You know that feeling you get when you know that you need to spend time reading the Bible, but your brain feels so fatigued and mushy that you default to scrolling through Instagram rather than meeting with the Creator of the Universe?
Lately, (as in ever since I became a mom), there’s been this static-like feedback in my mind. It fogs and filters my thoughts all day, evaluating how I can preserve as much energy as possible to get through the day. There are those who can pull off this mothering gig with capacity to spare, but let’s be honest, people. I am over here doing mental gymnastics just to keep everyone alive.
It’s that subconscious static that says, “nope” when I see a big task lingering on my to-do list and “not gonna happen” when I look at the thought-provoking book on my nightstand. And then there is the twinge of guilt that comes when I see my Bible laying on my desk but I feel too tired to pick it up and think. My heart is there, but so is my weariness. And my self preservation. But more importantly, so is an ocean full of grace.
I had a youth pastor who once said, “Kitty, I want you to skip your quiet time and just SEE if God still loves you.” I’ve chewed on that thought for the last 20 years as I’ve slowly begun to believe that Christ’s righteousness is mine. There’s no amount of Bible reading that could make Him love me more or less. I don’t have to read my Bible, I GET to spend time with my Creator.
So, instead of fighting my season of life and drill sergeanting myself into what I think walking with God should look like, I’ve decided to go with it. Go with what feels like a gift and a treat to my soul.
Go with whatever means of grace gently gets the real version of me to the real version of Him.
Sometimes that means a nap as I listen to the Divine Office. Or maybe a prayer walk, listening to a podcast or cooking while the AudioBible plays. Sometimes it’s sitting on the deck in silence or doing my best to bring my whole heart to reading the Bible with my kids at the breakfast table.
This week it has looked like…
Attempting to have my journal, Bible, pencil (I’m a pencil girl all of the sudden…I think that’s what my 30’s have taught me…life is always erasable…but that’s another blog post for another day), earbuds, water bottle and work out clothes laid out so I can get a quick workout in before the kids wake. (So Proverbs 31 of me, right? Actually it’s just so I can eat all the gelato I just discovered at Walmart.) It’s looked like treating myself to a cup of Harney and Son’s Coconut Green Tea as I drop my kids at DAY CAMP (!!!!!!!!???!! HOW HAS NO ONE TOLD ME THE MIRACLE THAT IS DROPPING YOUR KIDS OFF AT DAY CAMP?!??????!!!!!) and then using the totally doable and completely manageable Hello Mornings Bible study worksheets that I printed off when we went to Rome.
If I am tired, but my things are already all laid out, it’s comforting to see that I thought of my future self and cared for myself in this way. My spiritual nourishment is also 100% more likely to happen because there are less chances of me breaking my leg as I tiptoe like a ninja and army crawl around in the dark, so as to not wake the fam. (Yes I did wear my clothes wrong side out to the gym twice this week.)
Lately I’ve showed up. Many weeks I simply have not. But reading the Bible even when I’m weary has made all the difference. For example, I’ve been struggling with contentment all summer and Monday’s study had one simple question, “Read Colossians 1:15-20. What attributes of Jesus do you see in this passage?” This was exactly what I needed to set my mind on for the week. I mean…
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all thingshold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,making peace by the blood of his cross.
When I am seeing Jesus as more beautiful than myself or any set of desired circumstances my heart and my mind are changed.
Seriously. I had to type it out just so I could remind myself of the vivid comparison and truth.
And then there was Matthew Henry’s take that got me all fired up:
Verses 15-23 Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore these mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before any creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring full satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ was most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God’s part, it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are now reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature, we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehend these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption, and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God’s love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.
An attitude changer, right? Give me a little kids camp, a little Crossfit and lotta Christ and I’m a new human!
Jk, just Jesus :)
What about you? What helps you most enjoy Jesus?
What environment makes you most clearly see your depravity and your preciousness to Him?
How do you embrace your season of life in tandem with your relationship with Christ?
P.S. Because of my neurotic obsession with resources, friends know they can ask me for personal Bible Study, devotional book and small group study ideas any time. Since many of you have asked recently, here are my faves:
- For personal Bible study I love the ESV Study Bible, the Amplified version and a Matthew Henry Commentary.
- If I had to pick my top 5 devotionals I’d choose: The Jesus Storybook Bible, The Gospel-Centered Life Workbook, The Attributes of God, She Reads Truth and IfEquip.
- These are helpful for experiencing God with children.
- My go-to podcasts are Inspired to Action, God-centered Mom and The Gospel Coalition.
- If I just need a solid sermon to kick me into gear my top picks are Paige Benton Brown and Matt Chandler.
- When I start a small group I begin with the 10 Transferable Concepts, Tim Keller’s Galatians study, and The Gospel-Centered Life Workbook.
- Lectio Divina is another very restful and contemplative way of reading Scripture.
And seriously, if you were nodding your head with me at all, please listen to Paige Benton Brown’s podcast The B-I-B-L-E why sometimes it’s not the book for me..it is sooo good.
Okay, I want to hear your ideas for enjoying the presence of God throughout your day! xoxo