Confession: I created the Give Me Jesus Journal to help women study the Word daily, and some days I don't use it or finish my entry. There are days when I linger for a long time in the Word, and there are days when I only read one verse. Some days I start reading my Bible only to hear the pitter-patter of little feet marching down the stairs and my quiet time is interrupted before it ever begins. Most days, my study time looks different than the day before. I study during the early morning hours, or at lunchtime, or at naptime, or at bedtime. Through the inconsistency of my own quiet time, I’ve learned that any time is the right time to spend time with Jesus.
Digging into God’s Word in Every Season
As a mama to two little boys, having a set schedule changes by the season, and the seasons are always changing. When seasons shift, it can be hard to find my footing, causing me to become lax in my Bible reading. It’s easier to scroll social media than it is to study God’s Word, but the benefits of dwelling on Scripture far outweigh the temporary distraction of perusing Instagram. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” The ache in my soul that longs for more can only ever be satisfied in Christ. And in order to know Christ more, we must faithfully commit to knowing the Word, even in the changing seasons of life.
Though my quiet time is far from perfect, I won’t stop creating this journal—or using it. I want to spend my days pursuing a deep, abiding, flourishing walk with Jesus. I don’t want to lower the bar based on my season of life and say, “I’m just too busy for Jesus right now.” I want to continue seeking him even in the busy seasons of life, and the Give Me Jesus Journal has served as a continual reminder to put Jesus first and give him my heart, my time, and my devotion. A quiet time journal won’t change your life—only Jesus will. The purpose of this journal and other Bible study resources is to serve as a lighthouse, pointing you to the Light of the world.
Bringing Failure to the Foot of the Cross
When I feel like a quiet time failure, Jesus welcomes me to come just as I am back to his words of grace, hope, and restoration. It might take some creativity, and it will definitely require sacrifice, but to put Christ first in our schedules leads to abundance, freedom, and a life of purpose. Having a quiet time or filling out a journal isn’t about checking an item off a Christian to-do list; it’s about knowing Christ and submitting our hearts, minds, and wills to him.
If you’re like me, then you have a desire to be a woman of the Word in every season, but the “how to” may seem a bit hazy. Here’s some practical encouragement to the busy woman who feels like you don’t have time to really dig deep into the Word.
Morning and Evening, New Mercies I See
Consider studying the Word throughout your day and implementing a “morning and evening” quiet time. Start the morning with gratitude, a verse to meditate on (preferably one you are memorizing), and the practice of surrendering your day to the Lord. If you are using the Give Me Jesus Journal, in the morning, begin your day by filling out the “Today’s Gratitude” and the “Be Still and Know” sections. Then, come evening, turn off the TV, set aside your phone, and dig deep into the Word. During your evening quiet time, fill out the “Drink Deeply From the Well,” “Ask and Apply,” and “Pray the Word” sections of the journal entry. Hem your day in with surrender, praise, and prayer.
Say “Yes” to Seeking Him
Evaluate your schedule and see where you can say “no” in order to say “yes” to seeking Christ in the Word. Ask him to show you pockets of time you already have where you can bring the Word into your day (i.e., listen to Scripture while sitting in the carpool line, host a Bible study with coworkers during lunch, write Scripture on sticky notes and place them on your mirror). Three great Bible apps you can use to stir your affections for Jesus throughout the day are Dwell: Audio Bible app, Verses app, and YouVersion.
Surrender Unrealistic Expectations
Don’t let feelings of failure or unrealistic “quiet time” expectations keep you from the continual pursuit of God. Life ebbs and flows in seasons, but it is always possible to be in the Word in every season. This might mean listening to Scripture as you get ready, or it could mean blocking off one naptime a week to really dive deep into a passage. It could look like less TV and social media so you can have more time to dwell in Scripture, or it could look like reading a passage out loud to your kids as they eat their morning cereal. Jesus isn’t limited by our expectations. If you are his disciple, then he is with you. Come to him right where you are, as you are.
Keep pressing on and pressing into Jesus. Surrender every unrealistic quiet time expectation and keep seeking him as you go. Whether you fill out a whole journal entry or write one word, let both the quiet and not-so-quiet moments serve as a lighthouse to your soul, drawing you nearer and nearer to Christ alone.
Your Friend, Gretchen
For more seeking Christ in every season of life, pre-order The Well-Watered Woman book from your favorite retailer, releasing April 6, 2021!
You can also find our Simplified Give Me Jesus Journal, which launches as part of our new Dwell collection, in the Well-Watered Co beginning tomorrow! This journal features a leather-look cover with a debossed imprint. Inside you'll find 90 days of journaling space with daily scriptures to meditate on each day. In addition to your journal, you will receive a one-page guide to the Give Me Jesus Journal, which will help you get started and show you how to utilize each section best. The Dwell collection launches tomorrow, so be sure you’re subscribed to our email list to receive all of the exciting details (and an exclusive coupon code!) straight to your inbox.