I Did It On Purpose

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Melissa Sherlin here!

I’m so excited to be with ya’ll today!

I want to begin by sharing something in Chapter 1:

Keep It Shut Chapter 1.2 Quote“How I use my words, whether for good or for evil, can often, although not always, be traced back to the quality time I am (or am not) spending with the Lord each day, how intentional I am about investing in my relationship with him, and whether or not I am taking steps to become more like his Son, Jesus Christ.” (pg. 18 paperback) ~ Karen Ehman, #KeepItShutBook

I recently asked several women what their biggest struggle is in studying God’s Word. Making time was at the top of the list.

No matter what season of life you may be in right now, there is always going to be something else fighting for your time.  Being intentional means that you have determined to make something a priority. Easy enough right? Yeah, not so much … here is where it can get tricky.

You see, I am intentional to make sure my alarm is set for 5 a.m., when I have to be at work the next day. Although I really love my job, I really dread that alarm. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  I would much rather go to work when I feel like it and it fits into MY schedule. Some days I would much rather be meeting my friend for lunch.

Sadly, I sometimes approach my time with God this way.  I treat it as a duty, something on my list to check off. I’ll do it when it fits into MY schedule …  just have so much to do, and when I get still and quiet enough, I just want to sleep! I don’t want to approach God or His Word that way! Just being totally honest with you today! Can anyone else relate?

Speaking of meeting a friend for lunch, I recently had the opportunity to meet my dear friend and P31OBS sister Sarah Travis for lunch.  I blocked off half my day, then drove an hour and a half to meet her.  I was so excited to meet up with her, share what was on my heart, and listen to what was on hers.  I got up early, picked out my clothes, and then spent some time reading my Bible before I had to leave.  This time was interrupted by my crazy dog that loves to break free and “visit” with the neighbors.  I ended up chasing this dog around the neighborhood in my pajamas!  I didn’t get much reading done; in fact, this is all that I read that morning:

God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud …” ~ Genesis 9:12-14


That’s it. Just two little verses!  I had intentionally set apart some time to read my Bible, but it was interrupted by the craziness of life.  I went on with my plans to meet my friend. During the drive to meet her, I prayed for God to meet us there and bless our time together.  Here is a pic of us meeting that day:

mel&sarah

As I was driving Sarah back to her car, I suddenly spotted a rainbow! I shouted, “Take a picture!”  I thought of those verses that I had read that morning.  That still small voice suddenly became alive and active to me.  I knew God had put it there just for me just like he did for so many other generations before. What if I hadn’t read those words that day?  Would I have even noticed the rainbow peeking out of the clouds?  If I had, would I have known that God was speaking to me?  

I want to approach God and His Word with excitement!  I want to show up and share with Him what’s on my heart, and listen to what He has to say.  How will I recognize that still small voice if I don’t show up to meet Him?

I have to be intentional to spend time with Him.  Here are some ways that I’m working on being more intentional:

  • Be intentional to show up.
  • Be intentional to pray before reading and ask God to speak to me through his Word.
  • Be intentional when the pastor/teacher/speaker says something I don’t understand to jot it down for further review.
  • Be intentional to seek God in all aspects of my life. (The good, bad & the ugly!)
  • Be intentional to identify any barriers to my time in God’s Word.  Time management, understanding, boredom, etc.
  • Be intentional to use whatever resources I have available to me. (My Bible, Bible app or the Bible online)
  • Be intentional to let the Word of God transform me.

I believe when we intentionally seek him with our heart we will find him! Let’s seek God this week and spend some time reading our Bibles. Here’s how we can get started:

  • Set a goal for yourself (Specific days, hours, times or verses to read — whatever works for you! )
  • Don’t know where to start? ~ (Look up any of the verses in chapters 1 or 2 and read the whole chapter where they are found. Or look up some of the over 3,500 verses Karen mentions on this topic.)
  • Let’s pray before we start each day ~ (Read Jeremiah 33:3)
  • Let’s see if spending time in HIS Word affects our words.

Social Media (optional)

Let’s encourage one another on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!  Use the hashtags #P31OBS  #KeepItShutbook #BeIntentional and post a pic of you and your Bible, Bible app or just your Bible.  (Make sure to make the post public so the whole OBS community can encourage one another! )

****Two of you who comment below will win a Keep It Shut book and Keep It Shut Conference Call Series!  Winners will be emailed Thursday afternoon.

Let’s Chat:

  • Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study?  If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
  • Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible?  If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
  • Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?

See you tomorrow when Erin will be with us to discuss Chapter 2, “Squabbles, Spats, & Such How to Communicate with Family, Friends, and Other Necessary People.” (That sounds like fun!)

Have an INTENTIONAL day!

Melissa Sherlin 🙂

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Comments

  1. Miranda Miller says:

    I’ve recently started Read Through the Word with Wendy Pope and I LOVE it!!! So far I’ve haven’t ran into any obstacles when it comes to bible study. I put my kids to bed then do it. I knew if I tried to do it in the morning it wouldn’t work out. I really don’t struggle with being intentional with my bible study. I always pray before I start. I ask God to show at least one thing I can apply to my life. Afterwards, I pray about what I just read. Before discovering, Read Through the Word I would do bible study when it was convenient to me in the mornings which meant doing it only two to three times a week.

  2. The word really hit home, about not wanting to get up early, wanting to do it when it fits my schedule.

    My word for the year is intentional, so it really touched me in a way that how little steps can make all the difference in making God a part of my everyday. Making the time be as important as we are to Him, it what will make the difference on how we hear him.

    • Tonya McCoy ~ Proverbs31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Jenny, my word for this year is intentional too. We do have to be intentional about spending time with God & in His word. I would say God loves to know that time is important to us.

    • Brenda. Proverbs 31 OBS Team says:

      Intentional is my word for the year as well! I love how God keeps putting it before me.

  3. Love when God speaks to me. I did a devotional earlier this month called one word. I read through scripture and prayed and felt like God put it on my heart to BE INTENTIONAL!!! How crazy is it that’s what today was about! I do struggle with setting aside time to be quite and hangout with God. In the mornings I feel too rushed, and at night I often give him what’s left before bed. :/ I do find that when I pray before I read that i am much more intentional in what I’m reading and able to dig deeper!

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Brittany…it definitely is not crazy…rather it was exactly God’s hand in you being here right now at this time, in this study…to read this blog and go…”How crazy is that” Love it when we see God in action. He knew already and I love how He keeps on letting us know…we just need to sit up and pay attention.

  4. marylou garlinghouse says:

    I am signed up for the bible study. I receive the emails and videos. Where do I find the study guide?

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Hey there Marylou,

      There is no study guide. (there is one available for purchasing BUT it is NOT REQUIRED for this study) All you need is the study book for reading and the blog posts here on the P31 site. (your emails). There is an outline on what is required for you to do throughout the week.

      Hope this answers your question.

    • Hi, I purchased a Study Guide from Amazon.com because I was thinking of teaching this lesson to my Sunday school Ladies’ class…

  5. Heather McCormack says:

    I have always struggled with being intentional. Late at night is working currently. The kids are asleep and the quiet is welcome. I’m really enjoying the online bible study. This is my first one, and knowing there are so many others out there doing the study helps me to stay focused. I enjoyed the video very much. It really helped bring the chapter to life. Thank you!

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Welcome to your first OBS Heather,

      Glad you are enjoying and yes it is wonderful having so many other women joining us during this study. I SO LOVED the DVD session as well…it is a huge blessing to be given so much of tools and insight. I struggle with being intentional too…so this hit home for me as well. Keep pressing through…you gonna do great.

  6. Melissa S I so loved this blog post! You broke it down in practical but powerful way to be intentional and I also greatly appreciate your vulnerability! Love the picture of your lunch date with Sarah! 🙂

    • I have no problem with my morning (right as I wake up for about two hours) and evening (about an hour before bed and as I fall asleep I have a few chapters of the Bible read to me by my handy Bible App) but I struggle with filling my day with God. I am blessed with time since I am stuck home sick and even on bed rest most of the time and I long to fill that time with him but I let mindless TV get in my way. He has been calling write out a schedule and the past two days I have had great victory!
    • Answered above.
    • Absolutely! I like to pray scripture over my time with God, but sometimes I just jump right in and I don’t think I absorb His truths as much when I forget. I have Psalm 119:18 posted in my Jesus area, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

    • Tonya McCoy ~ Proverbs31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Melissa, I used to be that way. Where I was filling up too much of my day with TV. I can’t remember which study we were doing but God made it real clear first of all there were shows I was watching that really were nothing that I needed to be watching. They were not building up the Spirit in me. And secondly how much more time could I be spending with God & in His word if I turned that tv off? So, now if I do turn the tv on it is just to watch a preacher or duck dynasty….lol!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Thank you Melissa! I love praying scripture too!

    • Mitzi Limburg says:

      One thing that helps me think on God all day is surrounding myself with Christian radio/music. I turn Family Life Radio (myflr.org) on my phone when I first get up. I turn it off while I’m reading later, but while I’m getting ready for work I have that playing. I put worship music (Hillsong, Passion, etc.) on the background at my office, too. Right now I am praying through a situation with my adult daughter, so I keep Scriptures I am praying for her on my desk, too, so I can try to pray them for her throughout the day. Believe me, I DO NOT have it all together and really don’t “study” my Bible well, but having been a Christian for over 40 years, I know the difference Bible study and worship make in my daily life and my family. 🙂 This study is already awesome!

  7. I am intentional in making time to work out every day and am VERY intentional in scheduling time for my kids naps, but scheduling time to study God’s Word sometimes gets put on the if-I-have-time list. I know that my priorities reflect my heart, so I am constantly working on this! I go through spurts where I am consistently in the Word and feel so close with Him, then miss one day which turns into 2, and there it goes…I am not alone, right??
    I love the Lord and want to know Him but life is distracting and I fail.
    I’m going to be intentional in getting up earlier every day to do this devotional and to read the Bible. I am also going to skip the work out if I haven’t spent time with God yet that day (yikes)!

    • Oh, Neely, I so understand the distraction from study time when one has young children! When my daughters were wee ones I remember beating myself up for all I wasn’t doing in terms of studying the Word. So then I’d feel unworthy and stay away for another day. And all the busy that comes with a young family. It can be a challenge for sure.

      I started to give myself grace and that made all the difference. I took the time that was available and worked with that. A lot of days I didn’t have an hour, but I sure could find 10 minutes. And then it grew. Our quiet time will look different woman to woman but I believe God is blessed by our honest, intentional hearts. Sometimes we just have to think outside the box. And hey, depending on your workout, invite Jesus along with you. I often pray while I run on the treadmill or outside. Those runs are often the only true undistracted quiet time I get!

      • From someone is trying to get into working out, don’t give up your workout. like Laura said fit it in when u can. You will be amazed at how much time you can fill between appointments or carpools. and if not try for shorter time periods.

  8. Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? Yes
    If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    Walking the dog, tending to cat boxes & feeding said …
    Seems I almost always get distracted after by something …
    Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible?
    I have the alarm set, as mentioned above I have critter chores to tend first …
    Which throws me off kilter …
    If not share your goal with us.
    I would like to daily read first …
    Hard to do with dog saying Mama I gotta go NOW!
    Let’s be accountable to each other …
    Would love ideas solutions to this …
    Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    Sometimes …

    • Dee Yates - Proverbs31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Kay,

      We all struggle with those busy moments in life, so please know you are definitely in great company. What I’ve learned over the years is that ALL my time spent with God is redeemed by Him. Every day that I start with Him is better than days that I don’t and each time I make Him first – He speaks Words of Wisdom into my heart for each situation I face that day. When we draw close to Him, He cradles us in His care. I will be praying for you each day as you find pockets of time to spend alone with Him.

    • Maybe prelistening to a bible chp while you are walking the dog and doing critter chores, then when all is happy in critter land… sit down, reread the chp and do your study.

  9. My sleep requirements which also cause poor concentration in the past couple of years often take away more than half of my day. While my doctors work to discover the cause, I have found verses I memorized over the years bring great comfort on days I can’t physically read. During those days I often pray almost without ceasing when I am alone. I have grown to depend on God to provide the very verse I need for the day I am having; friends I am talking with or as I listen to their story; etc. On my good days I like to spend time in the Word with a workbook study guide to help me find the real jewels of the passage.

    • Audra Heinman, Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Betsy, I’ve struggled for YEARS with a very ‘off’ schedule. One thing I’d like to suggest is if you have a way to download a bible app, the YouVersion will actually READ some of the translations to you! I was SO blessed when I found that feature!

      Just wanted to share in case you were interested! I pray that your physicians will find an answer soon and that in the meantime, you’re trusting on The Great Physician. 😀 Very glad you’re with us!

  10. Hey All,

    I too find it hard to make time. I work the overnight shift at a short term residential mental health facility and this has really messed with my sleep patterns. Along with the normal aging process, bladder not what it used to be and being Type 2 diabetic which means I’m always thirsty which also means that I’m continually waking up to use the restroom (sorry if TMI). I try to catch a little sleep when I get home in the morning and a few hours before I have to get ready for work in the evening. I spend lots of time in prayer throughout the day and listen to praise and worship alot. I love spending time in His Word but I have not set apart an intentional, set time to do it every day.

    • sarahtravis says:

      Oh Karen, I feel your schedule pain! I think it’s awesome that you are making constant communication with the Lord through prayer a priority. I think so often we can be intentional about reading the Word but then not take it with us into the day. We need to meditate and pray on it through the day 🙂
      Just a thought, when you are listening to praise and worship, is there anyway you can listen to an audio version of the Bible? 🙂

  11. “Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle? Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other. Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?”
    For me it’s just the opposite: I tend to lose track of the time when I open up my Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotions. My thoughts wander to my fantasies of a better life because I have a bad character, I’m lonely, and my grades suck. Yes, I read the Bible in the morning, but it doesn’t make me feel more Christian because I forget it after I put it away. Does it help to pray? Actually, I’m averse to praying. I don’t really know how to interpret the verses.

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Jessie,

      Sweet sister…you are here doing this study. To me that has being you taking initiative. You have read the blog post and you went a step further and commented…that my dear is a start. We all have to begin somewhere. I remember sailing in the same boat as you not so long ago. My life ‘sucked’ big time and well I never really was one for praying but showing up to practice is what will get you there. Keep showing up and before you know it…you would have trained yourself. Big hugs all the way from Germany…you are not alone…I am chatting to you and do you know what…God is right there and he is always there. Saying a sweet prayer just for you.

    • Mitzi Limburg says:

      Hi, Jessie! I think Melissa said it so well in the email today – being “intentional” helps so much. You are intentionally reading, so maybe just trying praying a simple prayer before you read like, “God, please help me understand Your Word and remember it.” And then maybe underline or write out a verse of what you are reading and keep it near you during the day (if you can) and read it over a few times. Hope this helps – so glad you are doing this study! 🙂

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Jessie this is great advice from Sabrina and Mitzi! Don’t give up sweet girl! I struggled in this same way. I found finding a version of the Bible that is in language I could understand helped. Also this tool where I can see different versions together!

  12. I do have a time to read the Bible very early in the morning I pray before reading tha Bible….before reading the book’s chapter and I liked all the definitions on Be Intentional to let the Word of God transformed me …which I liked the most,so I can listen what God tells me and be obedient and patient in his wisdom to grow more in his image to change my way of my thoughts;”god intentionally orchestrated the relationships in our lives. He knew who would share our last name – or four walls.” “The people’s souls -weather they are easy -to-love variety can be used by God to mold,reshape,sometimes stretch our souls as he perpetually crafts us into creations who are becoming more and more like his Son.
    I like as well Karen’s prayer before start the journey has a real message to get closer to God.
    “Father,I face anoyther day in which I will be called upon to use my words wisely and well. May they encourage those who listen. May they speak truth but also we said in love. May I pause before I pounce. May I be bold enough to speak when I would rather run away. Lord I give my mouth to you today. May what comes forth be sweet not bitter. May the journey each word takes from my mind to my heart to my lips be guided by your hand. May what comes out be life- giving Esther than causing death. May my words make you proud and bring you glory.i Jesus’ name,Amen.
    Liked very much!!! God bless

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Lucia,

      I love the prayer too and I am saying it each day. Makes a huge difference to kickstart the day with such an awesome prayer. Yes…we are definitely being shaped and this study most certainly is going to get us closer to being more like Jesus…O’ what a wonderful thought!

  13. Genevieve says:

    Hi there!! Thank you for your time spent working to bring this study to us.
    I have to say that I dont have much trouble being intentional. I must do mine at night after my husband goes to sleep. We live in a studio apt and there is no where to go where it is quiet, so this works for me. I do find at times tho that life has just gotten so rough that I end up falling asleep before doing it. I am caregiver to my husband who had a stroke two years ago and also has heart and lung issues. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and crash. I then feel guilty that I failed to get into Gods word and try hard to get myself back on track.
    Now on the subject of prayer before study. I fail in doing this. I forget. I just want to jump in and see where Gods word will take me for the day. This is a goal I must change. But Im not sure how to remind myself to pray first. I would be open to any suggestion for meeting this goal.
    Again thank you!!

    • Genevieve I just stopped to pray for you this morning knowing some of how hard it is taking care of a loved one. I’ve been there and know that tired and falling asleep. Don’t feel guilty when you crash – God knows your heart. Many times I pray after my study too. The thing is you are doing it whether before or after. For me, I delve into the my study and I find myself praying all through the day whenever I feel His tug to stop and pray as I’m in the Word or in this blog, when the phone rings and many times I’m on my knees for friends and loved ones and ladies here I have never even met. Hugs to you as you minister to your husband.

    • Years ago when I did an in depth Bible study. I began to realize when I forgot to pray before doing my study I seemed to have difficulty answering the questions. So I tried to be aware of this and once I began to feel like I was not receiving much from the Spirit, I would stop immediately and pray for His leading then I could feel Him working. I found that it was okay to forget but being able to recognize it, then stop and pray helped me a lot. Now it’s just a habit for me. My prayers are with you that the Spirit will guide you because the Word says, “We have not because we ask not. May God bless you.

  14. I am getting a lot of great information to put into practice. Anyone can apply these great principals.

    • Nancy Silvers-Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Michele, Absolutely! As you slowly put these ideas into practice they will become second nature. You will find that they become a necessary part of your day. I know, for me, if I miss my Bible time in the morning, even if it’s just reading a few verses, my day is just not the same. God bless you!

  15. 1)yes!
    Making time
    2)no. It used to be at night.
    Will try 5-10 min in the morning
    3) yes, very much so!

  16. Thanks so much for your encouragement today, I really needed to read this today.
    1) Yes! I really struggle with being intentional on my Bible study. Main reasons, busyness and distractions…and on the other hand: perfectionism. I want to catch up with all my Bible reading, then I think it’s too much and end up giving up! I know it’s silly, but I’m being honest here. I think I should take it easy and take small baby steps, even if it means reading a couple of verses like you were able to.
    2) I have planned to wake up before everybody else in my house gets up…around 6:30, not always working out (my preschooler is a little morning person) but I’m getting there, i think.
    3) It does. It definitely does. God helps me to understand better…prayer just opens up my ears 🙂

    Thanks again, have a blessed day

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Thank you Angie! I used to be the same way. It was all or none with having time. I realize, I will never get this done if I wait until the conditions are just right. I didn’t realize what a HUGE difference prayer makes until I started just asking God to speak to me! God bless you!

  17. Firstly Thanyou P31 for introducing this new section.

    I was told last week in a group meeting last week by one of our pastors : We always make time for something that is important to us eg watching programme on TV etc.
    It challenged me..is God really important enough to me that I always make time for Him?

    Intentional is the word..The alarm doesnt work for me U prefer more spontaneous BUT the work in progress is to ensure the habit daily..especially in times when busyness overwhelms me

    Praying first is also a habit I am trying to develop.
    Praying is talking to God coming just as we are and I have realised my attitude plays a big part

    Attitude is actually for enjoyment not a task..to be in Gods presence.. Cs Lewis said this..In commanding us to glorify Him God is inviting us to enjoy Him

    • Hope Aylor (Proverbs 31 Ministries Team) says:

      Jeanine, you are making a conscious effort. I truly believe that our good intentions are the beginning of intentional behaviors. As we make the effort to make our intentions habits they slowly become a part of our day that we come to depend on for recharging and inspirations. It takes work, and you are doing the things to make sure that your time alone with God happens each day. You are off to a great start!

  18. Lorraine Joyce says:

    For the first time, in a long time! … I have moved closer to peace. For a long time with all the challenges and every excuse under the sun I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful blog/ministry. I have not been involved in this type of thing before so hope am using the tool to best practice. Wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be part of a webinar or something? Any how! Thank you for bringing me back into a routine with intent and encouragement. Bless you – looking forward to getting back to fellowship and closer to Jesus once again.
    Someone mentioned video’s? I don’t think I’m getting those – like I said, all new to me – thank you you for your ministry God bless you x

  19. Good morning! I once apologized to the Lord pertaining to my problem with distractions while attempting my bible reading. Some short time later, I found myself rising very early every morning. 3-4 am early! I’m ready for bed at 8:30 pm, which also keeps me from watching the less desirable TV shows. All good!

  20. Teresa Gines says:

    I am intentional with my Bible and Bible Studies. My time to do them is not very intentional. Afternoon is usually my target time. I’m alert, ready to sit down and focus and it’s quiet. I have learned to adjust when necessary, to make sure it happens. And most definitely it helps to pray first and get centered on Him!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Teresa,

      That is awesome! I have learned to adjust and be flexible too, so I didn’t use missing my scheduled time as a excuse not to do it.

  21. Yes I struggle with being intentional with everything in my life. I seem to be on autopilot as I go through each day since I have become overwhelmed with chronic illnesses. I have tried over and over to get into a habit of reading my Bible and I just haven’t found what works for me.

    I don’t have a scheduled time to read my Bible. I know this is why I feel so defeated all the time. I really don’t know when is best for me but it seems that bedtime would be a good time when all is quiet.

