Having a Plan
“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
Romans 15:4 NLT
As a working mama, one of my stress points each day is making dinner. Too many times have I stood in front of the open pantry (often 30 minutes before one of my children needs to leave for practice) staring and trying to figure out what to make. To combat that annoying question, "What’s for dinner?", we decided to try having ready-to-cook meals delivered. Though this is not quite the timesaver I dreamed it would be, it has been a good thing. Make no mistake, these meals still need to be prepped and cooked, and the recipes’ estimated prep and cook times are laughable. Perhaps they would be attainable if all four of us diligently worked together on the meal, but that is not the reality in our house. However, it is nice to have the ingredients pre-measured and delivered. We have also enjoyed the variety of new recipes. The main advantage is that it gives me a plan. Having the food purchased and ready, along with the recipe, keeps me from bailing on cooking a healthy meal and ordering a pizza instead.
Most things in life will go better if you have a plan. It gives you direction in what you are trying to accomplish. Spending time reading the Scriptures is a necessary part of our Christian journey. The Bible is one of the primary ways God speaks to us, giving us instruction, as well as encouragement. Following a study or devotional can help make our time in the Bible more consistent and meaningful. For years I struggled to make Bible reading a daily habit. I didn’t have a plan, so I would often just open it up and start reading. Similar to staring into my pantry and hoping that a dinner solution would appear, this method often left me confused and not overly engaged. I noticed if I was participating in a group where we had a study to guide us, this helped keep me accountable for staying in the Word and also gain a better understanding of what I was reading as I learned from the perspectives of fellow Christians. Even if you are not in a group, using a devotional or a study guide can make your personal Bible reading more focused. Pick a topic or book that applies to you and your current season. A couple of years ago, I started doing Bible App devotionals each morning. The practice of reading Scripture, along with commentary from the writer, and pondering questions, gave me a deeper understanding of the verses I read. Knowing I had a lesson ready and waiting helped make it a consistent habit. Choosing relevant devotional topics, such as finding Peace or trusting God’s plan, kept me engaged and hungry for what the scriptures would teach me each morning. The encouragement I received from these verses was a great way to start my day. Instead of viewing reading the Bible as a daily task to check off, it soon became a treasured part of my day.
It has been about three years since I made devotional time a consistent daily habit, which has made a tremendous impact on my life and my relationship with the Lord. I encourage you to create a plan, set aside the time, and dive into God's Word. It will be so worth it.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Psalms 119:105 NLT