All posts by Suzy VanDyke

5 simple steps to reading your Bible more

We’ve all been there before. On the mountaintop. Everything is wonderful, our hearts burst with gratitude, joy. We wonder how we could ever get angry at our spouse or kids because they are so amazing.

Fast forward a week, and all of a sudden the littlest thing sets us off. The spouse and kids are driving us nuts, we feel like we’re going crazy and want to just run out the door. Easily irritated so we blame it on being hangry. But really we need God to change our hearts, we need a thinking adjustment. We need to realign ourselves with what’s true.  And that’s found in Gods Word.

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Do you want to make Bible reading a habit in your life?

Do you look at the last month and realize you haven’t picked up your Bible?

Do you want to get back in the Word, or start being more consistent in devotional times with the Lord?

Here are five tried and true steps that have helped me stay in the Word over the past 10 years. Now I’m definitely NOT perfect and still sometimes struggle. But these five steps help me jump right back in!

1. Ask God to give you a hunger for His Word

“…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” -1 Peter 2:2-3 NIV

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” -Psalm 119:105  NIV

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97 NIV

2. Pick a specific book of the Bible to go through

Sometimes you sit down and want to read your Bible but you don’t know where to start. Pick one book to go through and mark where you leave off so that you can easily jump back in the next day.

Some recommendations for where to start: If you’re new to reading the Bible, the book of Luke is a great place to get to know who Jesus is, and see His life and what He has done for us. The book of 1 John is a great book to read if you’re wondering if you’re truly a Christian.

3. Set aside a consistent time and specific place everyday

I prefer spending time with the Lord in the morning before I start work,  with a steaming cup of coffee (not gonna lie, looking forward to that cup of coffee helps me get out of bed)! I know some people who read right before they go to bed. Pick a time that is best for you to be able to focus without being tired. Also find a place in your home where you can be still. I sit on my back porch. I heard of someone who had alot of kids and not much room in her house, so she had her quiet time with the Lord in her car each day which was parked outside. Pick a place that’s comfy, quiet, and where you can be alone.

4. Get a prayer journal

I use my prayer journal to jot down things I learn from the Word, or questions I might have. I also use it to write out prayer requests which is SO encouraging because then later I get to see how God is actively answering prayer!

5. Get a Bible reading buddy

It’s so much easier to meet goals if you have a friend help keep you on track! Find someone else who wants to read the Word more, keep tabs on eachother, and talk about what you’re learning about God. There was a season where I asked a good friend of mine to text me every morning at a certain time, because it helped me wake up and not skip my time with Jesus.

I hope this is helpful – remember, it’s many steps away from the cross of Christ, but only one step back!

Hugs,

Suzy

The terror I never felt before

I stood over his bed in the dark and could just make out his tiny little hands and face in the glow of the lamp light. He had been sleeping soundly for about ten minutes, his warm body cradled against me. My little baby was only two weeks old.

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It’s hard to describe the wave of emotions that swept over me ushering me into mommyhood… The strongest was this protective kind of love. It was this heart wrenching feeling when he cried that I just wanted him to know everything was ok, mommy and daddy loved him. An overwhelming feeling that no matter what happened, I would do whatever it took to keep him safe and well.

I guess what you would call the mama bear instinct.

What surprisingly came with this love was also a fear. A fear I had never felt before, this terror that something might happen to him. He was so little and fragile and the thought of anything happening to him just about killed me. My stomach would turn into knots, it was hard to breathe. I first recognized this fear then, when he was two weeks old.

Have you ever felt a fear creep in on you? My fear felt almost paralyzing. And then I knew I had a choice. I could either let it control me, or do the dirty work of dealing with it.

I knew deep in my heart I had to give the fear to God.

So I stood there in the glow of the lamp light, taking in all of  his tiny little features that needed my protection… and I prayed. I asked that the Lord would give me grace to hold this little one loosely. For grace to open my mama bear paws and put my baby back in His Heavenly Father’s hands.

My baby is mine to steward, not to possess.

I had to give my baby to God. I knew I had to trust God with him. God gave me Wilder as a gift and stewardship, and his life is ultimately in His hands. Which is exactly where it should be.

Because there’s no place more safe or secure.

Are you struggling with a fear in your life? Maybe you don’t have kids, maybe it’s something else. Do you have fear of letting go of a situation because you feel like it’s something you can’t trust God with? My dear friend, give it to the One who made you. He is faithful, and He is trustworthy.

I’m praying for you. Give it to Him.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…” Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

If you’ve made up your mind to give a fear to God, I would love to hear about it & pray for you… We’re all in this together!

If this blog post tugged on your heart strings, you have a friend with a new baby, or you feel like someone might be encouraged by this post, please share  on social media below!

Hugs! Suzy

Lettering by Cari of Sunlettering

My friend Cari of Sunlettering teamed up with me to create these beautiful shareable verse reminders. Feel free to instagram or pin to pinterest, just tag @suzyvandyke & @sunlettering in the post so we can see!