Sunday, May 17, 2015


Two years ago I wrote a blog post in response to some sweet friends on Instagram wanting to know how I study the Bible. It turned out to be my most popular post to date. If you are new here and haven't read the original post you can find it here

A little over a month ago I started feeling stagnant like something was missing from my journaling...and then it dawned on me...I was missing from my journaling. I had hidden my voice and response to the things the Lord had asked of me out of laziness.  Let me explain. 

Here is my what I wrote on Instagram on 4/23/15: "Confession Post #3001: Today I find myself feeling restless with my journaling. I'm going back to the drawing board, asking God to let me use my own words...not the words of commentators all the time...the reason I tend to read a lot of commentary is to gain a deeper understanding. I guess the missing piece is making it  more personal and letting go of what people might think of me. So there's my heart."

As soon as finished posting those words, I felt the Lord remind me of a book I bought on January 7, 2015 when I went on my Amazon binge with my Christmas money! So I flew down the stair to my office, starred at my bulging bookcase and there it was! 

I quickly raced back upstairs, picked up my ipad and began to give a praise report on Instagram. "And just like that the Lord who knows my heart and hears my prayers, just reminded me of a book I bought a few months ago. He knows the desires of my heart, my dream to teach, write and encourage others. And in the sweetest way He's helping me be ok with my own words. Lord, I love you!"

On April 26, 2015 I finished the book and I've not been the same since. I totally could have finished the book in one night but I was practicing self control and taking notes the entire way through, hence the delay. Smiley emoji here. 

During this time I also learned about the 7 Arrows of Bible Reading  and understanding that for myself has proven extremely beneficial, and I highly recommend that resource if you want to dig deeper in your personal study time. 

I have been preparing my heart to write this post for two weeks now, just trying to find the best word to describe this process. What I was doing before wasn't wrong; but I felt a tug in my spirit that there was a better way. And the Lord gave me this word: revision.

Revision: n.  a change or set of changes that corrects or improves something

The change that I'm making is going from allowing myself to jump to my study Bible and Biblical commentaries when I start to feel lost in Scripture. Lost is a feeling I don't like. 

Here is another excerpt from me processing the new information from Jen's book: "I told myself I wasn't a good student in school because I had average grades. My high school chemistry teacher told me she never met someone who worked so hard for average grades. I was afraid of going to college for fear of failure. I have almost completely relied on my study Bible and commentaries, telling myself that I need them to help me 'get it' instead of asking God to help me."

Fast forward to page 81 of Jen's book: "The problem is not with our study Bibles or commentaries; the problem is with out need for instant gratification and our dislike of feeling lost. Commentaries hold a valid place in the learning process, but that place is not at the beginning of the learning process, where they can diminish our sense of feeling lost- a feeling that is actually our friend." 

I didn't start out with commentaries at the beginning of my studying, but it sort of slipped in...that need for instant gratification. But God is faithful to meet me right in the midst of my feelings of being lost and dying to the need for instant gratification. Isn't He so good in every way?! 

The things that remain the same: 

The early morning hours. I still love them and crave that time because I'm a homeschool mama and am not without my boys so I need that alone time with Jesus. I light candles and still drink my piping hot cup of English Breakfast tea while Pandora quietly plays worship music in the background. 

My Disclaimer. I want to remind you again that it's so nice that people want to know how I study the Scriptures. But I am no Bible scholar. I just love Jesus, want to know Him in a super personal way and make Him known in every way I can. He means everything to me. 

Prayer. It needs no explanation, really....other than its necessary.

The things that changed:  Compliments of  The LORD, Jen Wilkin & 7 Arrows of Bible Reading

A printed copy of the text: double spaced with plenty of room for note taking, highlighting and definitions. This is totally my jam.

Background Information: Who wrote it? When? Why? Where? Themes?

Repetitive Reading: It is incredible what repetitive reading will do for personal understanding. Try it!

CIA:  This is not what you might think. C stands for comprehension: what does it say? I stands for interpretation: what does it mean? A stands for application: how should it change me? 

7 Arrows: What does this passage say? What did it mean to its original audience? What does this passage tell us about God? What does tell me about man? What does this passage demand of me? How does this passage change the way I relate to people? What does this passage prompt me to pray about?

If you are still reading, thank you. I am passionate about the Lord and spending time with Him on a daily basis. He still directs my heart with what I share about what He's teaching me. He inspires me and leads me through this beautiful journey of discovery.


Yes, Lord.

For Your glory.


PS: If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll work on answering them in a separate post. My next post will be about journaling prayers to keep proper focus. Love y'all!

She Reads Truth