    I absolutely believe that it makes a difference to pray before reading my Bible. Snuggle up in my Father’s arms and listen to what He has to tell me that I might otherwise not pick up on if I didn’t open the lines of communication before beginning to read.

    • I love that image of snuggling up in the Father’s arms Jane 🙂 I am praying for you to find time each day to read His Word ~ even if it’s just a verse each morning to meditate on throughout the day. I don’t know if this would help you but I get a couple of daily bible verses emailed to me every morning so even if crazy happens I know I will still read those and allow God to plant a verse in my heart <3
      http://www.365promises.com/ is a great one and if you can't manage to read the devotional with it, you can still read the verse at the top of the email 🙂
      Blessings xox

  22. Joyce E Sample says:

    Hello there all you wonderful ladies,
    Thanking God for this Bible study & the wonderful people that have made it available. Purchased the book via my Kindle on yesterday. I’m enjoying & being provoked to “Kerp it Shut’. I’m so thankful to be on the other side … not having a problem with reading my Word. I’m retired and have plenty of time & very few distractions. Some days I just find myself lost in reading. It’s a true blessing. I’ll be praying for all of you that are struggling.
    May the Lord Himself kiss your day.
    Shalom,
    Joyce

    • Brianna Stokes - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Joyce,

      What a blessing to have you on this #KeepItShut journey with the rest of us! I trust the Lord has prepared you for this season and so I am excited for you! Thank you for your prayers over all of us and know that you, too, are being lovingly prayed over!

      Blessings and love,
      Brianna

  23. Sandra Munoz says:

    I was just speaking to a friend of mine about never having enough time to study the Bible. My work is really hectic with short nreaks and lunches so it is hard there, plus like the email said i am just tired by the time my day ends as my 2yr old wants to be my attention til we go to bed and because i have to be up by 5am to get ready for work (i never sleep well), i am just wore out. I have never been in one of those families that were religiously oriented but for some reason i have always wanted a relationship with God and if you cout our “conversations in the morning before work that is about as much Godly time as i get. I so relate to the email of the day. I know i need to be intentional and find that time but it just never comes through.

  24. I struggle with reading my Bible each day because I have a four month old baby at home who takes alot of my time! I try to read the bible early in the morning when everyone’s asleep. Sometimes I find that difficult being do sleep deprived. I love to pray! Even though it’s not with formal prayers, I always talk to God! This bible study is helping me get closer to God and I couldn’t be happier or more excited!! Thank you 🙂

    • Margaret Fischer says:

      Hang in there sister, just go to God when you have those minutes. And enjoy your baby as they grow up so fast. Blessings to you!

    • Erica Leggiero (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Hang in there! Even if you approach God for 5 minutes while baby is napping, it will prove to be great for your soul! Congratulations on your sweet baby! You’re already doing wonderful things for your relationship with God by dedicating your time to this OBS!

    • Leigh Ellen says:

      Megan,
      I completely understand what you are saying. My little boy is two, but during the first year and a half of his life I struggled greatly with getting to spend time with the Lord. Not only was I on a new adventure of being a mom for the first time, but also at this time in my life I needed the Lord more than ever. When my little one was awake, he needed me; if he was asleep I was trying to get some sleep. At night he would awaken to eat every hour and a half… . I was beyond exhausted! Truly, I feel what you are experiencing and I am praying for you today. Be encouraged and May the Lord Bless You in all you do!

  25. Kayla Orndorff says:

    I struggle with finding (making) time to read my Bible. I am going to be more intentional about reading in the morning. Praying before I read helps me focus on the reading and learn more.

    • Nancy Silvers-Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Kayla, Praying for you as you seek to be more intentional with spending time in God’s Word. I promise, when you do God will bless your day, time and life!

  26. Margaret Fischer says:

    I do not always pray before I read my Bible so starting today I will intentionally do that! Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    • Erica Leggiero (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      I haven’t always prayed before reading my Bible either, but I recently put it into practice. I find that it helps when I ask God to take away all of my “worldly” concerns, so that I can focus solely on Him. Hope that it helps you too, sweet friend!

  27. Denise Rigley says:

    There is always a time issue and Satan always tries to distract me when having time with Jesus. But praying first always helps me focus. I try to push through and know that God is always with me and will speak to me through his word. Lord give me ears to hear.

  28. Simply Suerita says:

    Thank you ladies! I am really enjoying this series. I having been longing for something like this to dialogue, pray laugh, cry or whatever for years….I am blessed that through my 31 journey another leader shared the book with us. I love to see women coming together for positive things. Building and encouraging for us to be better versus bitter. Its such a beautiful thing!!!

    • Erica Leggiero (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      So glad you’re with us Susie! It’s incredible to see how God can change so many women’s lives through His ministry with OBS. We’re blessed to have you with us 🙂

  29. Love this post! The word intentional is so powerful. I feel in this season of life it is easy for me to do Bible study. I am a mother of a toddler and an infant so at feeding times I get some studying in, like right now! Ha! But at the same time I have many days like the “runaway dog” days where study is short because I also have to be intentional with my parenting. But the two in twork go hand in hand in my life!

    • Erica Leggiero (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Hang in there, Mama! You’re already doing wonderful things! I SO understand those runaway dog days. I work from home and it’s a TON of work to make sure I’m intentional about work and not distractions, but hey–that’s life 🙂 So proud of you for having such a great balance on intentionality in your quiet time and intentionality in your parenting! Keep shining!

  30. I am feeling so convicted! “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight!” Our pastor says this every Sunday and it just now hit me how important this is! We are being asked to keep a watch on our heart AND our mouths! Thankyou Melissa for your wonderful message of hope this morning! I’m about to head off to work in the dark but I will be thinking about rainbows and God’s goodness!

    • Brianna Stokes - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Susan,

      Praise God for the way He pursues us! I LOVE when God keeps bringing lessons to our life until it clicks and we get it! I’m SO glad you were encouraged and blessed by today’s message! I’ll be praying for you as you continue learning to #KeepItShut! It’s not easy, I know! But, I LOVE that God is so faithful to give us yet another chance to try and get it right! How sweet He is! How loved you are!!

      Blessings,
      Brianna

  31. With a 4month old I am finding myself making more excuses then taking time to be with God. I strive to do a devotions and Bible reading at night as a way to calm down from the day. I want to don more Bible reading in the morning so I have positive thoughts and engery to go on during my day. Howecer I tend to be a later at night person rather then pop out of bed before sunrise one.

    • Terri Proversbs 31 OBS Team says:

      Life can be hectic with a little one around. Don’t stress out so much over the time of day you are sitting down to read as much as making time to read. If you can get a couple of verses in in the morning that will center your mind. When my kids were little I would turn off all distractions while they napped and spend time with God. Distractions are the devil’s way of keeping us away from God. God did not create everyone to be a pop out of bed before sunrise type of person, He did create those late at night people too 🙂

  32. I struggle big time with my Bible study. I love the knowledge I gain from reading the Bible, but I often find myself filling my time with other “stuff.” When I do a Bible study, I try to find one that addresses a topic that I feel like I need help with in order to be more like Jesus AND has me diving into the Word to learn more from THE book. Sometimes that is hard. I find a great topic Bible study but there isn’t a lot of Bible in the study or there is a lot of Bible study but the topics aren’t about something that I feel like I “need” at the time. Love it when I find a good mix!

    • Brianna Stokes - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Rachel ~

      I SO get it! This is what I LOVE about Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies….and THIS book, “Keep It Shut”! It’s an area of my life that needs improving AND it is supported by Scripture! God’s desire is that we would seek Him in His Word – how cool is it that we get that through this study?! I pray you have been encouraged and will continue to be blessed by OBS! Thank you for sharing your heart with such brave honesty! You are NOT alone! More than that, you are loved! You will be in my prayers, Rachel, as you seek to know Him more! May you find the time spent in His Word refreshing and sweet!

      Blessings,
      Brianna

  33. Hello, thanks ever so much for the great tips, especially the idea of reading the chapter that surrounds the verse of the day. I do get up each morning at 4:30 to spend time with God as I am a morning person but do struggle with being distracted; snow to shovel, car to warm up, get out on the road to get to work on time………… Intentional – great word which fits so many areas of my life.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Thanks Jean! That tip actually came from one of my OBS sisters, Christa Hutchins. I’m going to use it too!

  34. I am fortunate that I have gotten to a time in my life when I can spend time in the Word and be intentional. But it wasn’t always this way. I filled my life with things to do and was often surprised that I didn’t have time to read or study. My life became chaotic and I finally realized I did n’t need more things to do, I needed more of Him in my life. My life is far from perfect, but it has a peace that you can only recive from knowing JESUS.

    • Brianna Stokes - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Sandi,

      AMEN!! What a wonderful praise report! So many aspire to be in a place of peace and intention! Praying this continues for you as you have sweet fellowship with the Lord! Grateful you are with us and blessed by your testimony of being intentional in spending time with the Lord!

      Lovingly,
      Brianna

  35. Debbie Hollingsworth says:

    I have my things ready at a table by my couch so I can read the Bible with my first cup of coffee. I do struggle at times, though, with thoughts of what my day will hold creeping in while I study. Sometimes it helps to read out loud and fix my attention on each word.

    • Me too Debbie. I keep a basket with all my study stuff. Recently I brought in a small table and put my computer on it, my Bible and Read Through the Word notebook. My prayer book is also here along with my basket with markers and pens, several versions of the Bible and our current study book and workbook. A great reminder every single day when I sit down with that first cup of coffee.

      • Hello Debbie and Debbie….yes keeping my Bible, Devotional, and a journal on my coffee table helps to remind me too…

  36. I like to begin my day with scripture usually from a devotion I do from YouVersion then my Sunday School lesson and now OBS guess what they are all on the same subject no kidding and this is not intentional. God tends to do this when I am listening to Him. Praise the Lord! Our church too is taking on the motto this year of being more intentional and loving people how refreshing. I too want to be looking out for opportunities to share my experiences, my faith, to others to encourage them to look up to God for their wants and needs. Thank you for your encouragement and time.☝️

  37. I enjoyed this lesson so far. It makes me feel inadequate because I am not doing what I should as far as meditation and studying. I am committed to go all the way with Jesus

    • Hey Arlene don’t let your thoughts go there. You are not inadequate. You are a precious child of God and you are here doing this study. This is a great start to get in the Word and here with a bunch of women all over the world sharing what we have learned each day. P31 OBS changed my life really getting me into the Word more and more. It will come alive for you and you will hunger to learn more.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Arlene I agree with Debbie! You’re not inadequate look at all of us that have the same struggles as you! Let’s grow together!

  38. Ann Holland says:

    My biggest obstacle is not time (most of the time) it is TV! But I am learning that when I get up very early (3am) I start my talk with God then. I have some other Bible studies that I look at and then I go to my journal and I talk to God. I am loving this study and I will definitely do more!

    • Brianna Stokes - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Ann ~

      What a blessing it is to have you with us as we all learn to #KeepItShut! I appreciate your honesty so much! So many of us struggle with stepping away from the TV (phone, computer – whatever) and stepping into fellowship with the Lord! What a beautiful testimony of blessing you receive when you are intentional about your time – even waking up at 3am! You go, girl! Praying for you and hoping you continue to be encouraged and blessed throughout the study!

      Lovingly,
      Brianna

  39. My biggest struggle with my bible study is staying motivated. After the last OBS, Before Amen, I was fired up to pray my simple prayer and I’m slowly becoming a recovering prayer wimp. And now my day seems completely incomplete if I don’t pray. But my bible study often times is hard to keep up with after the first week. I’m so excited to start and then sometimes (and I’ll admit) it’s because I can, I don’t read it don’t post when motivation is lacking. And sometimes when I fall too far behind, I just throw my hands up and call it quits.

    Yes, I schedule time to pray in the morning before my day really gets going and to read my bible. I set an alarm for my bible since it’s not first thing and I need that reminder but as soon as the alarm goes off, I stop and go to the comfy place where I read my bible.

    I definitely fund that it helps to pray before I read. Right now I’m reading through the Old Testament. And man is a lot of it not so exciting. I pray that one, I stay awake and two that I really understand the meaning behind all of the lineage that’s given. But it’s really helped. Connecting people and now so much more makes sense in the New testament and some things almost seem to run parallel.

    • Glynnis I, too found that lineage boring until this year. I am reading through the Bible chronologically in a study with Wendy Pope . I am learning so much and love reading through the Old Testament. One thing she said to us while we walked through all that lineage was “Somebody had to begat so that we could be begotten”.

      • Debbie, absolutely! I’m reading the Bible chronologically this year as well. I find myself drawing a “family tree” during all the “begats” so I have a picture (I’m such a visual learner) to refer to when I start to get confused in the reading later when they refer to someone.

        It is also helping me teach these stories to my Kindergartener who is completely obsessed with knowing who the mom and dad of the people in the Bible are. And just like you, all of this is really fostering a LOVE of reading the Old Testament for me, especially because I can draw the parallels to the New Testament and it makes complete sense to me that way.

  40. I was doing the Bible in a year. Mornings are good some times, nights are good sometimes. As you said I also am busy and then when I get quiet at night and finally sit still I am tired. I forget sometimes to pray first and I do FEEL a difference with how I understand what Iv read and carry it threw out my day when I forget to pray first. I have been a wishy washy Christian for 5 years now. NEVER completely surrendering to GOD. NEVER completely being 100% involved. I have enjoyed many of your books, been involved with several of your bible study’s. I have, by the grace of GOD made it threw a tough year last year and am very hopeful for 2015. I am hoping to get closer to GOD, allow him more control over my heart which will control my words better and maybe build some good Christian relationships. GOD bless your ministry. Have a great day everyone. See you on Face Book tomorrow evening.

  41. Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

    Love this…I often here this complaint regarding time and well I sometimes use it myself. But if I really am honest with myself…I can plunk myself down infront of the tele for a favorite show (intentional and call it relaxing because I am tired). I make sure I eat when I am hungry (intentional preparation for food). The list can go on and on and on…because I need to brush my teeth, take a shower, clothe and feed myself…I have time to do this day in and day out so why is my excuse…I have no time when it comes to God’s Word…really!?!? Pretty scary…needed to hear this and need to change. Thank you for a lovely read…you blessed me!

  42. Thank you, Melissa, for the wonderful message that I so needed to hear this morning. I joined this bible study group because I struggle with finding/making the time to really concentrate and focus on my bible study. This is MY way to intentionally make myself accountable. I am loving it. I have a lot of “life” issues that keep getting in the way and your running through the neighborhood in pjs really made me laugh…I have definitely done that…only the 4 year old grandson so running behind me as well. lol
    Already I am making reading my bible a priority first thing in the morning at 5 a.m. I like to pray before I read as well as pray with my husband and family before we leave for work for the day.

    • Hope Aylor (Proverbs 31 Ministries Team) says:

      Kathi, you are taking steps to spend time with the Lord. I know that reading the Bible in those still, quiet hours of early morning gets your day off to a wonderful start. Life does disrupt the best of schedules, but it’s wonderful to have a life full of people and animals that require our attention. Hopefully, you are up early enough in the morning to get this done before they start making demands on your day!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Thank you Kathi! I’m so happy to have you here with us!

  43. I’ve been reading through the entire Bible this year so I’ve managed to carve out a set time each day to sit down and read. It’s generally between 7-9pm when things have slowed down enough for me to focus. The only area I really struggle with is reading through the Old Testament so it takes longer to study it. Setting a specific time and being consistent with it has made it easy to make reading the Word a daily habit. We are what we consistently do.

    • Hope Aylor (Proverbs 31 Ministries Team) says:

      Julie, I do better focusing at night also. When the house is quiet, the day is done, and I have so much to thank God for I”m able to sit and soak in His presence and share my day with Him. I seem to have settled on certain spots in the house for specific time with God. There is one study I do at the kitchen table, one I do here at the computer desk, and another in my beside chair. You are right, we are what we consistently do and doing anything becomes easier as it becomes an intentional habit.

      • Hope,

        What kind of Bible do you study from? I just recently bought a Women’s Devotional Bible that’s helping me understand scripture better.

  44. Christine Evans says:

    I am intentional. Making first thing in the morning my time w the Lord was something I learned early on in my walk w Him 20 years ago. But…My mind rushes a million miles a minute. I start my time w the Lord every morning and get easily distracted. But I plug on. He has something fresh for us everyday as we seek Him. I want to be intentional about taking the nugget the Lord shows me in my time w Him and think about it throughout the day. For someone like me…whose sanguine brain does not stop…it’s hard! But I never want to give up. Thanks for letting us share this morning!

  45. My name is Holly. I’m from Tennessee. I make it a priority to read my Bible & pray every morning when I get up. I need it! I just feel like without it my day is not going to amount to much. It prepares me to face the day. I currently started nurse practitioner school. I have to spend hours everyday studying. I made the decision no matter what, I will not give up my Bible time. I feel like God will bless me for putting Him before my studies. I think He’s already blessing me for it. My head is clear when I study my school work & I think I’m retaining the material better. Ive had to give up many things in order to get my degree, but I just made no sense to me to give up my Bible & prayer time.

  46. Four year ago I started to be intentional about studying Gods word and doing bible study. I found and fell on love with Melissa Taylor and the Prov 31 OBS. I began getting up at 5 am – one hour before I needed to be up to read and study Gods word. Mind you , there are days that I fight the alarm and a bit more sleep wins, but my day goes oh so much better when I intentionally spend time with God.
    PS I love the rainbow story!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Thank you Dawn! I love Melissa Taylor & OBS too. I found it at a time when I really needed some other women to dig into Bible study with, and God lead me here! I’m so thankful that you’re here with us! God bless you

  47. I HAVE to be intentional in order to have ANY quiet time with the Lord–other than in the car on my way to and from work. It’s very hard for me as I allow other things to get in the way (i.e. social media, laundry, etc.). I have printed off the “Be Intentional” list and am hanging it on my bathroom mirror to remind me of what I need to be intentional about! Thank you for that reminder!

  48. Thank-you for all your prayers and wisdom. I have never been a part of a Bible Study group in 50 years ( silent follower), BUT this e-mail chose me. I have been replaying each one and it is very humbling, I try to live by the Golden Rules, but life gets the better of me and yes, I want to enjoy that rainbow!

    Thank-you and God Bless you all : )

  49. I struggle with being intentional. Mornings are great as I usually am up all alone. I try to work out but not always. One year for lent instead of giving up something I took up reading P31 devotions everyday. I never felt closer to God. I pray usually on my way to work in the car as I alone then. I am going to start to be”intentional” reading and praying at least on Monday Thursday and Friday. I plan on reading Keep it Shut everyday. Thank you for this study. I needed it.

  50. So true! I deal with making reading my Bible a priority all the time! I think it really hit me this week, because I wake up super early (i.e. Before the kid wakes up) to shower, do my hair and makeup, etc … Which is almost an hour and half early, and I don’t stop once to read my Bible.

    Well as of Monday, that changed. So now I’m making time in the am before my makeup to read, and the daily P31OBS emails have truly been encouraging and supporting my intentionality!

    Thank you and I’m enjoying this so far! Ladie have an awesome and thoughtful day 🙂

    -Jacque
    Greensboro, NC

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Jacque, I’m so excited to hear this! I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us through this study!

  51. Leigh Ann says:

    Believe it or not, praying before hand hadn’t entered my mind. I lose concentration easily so I am copying the “intentionnal” statements on a index card and using it as a place marker! I need to be more intentional or whatever comes up is what I focus on. LOVE OBS!

  52. Denise (Nissi) says:

    I love waking up early in the morning, drinking a cup of coffee and reading The Word and doing studies like these that really make me think about and grow in my understanding of what His word teaches me. Distractions do come daily but I do my best to stay intentional to read the word… It’s what keeps me

  53. Today’s post was so beautiful! And true! You know all those plans on the YouVersion bible app, they are really nice and I started the Life Journal reading plan which covers the entire bible in the year. I’ve had my bible since 2011, but still never finished the whole thing yet. I hope to accomplish that this year and this post was totally motivational. At times I fall asleep reading the old testament (guilty!). Mostly its lack of privacy that hinders me. My family believes in Hinduism and so, I have to read my bible when no one’s around to see that I am reading the bible. But I try to read it at least on the app if not from the paperback.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Pankti,

      Thank you so much for sharing that! That is so beautiful to me. I know God honors that time you spend with him! Praying for you friend

    • Pankti,
      Thank you for sharing that you use the Life Journal reading plan! I started out this year with a goal to read the bible from front to back and as many others have admitted I haven’t been intentional! I’m going to look into Life Journal and hold myself accountable for reading everyday and spending time with God.

    • Thank you Pankti for your bold sharing. I am reading through the Word this year with a group too and learning so much I have missed. Praying for you this morning. We all take for granted our time reading the Bible.

    • Love your heart Pankti 🙂 The Lord honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30) and as Melissa said ~ He will honor the boldness of your faith to spend time with Him despite the opposition and circumstances that might surround you. Your faith and dedication is inspiring my friend!

  54. Tonya McCoy ~ Proverbs31 Ministries OBS Team says:

    I have to pray & spend time in the word before I face the world (especially my family) or I can get in funk real quick. I always remember Lysa Terkerust saying something about facing God before you face the world & ever since then that is what I have done. That helps me tremendously. It is really funny this is the topic today because a few of us in my small group were talking about this very thing yesterday!

  55. I struggle with finding time to read my Bible too–and yet, I was up at 4 AM (not by choice) and did everything but read my Bible. I need to be more intentional about it. I am currently training for a marathon–Just like I wouldn’t think of missing a run, I need to be even more intentional about making time for God each morning.

  56. For me early in the morning, 4:30 works best. I have done this for years. If I don’t set time apart first thing in the morning, it will not happen.
    I need that time to pray, mediate on Gods word and be still.

  57. I try to spend a little time each morning reading the bible. However, I don’t always pray beforehand and ask God to open my mind and heart to His word. What a great reminder to be intentional….thank you!

