December 19, 2012

on devotions and reading His word.

I got a request last week to write about my daily devotions--what I read, how I got started, and what exactly I do.

First off, I want to thank that person for asking me to write about it. I feel honored to have been asked to write this. Seriously, I do!

Secondly, I want to say that I am not an expert in this area. I don't really have a devotional that I'm following at the moment, to tell you the truth. I'm kind of following my own, or I guess creating my own as I go.

As stated here and here, I started re-reading through the New Testament this fall. I started off with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and am now in the book of Acts. I heard somewhere that if you're going to start reading the Bible, start with the New Testament and I couldn't agree more. In my opinion, starting with Jesus is what's best--especially for new readers! You'll be amazed at how generous, forgiving, and loving He really is.

As far as the logistics go, I do my devotions at night. Personally, I find it's a great way for me to end my day. I have the time to reflect, to pray, and to let go of the negative stuff that happened to me throughout the day. I find that by doing my devotions at night, I'm not falling asleep angry or sad. Just content. At least most of the time...

That's not to say that you can only do your devotions at night! In fact, I recommend doing it when you can consistently make the time to. Make it a part of your routine. And if you're having a hard time getting started and sticking to it, I recommend doing it for at least 21 days. I heard somewhere that that's how long it takes to create a new routine. And I'm telling you those 21 days work. I started doing that awhile back when I was struggling to make the time to brush my teeth twice a day (TMI?). So I'm living proof that it works.

Anyway, during my devotions I start off by writing down my favorite thing about my day. Something I'm grateful I experienced, or something that was sweet that happened to me. I've been writing mine down on Ashley Campbell's free printable calendar and plan to share some of my favorites with you at the end of the month.

Then, I either journal or read my Bible. Most nights I end up prayer-journaling first. This just includes a prayer that I write down in letter-form to God. They're not incredibly long and they usually include prayer requests, notes of thanks for things that happened during the day, as well as things I'm struggling with at the moment.

Lastly, I open up my Bible. On school nights I typically read one chapter each day. It makes for a slow read, but more importantly, it makes for a more meaningful one. I found that when I tried to read multiple chapters in one sitting, I was skimming or reading and letting my mind wander while doing so. That kind of defeats the purpose of me reading the Bible, so I'm sticking to one chapter--or more if I'm on a roll! If you do find that your mind is wandering, don't be afraid to re-read a passage. Either that night or the next day. Trust me, I do that all the time, And another way to keep your mind from wandering is to have a Post-it note nearby. My pastor recommended it because he found it was a great way to focus. Simply write down little things that might enter your mind while doing your devotions that you need to remember later.

Something else I've learned since re-reading the Bible is that there really is something new to learn and take from reading His word--no matter how many times you've read the same passage! Since I began this new Bible reading plan, I've been writing, underlining, and circling key words, phrases, or important-to-me verses in my Bible. I've found it's a great way for me to remember verses. It's also a cool way to look back at what you've read in the past and be reminded of important lessons and words of wisdom.

Anyway, I'm going to sign off for now simply because this post became way wordier than I ever planned it to be. I hope this helps and was at least a little interesting to read. If anything, it's a great way for me to keep myself accountable!

And now I'm interested--what are your Bible reading or devotional routines?


  1. It's always wonderful to hear how others grow. Somehow, recently and much to my astonishment, I've become a morning devotion person. I just finished the Experiencing God study, and since then have been doing She Reads Truth. Usually I start with reading the passage and then the commentary. I'm a journal so I write down words, prayers, quotes, verses, drawings. If you were to look through my journal, you would find it is one long prayer really. Occasionally, I'll do a word/theme study to understand something that I thought of the day before or was raised during the text. Lately I've been trying to reflect more, to make the connections between my quiet time and the circumstances of my life. I try to reflect once a week, but if i'm being honest it's more like 2x a month. This has been such an amazing experience seeing how God's working in my life and responding to prayer.

    Sorry for the insanely long comment.

    1. I wish I was a morning devotion person. I'm definitely a morning person but for some reason I love doing my devotions at night. I've also really wanted to start She Reads Truth and have heard a lot of good things about it, so I'll have to check it out again and hopefully jump on the bandwagon soon!

      I love that we're both journalers. Yay for another similarity! :)

      And never apologize for long comments, they're my favorite!

  2. Awesome! I love the way you devote yourself to the Word and made it into a routine. I've been finding it hard lately but I'm going to try to get back into a regular routine! This past semester I would usually try to do it sometime in the morning, but most times it was just whenever I had a free moment in the day. That's what college does to ya! Normally I read a devotional book that I have, which has two passages and then a small verse from proverbs. At the end of each passage there is a little explanation/expansion on the material. While I'm reading I write notes into the margins or bottom or top of the page– it's kind of a mess haha but when I re-read through it I'd like to see what I was thinking last time I read it! I'm definitely planning on trying to read other devotions or maybe just do my own like you! I've done what you do before and I really did like reading my way through the New Testament on my own terms. And you're right, that's the best place to start!

    1. Making it a routine was definitely hard! But it's sooo worth it in the end. But I totally understand, college does like to try and change up everything in your life. :)

      I like how you write in your devotional (did I read that right?)--it sounds like a great idea and I might have to try that, too!

  3. thanks for replying to my request! the 21 days concept is an inspiration. i'll let you know how it goes for me! thanks again.

    1. No problem and please keep me updated! Best of luck--I know you can do it! :)


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