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Bible Time

Remember & Return {Book Review}

I can still remember the freshness of the very first time I ever read through the Bible. Everything was so new to me! I could easily spend an hour reading the word, taking notes, being totally in awe of all that I was discovering about […]

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Bible Study for Busy Moms

Do you struggle with finding time to get into God’s Word? Are there days when you are discouraged as your head hits the pillow that you were unable find the time to sit down with your Bible? How can a busy mom like you possibly fit this in?

Whether you are up all night with your little one, working from home, or homeschooling one or many, you are a busy mom! Between dishes, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, and more, you may wonder how on earth you are supposed to have time to study God’s Word and invest in your relationship with Him.

I want to encourage you mama, that even if you are busy, even if you don’t have time for one more thing, you can and should spend time in God’s Word daily. You need to. You need to hear from the Lord when you are weighed down with the burden of the day. You need to hear His voice when the work of motherhood has worn you down. You need His refreshment when you are correcting that child for the tenth time today, pulling your toddler out of the garbage can, or dealing with that angry, out of control child.

Are you wondering how on earth you can fit Bible study into your already busy days? Here are some simple tips to help you squeeze time in the Word into your busy days

But does spending time in God’s Word have to look like getting up at 5:00 am and spending an hour alone in a peaceful corner with your Bible and God alone? Nope. Here are a few options that may work for busy moms who just can’t seem to figure out how to add even more to their already busy days:

 

Work it in whenever and wherever you can

You don’t need to have an hour of uninterrupted quiet to spend time in God’s Word. If you have 5 minutes, start there.

Study the Bible with your kids

You don’t need to be doing it alone for it to count. Read and discuss scripture with your children; trust me, they won’t be the only ones getting something out of it.

Study the bible in front of your kids

This one has dual benefits, and has been working really well around here lately. For the last several months, my kids and I “read” our Bibles at the breakfast table. I’ve got my Bible & notebook, My oldest has hers, along with her devotional and notebook, and my youngest two flip through their Jesus Storybook Bibles. I get my time in The Word, and my children, seeing me do this get both time in their Bibles and the example it sets seeing mama do it too.

Get up and study before your kids wake

Ever since becoming a mama, this one has had me rolling my eyes. You might not want to do this if you are still getting up with a little one during the night, or you have kids (like mine!) that seem to know the instant you get out of bed in the morning. Other mama’s find this plan ideal, so try it out if you think it might work for you.

Make it a part of YOUR bedtime routine

Although it may not make sense to put it off all day, if you plan it this way, ending your day with the Lord can be a great idea. The key is making it a regular part of you routine, so you aren’t inclined to skip it. And don’t fall asleep!

Have Bibles accessible in various locations (kitchen, bedroom, living room, car)

If you have a Bible sitting on the kitchen counter, you can read a few verses while you are waiting for water to boil. If you have one tucked in your purse, you will have it when you are waiting in the car. They key here is that if it is accessible, you will be able to read it at points throughout the day even without planning to do so.

Finding time to study the Bible is important, mama! Don’t give up! And remember that what works today might not work tomorrow, so don’t be afraid to switch things up and find what works for you.

May you find peace & refreshment in His Word as you raise your children for Him!

Book Review {The Kid’s Book of Devotions: A 365 Day Adventure in God’s Word by Mark Littleton}

We bought my oldest her own Bible almost two years ago when her reading skills reached a level where she was able read and understand the Bible independently. She was also getting frustrated that she hadn’t read all the Bible stories she was hearing — they simply weren’t in her Jesus Storybook Bible.  We chose a beautiful, lavender, imitation leather ESV Seek and Find Bible with her name embossed on the cover. She was delighted with it, and is sure to bring it to church and Sunday School each week. She’s learning to look up references for herself, and loves finding and reading the verses referenced during our daily Morning Time.

About a month ago, we had a little chat about reading and praying regularly on her own. We discussed making it a regular part of her day — how it is easier to maintain a new habit if we repeat it at the same time each day (upon waking in the morning, during her afternoon quiet time, or before bed). I let her know that I usually do mine in the afternoon or before bed.

Next, I gave her what she found to be very exciting: her own pretty notebook and a devotional. I encouraged her to write in the notebook daily — she could write out something new she learned, a question she wanted my help in answering, or even just to copy out a verse. I was so happy to get out my own Bible with her after that first day when she brought me her  journal and help her find the answers to her questions. I LOVE that she’s asking questions!

The Kid's Book of Devotions REVIEW

The devotional book I gave her was The Kids’ Book of Devotions: A 365-Day Adventure in God’s Word by Mark Littleton. This book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher through Booklook Bloggers. I was not required to provide a favourable review, and all opinions are my own.

This book is a simple daily devotional for the whole year. It is geared to children ages 7-11 which I thought would be a good fit for my 8 year old daughter. Each day includes a passage of scripture (NIrV), a short message or devotional thought, and a prayer. The devotions are arranged according to various themes with each lasting a week. The themes include the Bible, the Church, fellowship, evangelism, temptation and perseverance.

