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Closed Bible: Closed Heart

Closed Bible: Closed Heart

Closed Bible: Closed Heart

A few weeks ago, I felt like I was going through a ‘dry’ spell. Not just in my spiritual life, but in all areas. I was walking with a friend and I was sharing with her that I didn’t feel like reading my Bible. I didn’t feel like putting in the energy it took to be a good wife and mother. I felt very closed off to everything. I didn’t want to justify any of my feelings, I just wanted to be numb to everything.

If I’m being honest, I’m feeling very ‘over’ it all. All meaning this pandemic. I’m ready for things to start opening up again and life to start feeling like it has some normalcy to it. I’m tired of people not looking at you or saying, “Hi” in the stores, I’m tired of wearing masks that reveal to you everything you’ve eaten since the last time you brushed your teeth. It was all just feeling a bit frustrating to me at this point.

During this week of letting myself feel all the emotions, I had stopped feeding myself spiritually. I didn’t want to open my Bible in the morning(or anytime of the day). I spent a lot of time just sitting and thinking. I let my prayers be real and felt very raw to God. 

I always feel a little weird in this part of my relationship with God. Should I really be sharing the anger and frustrations of my heart to the one who created me? Shouldn’t I just be happy and thankful all the time to God? My deepest relationships with people are the ones where I can open up and let them know my true thoughts. The ones where I can share my frustration and anger and they still love me. If I don’t open myself up and become vulnerable with them our relationship doesn’t grow. So yes, I should be sharing this part of my heart with God. Sharing everything with Him is going to allow my relationship to grow deeper with Him. Sharing my heart with him like that allows me to open myself up to Him, be vulnerable, and let Him root out those things that shouldn’t be there and replace them with truth. 

I had spent a week letting the things of this world consume me. I was letting news articles and Facebook posts consume my heart, not the Lord. The things we consume ourselves with and fill our minds with are the things that start to become the meditation of our heart. When we don’t have the right things consuming us, our minds can start to get in a scary place. 

One morning I decided I had had enough and I was going to get myself out of this mindset. I was going to stay off social media and read my Bible. I opened my Bible and out fell a journal entry from a retreat I was a part of last year. In this journal was a devotional I wrote on our heart’s desire. This was exactly the reminder I needed at that moment. 

I wrote about the meditation of our hearts and asked questions about where our hearts were, and what was consuming our hearts. Even though I wrote this over a year ago, it was so relevant to my situation right now. Often when I’m writing things or planning speaking topics for events, the Lord uses what I’m writing or learning about to work on my own life, even more than for other people. I decided I was going to do my own devotional and reevaluate my heart. 

I realized that in a short span of a week I had let my heart get hard. I allowed social media and the world to get into my head. I let the world have a bigger impact on me than Christ. I had closed my Bible and in turn, closed my heart to the only one that matters. 

Working my way through the devotional allowed me to redirect my thoughts and open my heart back up. I allowed myself to be vulnerable with God again. God calls us to guard our hearts, but He doesn’t call us to have hard hearts. When we harden our hearts we’re no longer allowing anything to filter through, whether good or bad.

Opening my heart back up to Him allowed me to realize just how much He cares for me and the desires of my heart. God is always in control, He is always on the throne. And I need to seek Him, and meditate on His word constantly. It is the only thing that can fulfill me and pull me out of the pit of despair. Seeking Him is the only way I can allow my heart to be consumed by Him. And that’s really all I want- a heart that is consumed with Christ. 

I think it’s good for me to go through these kinds of weeks from time to time. It reminds me who I’m putting my trust in and what my focus is on. I don’t think that feeling this way means I have a weak faith, but rather, I think it shows just how much I need a Savior. 

I’m going to share my devotional with you. Feel free to print it off and work through it if you’re feeling like your heart and mind could use a reset.

Our Heart’s Desire Devotional

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

You Have A Living Hope

You Have A Living Hope

We are living in a very strange time right now. There is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear going around. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced any thoughts that created fear or worry in my mind. I feel fine one minute and then the next I feel like I may lose it. It’s natural for us to worry when we don’t know the outcome of a situation. Times like these can easily make us feel hopeless.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Who or what is my hope in? What does hope mean to me? I think that hope is an expectancy I have for something to happen, or something to be a certain way. This worldly vision of hope I hold can work for some things in my life. I can hope my life turns out a certain way, or I can hope a meeting goes a certain way, but when things don’t go the way I thought it would, I can feel like all hope is lost. 

 

When I think about the biblical definition of hope – the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness – I’m reminded of what I want my own view of hope to be. I want my hope to be in Jesus and the eternal life I have in Him. Placing my hope in Christ sets me up for success, He will never let me down. 

 

A phrase that keeps going through my head is, “You are on the throne.” Every prayer and every whisper is laced with this thought, reminding me that He is on the throne. When I forget Jesus is on the throne, it’s because I’ve put something or someone else there. It’s easy for me to let fear be on the throne, or to let my thoughts be on the throne. I need to put all of those aside and let Christ sit on the throne as He was intended to do. When my focus is on Jesus sitting on the throne nothing else can rule over my life. He is on the throne and He will reign forever. 

