Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Focus: First Things First and an Invitation

I woke up this morning with a song on my heart and craving Scripture like I crave chocolate mid-afternoon! {Am I the only one who dips into the chocolate stash mid-afternoon???}  I'm filled with anticipation for the coming weeks and the special time I get to spend just with Him in the morning and then delving into the very same Bible passages with my kids after breakfast! 

With my goal this year to continue to hone my 'focus'.  There are so many things vying for my attention.  Many of them good things.  But I'm finding that to each there is a proper time and during that time I need to focus.

One aspect that is deserving of my primary focus is my relationship with Jesus because out of that flows meaning, purpose and provision for everything else. And I mean  everything.

I don't know about you, but when I sit down and ask God to speak to me through His Word, He never ceases to amaze and delight me.  Now I'm not saying that I've never had dry spells, but He is always faithful to lead me out of them.  In my experience dry spells are usually a result of not spending time soaking up the Word on a daily basis and time spent just being with Him. 

The danger is falling into the trap of blaming the dry times for not having a desire to get into the Word or talk to God.  Why?  Because the only way out is to invest in the relationship.  The only way for that to happen is when we decide to spend time in the Word, in prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to lead all of our daily interactions. And that, my friends, is the best part.  This is where your relationship with God literally spills out and flows into all of life.  

At the crux of it all is pursuing Him.  I tend to thrive when I pursue God within the context of community.  That is why I've always enjoyed women's Bible studies.  I wake up each most mornings filled with anticipation to see how He will speak to me.  It is always exciting to gather together and be encouraged by how God is speaking to each of us.

Over the last two years, God asked me to lay aside my ladies Bible study and focus on our family devotional times at home.  It has been special and yet I've found that I'm not as consistent with daily time spent reading my Bible.  I brought this to the Lord in the last few weeks.  You see, despite having two wonderful family/children's devotions that I want to do this semester:The Dig for Kids {a study in the book of Luke} and God Said So! 31 Truths Every Kids Should Know. I find myself still craving structure and accountability with my own time with the Lord.

So when I saw that Good Morning Girls is hosting an online Bible study that could coincide with the children's devotional on the same subject my heart leapt and I just KNEW that I wanted to do it this semester. 

I will be studying Luke 1-8 with the Good Morning Girls.  They provide a free pdf study guide with a simple guide to drawing you into the Word and helping you meditate on it each day.  It won't take long, but it will be just what I need to start each morning with my focus where it it should be.  Plus, I'll get a second dose later that morning when the boys and I explore The Dig for Kids together!

Here's what it will look like:

The structure for for each day follows S.O.A.P.
S ~ Write out the Scripture passage for the day.
O ~ Write down 1 or 2 Observation about the passage.
A ~ Write down 1-2 Applications from the passage.
PPray over what you learned from today's passage.

That doesn't sound too hard, does it?  I am just giddy with anticipation to dive in.

Now for the really cool part! Your kids can explore these same passages in the fun devotional, The Dig for Kids.

A typical Dig lesson consists of the following four components:

1. The Map: The Map tells you and your child where you’ll be going in each lesson. It is a short summary of the study ahead.
2. The Dig: The Dig is the main passage you will be studying. Following each passage will be several questions designed to help conversation and understanding. They are meant to be a guide. You can use them or tweak them to help you talk with your children.
3. The Treasure: The Treasure is the big idea of each lesson. In a short statement, it is what you want your child to remember from the passage you studied.
4. The Display: When an archaeologist finds a treasure, they will clean it up and put it on display for everyone to see. This is the basic idea of the Display. It is the application of the Treasure you have found!

If you want to get this it is available in several formats: PDF, KINDLE or paperback

We are excited to dig in and focus on being with Jesus.  It all starts next Monday, January 14th!

Do any of you want to join me?  It would be so wonderful to share with one another how God is meeting us and our children through this journey?  I'm doing this with my mom and sister, but I'd love to join up online with some of you if anyone is interested.  


  1. I have joined... :) I love the Good Morning Girl studies and how they're set up so well... excited to begin!

  2. I'm in! I had to give up my women's bible study this semester, and this is an answer to prayer -- thank you!

  3. If either of you want to meet in a facebook group for this, let me know. I'm looking forward to it!

  4. I love Good morning girls also! I have followed Courtney for awhile :) I'm totally in! :)

  5. Hi dearest Heather! It has been AGES since I've commented here, but I still read and enjoy every one of your posts that are delivered to my inbox! I have been searching high and low for just the right devotional to do with my children this year (in South Africa our academic year runs from mid-January to the end of November, so we are starting 'school' again on Monday morning!) and the two children's devotionals you mentioned above are perfect! I have just downloaded both, as well as the GMG study. I would love to join you on FB, but I am committed to cutting down on my computer time this year, so just want to check how much involvement you expect from us who join you there. I may only be able to pop in for a quick hello once a day or so...will this be OK, or do you prefer us to be actively contributing daily? If so, no problem - I will continue with the children's devotional and the ladies' study anyway. Much love to you and yours, Grietjie Thorne

  6. Hi Grietjie!!! It is so wonderful to hear from you. I bet your 'baby' is getting so big. I've missed reading your blog posts... Although I totally stalk you on pinterest! ;)

    I'm planning on a 'discussion' on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then everyone is free to pop in at other times as they feel led. It will be pretty low-key with a focus on keeping all of us accountable to pursue God each morning and dig into the Word. If you want to join, friend my on facebook. I don't think it will let you join the group, unless I am 'friends' with you. I'm there under Heather Haupt.