This poor little blog has been just a little bit idle this year (Ha! Did you see what I did there?). To you, my readers, I apologize. I know you can relate when I say, I’ve just fallen off a bit about what to write about, haven’t had the gumption, and sometimes, well, other things take priority. You feel me?
I hate when I get in a funk and can’t seem to crawl my way out. I’m not depressed, I think I’m overwhelmed. My life is going in so many different directions I don’t know which way to go first and so I spend a lot of time going in circles. Well, I.am.dizzy. and it’s time to pick a direction, commit to it and roll with whatever may come along.
When life gets like this I feel so broken in so many aspects of my life. Nothing gets 100% of me and I half ass most of what I do. It sucks!
In true Robyn fashion, the feelings of being overwhelmed, tired, and uncertain led me to search out ways to get my life back. Interesting, isn’t it? My last post was about a runaway life and how to get back on track. Hm, looks like somebody didn’t take their own advice annnd, I suppose that whole “practice what you preach” thing comes in about now and busts my chops. That’s okay, I deserve to have my chops busted, because if I’m going to tell you the things I do to help when life feels crazy, the least I can do, is actually DO the things I write about.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Searching for Power, Love & Self-Discipline
Now, ya’ll know I’m a Christ follower. That’s one relationship I cannot do without, and yet, when life takes its crazy twists and turns, my time with God always seems to fall by the wayside. This time is no different ( is anybody seeing a pattern to my life here, or is it just me?). Okay, maybe it’s a bit different in that I’m realizing I’m more broken than I may have originally thought.
If you read my last post then you know the very first thing I mentioned was making sure to spend time with God and be in His word every.single.day.
That’s exactly what I’ve decided I need to start with. Oh, I read a daily devotion and I love that, but those little snippets of God’s word are baby food; Right now, in this moment of my life, I need an adult three-course meal. I need something I can really sink my teeth into which will help me grow, change, and stop feeling so weird about certain areas of my life. I need the power, love, and self-discipline the Spirit of God gave to me. Somehow I’ve lost those things and I want them back.
I’m going to start with that baby food and continue to eat it, but I’m going to begin expanding my palate just a bit and dive into really studying and asking questions about what I study. I need to make this a daily need, not just a habit, but something I crave each morning (or night, haven’t figured out which is better for me yet).
This thought process has led me to search for ways to study God’s word. Enter, Pinterest! I know, you’re struggling to imagine that’s where I went. LOL
I had heard about Bible Journaling, but I’m not sure that’s for me. I’d also seen and heard a bit about Scripture Writing, so, that’s where I started. Long story short, I really liked the Scripture writing pins I was seeing so I decided that was what I would start with.
There are a crap ton of these types of pins if you decide to go and look, but the one I finally decided on is Wellness through Brokenness because that is exactly what I am seeking. I want to be well even though many areas of my life are broken, I am broken.
4 Life Altering Steps
Why do I call these life altering? How can writing God’s word and learning who you are through that scripture not be life altering? In short, it cannot be. If you’re in the word, you.are.going.to.be.changed!
I don’t know about you, but I’m really good at hiding how I’m truly feeling. I don’t want to bother people with my problems, they have enough of their own. So, I usually suck it up, say ‘I’m fine’ and move on. Liar, Liar pants on fire, that’s what I hear in my head.
There are a lot of areas in my life that are broken, but that’s a list for another day. Suffice it to say, in my brokenness, I fall flat in many areas of my life. I’m sick of being one dimensional. I’m sick of hiding. I’m sick of not being okay. My life is meant for so much more. I am so much more.
That’s why I’m here sharing with you about scripture writing. I think this thing could be a life changer for me and for you.
The writing plan itself is designed so that each day of the month you write out one scripture. It usually takes about 10 minutes to write the scripture, 5-10 minutes to read a commentary and depending on whether you pray or not, another 5 minutes or so. That’s a total of 25-30 minutes to connect with God. I can find that much time if I cut down on my social media time. Facebook is not always a good thing ;).
I usually start with a prayer for the Holy Spirit to show me what I need to know through the scripture I’m writing then, I use my hold- it- in- my- hand Bible for when I’m actually copying the scripture down in my journal, but then, I take it a few steps farther. Here’s what I do…
- Write the Scripture in a Journal. Yep, this is copy work. Remember doing that in school? Same principle here. They say the more senses you use when you’re trying to learn something the easier it will be to learn and remember it. When you’re copying scripture, you’re Seeing it (sight), Writing it (touch), and probably Reading it out loud (hearing), that’s three of your five senses so I’m saying you’re going to learn these scriptures!