 

We don’t know what is going to transpire over the next few weeks, but one thing we do know is God will still be on the throne. It’s ok to be worried and have doubts, but let’s hold onto the hope we know we have in Christ and let go of worry and doubts. Use this time to draw closer to Him. Spend time daily in prayer and in the Bible. We can come out on the other side of this stronger in our faith than we’ve ever been before. So let’s fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith(Heb 12:2). Remember He is our living hope(1 Peter 1:3).

 

Here are some verses that I find encouraging. If you begin to feel hopeless or overwhelmed, spend some time meditating on the Scriptures and in prayer. If we direct our focus on Him we don’t have time to give our attention to worry and fear. 

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

 

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43.1-3

 

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

I have such a passion for studying the Bible and truly knowing what it says. I hope that is something that becomes evident the more you get to know me. I have a heart for teaching people to read their Bible. To really understand it and study it out in great detail. 

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 

This is a big part of why I think studying your Bible is so important. I want to be able to give people a Biblical answer for why I believe the things I believe and without knowing the Bible I wouldn’t be able to do that. 

Studying your Bible is such an important piece of maintaining a deep relationship with Christ. Knowing the Bible and what it says is such an insight to the heart of our Creator. It’s here and waiting for us to open and spend time in communion with Him. It takes time, effort and discipline. If we do not have a routine or a good idea of how to do something before we start it’s easy to make excuses and come up with reasons not to do it. I find that having a routine and clear idea of how I plan to read or study my Bible each day is very helpful. I want to share some of the things that I do when I study in hopes of giving you some ideas in case you may struggle in this area.

First of all, there is no right or wrong way to read your Bible. The most important thing is that you are reading it.  Reading your Bible can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Secondly, you don’t have to have a perfect setup in order to read your Bible. You don’t have to wake up at 5am while everyone else is still sleeping, brew yourself some coffee, have light music, a cozy blanket and a lit candle. If you have this idea in your head that you can only read your Bible with a perfect setup, you are probably never going to read your Bible.. Reading your Bible is more important than creating the perfect quiet time setup. Do what works best for you and the season of life you’re in. If that means reading your Bible at 8 o’clock at night that’s perfectly fine.

My quiet time is more productive if I can do it before my kids get up. Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens. My kids get up early and I’ve just learned that they are going to be a part of my “Quiet Time.” Realizing that my time in the word was not always going to be peaceful and quiet has helped me continue to read the Bible every day. I no longer have this idea in my head where I can only read until my children wake up, or if it’s perfectly calm and quiet in my house. If my children see that I’m reading my Bible when they get up they know that they may have to wait until I’m done before I start doing all the things for them. They know this because they have seen me consistently reading my Bible enough in the morning to know this is our normal routine. It doesn’t mean they don’t interrupt me or ask me things while I’m studying, but the more that this happens on a daily basis, the easier it is for them to expect it. My kids will often just grab a book and sit next to me when they get up and see that I’m still reading. 

Having an idea of what I’m going to read each day is also very helpful for me, especially because I know I have limited time. Knowing what I’m going to read helps me not waste time each morning thinking, “Hmm…what should I read today?” I usually pick a book of the Bible to read and when I finish it move on to another book. I don’t read the books in any special order.  If I don’t have something in mind to read when I sit down or just decide I want something different that day, I will often go to the Psalms and pick a chapter to read. Anything you read from the Bible is going to be beneficial for you. It doesn’t matter if you read a whole book in one sitting, or just one verse, what matters is that you are opening God’s Word and allowing Him to speak to you through it. 

Here are a few things that I have found helpful in studying the Bible:

 

  • Know what you’re going to study before you start. Choose a book of the Bible or have something in mind that you want to read the day before, so you aren’t using all your time searching for something to study.
  • Study with a pen and journal. I like to write down anything that sticks out to me while I’m reading. If I have any questions about something while I’m studying I’ll write those down and if I don’t find the answers as I’m reading I will look those up in a commentary or concordance when I’m done. Writing down the things that stick out to me is also helpful for me in remembering what I’m reading or studying.
  • Look up words that you don’t know the meaning of or understand why it’s being used in that context. There have been times when I didn’t understand a verse or passage and looking up the definition of the word helped me understand what it was talking about. Looking up words in the dictionary and also in a concordance can be very helpful.
  • Check cross references. This is also helpful if you have words or passage you don’t quite understand. Cross referencing allows us to let scripture interpret scripture. 
  • Pray while you read. If you’re struggling to understand a passage that you’re reading, ask God to reveal it to you. When we pray during out study time we are allowing the Holy Spirit to come in and work in us. 

 

These are things that are helpful to me. It doesn’t have to be what you do. If you do all of these things already, great. If you look at this list and think, I would never be able to do all that, that’s fine too. Maybe you can take a couple of these things and start applying it to your quiet time and see if it benefits you. The most important thing is that you’re opening your Bible and reading it every day. God longs for us to have a desire to know Him and the best way for us to do that is to read His Word. He wants us to meet with Him every day, He wants to be the one who fills us up. 

I’m going to link a few resources and websites that I use when I study as well. I plan to share more about these in my stories on Instagram next week, so if you would like to see more information about any of these resources be sure to follow along there.

 

 

I would love to hear how you study the Bible and get in The Word each day. Feel free to leave a comment with what works for you and any tips you may have. I think there’s always something we can learn from each other.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

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