Fresh Friday – Devotions

Last year, I decided to make the commitment to read through the Bible within the calendar year. I found out how many chapters there were and divided them by the number of days in a year. The number came out to just under 4/day, so I rounded up to read 4 chapters each day (with Psalm 119 taking up the spot for 2 chapters). I marked them off and plotted it out for the calendar year. With that set-up, it landed me at finishing the Bible just before Halloween. That would give me a whole lot of wiggle room if I missed days throughout the year…which I did. In fact, towards the end, I would frequently skip my readings on Sundays.

I enjoyed my reading times. I fit them in to the 1st half hour of my day – plopped down in the corner of my couch with a cup of coffee and read away. I found some amazing chapters that I hadn’t read before, relived some of my favorite Bible stories, found fodder for research throughout the day, particularly through parts of the Old Testament. Some of it was monotonous -genealogies and the rigid Mosaic laws – but some surprised me as being way more interesting than I gave credit for.  I’m really glad that I did this for the first time. I will probably read through the Bible again at some point in the future. I’ve been trying to break it down a little better so that certain days wouldn’t be so overwhelming and the reading pack would be more equal and spread more evenly throughout the year.  It could be fun to read the Bible in chronological order and not just in the Canon. I’ve even joked about reading through alphabetically! Could be fun.

I used an ESV Global Study Bible and I pretty much used it just for my daily reading, but there are some amazing gems of information in there. I love having a historical context for events and traditions. There are so many things that I don’t understand from the Bible just because I live in a 21st Century developed nation.

Now, I have this allotted time each morning which I could easily fritter away with either more sleep or just mindless perusal on the internet before getting ready for the day.  I started looking for devotionals that I could find online to do each day. It is tough! Crosswalk.com has some devotionals, but as I’ve found over the last week, they are not always updated by the time I have my quiet time. In some cases, they are too story-ish and fluffy for my taste. I want Scripture. I want depth. I want substance, not frills and feel-good.

On instagram, I kept seeing some of my favorite grammers posting screenshots from shereadstruth.com. I went through their “O Come, Let Us Adore Him” plan throughout the Christmas season. I LOVED it! On the mobile app (available on both platforms), they have a great layout. Each day has three pages. The first, Scripture. The second, commentary by one of their contributing writers and a cool square graphic with a key line or verse featured which is easy to share on social media. The third, and probably the coolest, are comments from other women readers from all over! It makes this online devotional accessible, real, and so utterly encouraging as you hear tidbits and gems gleaned by other women who are really not so different from us (no matter what we might believe).

Starting January 1st, they began a study on the Book of John. I’ve only done two days of it now, but I’m already pretty pumped to get through it.  Another AWESOME thing they just unveiled, though, is a 365-day Scripture reading plan! It’s right there on the app and, while some of the studies they offer cost a small fee, this one is FREE and allows comments just like the others. I’m all for more organization, especially when it comes to getting more Bible-reading in your daily life.

How about you?!? Do you have a favorite devotional? What do your quiet times look like? Are you a crazy, earlybird (I know for those who have kids, it might be the only down-time you have) or do you just cram it in whenever you have an opening? I would love to hear how YOU get your daily dose of God and His Word.

And if you are struggling with getting this to happen, I would highly recommend adding She Reads Truth to your daily activities. Also, feel free to check over on the Bible Verse Calendar tab at the top of the page. I am humbled that it has been getting a steady stream of hits each day. It includes free printables for a daily Bible verse calendar – each month represented. Heads up that is is US-based in any reference to holidays in the graphics. I’m not very skilled at design, so please be gracious when you see them. 🙂

Happy New Year!!!

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Getting Married: 21 Weeks – Happy New Year!

It’s a new year! 2013 has arrived and I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for it. Last year, I will admit, that I had a bit of hope that Matt and I would be together and would be together forever. I don’t know how I knew; everything just seemed to be going that way. We weren’t an official couple yet, but I started a daily calendar, a tweet-like journal if you will, to keep track of all the wonderful happenings of 2012 and to add to it throughout the following years.

I got the idea off of Pinterest, of course. The idea is to use vintage postcards and index cards as dividers and calendar pages.  I tweaked mine from the website and didn’t use a fruit box. Instead, I found a pretty box at Michael’s and used that.

week21 box calendar 03

I started mine mid-January, after, I think, Matt and I became an official couple. We went to the nearby Antique Mall and I found the postcards I was looking for – there are a ton there! The postcards represent a month of the year and serve to keep the index cards organized.

week21 box calendar 02

Some of them matched the month I planned to used them, and others were just sites that I really enjoyed, like mountains and elephants and beautiful homes or farmsteads. The ones pictured above are (left to right) for February, May and June. So, with my months sorted out, it was time to put together the index cards.

The tutorial has the index cards being cut down a lot more than I wanted to, mostly because I didn’t want to cut down my post cards too much to “match.” So, I decided to get the index cards without lines to keep track of the days. This rule applies to most of my journaling; I prefer not to have lines because I like to have freedom to move all over the page. 🙂 I bought a date stamp and began stamping the cards with each day of the year, even throwing in February 29th – hey, it’s a day too!

week21 box calendar 01

And then, you just write. Try to keep the details short and sweet – just enough to jog the memory of the event. I had a lot of fun putting it together last year. The headings can be super big and important or just something trivial. Last January, I was pretty sick for about 3 days in a row…and each day I said so. In August, Matt and I sat down and looked through the ones i had for the year so far, he was really glad that I included that he was my very first kiss ever. I’m really glad for that too. I may post about it in the future.

In other news, I’m pretty sure we finished our wedding registry at Menard’s. We hadn’t even started it yet, but it was a lot of fun running around that huge place adding things to our list. Word of advice, don’t freak out, but when they give you the scanner gun, they will take and keep one of your driver’s licenses until you return it. Matt was all excited that he beat me in getting his out to show the guy and then he had to fork it over for the 2+ hours we were in there.

week21 yardsport

Matt really wanted to register for this $5,000 cart, but we couldn’t find a SKU for it anywhere. (ahem…totally as a gag)

I told Matt that we should probably plan a groom’s shower for him so that he can get all the tools and stuff and then I can get the other homey girlie stuff. Note that it was I who registered for the hammer, though, and plan to use it. Matt says it’s too big for me, but I’m sure I can handle it! Hope you have a great week!

Menard’s registry!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com