  58. Thank you. I will set a time each day and be intentional in reading God’s word.

  59. I have always struggled with bible study time. First on making time and then even more on where to start. I started jotting down all the verses from sunday message at church and reading around where they are found. It has made all the difference for me. And I do it first thing in the morning. I love the tone it sets for my day to carry whatever I studied with me!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Courtney, I love this! “I started jotting down all the verses from sunday message at church and reading around where they are found.” That made all the difference for me too!

  60. Hi Melissa;

    So excited about the class and sharing with each of you about our prayer life. It is so inspirational to have someone feel the same as I do. Daily chores, work, overtime, helping my elderly parents, helping my 30 year old son who is still trying to figure out his life. (He is going through a divorce) Prayer time for me begins at 6:30 am, then reading a passage. I also pray before bedtime about what may have occurred during the day. I teach 4th grade…so you can only imagine. I know my savior hears me and is guiding me to where I need to be, but there are days when I do feel lost. I am praying for our class and sharing with each and everyone of you and God Bless you for this class. Still waiting for my book though. I will post my picture…no makeup mind you. Don’t be scared I will apply before school.
    God Bless
    Cindy Huckaby

  61. Because I know this is a real struggle for me, I encourage my three sons to begin their day with devotions. I want them to set the pattern of intentionally spending time with God.

  62. Psalm 139:4 just jumped out at me – There’s not a word on my tongue that He doesn’t know! A helpful reminder to speak life knowing that He is SO aware of EVERY word. Who do we think we are fooling??

    Helped me so I thought I’d share.

  63. Laura Campbell says:

    I have to find a specific time of the day to do my study & be intentional about doing it. The enemy is constantly trying to keep me too busy that I forget what is truly important, time to study Gods Word. I have 4 children, my own business & I am working full time at our church so I stay crazy busy. I have to sit down & schedule my Bible Study time each week or I will end up so far behind!

    I have a couple devotions I read each day. I read my devotions & scriptures in the morning when I first get up. If I don’t do it before I get up & start doing my daily tasks I will get so busy & distracted i forget to do it. I also am doing a “Bible in a Year” plan that I read before bed. This is something new I have added. I end my night with prayer. Truthfully I usually fall asleep praying.

    I do not usually pray before reading my scriptures but plan to implement that!

  64. Sally Koh says:

    I do struggle with being intentional with my Bible Study. My greatest obstacle is distraction, busyness and to find a fix time to do it.
    I didn’t have a schedule time to read the Bible yet. I will intentionally do it the moment I wake up from the bed.
    Appreciate your prayers that I get my routine soon. Thanks.

  65. I have found that if I don’t make the time to study the bible first thing in the morning, it doesn’t happen. Not only that, if I try to do it at any other time, the quality is not the same. There is something about the quiet of the house- before the kids, hubby, and dog are up-that makes the time spent reading so much better. I wake up at 4:30 am each morning to do it. Friends think I am crazy but I feel crazy if I don’t start my day this way. And I feel like the time I have spent helps me get perspective on the day before me and sets the tone. It is like I have recharged my batteries. 🙂

  66. Karen Thompson says:

    The year 2015 I chose the word focus. Part of that word focus is to get my focus back on God and the Bible. No I am not intentional but reading the Bible I find a lot of things do come up and get in the way. I also fine just listening to the Bible is good and I always tell myself I have to go back and make note of that, but what ends up happening is I never do. I also find myself getting so overwhelmed with the Bible that I tend to put it down and not come back. I have learned after reading several of these posts that it’s a little bit every day and if I have to go back and reread a verse, and reread a verse there is something there that God must want me to learn. I will get in the habit of praying before I read which is something I currently do not do. I plan on being intentional about completing this online Bible course that I actually happen to just tripped up on yesterday while on FB. I didn’t question anything I just signed up and brought my book. It felt right on time for somethings I have been feeling not good about in my life.

    Quick question how does every body handle all of the information that they receive from the book and the online posts? I’m finding that there’s so much information that I want to try to keep it all in one place. Do you have a journal that you keep notes in? Just curious how everyone is handling the tasks and all of their learning from the course. thank you!

    • Karen I keep a journal and sometimes just a plain ole pretty notebook with the studies. It varies and I don’t have a sound system. A couple of studies I kept them on the computer but then I want to print them out. Currently I keep a journal and I print out the memory verses etc. and add them to my notebook after I put them in my kitchen window to memorize for the week. I, too had a hard time reading through the Bible. This year I took the plunge and subscribed with Wendy Pope to read through the Word. She has a video each day and delves in and the group of women/men comment so I’m learning a lot and keeping a huge notebook on that.

    • Melissa Longval P31 OBS Team says:

      Hi Karen,
      My one word for 2015 is Linger…to linger in His presence, in His word and with His people. I love yours: Focus! I think you are just right when you say that it is a little every day…He always meets us in those words of His!
      I am not the most organized person, but I do keep a study binder to keep track of what I am reading, questions I have or questions I like that are posted by others, and a journal in the back. It is also a great place to post the verse of the week. Nothing fancy that I have to keep up or buy a lot for…just some line paper and colored pens…I love colorful pens!
      So glad you are here with us and digging into to Keep It Shut!

      In Christ,
      Melissa Longval

  67. Sharon Divens says:

    It is a Blessing to be taking part of this Online Bible Study. Thank You for today’s lesson. It has reminded me how important it is to make time to spend with God. I am 56 years old & was settled in my job thinking some day I would retire from it. However the company is closing and I was Blessed to find another job. My routine will change slightly. But with Gods Grace I will Transition just fine. My goal is to intentionally make time first thing in the morning to meet with God.

  68. Yes, I find that if I don’t read early in the morning then I find excuses of “I will catch up tomorrow”. I want the bible to be the first thing that read in the morning, in hopes that God’s word will guide me through the day in a way he would be proud.

  69. Carrie Gjerde says:

    I feel like I’ve kind of lost my connection to God & being intentional will help me to get closer to Him. My not being intentional has put me in this place. My words are often harsh & I’m sick of feeling regret after I’ve opened my mouth. Praying for God to draw me closer to Him. Thank you for offering this online study!!

    • Praying with you too this morning Carrie. These studies have brought me closer to God than I have ever been because they have helped me to be intentional and because we have memory verses each week those verses were instrumental in bringing the Word alive like never before. As I verse map and break one down word for word I see things I never saw before.

  70. I “intentionally” get up at 4:30 and begin my day with God when all is quiet and still. If I wait until evening or night time more times than not it won’t happen due to interruptions and just to tired after working all day. My goal I set for me is to “intentionally” pray before reading my bible. Sometimes I just get up and get right to my time with Him and don’t pray before – after but not before!

  71. I wish I could get up right away and begin my quiet time- but there are just too many distractions. I find it works better to get the dogs outside and fed, my husbands lunch packed and him off to work and THEN I can sit down to a quiet house and spend my time with the Lord. I have tried several timeframes- but this is the one that works best for my life. I pray for the Lord to speak to me through his word, share my calendar with him and ask him to direct my steps as I go about the day. I pray for friends and family, needs I am aware or, and then just sit quietly and see what He wants to say to me. I am following a “read the bible in a year” format. Sometimes a worship song will come to my mind, which I will listen to, if I feel the Lord spoke something specific to me- I will write that down. I determined to be more intentional with my devotions at the New Year.

    • Cindy I found that is what works best for me too. As soon as my hubby walks out the door, I pour that first or second cup of coffee and delve into my studies. Some days I’m off to substitute teach, some days I watch my grandson, but ALL days I have some study time to start my day. Days I’m home I get so involved I don’t want to quit.

  72. Emily Anderson says:

    It helps me to be involved in bible studies with the women’s groups at my church. It provides structure and accountability and a need to keep up and not fall behind on the study. It never fails that after a couple weeks of being consistent with my study time that I get a stronger desire to study more. It becomes a treat everyday to spend time with The Lord and less like a line on my to do list. It’s hard finding time with a toddler in tow but I look forward to nap times for my bible time (a great change from what used to be just veg/tv time). 🙂

  73. Thank you for the reminder to be Intentional. I did that for two years, I read my Bible all year and from Genesis to Revelations. But the third year I guess I lost my intention and didn’t do it. That’s why I am doing this study, I need to get back to my routine of meeting with the Lord. I Didn’t have such a good year last year. I am determined to have a close relationship with the Lord!

  74. Staci Thomas says:

    I am so excited that I found this online study. Being a single mom of three, I feel like my life is a little crazy most of the time. It just seems there are not enough hours in the day. This is my first online study and I am looking forward to learning more.

  75. I am up by 4:30am 6 days a week to get my fiance off to work, I love having a few hours of quiet time to study & read devotionals & I’m working on finishing the Bible this year. My problem always has been learning when to not say a word, that being quiet can be more effective. I am so thankful this series is available to me.

  76. I am using my quiet time at night to read my Bible and P31 OBS books. I am a night owl and it is nice to read while everyone is asleep and the house is quiet. I try to be intentional but I am so easily distracted by other things that take away my time.

  77. I try to read the bible each morning before everyone else gets up- sometimes it is just the bible app bc life interrupts or I hit the snooze an extra time. Time is definitely my struggle with being intentional

  78. Brenda Thurman says:

    I spend time with God in the mornings and through the day. I can not get through the day without the Lord with me. Now this might seem silly to some, or you might think I am nuts, but I talk to the Lord off and on every day all day. But this is how my time is spent with the Lord; I take my journal, my bible and go outside and sometimes I just sat there and just listen, and look at the magnificent creation that the Lord has made and painted. You know there are so many brilliant artist but they just copy what our Lord has already painted. I think there is no one who is as good a painter as our Lord. In the cold months I spend it either in my bedroom or in my recliner. But I talk to the Lord every day, off and on all day. I pray the Lord will use me to make a difference in someone’s life that day, for the protection of my grandkids, kids( and in that word kids, that includes my daughter in laws) and husband. I love the Lord with all my mind, heart, body and soul!! It seems like if I don’t spend time with the Lord my day goes yucky. I feel the Lord lets me know everything is going to be alright in a special way. A way that may sound silly to others but you have to know the story. I have loving the bible study

    • Love your thoughts Brenda. I love taking my study outside on beautiful days. I, too love just going outside and looking at birds and butterflies. I go on prayer walks somedays and pray for neighbors and thank God for all the things I see like horses, cows, flowers and on and on. Praying for kids and grandkids. I found myself up the other morning at 2 AM praying for my laboring daughter and the grandson she was about to deliver. I prayed for him and my other grandson and am already praying that God is preparing their future spouses.

  79. Tonya Roe says:

    My husband leaves for work at 5am and my kids get up around 6am to get ready for school, I spend this time with the Lord. This is my favorite time of day savoring my coffee, watching the sun rise and spending time in God’s word!

  80. This bible study has me committed to getting up earlier in the morning so I can have some quiet time to focus on the study and God’s word and the changes I want to make for myself. I am planning to continue this after the study as I believe this study will help me form a better habit!

  81. I often struggle with finding time alone with God. I have good intentions and then life seems to take over. I do keep trying though. I find that my email devotions help also. I want to read God ‘s word and study It more. When you mentioned just being exhausted and wanting to fall asleep, I have felt that too, as I am sure many other’s have. Thank you for your encouragement and teachings.

  82. I find I have good intentions to read every day. I will be good for a couple days and then life gets so nutty I go to bed and then realize I never read my bible that day. Then I feel so guilty. I end up talking to God and saying I’m sorry I forgot.

  83. Karen Bell says:

    I ask God for wisdom and knowledge before reading His Word. He never fails.

  84. Praise God for this blog on today! I truly struggle with setting time aside to intentionally pray or study God’s Word. It seems as if I am running on auto pilot because I have known His Word and how to pray since I was 10yrs old, so that has become my reservoir; and I just pull from what I’ve known. Reading today’s blog has opened my eyes and heart to where I just don’t want to have a reservoir to pull from, I want a free flowing stream of His Word and my time with Him to be intentional.

  85. Kristin F says:

    My biggest struggle is with myself. Having the discipline to make time for the priorities in my life is a daily challenge that I am continuing to work on, and determined to improve upon. This part of today’s post resonates with me:
    No matter what season of life you may be in right now, there is always going to be something else fighting for your time. Being intentional means that you have determined to make something a priority.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Oh thank you Kristin. I kept thinking when the kids are older, when they’re not doing so much, when work slows down, when I’m not exhausted, when I’m not so stressed, when my hubby doesn’t need me so much, but then I thought. …no, these are the reasons I need it most!

  86. I started doing my Bible study and prayer time at 5am in October of 2014. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed that early (this morning was 5:30, because of a particularly wiggly toddler in bed with me all night!) but I make it a priority. I need that time in my day. The biggest obstacle I have is my little girl waking up early on the days my husband has to be at work at 5. I have to try and park her in her high chair for breakfast, but then I find myself listening to Doc McStuffins or Sofia The First instead of God. I try to always open and close my time with the Bible in prayer to God. It helps me to write things down, so I have a prayer/devotional journal in with my Bbible case. My Bible is also a note takers edition, so I write in it too! My Bible study time isn’t perfect, my prayers aren’t perfect, thank God He doesn’t ask for perfection, but just for my effort and my showing up!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Absolutely! He honors those who honor him! That is such great advice for all of the busy mom’s Cala!

  87. The hardest thing is making time and pulling away from social media for me. I want to intentionally start my days and end my days in God’s word. when I do put the effort in my day seems to be so much better and I do hear that still small voice speaking to me.

  88. Early last year I made a commitment to myself to get up between 5-530am on workdays so that I could at least have 1 hour with God before the craziness of my day begins. It has definitely enabled me to hear His still small voice much clearer. This is my absolute favorite time of the day. I won’t say it’s always easy, but I will say it’s worth it!

  89. Debbie Thompson says:

    Boy do I need this in this season in my life now more than ever. A little background, I came to Jesus 11 years ago after a bitter divorce. I am a mom of 3, grandma of 3 and 1/2. I had not been in a relationship until 6 months ago. I went to my first Women of Faith weekend, and recommitted my life to Jesus. I said I was done looking for Mr.. right. I said if You want me to meet someone you would have to send him to church on Sunday to met me. The next day was Sunday, and in walked Sid. We’ve been dating for 6 months now, until yesterday. He had lost a close friend die, and had a major fight with his sibling. He ended it with me because it was getting to intense. I cried my eyes out. He contacted me 6 hours later to apologize and he’s coming over this morning to talk. When my grandson took a nap, my son watched him so I could take a quick walk. The weather was in the 20’s o my walk was short. I begged God for help. The word’s that came to me over and over were, if God brings you to it, he will bring you thru it. Trust Him. This comforted me some. I’m the type that try’s to offer my advice to God, and gets mad when He doesn’t listen. Like I would really know best. Can anyone relate? I am on disability and money is extremely tight. The money my daughter gives me helps. However, It goes right out again if one of my3 kids needs help. This is where I need help. My daughters are 37 and 20, and my son is 27. My son had and will always struggle with an addiction, and he stays with me. He has no where else to live. He takes medicine to stop his cravings, but he has slipped with alcohol a few times. my 37 year old is getting married in May, and is paying for the wedding of her dreams. I’m very happy for her. My 20 year old, married last year and is expecting there first child in July. He’s not very nice to her. And they lived with me off and on for this whole year. Grant it, I live in a small 2 bedroom mobile home. I was a very happy empty nester for 24 hours. I also had a mini-stroke last week. In 96 I had a major heart attack, and my heart just started skipping beats again. I’m 55 years old. When do I get a turn at a little happiness? Am I entitled? Sid has a problem with how my kids think they can run all over me. And how I let them. Help! My heart is breaking in a million pieces.

    • Terri Proversbs 31 OBS Team says:

      My dear lady. Sounds like you have been through a lot in your life. I love the book of James! James 1:2 says to count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that your faith produces patience and verse 12 says Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life. My husband was injured in a chemical incident 17 years ago, while holding our new born daughter and our three young sons at our feet the doctor looked at me and said that my husband would be dead in a year. God obviously had different plans for our lives. If God had stood me at that fork in the road and asked me to choose the path to walk, I would have gladly chosen the easy path but I can tell you that today, looking back, I would not give up the path that God had me walk. I am glad He did not give me a choice. These hard times are not where we find our joy, we find our joy in the Lord and the work and reward He is doing in our lives. God wants us to turn to Him and find your happy in Him and to trust in Him. When we are in the midst of a situation we cannot see all the details. Sometimes we need to step out, walk away and look deep into the situation. Asking people we trust and being open to the truth also helps to see all that is going on in our lives. So many times things seemed one way because all I could see was my side and hear only my thoughts, when I turned to a trusted and wise friend, I was able to see things more clearly and fight the good fight more faithfully. If you do not have someone you can go to, seek someone in your church. God knows what you need and He is waiting to and wanting to help you. I will pray for you.

  90. My intentional time is first thing in the morning after I wake up. Online works bed for me….

  91. I have never been an early riser but I have two small children and finding time for quiet time is hard. At the beginning of the year I decided to try to read through the bible and I was having trouble keeping up with the reading schedule. So I decided I would try just one week of getting up with my husband at 5:30 and doing it before my kids wake up. After the first week I started to enjoy it. It is now my favorite part of the day. I not only get to have a few minutes of quiet before the crazy begins but the Lord blessed our time together preparing my heart for the day. Giving me the renewed strength I need to make it through the day.

  92. My intentional time is first thing in the morning after I wake up. Online works best for me….

  93. Terrie Delbridge says:

    I make sure I get up early and spend time with God. I do devotionals from several resources. I have my Bible, my Franklin device with the Bible and then on line. Sometimes I get so involved with my studies that I fear I will be late for work. On those days it seems like God is driving the car and I still get there on time!

  94. Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle? focus. plain and simple focus. my mind wonders, my head is going ninety to nothing and I have to refocus so many times during Bible Study
    Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other. I do not have a scheduled time, because my day is so wishy washy. I never know what I may be doing from one moment to the next, however, my goal of staying IN the Word is easier than staying with a set schedule. When I am in my car, or at home alone, I will have my Bible on, listening to wherever, I am studying, whether it be an organized study or rather it be the verses I’m reading for that day to red the Bible in a year
    Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible? oh absolutely, and all during while I am reading. Lord focus me, Lord refocus me, keep my eyes on you. Over and Over again…

  95. Colleen McKenzie says:

    I start my day really early, 4am to work out then from 5-6 I spend time in God’s word. This helps me keep my temple fit for His Holy Spirit and wakes my mind up to be ready for what ever God has for me each day. I started this a year ago and feel closer to God. Some days are harder than others but it’s always worth discovering new things as I read my bible.

  96. I am trying to be more intentional with my time and words. I read my bible daily and pray not always at the same time trying to get back in the habit of getting up before everyone else. I found the She Reads Truth and am reading through the bible this year with one plans on this site. It’s called The Bible In A Year. I am really enjoying it they have other plans also. I am really enjoying this study and so needed it.

  97. Betzi LaCounte says:

    I love spending time in His word whether reading a book about His amazing Glory or reading the Holy Bible although I do need to be more intentional with the time I pend reading or researching.

    I have found some mornings when I want to pray while taking a shower, I tell myself I have no time, but I get down on my knees and pray my heart out any way. God honors me by getting me where I need to go on time. It feels as if time has stopped just for Me because I was obedient to Him.

  98. Ciska harrelson says:

    I greatly struggle in 2 areas. Making time to actually read my bible in honesty it happens rarely. I have made the commitment to read every morning this week before I even get out of bed. My second struggle is actually understanding and applying what I read. I would love some suggestions on how I can start understanding what I read.

    • I feel the same way, I was thinking of maybe getting a new bible that has discussion or interpretation notes.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Ciska,

      We’ll be focusing on some skills throughout this stud! One thing I usually suggest is making sure you have a version of the Bible that you enjoy to read. I had a really hard time reading the KJV so I used the online parallel until I found what version worked for me. I hope this is helpful.

  99. I do find it hard to keep my commitment to The Lord of having “our time” together for at least 30 minutes in the morning while my family is getting ready. I’m pregnant and some days it’s just easier to sleep in and rest a little more. I’ve even rationalized it saying “He will understand”. I am trying my best to get better at it because I know that a good prayer and time with Him starts my days out right.

    I also spend a portion of my lunch hour with my Bivle to get the refresh I need midday, and again at night after dinner to help me process the challenges of the day. I don’t think time with God needs to be a once a day thing – breaking it up helps you stay closer to Him throughout the day and can help you relate better to certain things you read as they apply to events of your day.

  100. I get up an hour earlier than the rest of my family every morning. I don’t always spend the whole hour in bible study, but I try to make sure I at least spend 15 minutes in it. I am a kinder person for those few minutes I spend in Scripture. It gets my heart in the right place and helps me to look for ways to show God to others throughout the day.

  101. Melissa Lagattuta says:

    I can totally relate to not having enough time to read my bible daily. This bible study is a great way for me to be accountable and in the word on a daily basis. Thank you for taking your time to put together these emails everyday. They are inspiring and usually speak to me on a topic near and dear to my heart. I am excited to go through this bible study series!

    Sincerely,

    Melissa

  102. I have recently joined and I hope this leads me to where I need to be in life it is to short to take for granted. I so enjoy spending time with the lord and I know life is to short to take things for granted even the little things. I know this group and my personal studys will put me where I need to be in life. I know the devil always finds a way to keep me from studying the word he hates it when we spend time with God even more so when we do his will. I know this group came along for a reason and we can learn, love and grow together thank you from the bottom of my heart for acceptting me here……

  103. Every morning I spend time with the Lord reading my Bible. My prayer time with Him can always improve. Someone very special to me suggested praying before reading to get a better understanding of His word and be open to hearing what God has to say. Now hearing it from you I believe God is showing me I need to be more intentional with this. I pray after my reading but feel if I follow through on the advice it will prepare my heart better for my time with God.
    Thank you so much, this study has been so encouraging. Where I live there isn’t a Woman’s Bible study offered and I enjoy growing in the Lord and being a part of a group of ladies who hunger for His word.

