Do you have trouble even getting a shower, let alone finding the time to read your Bible? This month-long series of posts is for you! For thirty days, we’re going to look at just one chapter of the Bible and study it, one little step at a time. If you’re willing to try for five minutes a day, even if it’s in 30-second increments, you should join us as we work our way through Colossians 3. (For those with more time for study, you’ll walk through one approach to Bible study that you may want to use in your own Bible study after you finish this series.)
There’s no pressure. No one’s looking over your shoulder. This is just an opportunity to do whatever you can manage. When we’re done, you’ll know this one chapter better than you did before you started, even if you only manage to finish one day’s worth of study! And maybe you’ll be inspired to keep trying!
Here’s the plan for Day 1:
1. Gather supplies listed below and put them all in one place.
- Bible, in your preferred translation
- Notebook, small notepad, or even a single sheet of paper — just something to write on. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
Other optional supplies:
- Colored pencils or pens. Even crayons would work! We will be marking different words in different ways. Different colors are easiest (and awfully pretty), but don’t go buy anything special. If you don’t have coloring options, words can all be marked in different ways with just one pen.
- Computer printout of Colossians 3, if you don’t want to mark in your Bible. Use www.BibleGateway.com or other online Bible study sites for this.
- Audio version of the Bible (or at least Colossians 3), if you want to be able to listen to the passage on busy days. Download the chapter onto an iPod or MP3 player at www.bible.is/audiodownloader, or listen on your computer at . BibleGateway.com (choose your translation), Biblestudytools.com (KJV) and Biblestudytools.com (New Living Translation) are options for listening on your computer.
2. Think about where you want to do (or can do) your study.
Is the bathroom the one place where you get a few minutes of peace and quiet? Put everything in a basket in there.
How about in the kitchen? Can you squeeze in just a little reading while stirring a pot or waiting for the microwave?
In the chair where you nurse the baby?
In the car, while someone else watches the kids?!
The goal is to think about the place you are most likely to have 5 minutes to read (not necessarily all at the same time). If everything is there waiting for you, you’ll be much more likely to do your study. Be strategic. Keep a basket of playthings for the children nearby, if you’ll be doing this while they’re awake.
3. Think about when you want to do your study.
This may not be realistic at this stage of your life, but if you can designate a time, you’ll be more apt to do the study. Remember, you will only need about five minutes a day. If you want to spend more time, you can, but five minutes a day is more Bible study than no minutes a day! Take what you can get!
Can you get up just five minutes earlier each day?
Can you talk your husband or an older child into watching the kids for five minutes sometime each day, or could you do your study right after the children are in bed (before anyone thinks about needing a drink or going potty)?
How about reading before checking email or going online?
Or can you catch five quiet minutes during the baby’s during-the-night or early-morning feeding?
Could you start a quiet time in the afternoon with all the children on their beds with books or quiet activities? Before you start housework or any other tasks during this time, grab your Bible and do your study!
Or how about a short “blanket time” each morning, with little ones playing quietly on their own individual blankets while you study for a few minutes?
One of my favorite approaches when our children were little was to have everyone else pull out their Bible storybooks and have their own “Bible time” while I had mine.
Or better yet, invite your older children to join you! Read aloud for them, and let them watch you highlight words, or if you’re brave, let them do the marking for you!
If you can’t do it any other way, try to grab your five minutes in smaller snatches, and put your study materials in the place you’re most likely to accomplish that. Do whatever it takes!
OK! We’re ready!
You have your materials, your preferred location, and your time. All the posts that follow this one will be short and to the point.
Tomorrow we start reading! See you then!