Continuing the bible study on Habits of Grace, this week I think about my habits, knowing and recognizing possible lifelong struggles and how to connect my daily routines to my walk.
Day 10 – Five Tips for Bible Memory
I feel like “taking it with you during the day” would be helpful as well as “turning text into prayer.” When I did She Reads Truth studies on my own they’d include a phone screensaver/background and it was helpful to look at the verse every time I opened my phone. But eventually I stopped reading it and didn’t care to glance at the words. Turning scripture into prayer could be one that I try next. Sometimes I find memorizing the bible difficult because I choose a verse that’s not really applicable to what I’m struggling with in this part of life. Part of the problem is that I don’t often know what I’m struggling with. Of course, choosing verses that display the gospel may be the place I should start, memorizing the one truth I need to remember everyday and to meditate on daily.
Romans 8:1 sounds like a verse I could tell myself everyday. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I find that I often condemn myself when I don’t achieve something or don’t live up to an imagined standard.
I also think memorizing Psalm 139 again could be good for my heart and my lifelong struggle with creating uniqueness in myself.
Day 11 – Lifelong Learning
I’ve recently added bible study reading to my morning routine, but there are doubtless other times during the day where I become stagnant. I know I dedicate too much time to Instagram, and at the end of the day, although I’m following other Christian women, I feel bad about myself, as if I’m not counted equal to them. The good old comparison game for sure. Usually I’m on my phone before bed, scrolling, but I could replace that with books that talk about walking with God. Or even commentary books. I’m not really sure how to find good commentary books though. This could be another step I could take now to usher myself into lifelong learning. Maybe I could still use Instagram as a way to reflect on certain adventures or to play up the reality that is often hidden by the pretty pictures of pretty people.
Day 12 – Enjoy the Gift of Having God’s Ear
To get back into prayer, I’ve started asking for things, asking for doors to open. I’ve asked for growth and for closeness. I’ve asked for my heart to not be drawn to certain aspects of life like becoming resentful or becoming tied to materialism. I think I’ve just gotten used to Mark being my confidant and close friend. We’ve kind of left God out of the picture, making a space for him at the table. Acknowledging his presence and work, adoring God, is probably a good way to make space at the table, saying “hey, I recognize you and I see you.”
Part of what is hard about praying to me is that I say to myself, “God already knows what I need and what I’m going to pray for, so why make sentences in my head, why not take a shortcut and just think of images of the things I want as a short text-message prayer of sorts with emojis to God?” I often feel like prayer has to be a long letter. But an ongoing conversation is a clearer picture of what prayer can be. You’re not checking in with your parents once or twice a day; you’re just living life with them. If that analogy for prayer works. So going forward, I’ll recognize God and adore his work. I’ll also attempt to breathe prayer throughout the day which may take a bit of a mental switch.
These days I’ve cut back on things I think I have to do and projects I wanted to work on, to focus on the few things I need to focus on in this season of life, and I found that it was helpful in making time for bible reading and beginning to pray again.
What are some habits that could help you with your lifelong walk and struggles?