  104. Michelle Glick says:

    I am very intentional each morning with my quiet time to read my Bible first thing in the morning. I love starting my day out with the Lord but my time then is limited and although I read, I don’t have enough time to really STUDY the Bible. My goal is going to be to find a daily time that I can dive deeper into the Word and start practicing some verse mapping or journaling in conjunction with my study time.

  105. I do pray before I read and it really helps. I like to start my morning off when I wake up with a bible verse (at the moment its a Psalm a day) and then at 4pm I do bible study (I am fortunate to work from home). To make sure I get at least a verse a day, I subscribe to an email verse which pops up in my work day and reminds me to centre myself. I think general tiredness is the most challenging in bible study, in the midst of urgent but not necessarily important things, I can be drained before I even start to read.

  106. My struggle is in keeping my quiet time from being a duty. I want to capture the joy of meeting a dear friend and listening to Him, rather than checking the accomplishment box.

  107. Debra Weaver says:

    My best time is early morning…no phones, no doorbells to distract me. My struggle sometimes is giving enough time to studying and meditating on the word so that it really gets in me. I started an online bible reading plan that I’ve already fallen behind on, but I am being “intentional” to complete this reading through the bible for the year, so I go back and pick up the days that I miss until I am caught up again.

  108. In the last few weeks I’ve been working on finding time to read the word of God more everyday. (Before not so much) What I have found helpful is on my way to and from work is listening to the audio narration from the app on my phone. Of course if I want to take notes or write something down I have to wait to get home but, since I don’t want to forget what I learned it makes me open my bible at home and review and underline anything I want to remember. I also noticed by listening to God’s word it keeps the verses in my head all day like a song would. A practice I need to start is prayer to God before I read/listen, I think this will open my heart a lot more. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      What app do you use? My hubby is looking for a good audio version, he is always in his car on the go! I love this idea!

  109. I do struggle with intentional time. Mine is getting out if bed and starting my day before I want to. I am working on it each day getting up a little earlier. If i am not aline I will not read and pray I get to distracted and I think everything is my job. I know working on that as well being a control freak about taking care of my family. I am truly a work in progress through the Lord.

  110. When God wakes me in the wee hours of the morning, I read my devotionals. Being obedient takes work at times but having the right mind set of pleasing Him makes it easier. Get a taste and see that God is awesome….feed on His Word and watch what happens. His Words are sweeter than honey.

  111. I have my quiet time programmed into my scheduler. It is set with a reminder for 5:30 am. At 5:20 the reminder pops up “meeting with my Father.”

  112. Miranda Freitag says:

    I have a huge struggle to spend quality time reading Gods Word. I always have great intentions. But they never seem to become a reality. I have begun to bible journaling, where I illustrate one verse a day that has touched my heart. I started out with verses I have known forever and am now looking to verses that touch me in my present daily life. I don’t have a set time for study.

  113. I have the same problem. Life seems to get so busy and I find it very hard to find time to devote to reading the bible and studying gods word. This week I plan to make that my goal…to determine when is a good time every day to spend some time with God.

  114. I do find it hard to be intentional every single day, but I make hard efforts. If I awake at 2 in the morning and cannot get back to sleep, I try to pray before falling back to sleep should the morning be too hectic. This way, even if it is in the middle of the night, I have had my time to talk to God. I make efforts to read the Bible each day and if I skip a day, I try to catch right back up so I don’t fall behind the online reading group.
    Life throws in its challenges and some mornings are hectic and reading is near impossible. But, somehow, throughout the day, I read a chapter here or there while the three year old is having some independent play time which is usually only a few minutes. The online studies are just perfect because of this. Thank you for the encouragement to join all of you in what is the same goal – spend time with God in reading His word and learning His word through these informative studies.

  115. Michelle Edwards says:

    Being intentional was right on this time for me. I struggle with not allowing life to interfere with my time with God. I’m learning the earlier I get up the better. The house is quiet and I’m not as distracted. It’s hard getting up some mornings. So I had to give myself a set bed time. I am usually praying that God will give me the strength to get out of bed. I need to grow in being committed to rising early daily. If you could pray for me to go to bed on time,rise early, and be committed to the set time I have establish to be with God that would be great.

  116. I set aside time each morning reading and studying God’s word. I have several devotionals to use as well as a reading the whole Bible in a year plan. love the quiet time, but need to find more time for prayer. That tends to happen while commuting or just going about my day. Need to be more intentional. Committed to become a prayer warrior.

  117. Heather Lopez says:

    I have four kids so its definetly a struggle to find time to sit in quiet and read Gods word. I usually read it when my two year old is napping (if he naps) or when they are all in bed (if I don’t fall asleep first). My husband and I read daily devotions in the morning before the kids get up. I do think it helps to pray before I read, it makes me feel like its easier to absorb the information. I am going to make sure after my devotions I will also read in my bible.

  118. Lori Jean Simpson says:

    Ahh Thank you ladies for your words and your prayers. Once again satan is trying to interfere. My alarm didnt go off at 530 for my intentional time with Jesus. I woke up 45 minutes later. Mornings do work best for me. I still had time to read this page, to pray. The book reading I can still do this morning. If I dont get to finish I can read during my brakes at work which will also he to “Keep it Shut”

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      I love that Lori Jean! I’m going to start reading in those times I need to Keep it Shut!

  119. Angelica Morrell says:

    My is early hours of the morning to spend my refreashed and renewed mind focused on Gods Word. However some evenings I do not get to bed on time, I wake cranky and uninterested in lossing precious sleep. If I stop in my sometimes 2 year old fit of clinging to the blanket amd simply ask God to give me a stirring in my heart to seek Him….. it helps and I rise to the (most of the time). On those didn’t get up in time days things seem rushed, unorganized, every simple task seems to be a burden. I am a nurse by trade and I find God gives me Words for my patients of encouragement, healing, and sometimes just a kind touch to let them know God is for them….. when I am intentional God shines through me! Definitely the best piece of clothing to put on every morning. 🙂

  120. It has taken me a long time, including a 3 month period of unemployment, to develop a practice of reading God’s word immediately following breakfast each day. Now that I am back to work I have to fight the temptation to set aside that time for something else, but I just keep reminding myself “God first and the rest will take care of itself”. I know I am being transformed by His Word, but the more important thing is that I have learned to praise Him for who He is more than what He does. A dear friend gave me a copy of Ruth Myer’s “31 Days of Praise” and this book literally changed my life! The paperback is out of print, but still available second hand from Amazon. If you’re having trouble with your prayer life, start with this book. Once you realize how incredibly great our God is, it will be easier to set aside time no matter what the cost. Be blessed ladies!

  121. I do have a time every morning to read the Bible,however sometimes I let distractions get in the way. I started this morning getting up earlier at 530 AM to allow more time for reading my Bible. I do not pray before starting my readings,.always prayer afterwards. I will begin praying every morning before beginning my Bible readings. Thanks for making me aware of this.

  122. I think what I struggle with most is balance. I am a mother of 2 young kids and I recently started teaching again. When I get home, it is mommy time, dinner time, bath time, bed time, chore time, time time time…by the end of it, I am exhausted! I wake up early, and I have been trying to get up 10 minutes before to get my heart and mind ready for the day. It is hard some mornings, but I am making it my routine.

  123. Scheduling my time with the Lord is a big failing of mine. I have such big intentions but no follow through. I start each week with a plan and by Tuesday it’s out the door I know I need to be more intentional. And in need to tell people no I can’t right now I have can appointment

  124. Stephanie Gordon says:

    SOOO much easier said than done! Hands down, it it always my intention to make God priority in every aspect of my life. But why is the execution of this intention always so subpar?! One day at a time…this is what I keep telling myself. One day at a time.

  125. I have been raised in the Christian belief for my whole life; however, it wasn’t until my BFF came to visit in Sept that things really evolved for me. I never read or spent time in the Word before then. Now, it’s my morning cup of life. I definitely do not struggle to dive into the Truth now. I do it immediately upon waking. I do not pray before my God time, but I do pray after that I would be able to have good take-away from the lesson I read and be open to the Spirit throughout the day so that He can move in me. I’m stoked to see what Chapter 2 holds.

  126. I am a new believer, so spending time with God makes it difficult for me. I have try to set a side early in the morning before work. At times i Wake up with ease and many times I rather sleep in. Praying for everything is so new to me that I usually forget to pray for wisdom and understanding. Discipline and obedience is the key.
    Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You [You only and altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long. (‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭4-5‬ AMP)

    • Nikki (Proverbs31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Jocelyn, I am excited that you are a new believer and that you are learning to be intentional right from the start! That is a great key to have as you grow in Christ. I struggle with being intentional each day and setting aside time to read and pray. Thankfully God’s grace is abundant and He is always there any time of the day. May He bless you as you grow in HIM! 🙂

  127. I have been intentional in spending time with God every morning for almost a year now. Before I would try different times of the day to “work” Him in and was never successful. I was at my church doing a bible study called “Gideon” by Priscilla Shrier and she was talking about God wanting the best of us, our firsts. She started with tithing and then moved into our time. I was convicted in that moment. God spoke directly to me and said “that’s what I want Amy, your firsts, your best and that has to be first thing in the morning.” So, the next day I started setting an alarm for 15 min earlier, while the house is quiet before he craziness of my day with 3 young kids begins. 15 min turned to 30 and now an hour most days. I prayed that God would increase the desires of my heart to spend time with Him and He did! I have never once felt like I was missing out on sleep or felt tired when I get up. And my time spent with God every morning has been so fruitful and beautiful. If I can make time to watch a TV show or read a book, then making time to spend woth my Father should be on that priority list too, at the very top!

  128. Being raised in the Catholic church, we were never encouraged to read, nor did we truly study the Bible. We heard lots of parables and learned about Christ and the commandments, but the Bible was never an intricate part of our religion. When I retired in May of 2014, a friend of mine invited me to join Bible Study Fellowship at another church. This began in September and runs through May of each year. It was such an eye-opener for me! Then in November, someone from BSF shared the proverbs 31 website with me, and I signed up for the Before Amen OBS. Again…I learned a great deal! Now I spend the first part of each day in prayer, and then various times in the day to do my bible study. I think it would be better if I’d do the bible study at the same time every day, and probably need to be more intentional about that. I do, however, find it helps to pray that the Holy Spirit give me wisdom to understand the Word before I delve into it. I just need to be more intentional about doing that as well. Overall, I am getting better, but know I have a long way to go. Thanks for your support in these areas.

  129. I so needed to read this devotional thank you. I find I am so stressed and exhausted I don’t think straight and am not functioning in any capacity at the level I should be. I feel like I’m on a fast ride and can’t find a way to get off. I have a hard time focusing on what I read and keeping my mind on track with anything. I actually asked my doctor if there was something wrong with me because my memory would go on me and he said you just need a time out. What I really need is to make myself start a schedule with God and in doing so, drawing close to Him and drawing all I need from Him will make the difference I need. Thank you again for the reminder that He is our source of life, strength, peace and grace!

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Liz,

      Life is crazy…yes it is…but I just want to encourage you. It is not quantity but quality. With your mind filled with so many things…just soak in a little of God’s Word at a time and before you know it…you will be building up quite an appetite. The thing is to show up…that’s all you need to do…just show up! The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Praying for you and your overwhelming schedule that has you stressed out and exhausted…I learnt from the previous study to choose the Best Yes for you. A quote that has resonated with me is underwhelm your schedule so you can overwhelm your soul.
      Blessings!

  130. Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle? Making real time to do it?
    Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other. No, I don’t not schedule a time to read my bible. I need to make time at night when things are dying down in the house.
    Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible? No

  131. Lisa Muniz says:

    I do struggle with being intentional. I came to know Jesus in my early 20’s so establishing a foundation came late in life. I think the hardest thing is for me to try to connect with this all powerful being when I can’t see Him. But then sometimes, I try to picture Jesus sitting in the chair next to me and then I can formulate my prayers better. I just heard of one other’s intentional habit of listening to a worship song or two before she heads into her quiet time, something to try to get her heart in the right mode, so that’s something I’ve been doing this week. We’ll see how it goes.

    I have a scheduled time that I want to read my bible but often I let other things take precedence and then the family awakes and life goes on. My time is first thing in the morning. I want to give God my first. Usually that’s around 5 am during the weekdays. I’m still working on when the hubby’ & kids are home.

    I find that it most definitley helps me to pray before hand. Just that practice gets my heart focused on God and I feel I’m more opened to seeing something that I wouldn’t normally if I were to just open the bible and start reading on my own.

    Lisa

  132. Reesa Novak says:

    Mornings are best for me. Last year God spoke into my mornings and pointed out that I could spend time with Him instead of my favorite news TV. So I set the alarm earlier and spend time with Him in the quiet. I am always eager to start and forget to pray. I need to be thoughtful about my beginning to get the most out of our time together. My struggle is finding His voice in the workplace. Pray for me on that please! Someone mentioned listening to the bible while going to sleep. What is the app for that? Again, God is speaking that the TV I fall asleep to can go and instead I can hear Him.

  133. Angie Brinkley says:

    I do struggle also with being intentional. I do fairly good doing the work week, but just stop totally on days off. This should be the easiest days to get it in, but I usually don’t. I do need to work on being more present during my morning readings in prayer time. I find my mind races to events to come of the day, or totally random things. I think praying before the reading may help with this.

  134. I am reading now….thanks for the encouragement

  135. My struggle isn’t necessarily with doing a Bible study but with setting a time for it. I set my alarm to get up early so I can do it in the morning and start my day off right, but I too often hit the snooze button and end up sleeping in and then having to rush around to get ready for work

    As I mentioned above, I try to set a scheduled time but it typically doesn’t happen that way at all. My goal is to be more intentional about setting time aside for the Lord. In the morning and at night.

    I don’t typically pray before reading but I usually do after…

  136. Ouch, I felt the words this morning of commitment, of being intentional, making time for Jesus. Lately I have been doing this haphazardly. Seeking Him whenever I have free time. I need to MAKE the time like I do getting dressed in the morning. I need Him to be able to go through my day and tackle what ever life throws in. Thank you for these words this morning.

  137. Being involved in so many different activities I tend to use the excuse that I’m always at church or involved in something in regard to my faith. This was an interesting excuse for me to discover. I know from experience that intensional time in the word impacts my walk greatly but I use being involved as a reason not to add time. Recently I started taking time again to read proverbs along with another book I’m reading and I’m now refocused and refreshed having experiences like your rainbow experience.
    I read 1 ch in proverbs a day in accordance with the day. Since my schedule is ever changing and one week is different to the next I read each day when my schedule allows for a break which it always does.
    Having a set bible study which is already organized for me allows me to commit with my already busy and ever changing schedule.
    I’m always praying so praying before I read scripture is simply for me a request to God to focus my attention on what he wants to teach me as I read his word even if it’s just on 1 sentence.

  138. The last year I every intention of reading my Bible every day, never happened. When the new year rolled around, I discovered that the YouVersion Bible app has Bible reading plans so that you can read the Bible in a year. I found one that works for me. I started it on January 3 and it even has an alarm notification that tells me it is time to read. I absolutely love it. You read two chapter of the Old Testament and 1 chapter of the New Testament and every other day 1 chapter in Psalms. It has helped to keep me focused and on track. I always pray before I open it up and let me tell you the Lord has been talking to me through His Word like never before.

  139. I do have a scheduled time each day to study God’s word and pray. My day is so much better when I keep this schedule and do not waiver from it. On the weekends I am not so intentional because I do not that routine schedule. thank you for the reminder that when a cloud covers the earth, a rainbow will follow. I struggle daily to live a life that will glorify God, only reading his word can help me to overcome the struggles and ask for forgiveness and know that he wipes my slate clean. I am a sinner and HE forgives. Walk through the cloud and bask in the rainbows!

  140. I totally agree with the word intentional and its usage here. My biggest obstacle in spending intentional daily time with God is me. Yup-me! I can make all the excuses I. the world but the reality is my commitment to being intentional. Daily life-sleep, work, “me time” all gets in the way but the reality is that is mostly (except work) all in my control…..through time management…good or bad is up to me.
    I know my days are much more productive when I intentionally spend time with God, not just haphazardly.

  141. I have a good, consistent weekday Bible study routine, but struggle with consistency on the weekends. My obstacle is sleeping in later and easing more slowly into my day. Then I realize I have something to do or somewhere to be, and I’m rushing to get ready and Bible study gets cuts short or skipped.

    5:30am Monday through Friday is my scheduled time, and I’m very consistent with that. My goal is to write in my joy journal on Saturday and Sunday.

    Prayer along with Bible study definitely helps to make God’s Word come more alive to me.

  142. Good morning all! my problem is nit being intentional as much as it is making the effort and decision to read for me what i mean by that is,I am a Bible study teacher and I also write daily devotionals. sometimes i get so focused on getting prepared for those things I forget to read for my edification which lends me to be able to give more to them! this was really good for me because my issue is about making my devotional times intentional and not allowing others ministry needs or my flesh get in the way.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Thank you for sharing Natalyne. It is so important for us to stay filled up so we can pour into others. Great reminder!

  143. I have definitely struggled to be intentional over the years. Now, at 68, it is just natural. My Aussie wakes me up around 6 am and our day begins with coffee and devotion time. It is a gift from God! I remember the years of struggle, raising 2 children alone, then the years of my precious husband’s illnesses. I believe God knows and understands where we are in our journey and uses each phase as a foundation for the next one. Be blessed in knowing He is with you through it all!

  144. I have a hard time some days and other days I am okay. I have trouble retaining what I read. I had some fainting spells and it messed with my mind. I do it anyway. I struggle to be intentional. I used to not have a problem and could not wait for my time with the Lord but some where along the line, I have faltered. I live in the middle of nowhere and do not belong to a church. Sunday I am going to drive 40 miles and go to church, I think that if I get plugged back in, I will feel better and do better. My husband fights me over this but I am going to do this because it is important to be part of a body. Thank you for this lesson. I will pray today and ask God to guide me.

  145. Awesome INTENTIONAL share !! Great way to start my day today ! Thanks !!

  146. Kerry Kemper says:

    I started totally changing my life on January 1 by getting up an hour early, reading 3 different devotional, inspirational readings, praying, not only in the am, but throughout the day. I heard Beth Moore say to”call” God on your cellphone, when you are through talking to him… don’t hit the “end” button… keep him on the line for the whole day! I got that. Then, my friend Facebook invited me to this study, which I need more than you will ever know, and I’m for the first time in years, feeling freedom from being bound to my mouth… and my crappy thinking. I have asked the Lord to change my heart, my thinking and especially my mouth! Bless you ladies for teaching those of us who need this lesson♡

  147. Good morning. I spend alot of time talking to God EVER DAY. I cant make it thru my day without him. I listen to lectures from different pastors as well while I work. BUT, I need to be intentional on reading his work alot more than I do. I went to pastor and asked him to help me as I want to get into womens ministry and.learn to study the bible, so he has given me 6 months to study the book of Isaiah along with some other pointers.its challenging for me nut thats just it, I dont want it to be a challenge. I want reading his word to be natural verses a chore. I pray God gives me the time and knowledge to soak in his word. And give PRAISE for guiding me as his child thru everyday life. Have a blessed day.

  148. Connie Dawkins says:

    My mornings start out with me Praying and talking to God as I am setting up the coffee pot at 5:30am and getting my devotional books out. Thanking him for the night sleep and waking me to a new day. After my reading I thank God for the words then post scripture on my Facebook wall. Through out the day I thank him for life adventures and believe me I have had a lot. (Things trying to pull me away from his word his guidance) I am still struggling. From family to just life. I turn to others that I see walking in the word for guidance too. He is always with me.

  149. I struggle with a daily routine of spending time with God. This doesn’t mean I don’t do it, but it’s not set. I tend to get my day underway and let God show me when and how to encounter Him.

    This may sound like a cop out, but it works for me. Daily, I spend time with God. Reading scripture, engaging others with His word. Meditating on the Word is my biggest challenge.

    When I make time to fall on my knees before God, confessing my sins, praising His goodness, I am bowled over every time with the transformative effect He has on me.

  150. I make sure the first thing I do in the mornings in read my daily devotional. At church I write down verses that the pastor is discussing with plans of looking them up later when I have time to study them. I have to admit that I need to work harder on looking the verses up! I do not pray before I study — I’m sure that would help and I would like to start doing that.

  151. Lisa Janes says:

    I have a hard time getting into God’s word. I don’t know what since when I do spend time with God it leaves me refreshed and renewed. I loved the analogy of it being like going to work. Instead it should like going to meet a good friend!

  152. Grace Clawson says:

    Thank you so much for this mornings read. I have been with family, planning final details and attending our mothers memorial, so time has been scarce. Yesterday I realized I had been a bit short and remembered I had not been studying. Thank you for the encouragement. I am enjoying the fellowship, even if it is online.

  153. Like so many others I have big plans of spending time with God each day. Most days I can get a little time in before I head out the door, but as a person who’s work schedule changes quite a bit I find it hard to set aside a specific time to meet with God. I’m praying that he will give me the extra energy and desire to set the alarm a bit earlier so that we can spend more time together.

  154. I was so excited about this Bible Study to start. I have already started to learn. Thank you so much for doing this. I am a mother of four, that home schools, and works a full time job. So know all to well the “I have no time!” But Bible study being free and online has blessed so me so much! THANK YOU!!!

  155. Christy Telese says:

    I do struggle with being intentional when it comes to reading my bible. I feel when I read I don’t understand what I’m reading. I dont currently have a set time that I read. I intend to start reading in the morning. I seem to be waking up an hour or two before my alarm. Its quiet at this time. I do pray before I read. I feel more calm when I’m praying each day. I feel more focused. I just need to be more intentional with reading Gods word & with my words. Have a blessed day ladies.

