Bible Study Tips for Beginners and Busy Believers

It’s a  whispered plea for energy as a baby cries in the middle of the night.  It’s the weary body in need of an extra dose of grace to make it through the midnight hours. It’s a request to reveal the significance of the seemingly insignificant.  It’s a need to see the purpose behind the apparently menial and never-ending tasks.breakfast dishesIt’s a wounded heart elbow deep in soapy water seeking just a moment of peace in the midst of an otherwise chaotic life.

It’s the desperate prayer for more hours in the day to handle the career, the home, and the family.

For a weary mom, this is often the extent of her time with God.  It has become a muttered request under her breath as she moves from one activity to another.  It is a desire to spend time with Him mixed with the shame of not knowing how to make the time.  If this sounds like you, please know that you are not alone.

Embrace your current season.

I remember well the days when I could spend an hour, maybe two, at my kitchen table with my Bible and journal. I could spend uninterrupted moments lost in a Beth Moore Bible study.

These days, the most time I have sitting in one place is in the bathroom and, let’s be honest, I’m usually not alone. (Is that TMI? So sorry.)

In-depth studies may not work for you right now.  Choose a short devotional that can be read while the kids are eating breakfast.  Or, don’t laugh, keep it in a basket in the bathroom.  Find five minutes.  Then, when you realize you do actually have five minutes, go for ten.  You’ll find, if you make the effort, God will help reveal extra time in your day.  Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, is a great devotional option.

Take small bites.

Every January, people all over begin the read-through-the-Bible in a year thing.  There is nothing wrong with this endeavor.  I have done it myself.  (Okay, who am I kidding? I usually tap out somewhere around Numbers.) But, here is a potential problem with it.  Depending on the season you are currently in, you may not have time or energy to read two and a half chapters every day.  And, if you do, you probably won’t get much out of it.  Then, guilt sets in.  The last thing in the world a tired mama needs is guilt.

So, pick a book and read through it slowly.  If you only have time to meditate on one verse – then just read one verse.  Take that one verse with you throughout the day.  You will be surprised at what God will reveal to you.

scripture doodle PinDoodle your thoughts.

I laugh when I look at my old journals. Pages and pages of scriptural analysis and all the details of my latest drama. There is nothing wrong with that. I love reading those thoughts and seeing the truths that got me through different situations.

What if you do not have time for that now? What if you only have time for the scantest of notes before the toddler is finished with her pop tart and demands your attention? Doodle your thoughts. I’m serious. Key phrases, little pictures – you will be amazed at how much fun it is and how meaningful those doodles can be to you.

Learn the power of a Post-It note prayer.

Say it with me, “Post-It notes are our friends.”  How many times have you told someone you would pray for them?  Now, how many times have you actually prayed for that person?  Let’s face it, the best of intentions get all tangled up in meal planning, errand running, church activities and life.

For months, I had a Post-It note on my bathroom mirror with the name of a sweet friend battling ovarian cancer. Every morning, when I brushed my teeth, there was her name reminding me to stop for a moment and pray.  Several times, throughout the day, I would go into the bathroom and there was that note. Right now, there is a Scripture verse that reminds me of the source of my energy. (This verse is a keeper for tired moms. Jeremiah 31:25. Write. it. down!)

Keep a pack of Post-It notes somewhere convenient and use them.  Put them on the window over your sink and pray when you wash the dishes.  Put them on a mirror.  Put them on the monitor of your computer.  You will be surprised how often you find yourself praying. rise and shineThere will come a day when you are back in a position to devote hours to Bible study.  But, for now, do not let guilt convince you that the little you feel capable of right now is not even worth it.

Use short devotions instead of long Bible studies.  Take small, yet meaningful, bites of Scripture instead of large amounts that leave you overwhelmed.   Use the power of the Post-It note prayer.

You will be amazed at how God will meet you where you are right now.


You may also find these Tips for Scripture Reading with Little Ones helpful!

14 thoughts on “Bible Study Tips for Beginners and Busy Believers

  1. I just signed up for your emails I found you trough pintrest, I am trying to start a new ministry at our growing church for all our new mommies and would like to use some of your blogs as suggestions if that is OK with you! Thanks for being a God lovingly positive blogger, have a blessed day!

    • Thank you so much, Shannon! I really appreciate your kind words. Bless you for your heart for mamas – it is so important to love on them. 🙂 You are more than welcome to use my posts and I’m also available to speak to groups if you ever need that. Have a great Friday!!

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  3. I love the idea of embracing the season and scaling back our expectations. We mamas do tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and it’s easier to keep forging ahead if the task seems more doable. I’m definitely pinning this one to share with other mamas out there. 🙂

  4. Thank you SO much for the words of encouragement! I’m a new mom, my son is 5 months old, and my devo time has been seriously lacking… I’ve been getting down on myself for not getting in the 15 min+ devo every day, but I will give myself grace and accept this season of life. I read the Bible to my son before work and sometimes in the evening; that’s not really alone time, but somedays that’s just the way it goes!

    • I love that you read Scripture to your little one before work! God will bless that, my friend! Give yourself grace. We mamas are so hard on ourselves. Thank you so much for visiting. I’m humbled that you found some encouragement here. Bless you!

  5. I agree there are some days when I just don’t have time, but you are so right in that if we find 5 mins we can find 10 mins, and if we try that can become 10 mins several times a day even! I’ve found that my biggest obstacle (with kids or without) has to do with how I use my free time. If I don’t have time for my Bible I don’t have time for facebook or blogging. It’s a hard truth, but most days it motivates me to find time to study.

    And I second the idea of taking a book slowly and meditating on the Word. I can leave it open on the kitchen counter and just pick up the next verse and think it over while the water boils, then the next verse while I chop onions or what not. Maybe my mind just works best when my feet are moving 🙂

    Thanks for your suggestions and for linking up at Babies and Beyond this week. I really enjoyed this reminder to make time for Bible study!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I do the same thing – I often meditate on Scripture while I’m cleaning the kitchen or making a meal. 🙂

  6. I memorized Psalm 139 one year by learning a new verse on the 1st and 15th on each month. Took a day or two to memorize it and spent the next two weeks meditating on it throughout the day – while I was cooking, driving, showering, whatever. I cannot tell you how that intimate experience with God’s Word affected my heart. It was amazing! And it’s still with me.
    Thanks for this grace you’re extending to moms!

    • I love that – and one of my favorite psalms. I am learning that slowing down and meditating on smaller portions of Scripture has been really good for me. Thank you so much for visiting. I just spent some time on your blog and I really enjoyed it! Following you on Twitter now. 🙂

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