Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


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How to Wake up to the Wonder of the Bible

wake up to wonder 2

Some mornings reading the Bible feels like I’m running a treadmill on 5 hours sleep. While I race through my reading plan, I remember I’ve got to get to the store today because we’re out of milk. I yawn because I stayed up way too late, and the Ramadan drummer woke me up at 3 a.m. (No crying babies around here anymore, but we do have a man beating a drum outside our window all month.) I look at the clock. Five more minutes before I have to jump in the shower. I flip to Mark.

Old Testament reading. Psalm or Proverb. New Testament. I check off the boxes and run to get started on my day. Catch you later, God. Nice to see you.

I know the Word of God is supposed to fuel my faith and renew my mind. Scripture encourages me and gives me the wisdom I need for life. Yet I also go through dry spells when the Bible seems silent. I can’t focus. I start yawning.

Do your eyes ever glaze over when you open God’s Word? When I start yawning over scripture, I try these:

4 Ways to Wake up to the Wonder of God’s Word

Pray

Open my eyes that I may see

When daily scripture reading grows dull, I start praying. I pray to the God of the Bible to show Himself to me through His Word. If there’s a prayer God delights to answer, it’s this one:

Lord, wake me up to the wonders of your Word. Open my eyes to see you and my ears to hear you as I read.

Read Less

It sounds counter-intuitive to read LESS when you’re not getting anything out of God’s Word, but it works for me. Instead of a whole chapter, I read just one section. For example, Matthew 2 is divided into several sections: “The Magi Visit the Messiah,” “The Escape to Egypt,” and “The Return to Nazareth,” so I read it over several days. Narrowing my focus helps me to pay more attention.

I slow down and ask God to speak as I read the passage a few times. If something I read sparks a prayer, I pause to respond. Then I focus on one verse. What is God saying to me?

Color It Up

A few months back, I started highlighting my Bible in different colors. Not only does it add fun and creativity to my quiet time, it also helps me explore the meaning of a passage. I see repeated words and concepts.  I have my own color code system:

Color Code for Bible Highlighting

Write It Down

God’s Word becomes more real to me when I take a few minutes to write down a verse. The physical act of writing it down helps me internalize and remember it. When I record it in my notebook, it becomes mine. I can look at it again later. As I write, I ask, “Lord, what are you saying to me through this verse?”

Instead of ending my quiet time with a quick, “Catch you later, God,” I want to carry His Word with me into my day, so I have to be awake while I read it. I read less, color it up, and write it down. These help keep me awake to the wonders of God’s Word.

Now it’s your turn. Do you ever have a hard time paying attention to scripture when you read it? What helps you?

I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,  Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, and Grace and Truth.  Check them out for more encouragement.

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Photo Credit: Creative Commons


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Impossible Dreams and Mustard Seed Faith

impossible dreams and mustard seed

“Did you have any dreams last night?” Most mornings my daughter asks me this question, but I always disappoint her. I’m a deep sleeper. My head hits the pillow, and I lose consciousness until morning. No dreams by night.

I do most of my dreaming by day.

This middle-aged, home schooling, pastor’s wife may not look like much of a dreamer. I spend my days corralling kids, doing errands, cooking, writing, cleaning, going to meetings, visiting people and having company. But in between, I dream. Some of my dreams are my own wild, crazy ideas. Like winning the lottery and spending a month in Italy.

Some of my dreams are God-given and God-driven: Continue reading


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What Does My Teen Girl Need From Me?

what does my teen girl need

When my kids were little, older parents scared me to death by saying, “You think it’s hard now? Wait ‘til they’re teens!” I wondered how I’d survive the teenage years, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. So far I’ve enjoyed this stage of parenting more than any other. Teenagers are fun. I can do yoga and cook with Camille. When I call home, Andres answers with his best Indian accent. “Taj Mahal Grill. How may I help you?”

Nevertheless, I see occasional fireworks, especially since I live under the same roof with a teen girl while going through pre-menopause myself. My girl and I both deal with hormones that spike and plummet. I’ve gotten better at crisis management, but some days I wonder what on earth I’m supposed to be doing.

Do you ever ask yourself, “What does my daughter need from me?”

Follow me over to my friend Kristine Brown’s blog to read about 3 ways to be a better mom to teens. I’m honored to be guest posting for Kristine today. If you asked my teenagers, they’d tell  you I’m no Supermom, but these are three things I’m trying to learn. I’d love to hear your ideas too.

 

I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,  Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, and Grace and Truth.  Check them out for more encouragement.

Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe to get fresh servings of Faith Spilling Over delivered to your inbox. Enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.


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Paralyzed by Fear? God is With You!

FMF Fear Don't Be Afraid

What strikes fear in your heart? In third grade, I was dead scared of Mad Madeline. I watched a B-grade horror movie without my parents knowing. Every night, I’d check under the bed to make sure she wasn’t there waiting to get me.

I’ve long since grown out of my fear of Mad Madeline, but other things scare me. My stomach hurts, and I wonder if I have cancer. I worry that we might not have enough money. My husband’s late, and I wonder if he had an accident. I’m afraid of trying a new project. What if I fail? I hesitate to reach out to a new friend. What if she won’t like me?

Fear can paralyze us if we let it. Continue reading


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What To Do When Your Attitude Stinks

What to do when your attitude stinks.

When I read about gladness and joy in the Bible, some days I gulp hard because that is so “not me.” I’ve read that life is 90% attitude. I’ve written and spoken on the importance of choosing joy, but all that went out the window for a few hours last Saturday.

We were going to the beach, but I was NOT a happy camper. That just goes to show how much I need Jesus since I’m blessed to live on Turkey’s lovely Aegean coast. Continue reading


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Summer Reading for your Soul {Plus an Opportunity}

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O, the joys of summer! This home schooling mom’s schedule loosens up. Summer means more time for reading. When I was a kid, I loved riding the bus downtown to the library. I’d devour an armload of books each week and go back for more. I don’t read as much today as I did in Middle School, but I still love it.

Do you have a summer reading list?

Here are 3 Christian books that helped me grow this past year:

Continue reading


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When We’re Lost, Jesus is the Way

Jesus is the Way

When I stepped into my neighbor’s house, twenty veiled heads turned to stare at me. I froze. I wished the ground would swallow me up. Everyone got quiet as all eyes fixed on my husband standing next to me. He was the only man in the room.

Without blinking an eye, our hostess smiled and asked, “Perhaps your husband would feel more comfortable in our television room?”

She whisked Jose off to another part of the house as I walked into the living room and began greeting the ladies in a language I barely knew. I thought I might faint. When my neighbor had invited me to her son’s circumcision celebration, I’d assumed it was for couples. How could I have missed the fact that this was a party for ladies only…

 

Today I’m guest posting for Holly Barrett’s #WomenWhoInspire Series. Follow me over to Holly’s place to read about an important lesson I’ve learned from living in the Middle East 14 years.

Also joining in with Kelly Balarie’s RaRaLinkup and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory Community.

Photo credit: Melika

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