  156. Mary Ann M says:

    Actually, I did struggle with being intentional in reading God’s Word. I struggled keeping up with a 6 week Bible study—until a few weeks ago. That’s when I found the e-book “Creating a SCRAPS Journal: Bible Study Made Easy.” As soon as I started reading it, I knew I wanted to do this (more likely, God laid it on my heart to do this.) So, I took out one of the many my blank journals and started. I was already doing another Bible study through Womens Bible Cafe, so I promised God and myself that I would do that in the morning and the SCRAPS Journal in the evening. I can’t believe I’ve actually stuck to it and enjoy it! I pray before every reading and, the next day, I’m amazed at what flowed from my brain/heart to my pen.

    I thought I didn’t have enough time, until I made that promise. Now, I’m participating in Max Lucado’s 40 Day Prayer Challenge; Beth Moore’s SSMT; my SCRAPS journal, What Love Is Bible Study and the Keep It Shut study…all while I work full-time outside the home.

  157. My intentional time for studying God’s Word is early morning…. the house is quiet and I am at my sharpest. I read several devotions daily to which is attached verses or chapters of scripture. My intent is to read more at times during the day but I often fail at doing that. I love being involved in structured Bible Study because it encourages me to get my “homework” done. Thank you for offering this online Bible Study.

  158. Amy Carter says:

    I struggle with making the time for God’s word. I fit it in here and there when it’s convenient. I know that’s not the way it should be but yet I don’t prioritize to make it first and foremost. I commit to change that!

  159. Some days I get so easily distracted with my to-do and to-go lists…you said it perfectly: I put God on a list and check it off [and then I] pat myself on the back when I get “it done”. Sigh….my intent is so wipe things off my lists and just be still. In silence, in chaos but always with God at my forefront. So happy that I listened to Gods whisper and nudge to join this study…the first chapter of the book keeps popping into my brain. “It is not your words but rather the condition of your heart”. When did my heart fall of track with my God? I will be intentional in aligning it again.

  160. Tracy Larson says:

    Thank you for the reminders! I do try to do these things and feel I have a framework and structure … Though need to go deeper. Pray more directly and fully first thing in the morning. Stay focused as well as possible with daily devotions/ reading so I can put into practice what God puts on my heart. God bless us all in this journey!

  161. Elizabeth says:

    I make an effort to read either devotionals or my bible in the morning before starting my day. Sometimes though when reading my mind becomes distracted and then I start to think about tasks to be done, bills to pay, etc., along with the activities starting to happen in the house once they know “mom is awake.” I try to pray throughout the day letting God know my wants, needs (even though He already knows) and try to remember to thank Him for all He is, has done, and all I am blessed with. Some days things go “as planned” and other days it’s a total washout.

  162. Well, I declare you must know me personally because you have again described my life and struggles with your post today. My prayer and my goal through this OBS is to develop and nurture a daily date with God! It is encouraging to know that I am not the only one that struggles with these things.

  163. Nancy Maria Finley says:

    Thank you for this very needed lesson today. I appreciate it and am looking forward to more. Yes…..making time is hard and distracting. But I need my Bible app and this lesson so much I am craving the time. Again thank you for being here for us!

  164. this really Hit home I have often set out to read my Bible daily and feeling discouraged that I have failed once again after reading your email this morning I am encouraged knowing I’m not alone that others go through the same thing thank you so much your words I will definitely be more intentional God bless

  165. I do struggle to be intentional with Bible study. I used to do it before bed, but kept falling asleep before finishing my study for the day. Now I tend to do it earlier in the evening, usually after dinner, but if life gets crazy I sometimes skip it. My new goal is to make time for it every morning before work. It may mean missing out on some sleep but the power of starting my day in the Lord’s word will overcome the sleepiness. It does help me to pray first. I ask God to speak to me through the study and to guide my mind and heart so that I can learn what He needs me to.
    I hope everyone can experience a rainbow today!
    Carissa

  166. Good Morning! Yes, I so have a set time for reading the Bible and spending time with God. The time I have set aside is very early in the morning. This time is quiet and peaceful before the business of the day starts. I have come to enjoy that time and look forward to it every day. I also use that time to pray and talk to God, for me it has made a major difference in my life.

  167. Lainie Wade says:

    Thank you so much for this study. I am 65 years old and 2015 is the year that is NEW to our Ladies Ministry. We have purposed in our hearts that the OLD ways we so easily accepted are GONE. To that end, there are several of us that have formed a small Bible Reading “group” using our cell phones. Our leader picks the books and we read and comment on a chapter a day. We are accountable to each other – but God is doing so much more than just letting us seven bond together. These precious sisters are drawing closer to each other, stronger in our walk and each is sharing her own GOD walk experience with the others. Of course this involves becoming technically literate for me. I am on a first name basis with my local Verizon store and God has opened that door for so much sharing. My first OBS is already becoming a new testimony tool for His goodness. God Bless. I really hope you get this. It’s the first time I’ve tried.

  168. It is so good to hear I am not the only one that has good intentions only to have them fall short!! I seem to start out really good then a week or 2 I seem to fall away again! Praying God works within me to help me stop doing that! I say busyness is the devils work! Everyone is too busy these days!

  169. I want to be intentional, but honestly, many days I’m “too busy” or ” too tired” to spend time immersed in God’s word. The funny thing is, when I am intentional my whole day is amazing. Sure, life still happens, but I am much more equipped to deal with it in a way that leaves me feeling true to myself and true to God.

    This Bible study was a motivator for me to be more intentional. So, I have set my alarm 30 minutes earlier each day to read the material or study God’s word or simply to pray. My prayer is that I continue to “be intentional” and that eventually my 30 minutes turns into 60 minutes or ?.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Awesome Dee! I like what you said “life still happens but I’m more equipped to deal with it.” Amen girl!

  170. Patty De La Cruz says:

    Good morning ladies!
    First of all I wou like to Thank You for making this study possible! God knows how badly I need to be more aware of the things that come out of my mouth!! 🙂
    We lost our 22yr old son on May 24, 2014 and it’s been a journey. When people say certain things that hurt; I need to be careful not to say the first thing that comes to mind. When I read the first chapter the Lord reminded me that the enemy will use this time in our lives to trip us. Thank you so much for this much needed refresher!!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Patty,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thankful that you have decided to join us. I’m praying for you dear sister.

  171. Sadly, I struggle with finding time to spend with God. More sadly I seem to always have time to check facebook, leisurely shop online, or text a friend. Why is it so hard for me to set aside some time for God? I suppose my answer is that I have not been intentional about it. I have been consumed with the day to day and haven’t made an effort to include God in my day to day. I want to be more intentional in setting time aside for God. I already feel like this Bible study is helping me to do that.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Awesome Tara! We’re all guilty of letting something get us distracted at some point or other. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit draws us back!

  172. Cassandra says:

    I do a daily bible reading beginning at 5:10 after hitting that snooze… I read on a schedule that I downloaded, then I read a devotional (currently on the Holy Spirit) then I pray and have communion. So I try to block out at least and hour. then I try to have some time to have a worship period with God.

  173. I am defiantly going to start praying before reading. I have a reading comprehension problem and with that I can sometimes read and know what I read, other times I couldn’t tell you the last word I read. Because my time is very limited (which also needs to be worked on) to read and study I rush through sometimes, barely getting anything out of what I read. I did buy a journal which is helping a lot but I still need to slow down and ask God to guide me and help me comprehend his word.

  174. I am trying to reads my bible in a year. I find especially with my app on my phone it takes less than 5 mins to read a chapter. But I get the struggle. Because you see the readings are about 3 chapters long. In my head its like ok I’ll read a chapter right now and then space out the rest throughout my day. Great plan, sometimes bad follow through.

    • I can relate. I’ve tried many times to just “read” through the Bible from the beginning and I always failed. But one I read the “One Year Bible”, which has some Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day, it kept me from getting bogged down. So I’ve read it through numerous times. It was a big help to me perhaps it will be to you as well. Good Luck!

  175. Glori McNeese says:

    Replying to your comment regarding the free book. I started on Monday night going to bed earlier to be fresh the next morning. I can now be fully awake and in a prayerful way begin my study and quiet time. I must rebuke Satan in Jesus name at night and in the morning. Otherwise, he comes thru that cracked open door and takes over my day…..

  176. Tammy Bland says:

    Being intentional in spending time with God is a struggle for me. I can’t blame it all the time on being too busy because even when I have downtime I tend to do other things. I have been having a hard time staying focused and my mind gets bogged down with so many things. The best time and sometimes the only time I read God’s Word is when I wake up in morning before I get my day started for work. I read my daily devotion but I know it’s not enough to get s full meal for my starving soul. I tend to say a prayer before I read for God’s wisdom and understanding so I can receive what I need through the devotion and sometime I get lazy and jump right into reading without doing it. I can tell the difference.

  177. Martha Chandler says:

    I was so excited about this bible study. Was really anxious and ready to start it. Last week I was able to access it from my office at work. Then all of a sudden this week the firewall kicked in and I was not able to do Day 1 yesterday. Then this morning on Day 2 before when I was trying to do Day 1, it took me 20 minutes to get the video working on my computer at home. This experience tells me that this is a bible study that I really need and the enemy is trying to keep it from me. However, I INTENTIONALLY persevered and am so glad I did. This study is going to be very enlightening. I love the book of James. He uses his words very well and gets the message across. Bless you ladies for sharing your hearts. Bless the words that we will receive from the Lord through this study. May we all take what we learn, apply it, and share it with others.

  178. Thank you so much for this message and your honesty, Melissa. I haven’t been very intentional about spending time with God..it has more or less been if I have extra time in the mornings then I will otherwise I do it at night but I’m usually very tired. I am going to set my alarm clock to get up a little earlier in the mornings. I did this today and it feels great to be able to spend time with the Lord before my day begins – just me and Him…and a cup of coffee! I’m prayerful that by continuing to doing this I will be more attentive to Gods voice throughout the day and my heart will change.

  179. Struggle with being intentional w/yr BS/greatest obstacle: Yes, I struggle everyday to be with the Lord (not just with the BS). I find that I have to be intentional, otherwise, I will let satan deter me with interference and/or distractions before the day begins. I believe I am my greatest obstacle because I must take responsibility for myself and allot the time that is needed to be with the Lord. I know I am a better person when I do that…I have more patience, more tolerance and really, just more stable like a rock throughout the day.

    Scheduled time to read your Bible/goal?: I have been more intentional of late since the BS started. But the early morning is a lovely time to spend with the Lord. I go through battles with reading the word off and on. I get intentional and make the time…then, I fall awhile and then, I recommit myself to reading again. Its an up and down battle. What gets me the most, is that I know better. Please pray for me in this area.

    Pray before reading my Bible: When I awake in bed, I thank the Lord for another day and then, put my armor on (Ephesians 6:10-18). Get up, talk with my husband, he leaves for work and then, I sit down and pray with the help of my “before amen” prayer journal (simple reminder of stating: FATHER, YOU ARE GOOD (then, I praise Him through all things and acknowledge verbally who He is); THEY NEED HELP (pray for others); I NEED HELP (my needs); THANK YOU (glorifying and praising His name); IN JESUS’ NAME, AMEN! This was the OBS prior BS, it helped me to determine my prayer time with the Lord on a daily basis.

    Also, praying before reading my Bible has helped me to prepare myself for reading and with studying. I also welcome the Holy Spirit to teach me the things I need to see and hear.

  180. I always start my day with getting up and fixing my husbands smoothie for his breakfast then I get a coffee then I get on the computer and go to my e-mails which are mostly devotions…I pray for God to open my eyes ears and my heart before I start and I do the read through the bible in a year first thing then I go to my devotions on the computer. Right now I start with this bible study and its gets everything rolling for me to spend time with God if there is no bible study I start with prayer then go to my devotions and then I do the read through the bible in a year. I usually start around 6:45 am and I finish around 8:30 am….sometimes I might keep on going until 9:00 am…I have no set time I just keep on going until I’m filled then I start my daily routine. I do check my computer during the day because I have downloaded so many thing to keep me spending time with God I don’t want to miss a thing. At night before bed I will read a book on Christian living so I keep myself with God during the day.

  181. doing the OBS studies have rally helped me be intentional in reading my Bible, I do need to pray more be for reading thou, I usually read in the morning, some times it is in the afternoon.

  182. I start work early, so my alarm goes off at 5:30 am. I’m thankful for my Mr Coffee that has my cup of coffee waiting for me and that my smart phone allows me access my Proverbs31 devotional, as well as other resources on my Kindle instantly.

    Some days I gleen wisdom in those few minutes and other days a second cup of coffee is required so I can focus. I say all of that because while my intensions are good to start the day with The Lord I don’t have time – quality time – that early in the morning. I need to rethink my schedule so I can have more time to spend with God. And I’m probably inconsistent with praying each time before I open the Word, but I do pray afterwards and throughout my day.

    This study is what I need right now, so thank you for the opportunity to learn to Keep It Shut with all of you!

  183. Good morning. This is the time of day that I spend with God every day. I am Reading Through the Word with Wendy Pope and I am really enjoying that. The one thing that I have to work on is the I “forget ” to pray before I start to read the Bible. When I remember to do this, I find that I get so much more out of my reading. I have to be more “intentional” to pray before I read the Bible. I have to tell you that I really do not have any trouble setting aside time to spend with God. I made a commitment to Him in 2014 to spend time with Him, reading and studying His Word every day and I followed through in 2014 and plan to do the same in 2015. I am on disability and my children are grown so that helps. I am really enjoying this study.

  184. I’m doing another bible study at my church. In it we are learning to be intentional as well. To set aside a time for God and his word each day. When I read your message today about being intentional and making a time in the morning for God, I realized I need to get my rear in gear! I plan on being INTENTIONAL today and setting aside time tomorrow to do so and so on.

  185. I started a Bible study on Gideon this past fall. My personality is one that if I don’t get up and get it done first thing in the morning (kinda like working out), I will not make time for it at the end of the day. Because Bible study and working out have become important to me my “alarm time” has moved up from 5 to 4:40. I workout first so I am awake, get ready for work, then have Bible study. My intention is to be ready for Bible study by 6 so I have an hour to spend reading and studying. I have found in the last 6 months, sense I really made Bible time the priority that my whole attitude, my disposition, and my over all feeling of wellness has greatly improved. :). My prayer time is lacking though so I will start making that intentional as well.

  186. Marva Naylor says:

    My moment when I awake, I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 105:6 “Praise Ye The Lord, Let’s everyone that have breath, Praise Ye The Lord” I try to be in tune with His Word every day.

  187. Camila Clayton says:

    My name is Camila and I’d like to share my thoughts. Of course it’s always better to pray before we study our bible. I believe it’s like telling God that you want Him to be a part of the experience, like a conversation starter if you will. I have found that it is difficult to “find time” to study my bible but I have found a “sweet spot” in my time. My daughter gets on the bus at 7:25am and my son normally sleeps until 8am-9am so as soon as my daughter leaves I grab my bible and my phone and get to it. It’s really helping to have that gap of time and using it wisely. I am so thankful for all of #P31OBSers! Thank y’all so much!

    • It really is a matter of finding time that works for us. I could never wait til the end of the day, I’m just to tired and brain dead!

  188. I have been a believer since birth, go to church on Sundays, raising my children to believe….however I always struggled to be in his word on a daily basis. This year my “resolution” was to take time in the morning, get up a half an hour earlier and be in His word for at least 30 minutes….so I guess my word for the year is also INTENTIONAL. My biggest struggle is when I don’t go to sleep early enough and that alarm clock keeps getting snoozed. Sadly, I never took time to read the bible, but I am now…and praying before.
    This bible study has opened up a lot to me….you all are wonderful!

  189. “I don’t have time” has been my excuse for years. but what I was really saying was: I don’t make the time, it’s not a priority, and it’s not that important to me. I’m a firm believer that we take the time to do the things that matter most to us. Over a year ago I made the commitment to read God’s word every morning before work and hitting the gym…ugh, that meant setting my alarm for 5:00 am. Now I cannot imagine beginning my day without God’s word first. I used our church library to read books to help in the process. I read the daily devotions from Proverbs31.org. I set aside time to pray. I had regular spiritual conversations with a co-worker as we shared our struggles and insights. And then my crazy day began. This year I have “resolved” to read through the Bible, memorize scriptures, and of course be involved with online Bible study. Do I hit the mark every day…no, but I don’t beat myself up about it.
    I’m so excited to be studying Keep It Shut with everyone.

  190. I have always been able to get up early and read and pray, it was such a joyful time. I recently just had my 5th child, she is 8 months old. My whole pregnancy was a different experience from the last 4. I couldn’t get up early! And that trend has continued! I have felt so out of touch with the Lord in this time. I have felt my prayer time was non existing! It’s been one of the hardest struggles of my spiritual walk!
    Today after reading a few comments I realize that when I spend time w God is not important is just that I do! God is looking at my life and saying it’s a season! And in this season 5am isn’t my time to read and study! Thank you ladies for helping me realize and take the burden off! I can do my study at night and God will still meet me there! !!

  191. I have not been consistently intentional with spending time with God. I do really well for a few weeks then I fall asleep, over sleep or just plan distracted by kids and house..
    I am reading my devotionals and my books. I am just not always taking time to dig In the way that I want to because I allow myself to be distracted.
    My goal is to be more intentionally consistent with how I approach my time with God. Use my bible instead of my phone so that I’m not distracted by alerts start off each time with a prayer and make sure I have what I need to listen to worship music that helps me focus and worship during my time with him..

  192. Stephanie says:

    My alarm goes off at 5:30, I immediately grab my coffee and my Bible. From 5:30 to 6:30, is MY Bible time, time to start my day with the best way possible– in God’s Word. I find that starting the day in God’s word, helps me feel close to God all day. Little things that I read that morning always creep up in my mind sometime throughout the day. If I’m not too worn out at the end of the day, I’ll spend another hour in God’s word at night.

  193. Carrie Strom says:

    My intentions are pure but the follow through lacks discipline. I am hoping with the BS that my discipline becomes a habit. It is so easy to have a routine at 5:00am to feed my English Bulldogs whom I. Adore l bring them into my bedroom and cuddle them…. I usually read… But while the Bible is in my stack
    It is not the first think I do… I choose the IPAD to. Look at emails, etc. Etc.
    This study , even the short days, has convicted me that the choice is mine…So I. This morning time, I am going to place the Bible first, BS study guide, and then the emails can wait! Pray for me! Thank you for all your work.

  194. Being intentional….sometimes I think this is the hardest thing for me. Unless it is something that I have planned or have to do. But even then, I am seeing that I find my way out of things that stretch me out of my comfort zone. I have good intentions to sit down and read my Bible daily, but with 5 kids at home (1 being a VERY active almost 3 year old with me all day long), I don’t have much “me” time. So the “me” time I have planned in my mind to spend reading, never becomes a reality. I know that I need to make good on my intentions, or they won’t benefit me any. I know that I need to spend more time with my Father because then the things in my life will start falling into place.

  195. Mary Ellen says:

    I am a retired lady working my way back to Jesus. I have the luxury of starting each day with Bible study. I am following Wendy Pope’s Women Read Through the Word daily. I am also enjoying the Keep It Shut study group 69 on Facebook. What I need to do, though, is start the day with prayer, not jump right in to the daily message. My 5 year old grandson is coming for a visit today and we will take him home in a few days and stay with my son and family through the weekend. My challenge will be making intentional time with The Lord while surrounded by family. Actually, I look forward to the challenge! This will be an opportunity for me to demonstrate how important spending time with Jesus is to me. Thank you for helping me in my quest to be a child of God.

  196. Patricia H. says:

    I was convicted by yesterday’s study. I have started “venting” to a helpless co-worker. She’s a kind Christian woman who has put up with me. I can tell that she’s over it. But I still go into her office and talk about the latest thing that ticked me off. Well, yesterday I determined to be more mindful of my tongue. It was challenging. Sitting at dinner with my daughter last night, I discovered that not only am I sharp-tongued when “venting”, but also when others are sharing or “venting” to me. I found that when I join or support the other person’s position that I’m showing that I understand or empathize. I think it takes courage and conviction; as well as the guidance of the Holy Spirit to let my words be a salve and not a sword. A salve that could help to heal my daughter or friend when they want to “vent”. I’d like to be that example.

  197. I am intentional about time with God by getting up at 6:00am to pray and read. Sometimes its a new devotional I have picked up, sometime it’s my “Daily Bread” or sometimes it is something I have found and want to do further study on from a website like yours. That said, interruptions and temptations are abundant, as is the temptation to sleep. I am

    • now intentionally praying BEFORE I get out of bed. This way I actually do start with time with God before anything else. Thank you SO much for this study!

  198. I have been doing my Bible study in the mornings when the house is quiet, always pray before reading. I have found this starts my day off right and I am more focused on what I am reading. On Monday I will be starting a new job, so I hope to be able to discipline myself to get up early so that I can continue to have my time with God to start my day off right. I always thought i was the only one who had trouble “fitting” God into the schedule. It is comforting to know I am not alone on this. Prayers for all of us.

  199. Absolutely, yes, I struggle with being intentional with my Bible study. My greatest obstacle, other than making time, would be having a guideline. This book study is certainly helping me with that! I know that I need to be part of a group following a particular guide and/or leader in order to keep me focused in my study. I am so thankful that I found this group!
    I have not established a set time every day for study and reflection. Currently, I am planning one day ahead by considering my schedule for the following day and then choosing a time for this work. I am hopeful that this will evolve into a set time once I recognize a pattern.
    I do find it helpful to pray before reading the Bible or embarking on readings for a book study/Bible study. Sometimes I’m so excited to get to the reading that I forget to pray and I find myself praying in thanks afterward for the experience. I can definitely work on this! :o)

  200. Lydia Misaalefua says:

    Happy Bleesed day all….

    So I have a crazy schedule where I start early, then getting home pick up kids, chase the kids make sure homework is done and so on like every mom… but the biggest thing with me is also setting the time, and also before finding this site, is where to go next or what to read…

    I am so happy to find P31 Ministry, and just feel so grateful!

