something to nudge my mind from the realm of my children and home into discovery of God. This devotional is my momma bird, chewing up the truth so I can digest it a little easier. I love New Morning Mercies because no one mixes grace, truth, theology, and practicality quite so perfectly as Paul David Tripp. I can't recommend it enough. You will get a peace of spiritual meat, cut down to mom-brain simplicity and ready to chew on throughout the day.
  • Read the scripture suggested at the end of my New Morning Mercies devotional: Yep, that even means I'm skipping around in the Bible and only reading short sections sometimes. ;) Getting all wild and crazy like that. What I love about these passages is that they aren't always obvious connections to the text. Figuring out how the scripture relates to what I just read really gets my brain revving up out of it's coma.

A lot of days, I stop here. Doing the above is always my main goal for morning devotions. When I've done the two steps above, my brain has been jump-started into the Truth. I can continue building throughout the day by abiding with God (future post to come on how I do that!). But on a good day, I get to continue on. Here's what I do when I have more time:

  • Read and Study a portion of the Bible I'm sitting in for this season: Here's where I get a little deeper. Friends, I don't have time to really study a portion of the Bible WELL in just one day or even just one week, but that doesn't mean I can't do it. I just have to sit in one place in the Bible in little chunks of time over a lot of days. These portions of the Bible become so dear and so life-giving to me. I spent 7 months in Psalm 145 last year. I know Psalm 145. I love Psalm 145. Verses from Psalm 145 pop into my mind as I go through my day. It has become a part of how I think and a truth that I come back to over and over again. I know the God of Psalm 145. Isn't that the real point of Bible Study anyway? I'm probably not learning anything theologically groundbreaking, but God is speaking to me, right into the grit of my life, and I'm learning how to know Him in all the small moments of my day. Right now I'm camped out in Romans 8, and it's so good for this season. I'm sure I'll be there (and possibly the surrounding chapters) for quite some time.
  • Pray: Since I can pray throughout my day, I schedule this last. Yes, the prayer time is always more meaningful and deeper when I get to pray in stillness, but it's not meaningless when done in chaos. Formal prayer is good, but staying connected to the vine throughout my day is essential. So when I don't have time to formally pray, I find snippets through the day for petition and praise and simple connection.

Dear Friend, hear this: I love Bible Study. I love booklets and questions and concordances and digging in deep. But after Judah was born and I was drowning in moment-by-moment living, I spent months paralyzed from starting anything because I knew I could never finish it. I accidentally stumbled into my new routine, and it's working for me. Find something that works for you. It can be anything. Bible knowledge isn't the goal, receiving the Bread of Life is. Don't not read the Bible because you can never finish a study. Find any way that works for you, and do it. Remember, God is God. He can use the littlest piece of Himself to fill you up! Come to His Word with an open heart and let the Holy Spirit stand in the gap for you.

On those mornings when I can't find a spare moment to do any of this, I simply flip open my Bible on the counter and read one verse a few times as I make breakfast for my kids. That way I still get connected to God early. I don't walk through my day without having eaten my Bread of Life. One verse, read a few times, chewed over as go through my daily tasks, can work miracles!

Tired Mommies, we can be in the Bible. We can be in a developing and fruitful relationship with our Creator and Sustainer. It won't look like it did in our last season and it won't look like it will in the next season, but I can promise you it will bear fruit. We don't need to do this perfectly, we just need to do something. God wants to reach out to us, we just have to open the connection of his Word.