To celebrate the arrival of the new “Give Me Jesus” Journals in the next two weeks, we are going to intentionally take each day to share about our calling to be Well-Watered Women who abide in God’s Word. Each day, come back to read a new post on Bible study, quiet times, Scripture memorization, and prayer. We pray these next few weeks are practical guides and encouragement’s to equip you to dive deep into the “well” of God’s Word!
At the beginning of 2015, the Lord pressed on my heart a deep calling to be in His Word daily and to learn to abide in Christ as Jesus commands in John 15. The specific call was to “love God’s Word more than this world.” It still sets my heart on fire just for my fingers to type it! As I’ve shared about this desire and calling from the Lord, I have had countless women contact me asking how this is practically done. How do we actually love God’s Word more than the world? How do we rise in the morning and only desire Jesus? How do we live as a well-watered woman who is satisfied in Christ alone?
Hungering For Christ
Over the next week, I want to dig deep into these questions with you. In no way do I write and share as one who knows how to have the “perfect” quiet time or one who knows all the deep secrets of Scripture. I humbly admit to you that I am extremely flawed and live life out of the extreme grace of God found in Christ Jesus. I still have so much to learn! Instead, I write to you and will continue to share my heart out of a deep hunger for Jesus. In the morning, when I rise, I long to meet with Him before I meet with the world because I know that only He satisfies and sustains.I have learned over and over again that in order for me to be able to “feed” others through personal ministry and daily life, I must first be well-fed by the Bread of Life, Jesus. In order to eat, I must sit down and digest His Word each day. This is where the hunger comes in that makes my belly growl. I long for women to have this same hunger because I have tasted and seen that only Jesus satisfies.
Last May, I began selling the “Give Me Jesus” Journal. The vision for this journal came from the all-consuming hunger to know Jesus more. Around this time last March, I finished up a blank journal I had been using for my quiet times. It took me months to complete it because each day when I opened up my Bible I felt lost. I didn’t know what to write and needed some direction and structure as I studied, broke down verses, and prayed. I’ll never forget praying one day and asking the Lord a totally separate question – what did He want me to do with my business? That is when the Holy Spirit answered with an incredibly big idea – make a quiet time journal for you and other women to use.
That’s where the story began and continues to take shape. It did not come from my own mind or my own ideas or creativity. The journal came from the direction of the Holy Spirit, and with each new journal I make, I have to physically and spiritually place it at the foot of the cross for Christ to do His good work through it. I am continually amazed watching Him work in the hearts of women around the world, including my own.
The “Give Me Jesus” Journal is a quiet time journal that is composed of an initial “heart check” for women to answer carefully and honestly. Following, there are descriptions and suggestions of how to have a quiet time, or how to spend intentional time in God’s Word daily, as well as ways to be faithful prayer warriors. The rest of the journal is comprised of blank days with some guidance for you to use to fill in during your own personal study of the Bible each day!
Today, I want to share with you a glimpse into what my daily time with the Lord looks like. It is flexible and ever-changing with the natural changes in seasons of life, however, it is always centered around this – “In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.”
A Well-Watered Morning
The lyrics to “Give Me Jesus” were originally an African American hymn that was sung during the days of slavery. They were never intended to be ideas written on coffee mugs or journals or prints. They were meant to be lived, breathed, and understood. They were sung out of a deep realization that apart from Jesus, there is no good thing. That is the core of why the journal is called the “Give Me Jesus” Journal. My prayer is that it reminds us that no other will satisfy our hungry hearts than eating from God’s Word and abiding in Christ alone.
Early in my high school years when I was learning what “Give Me Jesus” really meant, I made a decision to start having time with Jesus each day. I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school for most of my life. Even with that kind of upbringing, I struggled to see how losing sleep in the mornings to read God’s Word would truly benefit me. I would have had to wake up around 5:45 AM to have time in God’s Word before heading to school at 7:00 (which is crazy early for a high school student!). I remember getting home late one evening from a basketball game at school and realizing that I would only get a few hours of sleep if I woke up at 5:45 to have my quiet time. I prayed and asked God to wake me up and left it at that.