  201. Thank you for the encouragement, I’m going to start with a Proverb a day!!

  202. Kristi Messina says:

    I do struggle with being intentional in reading my bible and studying, I would like to say due to work as I work 6am-10pm many days surrounded by teenagers. I have tried to set alarms for early and always failed, I enjoy reading so I’ll fall asleep reading, but always feel inadequate when doing that with my bible. I heard it said before that we shouldn’t plan God around our lives but rather our lives around God, something I am working to become better with daily. I would love for daily bible study to become a consistent part of my walk and not become weary when I fail to do so. Prayer on the other hand does seem to be a lot easier for me as I will constantly be in prayer when Im walking around work, sitting at my desk or working a game etc, driving seems to be the one place I can get quiet and just talk to the Lord. This was a really good read for me this morning and I pray that I can make a time to put the bible/Lord first in my life without distractions.

  203. Gail Harless says:

    What a cute photo. I think Sara is quite in demand for lunch lately!

    I always try to do my devotions when I wake up.It actually gives me a sense of peace that I hope will last as long as possible!

    Thank you Melissa for the reminder to pray as I start my devotions. Honestly, I felt like, duh, why wasn’t I doing that already!

    I ask for your prayers. I did something at work that I shouldn’t have. I made reparations to the person and apologized. But she is being curt with me, giving me the cold shoulder, and possibly has shared with her work buddies what happened. I want to move on and not focus on this. I do not want to feel like I’m back in middle school with Karen!

  204. I have intentions to read my Bible each day, but often let other things get in the way. I think it has to do with carving out that time each day to actually sit down and do It And where to begin. When I have a Bible study, I do get that work done because it is in front of me and there is an “assignment” to be completed. My goal with this study is to be intentional about completing my bible time before doing other things. I don’t have trouble doing devotional and praying, but I need to get more in the word. I would also like to be more intentional about taking notes on each chapter as well as my own reflections. Praying before my Bible time definitely keeps me more focused and relaxed.

  205. I love this passage from Jeremiah. It strikes me that we have a DIRECT LINE to God. He will always answer! It’s especially touching in today’s hi-tech world where we can communicate with someone halfway around the world in an instant.

  206. Diana Tourtillott says:

    The answer to the first question asked is time. The second question..yes, before my day really begins. Thirdly, yes, if I ask God to speak to me He always shows me something that I need for the day or maybe something I haven’t really noticed before. A few months ago in my daily reading, Psalm 119:133 KJV (Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.) popped out at me. I memorized it and repeat it often.

  207. I struggle with having time to study God’s Word. I have a set time, in the morning, right after my husband leaves for work & before my little one gets up. However, that does not always stick. Interruptions happen, (even early in the morning) and occasionally my child wakes up early. Or I have pushed myself too far and just want to go lay back down. And I struggle with, just doing a reading time to say I did it, or mark it off the list. I know none of these are good excuses, but it’s life. Mark Lowry had a bit he did one time about “not feeling saved”. And that has always helped me to remember, & be thankful that’s God’s Love & Grace is not measured out based on how I feel. We don’t always feel like studying, but thank God He does not limit his guiding us to how we feel eat day.

  208. Great reminder of the importance on guarding our tongue. I’m looking forward to what the Lord will teach me through this study.

  209. Mary Schmutz says:

    I haven’t prayed before reading. I usually read or study what is tugging at my heart and mind and THEN pray accordingly. I realize prayer is talking to God.
    I am intentional about making time to read my Bible. I’m an early morning person and always have been even when working full time. I equate this study time as to exercise. I feel so much better and clearer when I’m finished.
    I will pray before reading tomorrow morning!

  210. Not much in our lives ever came with a all or nothing expectation from the start. Even surrendering to being a mom took some time for me. Yes, there was a child with me 24/7 but I didn’t always love it or even know what there was to love about it. When I got it, I looked for more opportunities to do it well.
    I am further than I thought I would be and pray each day to be more and more open to being in love with God.
    And…Beginning anything with prayer helps.

  211. I have a literal “appointment” scheduled in my calendar each morning at 6:15am (right after getting back from the gym) for spending time in Bible study. But, I will confess, if I skip the gym, I don’t always force myself to get up to make this appointment. I tell myself I’ll do it later in the day, but that rarely happens. I need to be more intentional on making it happen EVERY day … I think I’m only halfway there.

  212. I think I am like a lot of others in that I am not intentional and not just in reading the Bible. The excuse, “I don’t have time” is probably the words I utter most. And I DON”T have kids to shuttle back and forth to school, etc. It is just me, my husband, and my dog. So, why don’t I have time? I need to focus on being more intentional, and not just with the Bible. I feel as though I have good intentions, but having them and carrying them out are where the lines get fuzzy for me.
    It’s funny how so far, I have only read Chapter 1 and I already feel as though Karen wrote this book about me. I can relate to her in so many ways! Have a great day ya’ll as we say it here in the SOUTH!!

  213. I struggle with setting aside time to be in the Word. Staying home with my two kids (4yrs and 2yrs) it seems there is always something else that I need or want to do. Just this week I’ve been trying to get up before the kids to read the Word and have some prayer time. 2 out of 3 days is pretty good! It feels good to get up early and have some alone time. I pray to be more intentional being in God’s Word and in prayer. Thank you for this study.

  214. I am excited about this study! I have a lot of my best times with God on the way to work in mornings. A lot of times several people confirm what I hear God telling me to do. This study is going to be good. Thankyou

  215. I really enjoyed today’s email “I did it on purpose” I have to admit I struggle with taking time each day tobe in the word. And there are times when i am reading it I am not completely there. My mind wanders on things that I need to do. I know I should set time aside and make it a priority. I Am going to now set time everyday before I wake the kids up for school to read. I think praying before hand and asking for His help in me being focused on the written word is going to help tremendously!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Awesome Liz! It has definitely helped me in my focus and understanding. It is supernatural!

  216. This is wonderful. I find it hard to be intentional. When I woke this morning I read another devotional speaker that I get things from and he said almost the sample thing with different scripture verses. I know The Lord is talking to me. Put Him first and be Intentional! Thank you for this Word.

  217. jennifer k says:

    I have always struggled with purposefully studying my bible. There were times in the past when I would go months without even looking at my bible, sad I know. I have become slightly more intentional in my reading of His word, but It is still so hard. I am not a morning person, so getting up early and reading his word is hard for me, and I find that I don’t focus on it like I should at that time, but at night, like many of us I am too tired. I struggle daily with finding that perfect time. Being part of a bible study really helps me be ACCOUNTABLE. I need that. It gives me the extra push to study, or even read passages daily. I’m hoping over time this habit grows and becomes as easy as breathing. Have a blessed day everyone.

  218. Jaime fisher-starnes says:

    I try to make my devotional time intentional by taking notes, cross referencing, and meditating on scripture. Learning to be flexible has been a blessing. God wants to be with me all the time. He doesn’t have a set appointment to be with me. It has taken me years to understand I’m to pray without ceasing and be in His Word via radio, publications, and scripture. There are so many ways to hear His Word, see His power, and feel His presence.

  219. This is a good reminder to me to keep my daily time with Him. I lost my job yesterday so I can’t buy the book. I have no income at this time and am struggling to figure out what’s next. I have 2 kids to support and will be spending the next week or so hopefully finding a job. I’m so distraught and worried that we will be homeless next month and its my 50th birthday. I even had to cancel my Celebration party. All I know to do is to keep praying and keep trying…

    • Ssanyu Kaganzi says:

      May the Lord reach out to you Cindy and your family. He knows what you are going through. He knew it way before you were born and He will take care of you. Just take a step of faith and trust Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is going to provide the money for the book because he knows your heart’s desire. God bless you.

      • Cindy J, I will be adding you to my prayer list and lifting your family up to the Lord God that he may meet all of your needs. Also, I am interested in purchasing this book for you directly and having it sent to your house, so that you may still be able to participate. I feel it is something the Lord has laid upon my heart to do. Perhaps we can coordinate through the administrators to make this happen, if that would be ok with you. Just let me know. God bless.

  220. My goal is to be INTENTIONAL this year with everything…getting in God’s word, prayer, getting to know Jesus more, my family, my work & other relationships.

  221. Ssanyu Kaganzi says:

    I do struggle with being intentional with reading my Bible though I desire so much to be different this year in that area. My biggest obstacle is my mind. It tends to wonder off as I read the word but even as I pray. So my prayer is that God takes full control of my mind.

    I have a scheduled time, which is in the morning before I start work or home school, however, sometimes I am not consistent. There is always destruction.

    It sure helps to pray before reading my Bible. That way, the Lord helps me be able to interpret and understand the scriptures. I do it sometimes though but I want to make it apart of me.

    Thank you. God bless

  222. Oh how God works his magic! Today was the first day that I made time to sit down and start going thru this study. Then what do I read? I read about how it’s not just me that struggles with getting into His word. I’m not alone in having a crazy life of kids, dogs, work, etc. It’s great to know that I’m not alone. But it’s greater to know that there are others out there that can help to spur me on in my walk. Thank you Lord for allowing me to find this study and for the wonderful people that put it together.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Yes Beth! We’re all in this thing together and we are called to spur one another on! Hebrews 10:24
      Thanks for sharing!

  223. I get up every morning at 5:40 or so. I exercise right away. Then read Jesus Calling with my husband. We pray together then it is my time for bible study. I often fill up these 30 minutes I have set aside with other busy stuff. Getting my lunch ready. Measuring and logging my food ect. Then pretty soon I only have 10 minutes left. I love OBS because it makes me sit down and study. I will be intentional about spending the 30 minutes I have set aside with God and study instead of busy work.

  224. I also have got intentions, but my follow through doesn’t seem to work
    At times. I get caught up in doing other things (FB, work, TV, ect) and I don’t make the time I need to be in his word. My goal is to set a time each evening. I am setting a reminder on my phone that this is God’s time For me To Be in his word.

  225. I have really started this year to be intentional with my time time with God. Our pastor encourages us to get a journal, the journal is a year journal and tells you the bible verses to read each day and then do the SOAP I just started this year and it has been awesome. I truly miss it if I miss a day. Spending time with God in the morning really sets your day.
    I am loving this study because this is my other weakness my mouth. Thank you all.

  226. Crosby Hart says:

    Good morning everyone! So yesterday, I asked God for the grace and strength to wake me up this morning at 6:00am and have my Bible time before the busyness of the day hit me. Typically my dog Hank wakes up at 3:00am and I let him out then come back and go back to sleep. Today, he woke me up at 5:52 🙂 God’s grace is new every morning! #P31OBS #KeepItShutbook #BeIntentional

  227. Katherine says:

    Good Morning P31OBS Girls! I am lovin’ today’s focus, to be intentional. Great words! And yes, I do struggle with keeping a daily devotional time with the Lord. I do have an “intentional” time, first thing in the morning. My struggle is that I have to get up so early to accomplish that, 5-5:30am! But, it must be done or else the day gets away and I find there is no more time for intentional sitting and listening. My day, just like everyone else, is so busy with work and life in general that I must take the time in the morning. However I have to even be careful with the morning as my crazy dogs would lick that away as well, so I need to be “quiet” and “still” Haha! I do begin with prayer, in fact, as soon as I wake up I say Good Morning to the Lord and thank Him for another day and for keeping us safe. Thank you all for this wonderful study and for the wonderful use of online presence to be able to connect with women all over the world!

  228. Mary B. (P31 OBS Volunteer) says:

    Reading through the word this year, and I am using the program on biblegateway.com It is so easy, click on the days message and read it over! INTENTIONAL! I have missed a few days but I am working on making it a new habit! Love that word! It will be posted near my computer to remind me how I want to start my day! 🙂 AWESOME blog post Melissa Sherlin!!!! <3

  229. Beth Ogden says:

    I have committed to read through the Bible chronologically this year. So far, so good. I read on the way to work each morning. I think prayer before reading will help me get more from my reading. That is the thing I want to work on.

  230. I like the be intentional list! But I am wondering if we can think of our Bible time as a checklist when we start – some days that is the only way anything gets done – but once there we are open to the blessings and love of God? I love making list and marking things off the list – although Bible study has never been on the pen and paper list it is on my mental list first thing list make the coffee and feed the animals.

  231. I think most days I am intentional about my Bible study. It is hard to be intentional when I am reading a text that isn’t as engaging… Like Leviticus or other sections of law. I still read it anyway because sometimes it helps me learn more about Jewish culture. I try to read in the early morning each day because my mind is clear and it helps me start out the day with a focus on God. I don’t always pray before I read my Bible, but I try to after. Then I can specifically ask God to use the passage in my life or help me understand something new about Him. And I always enjoy these OBS because I engage the Bible in a new way with friends. It helps me learn from others, which is not like my quiet time.

  232. I have a set time to read my Bible and pray, but FB, email, and my husband, if he is home can be distracting, if I let them. I am always rewarded when I spend time with him! Such a big difference in the day! That time changes my attitudes and my words so much – it’s almost like black and white!

  233. angelia koskela says:

    I try every day to be intentional about reading my bible and doing some kind of study, but oh how easy I can get distracted. I love my time with God and love reading and studying his word, but Satan shows up every time! I will go to my phone to reference a Scripture and while I am typing, a notification pops up with an email answering something. I think I will quickly answer that. Then my mind reminds me of something I will need not forget so I grab a pen to quickly jot it down. And on and on and on go the interruptions!!! I have to learn to be intentional to not acknowledge the interruptions because I truly do want time with God. Thanks for today’s encouragement.

  234. I definitley struggle with being intentional with my bible study. I think my greatest obstacle is laziness really… Laziness to read, laziness to have to think about these things, laziness to focus. Part of me cares so much to grow through the word of God and then the other half wants to just relax and watch my favorite tv show. I actually have scheduled in my planner to read my bible first thing in the morning “upon waking up” as its written in my planner, but literally NEVER do it. Sometimes right before bed I read this small devotional called “Abba Calling” that shares a little message and then gives some verses to read. It’s not too long. It’s awesome because each day is like receiving a little message from Father but it’s not enough to say I actually did my bible studying for the day.
    I’d really like to find a time that I can commit to and then actually do it when the hour of the day for devotion time with God comes.
    I find that it helps to pray before I do anything. Normally I have the same “dreading doing this” feeling about even school assignments. It’s really just laziness to apply myself. When I pray before the anxiety I feel about doing the work lessens and I usually do a great job on whatever assignment I do. I know it’s all because of the Lord. He makes me able. When I see how well I’ve done on an assignment or how much I’ve learned from studying God’s word I get so surprised, knowing that I could not have reached that level of success alone. Prayer really gets a lot done.
    I’m so blessed to be doing this study with you ladies!

  235. I have every intention of putting God first everyday but I am so easily distracted. I intentionally today will start putting God first but I need your prayers in this area. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 139. It can be used as a prayer to God. I found it is a good place to start.

  236. This New Year, I’ve made it an intentional act to set time for God everyday. SO, far it has been a huge blessing. Last year I struggled with this a lot. You would think being a stay at home mom, I’d have plenty of time right? Not hardly. I have zero time for myself. Or so I thought, until recently when I purposefully set time in the morning before my little one wakes up. I’m also doing another bible study called Experiencing God. After reading the daily email from P31OBS I noticed how both lessons for today are intertwined. I love it! In my other study Henry Blackaby talks on the topic of a love relationship with God. He asked a question regarding when we were dating, our now spouse, why did we marry him/her? Because we loved them and wanted to spend time with them, not because we wanted to learn their likes or dislikes. We married our spouse because we love spending time with them and love them. So, same should be true with our relationship with God. If we truly love Him then spending time with Him is not a task to check off. We spend time with Him because we love Him. Just like we spend time with pour spouse and children. We love them and enjoy spending time with them. Anyways, I thought that was pretty cool!

  237. Morning all! Have you ever heard “No bible, no breakfast”? I picked it up from a sermon at our church. I have been intentional to give God my first time in the morning. I have many great mornings with God, but if I’m completely honest… There are also mornings of struggle. Even though I have this time alone with God set aside… I can still have a divided heart during this time. I may want to read my emails or read something else besides the bible. I want to seek God more in this time that is His, and give my heart fully to Him.

  238. Michelle Mckey says:

    I’m a little ADD so staying focused is a struggle for me in regular things like housework. I can start in one room and go put something away and end up working in that room and I’m just scattered. The best time for me to stay focused and intentional is first thing in the morning. I’ve got a little routine where I make my coffee brush my teeth feed the puppy gather my study tools my Bible at this time this study and I make myself sit down with my coffee and get into the Bible and my study. However, things still interfere with that; I’m convinced it’s Satan doing everything he can to derail me. A study like this really helps me stay on track so thank you

  239. Hi.
    i am intentional in having a quiet time each AM. I love that time reading and listening. My most difficult thing at this stage of life is not sleeping. THEN, It is hard to get up ( and I LOVE mornings!) OR, when I do get up I am so fuzzy headed I can not concentrate due to poor sleep 🙁
    I am looking forward to this Bible study. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. 🙂
    Boom

  240. Samantha Waring says:

    •Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    Sometimes I struggle with being intentional because I don’t like the feeling of I have to. It makes me feel anxious and I hate that feeling; however, I do read scripture everyday. I initially adopted a mentality of reading the bible out of fear of falling if I didn’t and since God has been removing negative thinking and perceptions I love reading the bible now but not if I feel pressured about it. My greatest obstacle is if those thought come which I have to cast down.

    •Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
    I don’t have a scheduled time because it makes me feel anxious. I ask God daily to guide me and let me know when to read scripture during the day. I think this is better for me because I battle anxiety and if I miss the time or something changes in the day I feel all crazy and overwhelmed.

    •Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    Yes, I find it helps to pray before reading scripture because it helps me concentrate better and receive what God is speaking to me. It solidifies and makes scripture rhema because the Holy Spirit is teaching me and I am not trying to understand it based on human understanding and effort but by the power of God

  241. I love reading my Bible, but I get interrupted so much with 2 little ones. So , I try to pray in the morning and any time I remember throughout the day. I read proverbs daily… right now I’m trying early mornings. Right after hubby leaves for but children are still sleeping.

  242. Jacqueline says:

    I particularly enjoyed today’s reading as “FOCUS & DELIBERATE” are my words for 2015 and this includes my study time. So I am encouraged that I must focus and be deliberate (intentional) in my study time as with all else. I read everyday , but not always at a set time. I think adding it to my vision board has helped me to be intentional about it.
    Looking forward to tomorrow and growing in how I use my words everyday as a result of being in the WORD

  243. Im so excited for this study, I need this in my life, my mouth over rides my brain. I am intentionally seeking God to help me in this area.
    Have a Great quiet day

    • Sabrina Ebert (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Love that Brenda…

      A great quiet day! Praying for you and your intentional walk with the Lord.

  244. susan moore says:

    The elusive time. I am exhausted when I wake and she I get home. Just enough time to get up dressed coffee skip breakfast drive to work. No lunch just an apple most days. Sometimes I have quick instant oats at work so many health problems too and trying to help family five hrs away nevermind a daughter here
    . Two hours homework a night in my bible study courses. Skip some nights. That’s my intention – dont skip them. Jesus have me more than 2 hours a night didn’t he? His life. What can I at least do in his word 2 hrs a night. Sigh
    .

  245. Tami Barron says:

    I so struggle with this! I find that my iPad has become my modern day idol. It’s keeping me from spending quality time with my Savior. I am going to become intentional about spending time with Him. My first step is really delving into Keep it Shut! Oh, how I need to learn this!

  246. I read my bible every morning before I got to work while drinking my shake and also on the weekends and have been doing this for two years now. I have the Bible app on my iPad, Kindle, iPhone and find a devotion there. In the past I read the bible in 365 days and read the bible in chronological order. Right now I’m reading the NIV 365-Day Devotional Reading Plan and New Thru 30.

  247. I do read my bible every day. I read in the mornings before leaving for work. Sometimes that time is cut short (depending on how many times I hit the snooze :)). I also have a bible at work that I read at lunch some days. I do need to work on praying before reading. Wendy Pope tells us in RTW to pray and ask God to show us a new truth every day.

  248. I loved the post today. For the past several years, I have used the YouVersion Bible App. I love that I can pick a plan and even choose to have the daily reading(s) emailed to me as well as set a reminder. For the past several weeks, my wonderful husband has been fixing our family breakfast in the morning. So on a typical morning, I get up and eat with our four children and him. Then he leaves for work and I do my Bible reading while the children begin their homeschooling day. Also, I try to incorporate Bible reading as a group into our homeschooling day.

    Once I finish my own reading, then I go about posting for my group and checking on how all of them are doing. Thanks for the wonderful post today Melissa!

    • I also use YouVersion. I have a plan I’m doing on Parenting in the evenings and one with Love God Greatly in the mornings. I feel the conviction when the reminder comes up on my phone and I feel guilty about just swiping it away, so I read. While I may not be doing it with a happy heart, I do feel that getting into the word is better then not!

  249. Yes, I do struggle with this and my obstacle is my home where I study I am always seeing something that needs to be done… cleaning, etc. Other obstacles are being interrupted, when I study in the afternoon, by family.
    I have scheduled during the week in the morning before I go to work but I also have to prepare my breakfast and lunch for the day as well. I try to devote at least 30 minutes but it is not always continuous
    I have not been very intentional about praying before I read my Bible, I am sure that would probably help.

  250. I too struggle with intentional time set aside to read my Bible. I try to get up at 5am and do not always get up. It is funny I did realize this until recently with the start of this series, but when making my goals for this year “reading the Bible everyday and spending time with God” was top of my list. After writing this I prayed that God would energize me and wake me and we’ll he has everyday. The unfortunate part is I woke up let my puppy out and went back to bed :(. I am so thankful for this series for numerous reasons! The first one being is today when I awoken I remembered to spend time with our father.

  251. Britt Laux says:

    I have to struggle to be intentional with my Bible. I make time for it first thing in the morning. My kids are up by 7, so I “plan” to get up by 6 to have an hour to read my Bible and pray… But my biggest obstacle is actually getting UP! 🙂

    I sometimes pray before I read, but sometimes only after – a lot of times I pray before and after! Once He speaks to me, I like to reinforce what He said.