- Read a couple of different versions of the verses for the day. For your first reading, use an actual physical Bible: I use The Inspiration Bible New Century Version. Then pull up my Bible app, YouVersion, or Google other versions and read the same scriptures. For example, I read in The Message (MSG), Amplified Bible (AMP), and New International Versions (NIV). It’s really interesting because even though they all say the same thing, one will often say it in a way that really snags your attention and may even give you an ah-ha moment
- Find Some Commentary or Sermon Notes. Reading other people’s thoughts about the scripture is very helpful. Sometimes, you’ll get a perspective you hadn’t considered when you were reading it. Or if you’re reading a pastor’s sermon notes on the scripture, there’s usually a really big life application that gets pointed out that you can take away. I usually do a Google search for commentaries or sermon notes for whatever scriptures I’m writing that day. I’ve also used another app on my phone called Blue Letter Bible, which by the way is also an actual website. There are so many useful study guides and tools on this app and website. It always helps me decipher what I’ve read, what it means and how I can apply it to my life, because let’s face it, sometimes the word of God is difficult to understand.
- Write down personal thoughts. This is when you write down how the scripture applies to you and the areas of your life that need to really be looked at and changed, problems that you may need to talk to God about. Write down prayers, just whatever the scripture really called out to you about. Sometimes, I’ll go back and read what the scripture again in my journal and highlight things that stand out to me. This is where you bare your soul to God and allow His word to work in you through the Holy Spirit. Make it your heart. That’s what this part is for me.
Getting into the Plan
This is definitely where I need to start. How bout you? I’ve let my time with God fall by the wayside when He’s the one I should be turning to when things are NUTS.
The writing plan is set up to start on the first day of the month, I started later in the month, but I figure I’ll just keep going, 30 days with God is 30 days with God, ya know? Creating this time with God is what it’s about, not whether or not I’m on the correct day of the month. 🙂
Appropriately enough, this writing plan starts with a prayer asking for forgiveness. I know I’ve sinned and need forgiveness so I was glad to pray this prayer. Along with the reading, you’ll see my thoughts, in purple brackets  as I went back and reread the scripture. These are thoughts that came to me as I was rereading, so I jotted them down so I can seek answers.
Day 1: Psalm 51
(A Psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to David after David’s sin with Bathsheba)
God, be merciful [definition?]to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. 2 Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. 3 I know about my wrongs, and I can’t forget my sin. 4 You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong.
You are right when you speak and fair when you judge, [are consequences his judgment?]
5 I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me.
6 You want me to be completely truthful,[even with the little stuff] so teach me wisdom. 7 Take away my sin, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again. 9 Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt. [guilt makes me feel terrible] 10 Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. [Oh Yes, Please]
11 Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. 12 Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong, and sinners will turn back to you. [how can I teach others?]
14 God, save me from the guilt of murder, God of my salvation, and I will sing about your goodness. 15 Lord, let me speak so I may praise you. 16 You are not pleased by my sacrifices, or I would give them. You don’t want burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin. [Am I broken over my little sins? or just the bigger ones?]
18 Do whatever good you wish for Jerusalem. Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole burnt offerings, and bulls will be offered on your altar.
I read several commentaries on this chapter, and it all boils down to this; God wants us to recognize our sin and be brave enough to come to him and allow him to forgive us. That doesn’t mean we won’t have consequences, but it means we are free of the guilt we often lug around with us.
Chuck Smith’s study guide on the Blue Letter Bible site, for Psalm 51 points out several key things that really helped me understand more about this prayer and its inner workings.
David was greatly hated and greatly loved. He was called “a man after God’s own heart,” not because he was sinless, but because his heart was always open to God. We too should be open to the dealings of God. In this psalm, God deals with David in his sin.
v.1 David cries for mercy. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. [there’s my definition of merciful] Justice is getting what you deserve. God is merciful.
v.3 You cannot hide your guilt from yourself. Acknowledging your transgressions puts you on the correct road. You must acknowledge and confess your sin for God to deal with you (1 John 1:9). [for God to deal with me? hm, consequences?] There is no forgiveness in justifying your actions.
v.5 David confesses the nature of sin.
v.7 The hyssop bush was used to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices. Becoming “whiter than snow” reflects David’s concept of total forgiveness. There’s nothing in the world like confessing to God and receiving cleansing and forgiveness from Him.
v.12 Unconfessed sin can rob you of Christian joy. [I need all the joy I can get]
v.14 “Bloodguiltiness” probably refers to the blood of Uriah, since David was responsible for the murder of Uriah.
v.17 God desires that you be broken over your sin.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty good at trying to hide my sins, especially the little ones. I figure if I don’t mention it, who’s going to notice, right? WRONG! God knows even if I say nothing. It’s wiser to tell God everything.
A former Pastor I knew had a saying that has snuck up on me more times than I care to count. He said,
“The right thing is always, always simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy; it’s just simple.
Telling God everything is simple. It’s not always easy, but it is simple. I’m both challenged and encouraged that God wants me to be broken over my sin. To me, that means I’m so tired of carrying my sin around that I want to take broken sin, confess it, and repent. Again, simple (I know what the right thing is), but not necessarily easy (it’s hard to admit when I’ve wronged God or someone I love).
There’s my plan in a nutshell. Simple. Right? Easy? Not always, but I’ll just keep moving forward.
I’m always looking for ways to stay connected with God. How do you connect with God in your day-to-day busy life?