The next morning, at 5:40, I sprang up out of bed. I remember looking at the clock and smiling as the Lord whispered to me that He longs to spend time with me and would give me the extra strength I needed to make it through the day. I don’t remember the exact date of that morning, but it changed me. The Lord used it to show me three things:
- He will replace the sleep I miss with His own strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
- He desires we meet with Him secretly before we meet with the world.
- The way I spend the first moments of the morning affects the rest of my day.
These three truths have proved true in my desire to spend time alone with the Lord daily. He will give me the strength I need (even when it means less sleep), He desires to meet with me and tell me “great and unsearchable things I did not know” (Jeremiah 33:3), and these moments affect there rest of my day. The same is true for you! You must learn this personally and privately as your seek to know God through His Word! The enemy will do everything to distract you from the necessity of being in God’s Word each day, but once we have tasted and seen God’s goodness in His Word, there is no turning back. No other will satisfy the hunger in our hearts.
Each day, my quiet time routine changes, mainly because my schedule changes with each season of life. I say this because there is no secret or exact layout for having a quiet time in Scripture. There is no hour that is better than another. Generally, I rise before dawn when the sun is still hiding and about to wake up the world (my favorite moment of the day!). This is usually between 6:30-7:30. The night before, either my husband or I will set up our coffee pot to turn on about 6:00 so it is ready when we come downstairs. I have loved this in the mornings! Having prepared the night before sets me up for waking up early. I will make a cup of coffee and go sit in my usual spot on our green couch. One rule I have made and God has been gracious to help me implement is not to have my phone with me when I open up His Word. This is a daily choice I have to make and I don’t always succeed. Just the presence of my phone sitting near me is distracting and I want to make sure our time is holy and set apart from the distractions of the world. So I will either leave it in our room or in the kitchen.
I keep my Bible, “Give Me Jesus” Journal, and any devotionals I am reading next to the couch, ready for me to open each morning. The first thing I usually do is fill out the first portions of my “Give Me Jesus” Journal. In the “Be Still & Know” section, I either write a prayer or a verse I want to meditate on and claim for that day. Then I will start reading. I have made it a habit to read from the Bible first before any devotionals so I don’t substitute the Word’s of God for the words of man. Usually, I go through books of the Bible at a time. Later in the series we will go through a breakdown of how ways to study Scripture. This is the main portion of my quiet time – studying, gleaning, praying, asking, seeking, knocking and finding. Some days I feel like I’ve found a pot of gold, others I find a small gem. Nonetheless, all mornings I spend with the Lord are the most valuable times of my day.
Ten Minute Challenge
How I spend my mornings affects how I spend the rest of my day. With this, I have learned that I cannot spend time on Instagram or Facebook before spending time in Scripture. This used to be a habit that took a lot of my time and stole a lot of joy. Satan used it to distract my heart and redirect it toward myself and the world rather than Christ. For a while, I had to delete social media from my phone to get rid of the temptation. How I spend the first ten minutes of my day affects the rest of the day. If I hit snooze 5 times, I have already lost precious moments alone in the Word. If I immediately check emails or Instagram, I am usually struck with an urgency to work or even worldly insecurities. If I scroll through Facebook, I waste time and feel distracted. But if I turn the alarm off and walk downstairs, my heart is focused and ready to spend time with Jesus.
One challenge I have for you is to evaluate the first ten minutes of your day. How we spend our morning moments affects the following hours. I am about to be a momma in May and recognize that my mornings are about to change drastically! I have many friends who are momma’s to little ones and have changed their quiet times to be during nap times or night time. The Lord knows your schedule and your season. We can meet with Him anytime of day. But there is something precious and important about focusing first on Jesus so our schedules revolve around Him.
You will never leave hungry after spending time in Scripture with Jesus. You will never be disappointed by His Word. That is a guarantee. A quiet time is more than an Instagram opportunity, it is a holy moment of communing with God. Spend time in the secret with the Lord each day and commit your first ten minutes to Him. He is worthy of the first, worthy of the last, and worthy of every moment in between.
I would love to hear from you! When do you have your quiet times? What does your routine look like? How has it changed each season? Comment below so we can encourage each other and start up a conversation this week!
hungering after Him,
(Above photos by Katherine McBroom)