my fallow heart

Honesty time. I’ve never been good at setting aside time in my mornings to spend in God’s Word. I’m not a morning person. I used to sleep in until 9 or 10. I’d roll out of bed and go straight to my computer, losing hours on work or, more often than not, social media and other sites that were adding nothing to my life.

Oh, I had good intentions … sometimes. I would tell myself that tomorrow I’d stop and have quiet time before I turned on the computer. There was definitely a longing in my soul to dig into His Word, and I knew my spiritual life was suffering because of the constant distractions, pulling my attention away to things that didn’t do anything to nurture my heart and soul.

Not that I wasn’t finding positive things along the way – Christian friends online, encouraging blogs and websites I subscribed to, Bible quotes on Instagram. The good is there, too. But it’s so easy to skim on the internet. A glance at a quote. A few sentences of a post read because I knew I had other things to do. Never really staying on anything long enough to let it truly sink in and have an impact on me. Very much on the surface.

Sometimes I think I have the attention span of a three year old.

I shared here last fall about how I’d lost some weight after changing my eating habits. By year’s end, I had lost almost thirty pounds, which was awesome and made me feel so much better overall. But I still felt like I needed more of a change … on the inside.

For Christmas, my mom got me the She Reads Truth Bible and Matthew study book. They were things I had put on my wish list for her, but I had no idea if she would choose them for me or not. I love She Reads Truth, a wonderful online community I’ve mentioned here before that focuses on women getting into the Word daily, and I’ve done a few of their studies in the past on different books of the Bible. But many times I would just read the verses quickly and only read the daily emails they send that go along with the study. I wouldn’t sit with the verses and take time with them. I’d rush through.

But I don’t want to rush when it comes to what God wants to teach me through His Word.

The world is so much about hustle these days. Go, go, go. Got lots of work to do. And I get swept away in that. Wanting to succeed, to release more books, to make a little more income and help contribute financially to my little family. That can cause desperation and anxiety and that feeling that I need to hustle.

On Monday, January 1, I got up and cracked open my brand new Matthew study guide and my new Bible and began what has been a month of mornings started in God’s Word. That and reading through the Bible In A Year guide in the back of my new Bible.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I’d say that’s pretty accurate.

In the beginning, I had to be very intentional about reading through the verses, slow myself down and really think on what the verses were saying, rather than my old habit of reading quickly/skimming. I had to try to clear my mind and not think about the list of things I needed to accomplish. Because I just knew in my heart that this was WAY more important than anything on that list.

Each day, it’s gotten easier, and I’m happy to report that this wonderful new habit is one that I’m so excited about when I get up every morning. I get out my notebook and Bible, open up the She Reads Truth site to the day’s study, read through the verses slowly, then read the daily post that goes along with them and jot down any thoughts I have or verses or quotes that stood out to me.

I only wish I’d stopped just thinking about doing this and actually done it a long time ago.

So many of these verses and stories I have heard throughout my life in Sunday School and Sunday sermons and church camp and college and beyond. But reading through them again, slowing down, focusing on what I’m reading, sitting with it for a bit as I start my day, asking God to show me what He wants me to learn, makes every chapter and verse seem brand new.

Sunday ended the study on Matthew and now we’re on to I & II Thessalonians. I’m also reading the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and listening to the podcast “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman. I’m finding that so many of the themes in the things I’m reading and listening to are directly coinciding with the scripture I’m studying that day or week, which seems like it was perfectly timed by God just for me.

“The remedy for my fallow heart is the Word.”

This is a quote from the Matthew study regarding The Parable of the Sower on the She Reads Truth website. I liked it and jotted it down in my notebook because it felt like me. My heart has been like a fallow field, plowed and ready, but left unseeded for a season.

Time to do some planting. ;)

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