  252. I am NOT a morning person. BUT, every work day this year, my alarm has gone off 15 minutes earlier then it did last year and I have gotten up and read 3 different devotions. Do I want to? NO! Am I intentional about doing it? YES! Will I continue? YES! I have to for me and for what God has for me. He’s created me for so much more then this and I’m intentional on seeing it through with HIM!.
    Did I mention I don’t like mornings?
    I struggle to pray before I read. I need to focus on this. I guess, like everything else in life, it’s a learning curve. We’ll get there!

  253. Ya know what? I noticed that I’m intentional when I am NOT talking to God! When I’m acting like a “mean girl”, a bad friend or an unsupportive wife, I make an INTENTIONAL choice to not be Godly. I never really thought about that until today! It’s like I don’t talk to God when I’m acting ugly bevause I’m hoping he won’t notice me! Haha, I’m trying to fly under God’s radar. How silly.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Oh Karen point! I do the same thing. Ouch. Like Adam and Eve hiding out in the garden. Whoa

  254. My time with God is in the mornings very early. Prayer time with coffee. Then my scripture time and bible study is in the evening when homework, etc. is done. I try to begin and end each day with God.

  255. Sue Smith says:

    I did it on purpose I keep it simple he was born he died he arose and he’ll be back…I was a horrible witness AT ONE TIME but didn’t intentionally do it…I sinned and covered it up with words Today I can thankfully say I search the word of God on purpose I share the word on purpose I pray on purpose I know I have a purpose ..

  256. Charlotte Lynn Layton says:

    I am doing both RTW and KIS…Because each day in my life is SO different, I try to figure out the night before when I am going to spend intentional time with God. So far it has worked out pretty well. My favorite is in the morning, after I walk with my friends, while and after I eat breakfast… It is amazing how I see the hand of God much more clearly on a daily basis when I am intentional about my time with Him.

  257. Michelle Love says:

    I need this!

  258. I try to do my quiet time with God in the mornings. I feel if I wait until the evening that it sends the message that I don’t think enough of Him and my relationship with Him to put it first in my life. I also try to spend time before bed reading in the word and praying over things and situations of the day. I need to be more disciplined in doing my quiet time though as some mornings I don’t make myself get up in time.

  259. Lena Keys says:

    Convicted by the question and conversation. I am gone 11 1/2 hrs a day for work. My husband is home during the day and I try to spend time with him before I go to bed, but I try to get time with God thru some forms of communication. But I know that I mutual be #Intentional in my prayer life, bible reading and study. It’s like this has given me a confirmation of how I was feeling.

  260. Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? Yes, definitely. I always have a great plan, but fail to follow through (so be prepared to lose me next week, LOL).

    If so, what is your greatest obstacle? Right now, it’s too many people living in our house (son, daughter-in-law, and 3 year old granddaughter). I’m sure I’ll come up with another excuse soon.

    Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? I am a teacher, so in the summer, it is part of my regular morning routine, but during the school year, I get a single verse from an app called Daily Bible, that I read when I get to school.

    If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other. This week, I’m taking time at school before the kids come in to do this Bible study and I would like to continue to do that!

    Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible? I haven’t been intentional about doing this, but it is something I’d like to start.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Beth,

      Hang in there girl! I have been there. We can do this together…..!!!!!

    • Amanda Herbert says:

      Beth ,
      I work with sick adolescents and I always read my devotional and say a quick prayer before I come into contact with the first one…. I ALWAYS ask in my prayer to be what these children need me to be for them today as a blessing and if/when the time comes and I need a Word from the LORD of encouragement for these children I immediately stop and ask for that ……Is amazing when u feel the Lord giving you the words to speak to these children at that particular day and moment in time…… Be Blessed and try it……

      • I do have a 45 minute drive to school every morning, and have a certain place in the drive where I turn off the radio (KLOVE) and pray for 10 minutes and it usually does involve my students, by name and concern. I do need to get better at praying throughout the day and asking the Lord to give me the right words.

        Thanks for your encouragement! I can use it!

  261. Glenda S. says:

    I struggle very much with being intentional with my studying. I have an alarm set every day for 5:30am that has the label Meditation, this is the time that I wanted to set aside to read and meditate on God’s word. Unfortunately every morning the alarm goes off I hit snooze and right back to sleep I go. I want to be intentional on reading God’s word but am having a hard time committing to it.

  262. Donna Hall says:

    Fir many years I struggled to read my bible on a daily basis. I would allow distraction to get in my way in doing what is most important. I now intentionally awake early ( most of the time) and listen to Brain Hardin Bible audio player and read along the chapters. I have found this to be a blessing Now I just need to work on my prayer life intentionally.

  263. Good Morning Everyone! Most every morning during the week I get up 30-45 minutes earlier than I need to to read my devotional and Bible. This, to me, sets me up to have a good day. When I miss due to oversleeping or I don’t feel well my day just seems “off”. I don’t pray before reading my Bible. I end my study time by praying. Have a Blessed day!

  264. Hi all, I have a prayer time before I’m out of bed, often while I’m nursing. I have an older child willing to manage breakfast so I stay in my room to do some bible study, before I go about my day.

    • Amanda Herbert says:

      Wow!! What an amazing time….you get the joy of nursing and of spending time peacefully with the One who blessed you with that beautiful healthy baby!!! What I would give to have 10 more,,,(well maybe NOT 10)

  265. Do I read my Bible? No. Only when I’m involved with a small group. But I have more recently found an on line daily devotional that I do every morning and that is Crosswalk which lead me to P31!! Now I read two devotionals everyday that includes scripture which direct me through my day.

  266. Thank you for this wonderful post. I agree 100% that the less time I spend reading God’s word and praying for understanding, the more my words hurt others. My heart controls that and I need my heart to be more like Jesus. Amen!! I am studying every morning and haven’t missed at all this year (a big 28 days) and I can see a difference. Thank you, Lord.

  267. Amanda Herbert says:

    •Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    Yes I do struggle for the fact that I’m really not a morning person and as soon as my feet hit the floor I have kids calling me, animals fussing at me, everyone trying to get out the door depending on me. its a madhouse and I have always been told if u are going to spend time with the Lord you do it before “the world” has access to you!!
    •Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
    I really try and do my devotional followed by the scriptures which are only like one or two then I close the book feeling GOD deserves SO much better……My goal with this study is to get everyone out the house then with my coffee and quiet as the suns coming up spent every morning praying and reading with my Lord!!
    •Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    YES!! I have and I always will pray for the Lord to guide me and show me what page he wants to me read and/or open to …..I let the Holy Spirit guide my study..

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Amanda,

      I am not a morning person either! Thank you so much for sharing! Hang in there, you are being intentional right now by being here with us to dig in together!

      • Amanda Herbert says:

        Thanks I have been praying for weeks about coming back closer…..and a friend of mine posted Mondays devotional on Facebook and I was hooked!!! Im Soooooooo Happy The Lord Led me to you all…..

  268. Christina Burrell says:

    There are days I can’t wait to dive in and there are the times that I grudgingly do it. Sometimes it’s because I just can’t concentrate on anything important, too tired or what I am reading that day (I do the read the whole bible in a year and when I get to the laws, etc. it’s a struggle). I try to do it sometime in the evening because mornings are hard because I barely give myself time to get ready for work. Sometimes praying before can help, but I think when I do that my heart may not even be with the prayer.

  269. Danielle Mackley says:

    I use to get up early before my kids got up, now that I have a new job I wait until they leave for school. But now my hurdle is all the pop ups on facebook, email and the other media things for work.

    I have to truly be intentional at putting all the distractions away. I know I get more out of it when I pray before I read.

    I agree we need to be intentional, even when we don’t feel like it. Thanks for sharing your story.

  270. Sandy Diaz says:

    This year, i have been following a chronological bible plan on youversion along with my church. I have missed some days, but i am completely caught up. I find that some days i don’t even want tu so reading. I want to find out what happens next, even though i may already know. I just want to read it, again. I haven’t been praying before, only after, sometimes (if i have been Journaling ). This is a discipline that i would like to improve upon.

  271. Sheri Baumel says:

    Its exciting to catch and realize when God is talking to you, in all different ways.

  272. It’s hard to find the time or to sit down and read with a 9 mo old and a 4 yr old… When they finally are in bed all I want to do is crash on the couch and close my eyes I have to get better at either getting up before them or reading after they are asleep, but then my husband always wants to talk and before I know it it’s 10-11pm and I can’t keep my eyes open

    I do pray before I read, I find that God directs me and I hear him better.

    • Heidi,
      I totally understand where you are coming from. Being a busy single Mom, once the kiddos are in bed, I just want to do nothing. So I sit and watch Netflix, when I should be spending that time with God. Being intentional in my time with God is something that has always been a struggle for me. But we are all a work in progress and God is not done with us yet!! We can do it with His help!! I’ll be praying for you!!!!
      God Bless,
      ~Johanna

  273. Thank you so much for your message today! For me it was encouragement and motivation. It is amazing how God always can put people, words or Bible studies in your path just as you need them! Looking forward to what this Bible Study will bring! Blessings to all.

  274. I try to read my daily devotions and look up anything I need to reference first thing in the morning over my morning coffee before starting my day. But as you stated sometimes life happens and my plans are not always first!

  275. Shari Enns says:

    I struggle with finding time as well. It’s encouraging to see I’m not the only one. I have started setting my alarm earlier so I have time before the kids are up and need me. My husband isn’t very excited about this idea as he is a light sleeper. Hopefully he will notice a difference in me when I spend more time with my Jesus. Thankfully he is a Christain too!
    The other issue is that my 9 month-old is not sleeping well the last while, so I am also sleep deprived. That makes it incredibly had to concentrate!!!
    But I want to keep being intentional about my time with Jesus!!!

  276. I have been trying to more intentional with my time. The only way I can get the time is to rise by 5 and just pray my boys, 4 and 2, stay asleep long enough for me to get some good quality time in with God.

    I have found that intentional time makes a world of difference in my life and just setting my day on the right course for the beginning.

    I’m praying that this book opens my eyes to new truths and will help me be intentional when I feel the holy spirit nudging me in areas, and certainly the area of “is this something that should be coming from your mouth?”

  277. Mary Weiss says:

    I do struggle to fit in things I want and need to do,spending time with God and working out

  278. Do I struggle with being intentional with Bible Study? So far on this one, NO! I honestly look forward to my time with this book, this group of ladies, looking up the Bible Verses has helped me tremendously!! Any other time, I have tried to do a study, I have not been so intentional! I run out of time, procrastinate, think I can get caught up tomorrow. (Usually, tomorrow never comes) but like I said, and I know it has only been 2 full days, I have thoroughly enjoyed this study, and can’t wait to dive in daily! 🙂 Do I have a scheduled time to read my Bible? Well, I try! I can usually fit it in in the evening, but usually only one chapter! I need to read more, and quit worrying less about other things that really can be put off. So I do need to be held accountable to read more every day! Does it help to pray before I read the Bible? YES! I find that if I take a few minutes talking to God before I open the Bible, I usually get more out of what I read. If I don’t pray, then I usually feel my mind thinking about other things, and really don’t even remember what I read. Again, I thank each one of you at Proverbs 31, this is my first time participating in a #P31OBS, and I am loving #keepitshutbook, and I pray that I will #Beintentional!! 🙂 <3

  279. First, I would like to win the conference call. Secon I would really like to improvie my ime with God. My word this year is integrity, I am using that would to not just read but meet with God. I think it has improved, but I know when I have a bad day that that when I have spent time with God that morning it soemtimes seems like “what” “why?”. God I know you saw this coming, but I feel so blindsided. Then I remember when I was in it I felt calmer and not completley along.

  280. This is probably the area I struggle with the most…is being intentional with my time with God. Being a busy, working single-Mom, life happens. The thing I should turn to the most…spending time with God…is usually the thing that suffers the most. I got through periods where I spend a lot of time with Him and in His Word. Then I go through periods where I barely spend any each day. It is something I know I need to be more intentional about, and that is why my word for this year is “intentional.”
    God Bless,
    ~Johanna

  281. I have been intentional about reading by Bible every weekday for a while now. I get up earlier than the rest of my family (thankfully, they all sleep until after 7!), make myself breakfast and a cup of coffee and read. I randomly pick a book from the OT, a book from the NT and read one chapter in each until I have read through the book and one psalm or chapter of Proverbs. This helps keep me from getting “stuck” in those more challenging books of the Bible (for me, some of those OT books are hard to get through!). I have found, over the course of time, that when I don’t start my day this way, I have a much harder morning and my day just feels off. That has helped motivate me to keep at it! I have learned, too, that you have to find what works for you! I pray you find it!

  282. Learning so much! Thank you for this study!

  283. Good morning!!! Thank you for this amazing study!! I do so need to be more intentional and very much needed to hear this beautiful post this morning as I am getting ready for work! Such encouraging words and hope that I too will get to that sacred place set apart for only our Father in my secret place-but I must seek Him now while He maybe found. He is such a part of my daily speech, in my heart and mind to the point it is like the breath I breathe-though almost to familiar where I am not spending that quality time I need to feed my spirit! Looking forward to this study as I feel it is the first of many on my road to being INTENTIONAL! God Bless everyone reading this today!xo

  284. Reagan Faile says:

    I always have the best intentions when starting anything, but I have the hardest time finishing sometimes. I have learned in the past year the things that are the hardest seem to be when I allow the devil take away my rainbow. My goal this year and with this new study is to have the same excitement in the beginning as the end. I will not allow the devil to rule my life! God is first and will always be!! My heart swells when my little boy watching me in the morning praying and decides he needs to sit beside me and join in. I know what I continue to do will affect my blessings and I want them to know that God is first! Thank y’all for an amazing start for this study!

  285. I’m excited to join this online bible study. I definitely want to be more intentional in my time with the Lord. One of my intentions is to pray before I open my bible…I think it does make a difference.

  286. Melissa 2 says:

    I am horrible about making time to do my Bible study. When at work (during lunch or break), someone always finds me needing information. When at home, I can only see the dishes in the sink or the laundry on the floor. My mind goes into cleaning mode after dinner and next thing I know…its bed time. My greatest obstacle…finding time. Finding time to sit down and read, pray, and listen. I need to schedule time…which means I need to find time. I think going and sitting in my car at lunch would be helpful. Or waking up earlier…which will be difficult, but it would give me a better start to the day. I love opening my email and having messages from P31. (Loved today’s about the rainbow. I can’t wait to share that verse with my boys!) I think that praying before reading is good. I pray while sitting at my desk at work…in my car. I think that being a single mom is lonely (just in the sense of not always having people to talk to), so I find comfort in praying…like I have a constant friend to hear me. I just need to get better about listening 🙂

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Melissa 2,

      I so know where you’re coming from! I was a single mom for over 10 years. He does call you friend sweet girl. John 15:15 God Bless you

  287. Bobbi Capwell says:

    I have the most trouble with being intentional with my time with the Lord. I start out strong but then I seem to let other things and people get in the way! This is something I want to change because I know that He doesn’t forget me!

  288. I feel like this was written for me. The thing is I “know” this is what I should do but its a struggle. I do find comfort in the fact that I am not the only one with this struggle however I wish it wasn’t the case for any of us.

  289. Teri Sieving says:

    Mornings are my time to spend with God. After listening to Christian radio for years, I have picked up wonderful advise and try to use them to have God walking as a friend through out my day. I’ve learned to open my eyes and begin to pray thanking Him for another day and asking Him to give me the awareness of the schedule He wants me to have today for Him. Early mornings , I meet Him for “coffee time ” and journal my prayers using scripture and dating my prayer requests. I have looked back to years and am reminded how he has used me and answered my prayers. This gives me the desire to strive to make Him my priority.

  290. Charlayne Whitlock says:

    I can really relate with today’s reading. I can often start out with a bang, praying every morning reading my bible. Then all of a sudden I just stop for no apparent reason. My problem is being consistent and also not allowing anything or anyone to distract me. Because my days are truly so much better when I start them off with spending time with God.

  291. First, thank you so much for offering this study. I am looking forward to having coffee with all of you in the morning. What is my greatest obstacle to daily study of God’s word? Setting aside the time to do it. My schedule is inconsistent. For weeks it will be the same and then change or some weeks it’s different every day. That brings me to the question do I have a time set aside each day to meet with God and study His word. As you can see from above the answer is no. I am going to change that starting today. I will be praying prior to reading as I have found it makes a huge difference in how I read the passage. God gives me an “aha” moment sometimes even when I haven’t spoken with Him, but I more receptive when I have prayed prior to studying my bible.

  292. I used to be intentional with my time with God. I would get up at 4:00am to spend time in the Word and in meditation, but then I had to start giving my daughter meds at that time. That has thrown me off. My first step towards my goal of returning to my time with God was to start with this Bible study.

  293. Teresa Tompkins says:

    I set aside time in the mornings for bible study (get up in plenty of time before having to be at work); the problem is I get distracted with checking e-mails, tidying up, or say I have time to play just one game app, which is my biggest obstacle because I end up playing much longer than I anticipated. All these things, take away, of course, the time I set aside for bible study and spending time with God. I am going to delete the game app from my phone and make sure I open my bible with my first cup of coffee before doing anything else – that’s my goal! It is very helpful to pray before studying God’s word; by praying first it helps me to stay focused on what I’m reading versus letting my mind wander with all the others things I need to be doing. Have a blessed day everyone!

  294. My household is busy, busy, loud, loud most hours of the day. So, I set my alarm for 5:15, coffee in hand, Bible and study guides and prayer journal out by 5:30, and I give that first hour to the Lord. On days I don’t get that time, I’m noticeably off kilter, and I’ll steal time somewhere through the day to read and pray. It is very helpful to pray before starting for God to reveal to me what He wants me to see and hear.

  295. I started a few months ago. In between taking my son to school and getting ready for work. The house is quiet and it is a great way to start my day before I leave for the rat race. It’s not always easy but I did find that when I write down my prayers that my mind stays focused.

  296. #beintentional getting up earlier each day, making the time to pray before I pick up my phone to check email and calendar. Reading through my keep it shut study material before for checking facebook. Lovin the study so far!

  297. I have found that I must be intentional about spending time in Gods word or it just doesn’t happen. I try to read my Bible before I will let myself read emails or look at Facebook, and when I do, my day always goes better!

  298. I can so relate to this. I want so much to be intentional and set aside time for God every day, but it just seems that so much of the time I end up letting other things get in my way and take over. I feel awful saying this, but it is the truth, I have often times thought of setting my alarm to get up earlier just to have a little time with God or to pray or to study a Bible verse. However, I end up saying oh I don’t need to do that I’ll find time later,we’re simply that’s too early I’m not doing that. How awful is that? God is so merciful, graceful, loving, and does so much for us yet I cannot get up at least 20 to 30 minutes earlier to spend a little time with him or growing my relationship with him more. Starting today I am going to try my best to set my alarm at least 15 minutes earlier and have my time with God before wake my son up to go get ready for school. God has done so much for me already, this is the least I could do. I want to grow more in Him. I will be honest, I’m a little scared to fail but, I am excited to try.

  299. This is exactly what I needed today! A gentle reminder that spending my time connecting with God will ultimately affect the way I connect to everyone else during my day. When I cloak myself with His Word and wisdom, I might leave traces of that where I go today! And that is what it is about! Will I watch what I say? Yes I will! Will I wonder how THEY are instead of what they think of me? Yes I will, because I will have already been reminded that I am worthy beyond measure to my Lord. How different will this make us in the eyes of others! How many more people would want to have the “still waters” that we will portray? I am looking forward to following this study.

  300. Mary Jo Cyr - Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team says:

    Great blog, once again today. Yes, Melissa, you are so right…you have to BE INTENTIONAL. Satan doesn’t want us UP and READY to ingest the Word of God so he will do whatever he can to distract us from it. OHHHH, and does he ever………RIGHT????? As a matter of fact, as I type this, I am reminded that because I woke up late today (my day off) I got up and thought….”I better read the blog and post it first” and THEN sit down to read my Bible. WRONG! I shouldn’t have done that…..late or not….I should have spent my time with God so He could feed me FIRST. That would have been RIGHT. Thanks for the great reminders, Melissa. A typical day for me is getting up at 4:50 a.m. – get ready for work – grab my coffee, Bible, journals and sit down for my quiet time with God.

  301. Can so relate to this…. I try so hard to read my bible, pray going to work (50 minute drive). Start off doing wonderful but then WAM…. everything just seems to get in the way. I plan to be intentional going forward. Thank you for doing this bible study. So love my family and friends and want to control my words with them. Looking forward to the coming weeks.

  302. I do my devotions in the morning, hopefully before my 2 year old gets up. This wasn’t always the case. I would put “do devotions” at the top of my to do list for the day. Then I felt convicted that spending time with God shouldn’t be one of my “chores” for the day. So now, I attempt to always do my devotions in the morning! He is still a part of my to do list for the day, but only because I try to make Him a part of my whole day. A lot of days I fail miserably at that, and find myself tripping, falling, and dragging myself to His throne for grace, mercy, comfort, and help! My days go so much smoother when I weave God into the fabric of my whole day instead of just into my “morning schedule”. I have so much to learn, thank you God for your grace and mercy!

  303. Believe it or not…I’ve nebered considered praying before reading the bible or engaging in bible study! What a simple yet important step. I will begin today (in fact I did).

    I read my devotions in the bathroom every morning. No interruptions in there!!!

  304. Barbara Gage says:

    I try to read from a daily devotional by Beth Moore everymorning and read my daily posts from Proverbs 31 when I get to work. I seem to never remember to pray before reading and ask God to speak to me through his word. I also certainly need to know the the right words to speak and when to “shut up” when dealing with my elderly Mother (Whom I am caring for). I also need to master that skill with my relationship with my 22 year old daughter who is away at college. I sometimes don’t need to offer my opinion and advise but I just need to listen and pray for both of them.

