I love the early morning quiet. I sit at my desk and gaze at the steam rising from my piping hot cup of English Breakfast tea. I turn on Pandora and listen to my favorite praise and worship music. I wait. Before I say what happens next, perhaps I should start back to October 29, 2012.
I had no daily rhythms. I just sort of went along with things, rather than starting my day at the best possible place: The Word. And the Lord knew I needed Him in those early morning hours. It's not easy to homeschool but I love it and so I do it because I have been called for such a time as this.
The morning of October 30, 2012 God saw fit for me to find @shereadstruth on Instagram. I was so smitten with all of the images of coffee mugs, open Bibles, journals and Scripture art. At that time, I believe 15,000+photos were listed under the #shereadstruth hashtag. I spent a while looking through them, liking them and getting quickly attached to this precious community of believers. (Lord, thank you for Your Divine appointment!)
It's funny. The first thing I did after going to the website was I chose Philippians as my first study. I had no idea that I could participate in a real live devotional until later on. :) Here is a picture of my very first journal page. Even as I am looking at this for the first time in almost a year, I love how God chose this to be my first Scripture. He is so precious to me.
Recently, a few people have asked me to share with them how I read She Reads Truth. First of all, it is so nice that people want to know how I study the Scriptures. I should offer a disclaimer, though. I am no Bible scholar. I just love my Jesus and want to know everything that I can about Him and more than that, I want what I learn to impact others and change my life. Jesus means everything to me.
I can't believe that I've been part of this beautiful community of women for almost an entire year. I hate that I missed out from the beginning but I trust in God's perfect timing.
As I began my quiet time this morning, I made notes of the steps that I take while studying the Word. Your way may not look like mine, and that's ok. As long as we are in the Scriptures, spending time with Him in sweet fellowship, learning what it means to find Christ and be found in Him, then we will be successful in our individual relationships with the Most High.
So without further ado, this in a nut shell, is what I do.
1. I like to start out with worship music. I didn't start out that way but was recently convicted, about starting my quiet time in worship; to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. I highly recommend it-whether you can sing or not. (Like me)! :)
2. Pray! I told a friend of mine that I sit down at my desk and say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." I just want to hear from Him. I want Him to point me to what He wants me to know about Him. I love that in our Christ-following, we are ALWAYS learning....and that's a good thing.
3. I use the YouVersion Bible app on my ipad and I read the Scriptures in several translations. My favorites are: The Message, The Amplified Bible, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, and God's Word Translation.
4. I have a notebook that I use only for taking notes during my quiet time. I record my thoughts, the Scriptures, parts of the devotional content that spoke to me, etc. I don't post anything from this notebook on social media. I thought it would be neat to show a few of my journals. I LOVE to write! Fun fact: I just started on my eighth notebook. :)
5. Most times a verse of Scripture will stop me and I will focus on that by writing it in my study notebook in whatever translations I like best. Then I go to biblehub.com or preceptaustin.org and type in the selected verse and read the Biblical commentaries to see if I can gather more information for better understanding. A lot of times, I will find a quote to share or a similar Scripture to add to my notes.
6. Next, I read the Devotional Content from shereadstruth.com. I write any quotes/phrases I want to remember, share or pray about. Tip: I buy all my notebooks at Staples during the one cent sale in August. Here's proof:
7. After, I read the Scriptures in my English Standard Version Study Bible. This Bible has been a life-saver. It has wonderful study notes and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a new Bible. Sometimes I will google different Scriptures and Biblical Commentaries for better understanding.
8. When the study portion is complete, I take out a piece of notebook paper and begin to pray and ask God for confirmation on what I am to share. Sometimes, it will be part of a page or an entire page. It could be a page full of Scriptures or a prayer or a heart-to-heart or a page of quotes or a mixture of it all. I write everything out and then I share it on: instagram.com/melissaemma1 or twitter.com/melissaemma7 or facebook.com/melissa.w.emma
9. Lastly, I take my study notebook and my prayer journal and I write out my prayers specifically as it relates to my notes. This helps me stay focused. I know that writing this much is not for everybody but this is just how I do it.
There it is! I know it seems like a long drawn out process but it's not. I adore it and I love going to the #shereadstruth hashtag and seeing what everyone is learning, too. I was thinking that I should blog each day about what I'm learning in Bible study because that is what I love. I God and His Word. I'm going to pray about doing that.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words. I hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. It was honor to share this with you all.