My first impression is that this devotional might be a good fit for reluctant readers. My daughter (who loves to read and is probably quite a bit above “grade level”) was disappointed to discover just how little text there is for her to read each day. Also, there is only one verse, or on occasion, two verses to read each day. I would really like a devotional that had more of God’s Word in it. Again, this could be good for a child who struggles with either the ability or desire to read independently.

I do like that it doesn’t shy away from using important and possibly difficult words like “omnipresence” while also defining the term. As well, most of the devotions end with some kind of question for application — I think that that format is good for helping the child to continue to think over what he has learned even after the book is closed.

I do have one complaint about the content of the book however, which came to my attention on the very first day my daughter was using it.  The verse quoted at the start of the day’s devotion is Revelation 2:19 “I know what you are doing. I know your love and your faith. I know how well you have served. I know you don’t give up easily. In fact, you are doing more now than you did at first.”  The devotion for this verse states that Jesus is telling them all he knows about them, but that they did have one fault — and then tells the child to look it up to see what it is. When your child looks up the verse, this is what they will find: “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” I must admit I was a little shocked at this content for my daughter, who has very minimal knowledge of matters pertaining to sex, let alone sexual immorality. Since this was her first day, and I was helping her along, I read the verse to her and omitted the part I found to be inappropriate for her ears. I’ve not found anything else in the book to be developmentally inappropriate thankfully.

Overall, I’m not terribly impressed with this devotional — we will keep using it however, as long as my daughter is enjoying it and until I find something else that is more suited to her.

Please note: This book was provided to me free of charge from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

How have you encouraged your children to spend time in God’s word? Do you have any recommendations for children’s devotionals or Bible studies?

 

 

Our 24 Family Ways: A Review

 

Almost 2 years ago when I was wondering how to add some Bible and devotional content to our homeschooling days, I borrowed this lovely book from a friend. First off, I am a big fan of borrowing books/curriculum before making any purchases whenever possible! And it’s great to borrow from a friend who can share their experiences with a product to help you decide if it is a good fit for you.  I had been really appreciating Sally Clarkson’s ministry through her blog and her book, The Mission of Motherhood. She references her husband’s book and these Clarkson family “ways” in various places in her blog and books.

24familyways

So I borrowed my friend’s copy of Our 24 Family Ways and thought it looked great! When my oldest was younger, I felt that reading a picture Bible (we use The Jesus Storybook Bible) and memorizing verses was sufficient. As she got older though, I wanted to move beyond just the “Sunday school stories” into more Bible study and character training.  This book seemed perfect for that, and even has colouring pages to go along with each lesson. So I purchased my own copy, and we have been using it for about a year and a half now. We are currently on Way 15 of 24.

Our 24 Family Ways is written by Clay Clarkson, who along with his wife Sally, founded Whole Heart Ministries. I also have a copy of his homeschooling book Educating the Wholehearted Child which is on my list of books that I have found most influential in my own homeschooling journey. The book’s layout is simple, with each Family Way having a picture, a story and 5 days of scripture readings and ideas for discussion questions, conversations and praying.

 

Clarkson uses his “ARTS” outline for each Way:

  • A – Ask a Question: suggestions for questions are included each day to stimulate discussion and gain interest.
  • R – Read the Bible: Bible passages applicable to each day’s topic are chosen to read aloud.
  • T – Talk about it: Questions are provided in relation both to the scripture’s content as well as life application.
  • S – Speak to God: Each day is completed with prayer.

We’ve really enjoyed using this devotional! We bought my  oldest daughter her own Bible last year, and she has had some practice looking up the verses, and she usually asks if she can read the passage aloud for us. I really love to see her growing and learning like this. It has also been adaptable for even Little Sister who was three years old when we started. She still doesn’t participate much with the Bible reading and discussion, but she is memorizing each of the ways and enjoys colouring the colouring pages.  I really like the Family Ways and have found memorizing them to be quite useful for training and correction throughout the day. I find myself saying “Big Sister, we use that build up and bless others” or “Little Sister, we treat others with kindness, gentleness and respect” and the girls knowingly nod their heads because they understand and remember those lessons.

DSC_4724

While we did step away from our circle and Bible time when things got crazy here last spring with the birth of Baby Sister, things are settling down and we are getting back to a more regular routine again. We picked up where we left off with Our 24 Family Ways a few weeks ago and are enjoying it again!

Our 24 Family Ways: A Review - www.learningmama.com

As we are nearing the end of the devotional, I am already starting to look around and see what is available for us to dive into next. I’ve briefly looked at Grapevine Studies, and think my girls might enjoy “Stick figuring their way through the Bible” but I definitely think we will come back to Our 24 Family Ways when Little Sister is older and Baby Sister is old enough to join in!

What about you? Do you have any suggestions for Bible studies or devotionals suited to young children? I’d love to hear about what you like and why!

 

This post contains affiliate links. I purchased this book myself however, and have not been compensated in any way for this review. It is my own honest opinion.