Lately I have become very aware of the need most of us, as women, have to enjoy just a few minutes alone. With the entrance of our third child, my time for myself is often lost. If I’m not making meals or cleaning up from them, I’m feeding the baby (and every so often I find time to write!). And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But I believe that it is important for women to recharge and have a time of quiet in their lives. Recharging is extremely imporant. We are really good at multi-tasking and our brains are constantly moving. Because of this, burn-out can happen very quickly.
Burn-out happens even quicker when you add in a lack of sleep. This can come in various forms but the outcome is always the same. A nursing child, worry over finances or day-to-day circumstances – these things can rob of us a good night’s sleep and the joy that we should be experiencing in the Lord. Recharging seems an impossible thing to attain. But it’s not.
I’ve found that making time to be in God’s word is so important to me keeping my sanity. Enjoying just a few minutes of quiet each day has given me time to think about my role as a wife and as a mother, and allows me to quiet my heart so that my emotional state has time to recharge. I’ve learned to cut down on outside commitments (somewhat) so that I can focus on the work the Lord has given me to do. I’m not perfect. I still have a long way to go, but here are some tools that I have used and am using to encourage myself in the area of recharging.
Last year, I was given a copy of A Heart Devoted by Patti Albert. I really loved using this devotional book all year long because there were a few different ways I could use it, instead of following a single plan for the whole year. The author states on the inside cover that the book is not meant to be a substitute for your daily Bible reading but includes schedules and encouragement to “whet your appetite for a daily walk with God.”
Each page includes a short devotional by a pastor’s or evangelist’s wife, a Scripture verse for the day, a song, a thought for the day, a Bible reading plan (for reading through the Bible in a year), and three sections for writing that allow you to apply that day’s devotional, write out prayer requests, and add any notes you want to.
Each day I could choose to read the devotional or leave it, read the Bible reading plan or use my own, memorize a verse, meditate on a hymn/song, and use the lined sections for my own personal thoughts and prayers. It kept it from getting boring (as some reading plans often can), and I liked the option of using it as a journal of sorts.
Unfortunately, this particular devotional is no longer in print and out of stock on the one website I found it. There is also a second book called A Heart Refreshed that also appears to be out of print. So if you can find one in a bookstore or know someone who has one you’ll be set!
The Excellent Wife is a Bible study that takes you through the Biblical role of women in marriage. It also has a study guide that goes along with the book. From what I am reading, I understand that it is meant to be used as a small group ladies’ study, not necessarily one-on-one. But it does work as a stand-alone book To say I am enjoying it would be hard to say. It is very convicting and I have already found a number of ways that I, as a wife, need to work on my marriage and my commitment to the Lord.
The Excellent Wife Day By Day is a 5-day-a-week devotional that includes a short devotional section that coincides with Martha Pierce’s book, an Application section with bullet points that encourage you to put into action what you are learning (which often includes writing in a separate journal/note book that you provide), a section of verses (not KJV but easy to look up), and a verse to memorize for the week. This book covers 52 weeks (a year), but again, is only 5 days a week, giving 2 days to meditate and think on the things you’ve learned that week. One thing I that I like about this particular book is that the verse you memorize is one a week, not one a day. It gives you time to actually do what Psalm 119:11 says and hide God’s word in your heart.
As I haven’t finished either book I can’t, at this point, speak to the heart of them, but at this point I have been very encouraged and have seen nothing that concerns me. I look forward to finishing the first one and using the second throughout the year.
Besides that, I am working on writing out Scripture this year. I’ve always been impressed with the idea of rewriting Scripture to write it on my heart. As a teacher I recognize that there are benefits in learning when you include all aspects of hearing, reading, writing, and saying. It sticks in your heart just a little bit more every time you add in one of those concepts. I want to know as much of the Bible as I can so that I can know as much of my God as I possibly can. It’s a never-ending goal. There’s always more to learn in this case.
And I do have a Bible reading plan that I am following. It is not a “through the Bible in a year” plan, but goes through just a few books, allowing you time to meditate on just a few verses (10 – 20 verses usually) at a time. I’ve done the Bible in a year, and in 90 days (which was intense but amazing). I’m hoping that a slightly slower pace this year will allow me to focus on some other things (like adding the above books to my quiet time). This will also slow down my quiet time – so even if I don’t have a ton of time, I won’t feel as rushed to get through a certain number of passages, allowing for that quiet feeling and recharging.
I would love to hear what books you are hoping to read this year and what you like to do in your Bible time. What do you do to help yourself get to know the Lord better? Are you taking that time to recharge?