  305. Love this! I do spend time every morning with God reading devotions and my Bible and it does make me better throughout the day because I notice it on days I dont

  306. Anna Sander says:

    I really struggle with being intentional when it comes to reading my Bible and spending time with the Lord. I truly believe that business is the culprit. I have three kids and I feel like there’s always something that gets in the way. My mind is constantly overloaded with thoughts about everything else I need to accomplish for the day. Instead my mind should be focused on the MOST IMPORTANT time of the day… spending time with God. I really am loving this study so far, and it helps being accountable to my small group. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for me through this study!

    Hugs!
    ~Anna

  307. MaryHeiden says:

    I must confess that spending time in God’s Word is Not difficult for me. I’ve always been a stay at home mom. When all my kids were living here and especially when they were little, that was a different story. They’re all grown and gone now. So after I have breakfast with my husband and he leaves for work, I go to my family room. There’s my favorite chair with my Bible sitting next to it. I spend time in the Word nearly every day. The thing that I’m convicted about is the word, “Intentional”. To me it’s my routine. I don’t usually pray before I read. I don’t do a lot of the things on the “Intentional list”. So I wrote the list down. I want to become more intentional in my devotions. I want God to change me. I know His Word helps me and changes me, but I’d like to play a more active role in speaking with Him about what I’m learning, seeing, doing and speaking. I need to be less lackadaisical about my time with our Lord. Thanks for challenge.

  308. Lisa Sisco says:

    When I first became a Christian, over 30 years ago, I was into The Word everyday. I think the reason this time has dwindled is that I do not choose to be intentional about my Walk with Him. I choose today to be intentional about putting God first in my life and delving into His Word everyday. I am enjoying this bible study on Keeping it Shut. These first t2o chapters have really spoke to me. God is alrady showing me areas where I need to learn to Keep it Shut.

  309. At the beginning of todays discussion the word intentional was defined as being determined to make something or someone a priority. When I use an excuse that I am too busy to spend even enough time to pray a short prayer or read a couple of verses in my Bible, what am I actually saying? “God I have time for everything else except you.” And yet I expect Him to be at my beck and call at all times, and you know what, He is. I want that word INTENTIONAL to be blazed on my mind, to remind me each time I see it to think about my most important parts of each day—spending time with my Lord and Savior. I ask myself, “How much time is wasted each day doing trivial things?” Did I need to hear the news reported for the 10th time, or hear that 15 minutes of drama shared by a co-worker, or be on my computer for way too long reading emails and FB? There is always time for what is really important to us, maybe not a huge amount of time, but even minutes can make a difference. Thanks for a great reminder of this in our study today.

    • Jeanie Benson, P31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      This is so true. I have decided to think of a minute like a spark. They are both very small in the scheme of things but they can really become large – 60 minute equal an hour and a spark can burn a forest. We all need reminding to use our minutes better. I struggle with this so much as well. Praying for you!

  310. Michelle Duncan says:

    At night I wind down with reading my Bible and I struggle with fighting a wondering mind. From dishes to laundry so I moved my study area to take away distractions. Wish me luck.. I too pray all my way to work.

    • Jeanie Benson, P31 Ministries OBS Team says:

      Michelle, I have to have my own space and room to get away from distractions as well. I try to make sure it stays organized and quiet as to help my mind not wander. I pray that your new study area will help you with your struggle and you will have the quiet time you are wanting and needing.

  311. Jeanie Benson, P31 Ministries OBS Team says:

    Good morning and thank you Melissa. These words about being INTENTIONAL are stirring my heart and soul today. Now that I do not work, you would think I have soooooo much time on my hands. I try to spend time in His Word more, but as you say the world tries to grab it. I pray I will become more intentional in my studies. I do not want it to be another regular appointment I want it to be a divine appointment.

  312. My biggest obstacle is me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like reading the Bible. That’s when I have to get ahold of myself and make myself do it. Those are also some of the best times of Bible reading.

  313. AM’s – the hardest time to read but the best for me. To start the day with God in my heart and a devotion or two that will light my path for the decisions that lie in front of me. This year we had a task to chose a word at church for our year. Being new to having Faith in the almighty and reading The Word, I chose Trust. I wrote a prayer that I pray every morning that starts off with John 15:2; miraculously our first series in church also has been studying this John verse and that God has HIs hands in our fruitfulness and sustaining that excellence. This is where I come to P31 and any other way group, book, tv show, that I come across that will learn me more about GOD. It is overwhelming, and I do have too many books going at once! LOL I just try to continue to let God lead me to which one to read at that time of the day. The one key thing I try to remember is that I am doing this for Him and me, therefore thats all that is involved in my reading and writing time. Block time for yourself! and be comfortable and quiet in this time <3

  314. I am bad about not being intentional in my time with God and in His Word. My problem is because I am a Homemaker with 3 grown children, sometimes I just have too much time on my hands. So I think, “Oh! I can do that anytime.”. Then the next thing I know, the day is gone and I haven’t spent time with God. My goal, and it’s working so far, is to do my Bible study as soon as I wake up. Before I even get out of bed. It is a GREAT way to start my morning!

  315. Delicia Poellnitz says:

    Throughout the morning, I’m intentionally thanking God for his blessings. I love this I am being aware!

  316. I start my day with my daily devotions and reading my Bible. I pray before, during, and after. This helps me begin my day on a positive note. I end my day by reading books about the Bible. I have found great comfort in being disciplined about my studies.

  317. I start everyday before my feet hit the floor to spend time with Jesus . I try to pick a word for the day to tie into my Bible study time. For example Joy, then I look up verses to tie in with this. I journal and write them down. I then try to use this in my day. When my day becomes hard taking care of my 91year old mother , I use this word to find the joy that isn’t easily there. The joy of the Lord is my strength! This blesses me and keeps me connected to God when times are hard and I know that he carries me!

  318. This study has already hit upon my biggest struggle, and that is to REMAIN intentional. I always start out that way, but the busyness of my day (to do lists, grocery lists, calendars etc.) invade my intentional time in the word or with my Lord and hijack what I’m hoping to accomplish! I call it Adult Onset ADD! Then there’s just the reality of interruptions that accompany being a stay at home mom. Sometimes my intentional time ends up feeling like one more thing I can check off my list each day. How did you know?!

  319. I have my set time first thing when I get up. I don’t miss very often at all. About 6 years ago I really struggled with Being Intentional. Then my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers. I forced myself to spend that time first thing because I felt I wasn’t going to survive caring for her without clinging to God. The part I struggle with now is including prayer in that time other than a few… “Thanks Lord for showing me that” or a “Wow Lord” etc. when I am Intentional I like to journal my prayers…. Helps me stay focused by writing…. But then I go on an on an on and I run out of time or I end up not making myself late to work….. I already get up between 5 an 5:30 hahaha.

  320. i INTENTIONALLY get up by 530 every morning including most weekends. This is My INTENTIONAL time with God. I grab a cup of coffee, my iPad with my Bible app, and a blanket and enjoy the quiet time before the house awakes. I INTENTIONALLY have a devotion going on my Bible app. I believe it helps me to stay focused on God.

  321. I was a Christian for many years before I actually started having a DAILY quiet time with Him. (I know…how crazy is that?!?) I can honestly say that it has radically changed my life and my faith walk. I won’t say I never let things distract me because that would be untrue. I will say that I try VERY hard to make time spent with Him a priority in my life…for me, it works best to meet with Him first thing every morning. I feel like I am still learning to go deeper in those moments…I know that I want a transformative relationship with my God and so I keep walking, trusting Him to smooth the rough spots in my soul and make me more like Him.
    So glad we are on this journey together, girls! <3

  322. Bethany Scheele says:

    I absolutely struggle with being intentional with my Bible study. I think my greatest obstacle is actually making time to do it, and knowing where to start. I don’t have a scheduled time to read, but I think maybe around lunchtime would be best for me. I think it would help me out to have someone to hold me accountable and to go through the same verses I’m going through so we can discuss it. I think sometimes it helps for me to pray before I read, but since I’ve been really bad about not getting into God’s word, I don’t know. Definitely need someone to hold me accountable!

  323. Charlotte Smith says:

    Melissa thank you so much for taking the time to share today! I know God is speaking to me through you. Busy for me is an understatement most days. So, I love that I can have access to the Bible everywhere I go. The Youversion Bible app is my go to app.. I recently did a 4 day plan on the One Word Challenge. I now know “intentional ” is my word. Before this study began, I felt this word tugging at me but just wasn’t ready to fully commit to it for an entire year. God knows me and the struggles I face when digging into His word. I never know where to begin (that’s one of the reasons I love P31OBS so much!). You guys give me a map into his word. I need to be more “intentional” in every aspect of myself and my relationship with Him. When I am “intentional” my tongue is better “tamed” and I lift others up instead of tearing them down.

    I can say I am more on a schedule (days not times) when I am doing a bible study
    I dont usually pray before reading my Bible. I guess I never really thought about how it could help guide me.
    My goal is to be more “intentional” with reading His word everyday and not just when I am still.

    Lord please guide each and every one of my sisters in You through this study. Help us to be more present in our relationships and more aware of our words. In your name…..Amen

  324. I invited a friend over and watched the first series “keep it shut”..It was fun, also dyed her hair and it fit right into our watching and praying and discussion. I did to get off facebook more and spend quality time in the morning before my day gets going..Praise God for all the helps we get….Berta

  325. Being intentional about our study is so important, and something I’ve struggled with for a long time. The discipline just hasn’t been there, until recently that is.Oh, I don’t have it all together, but the necessary holy habit (not boring religious routine) is forming. Prayer. Bible reading. Devotional reading. Quiet listening. Journaling. They are all finally happening, and a deeper love and desire for God is resulting!

  326. Good Morning, Y’all!!!
    Awesome stuff today about how to be intentional with our Bible Reading! Thanks @melissasherlin for sharing!! As for those questions…
    • Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    Yes. Yes I do. My greatest obstacles are distractions & overall busyness.. I started a Bible Reading plan on YouVersion back in August of 2014 with plans to read through the entire Bible in a year for the first time in my life. I started very strong.. But then October came and I had our baby.. And everyday was truly exhausting for a while. So, I got behind on my reading… 1 day turned into 4 days… 4 days turned into weeks… And so on.. But I was determined not to give up. I got way behind on my plan but I was still reading… Just not everyday.. Then, one day about 2 weeks ago I read a devotional by @lysaterkeurst and the piece that spoke to me was this:
    “Progress. Just make progress. It’s okay to have setbacks and to need do-overs. It’s okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again—and again. Just make sure you’re moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck.”
    So, At that very moment I determined in my heart that I may not be where I’m supposed to be in my Bible reading plan but I’m not going to give up on it… I’m going to keep moving forward… Even if it’s “baby steps” and although the deadline for the plan is a year… It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to finish as long as I am determined enough to keep making “imperfect progress” to finish. Our little one is 3 months old by the way and she’s a sweet sweet blessing!!!!

  327. Alicia Creekmore says:

    1. Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    Yes. My greatest obstacle is me and my health. Some morning I wake up fine I read my scripture then do some bible studying, then I get thought the day. Some morning I have exert energy I read can barely set still long enough to read my scripture and can not focus on my bible study, then I get 3-5 day worth or work done. The next day I can hardy move an reading is so hard because I can not understand what I just read. I really hate this day I do not get anything done and I hurt so bad.

    2. Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
    I schedule from 4 am to 7 am to read and study the Bible. I have some big window in to witch the sun raise and see God beautiful world slow came live. (I live in the mountains with wildlife walking in my yard.) You would think that nothing could be going on at this time, yet there are so many things that interrupt my time with God. (the dog, pluming, power outage, sleeping in, etc.)

    3. Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    Yes other wise I get nothing out or my reading and studying.

  328. I get up very early each morning. I try to do some bible things then: like daily devotionals, prayer team for others and then later in the evening do my bible study. Sometimes I’m just so tired I can’t do anything but lay in bed all day. I pray that God would give me the energy for my bible study to really focus on the study and have understanding of what I’m reading and to hear Him speak to me through out my day. I love you Lord.

  329. Lisa DeCarlo says:

    Yes! I need to be more intentional. My children are in the busy “mom is a taxi driver” stage of growing up (ages 14 and 10) so my days have changed and I have found myself praying in the car recently. I realize that I am fitting my prayer time into my day’s schedule, instead of prioritizing it and intentionally making time to listen and worship. I am going to set my alarm a little earlier and begin the day with my Jesus!

    • Charlotte Smith says:

      Lisa I know exactly where you are coming from. I too pray in the car! The commute betwwen droppi g thw kids off to school and getting to work is my alone time (eventhough it’s only 15 minutes). I usually do bible study un the car while my daughter is in dance class. I keep telling myself it’s just the season of life I am in amd to enjoy it. Many prayers to you.

  330. I find that when I commit to something I have a hard time letting it go. The guilt overwhelms me to keeping the commitment. I’ve learned this results in the check it off the list behavior. I do not always pray before reading and feel like I’m going through the motions, even though I do get something out of each reading. This is my 1st year reading through The Word, I need to be intentional with the same time every day and fully commit to each reading session.

  331. This goes hand in hand with last Sunday’s sermon. The holidays, the grand kids schedules, helping my sis fix her house – so many interruptions and EXCUSES for not reading my Bible lately. God is calling me to study more and live more in His word. Thanks to a friend who discovered this online study group and shared it with me! I ask for your prayers that I may live a life that is a good witness for God’s love. I’ll pray the same for you.

  332. I feel like my biggest struggle is time. I feel like I don’t have enough of it and am already stretched a million different directions. Where am I going to find the time to just sit and read. I know I need to be intentional and make time but then something happens and then before I know it poof my day is gone! Then at that point I am so tired I can’t even read the words. I always make a plan to get up early and spend time alone with God. I love to do it but there are still times when life happens. The kids wake up early, the dog wants out, ect… One thing I have found is that even reading a verse (or two) and spending time in prayer helps my day go so much better. 🙂

  333. This study started yesterday and already God is bopping me on the head with a can of V-8! Yes, I have already been humbled with the first two chapters of the book. “The mouth speaks what the heart has stored.” And then this morning, I am asked how intentional I am. Whew! We all have to be (very) intentional about getting up to go to work – or, better yet, feeding our dogs/cats/furry/slimy animals and talk to them nicer than we do our significant others or children – lol! (c’mon, you know it’s true!). But when I think about how intentional I’ve been about taking time out for God – well, I’m not even going there. But God is so sneaky sometimes (that’s why I love Him so much!) He knows how much I want to gain from this study and He also knows how much I need to get back into spirit with Him and it’s coming around full circle. You’ve got my attention, Father! Fortunately, I work part-time – but sometimes I wonder where the time can go. But I am setting my goal to do this study and spend time in His word in the mornings, before I go to work. Long ago, I used to schedule my prayer time in the mornings and what a way to start my day! Such blessings! Today’s blog really hit home. Thank you! Have a blessed day!

  334. Mornings are preferred for my quiet time. Many times I do not get it done because of things I need to do or places I have to go. My goal is to be intentional about having this time as my days go so much better when I do take this time. I also can feel that I am closer to God and it shows in my attitude and words, just like she says. I think praying before I start gets me focused and invites God into that special time.

  335. Something I heard Christine Caine say at a conference last year is ringing in my mind…”You need to get your face off Facebook and into THE book!” Oh how this is sometimes the case for me. I get so distracted with all that is going on in the world around me that I fail to spend the time I desire in the book sitting on the sofa right beside me. Someone once encouraged me to think about Jesus sitting on the sofa next to you…what would you do, what would you say, what would you read/look at?
    One of the #BeIntentional ways I start my day is by reading Jesus Calling and I also receive two daily emails with a verse-of-the-day. I often find that on days when life is CRAZY and I haven’t had the sofa time with the Lord that I crave…those verses are exactly what I need to meditate on and face whatever that day brings 🙂
    Praying for us all to have intentional days xox

    • Jamie O'Reilly-Goad says:

      I love that! That’s exactly what I have been working on and need to continue to get off Facebook and get into THE book!! c

  336. Mary D Perez says:

    I have s difficult time setting time aside to spend reading the bible and doing my homework for my bible studies. I find that as I’m rushing to do several days of homework in an evening I do it to finish and do not take the time to embrace His message. And when this happens I feel lost and an emptiness as I hear the ladies sharing during bible study. And I feel sad . Yet I continue with this struggle. I will now as I read chapter 1 make a true effort to crave at least 10 minutes every day for God time. Not much time but I believe in my heart that once I do God will take over and whatever time we need together that day will happen!

  337. Saskia Haesen-Slagter says:

    I try to make my reading time in the morning, when my kids are off to school. I first try to read when they are still in bed, but often I am interrupted for someone wakes up earlier then planned ;-). My very best time to study though is in the evening, after eight o’clock. My children are in bed, my husband watches the news and I can withdraw in peace and really have quiet time. During the day there are so many interruptions. I want to make more time during the day too. But I am easily distracted if the phone rings or the doorbell. Everyone knows that I am at home so that makes it difficult. Also with scheduled appointments. Here in Germany children go to school in the morning and in the afternoon they are at home. Also the warm meal is eaten for lunch so you have to cook. When I have then medical appointments I plan them in the morning. I do notice that if I take more time to be really in the word or really with God in general, that I feel much more peaceful inside… I have to keep on making it a priority. For me it also helps to do a study like this, for I am more committed than to read and ponder… Wish everybody a very good and blessed day!!! Love to do this study!!!! I already put something into practise 😉

  338. Sue Kelly says:

    Barbara Gage I surely understand where you are. I too cared for my mom until she passed in Sept. I could be short with her as well. I wish she was still here to argue with me! And I shared to much of my opinion with my 24 year old daughter yesterday! I reprimanded myself last night and reminded myself to put the study into action. Don’t just read the book. I have been listening to Through the Bible with J Vernon McGee for 2 years. Though Dr McGee has been gone nearly 30 years his teachings are homespun and so relevant for today. It has changed my life. I love these P31 OBS.

  339. My greatest obstacle with being international with my bible is time management because of work and house responsibilities but somehow I do create time. Because without a bible in a day leaves a hole in me. Yes I do have a scheduled time; between 4.30hrs to 05.00hrs in the morning, sometimes and lunch time and again from 21.00hrs in the evening. Yes I find that it helps to read the bible before reading the bible. I normally read Psalm 91 and Psalm 24:7-10.

    • I love praying Psalm 91 Mabel. It used to always be my prayer to settle myself before flying somewhere 🙂 Your words “without a bible in a day leaves a hole in me” really struck me…that is exactly how I feel…thank you for putting it into words for me.
      Blessings Sarah xox

  340. Good morning 🙂 and thank you for a great study – loving it.
    In answer to one of your questions: one of the greatest obstacles for me when it comes to Bible study (devo time, etc) is facing my sins. I come to the table of the Lord knowing that that is where the rubber meets the road for me and so naturally I tend to go into full avoidance mode at times – of course I will come up with very creative reasons why I don’t make the time or find the time or whatever; but that’s the truth: sin (the big ones and the little ones and everything in between) plain and simple.

  341. Unfortunately, reading God’s word has never been something I prioritize. I am good and finding a reason, or an excuse, as to why I don’t have time…. I need 20 more minutes of sleep, I have to get my son ready for school, I don’t know where to begin. Whatever the excuse, I have never been intentional. I never really understood the concept of living and studying and spending time intentionally.
    Recently, God has been calling to me and telling me to live my life more intentionally, in my words, my study, my family life, with my relationships and my work life. I would like to start getting up earlier in the morning to spend time with God, before I let any other obstacles stand in my way.

  342. Love Love Love the reality to change my attitude about my time with God! I’m excited to see how my quiet time changes when I intentionally see it as spending time with a cherished friend and not as just another “to do”.

  343. In a world of busyness and business it can become harder to be a believer and be about my Fathers business. This material helps you to become all He has called you to become.

  344. Jana Dyke says:

    The struggle is REAL! I am a stay at home mother who has recently gone back to school to get my nursing degree. I also own a monogramming business (that’s out of my home) so I never get away from the demands of life. I have felt God telling me to spend quality time with him for months but it seems I hardly have time to do the other things I “need” to do how will I ever fit the quiet time in with him? I’ve felt his direction to rise early and spend this time with him, but I AM NOT a morning person. When I say not a morning person I mean my husband is dragging me out of the bed with the kids all of us screaming NO! lol I have prayed to get better in this area as well as set a better example for our children. I spend my time in God’s activities volunteering at a local pregnancy center and serving on a task force trying to bring a center to our community and sometimes I feel hypercritical when I am working with those ladies in the clinic as I to need to get closer to God in my quiet times and increase the time I spend with him alone. I can already feel the changes inside of my heart as I try to walk more in step with Christ. Thank you for making me think just a little deeper in how I can be a better Christian.

    • Jana, I can relate to your frustrations. My children are grown now but when they were young, I worked out of the house, ran them to their extra-curricular activities, we were involved in church – the list went on and on. My sister told me something that I thought was very wise: sometimes Satan wants us to be involved in as many things as we can so as NOT to have time to spend with our Father. That is when I started thinking about what activities the boys really had to be in, what activities we really had to participate at church. Not only was I not getting quality time with the Lord but our whole family wasn’t even spending quality time together because we were so busy doing outside things. That is Satan’s #1 goal: to make sure we stay so busy so we don’t spend quality time with the Lord – and with each other, as a family. That was about 5 years ago and I have found myself slipping again. Satan may have been dancing last week but, thank God, I am involved in this study and realizing I have to (once again) make my spiritual intentions a priority. Hope you have a blessed day!

  345. I don’t know why I dig in my heals about spending time with God. I know part of it is not being disciplined and firmly scheduling it. I also want to be the boss of me and my time. I have found that even in the things I love to do most-sewing and quilting-that there is an element of dread to some parts of the whole. Picking a pattern and deciding what I am going to make, picking a scripture and deciding where I will begin. Cutting out all the fabric needed for a project, writing down what God is actually saying to me. Sticking through to the end and actually completing the project, continuing through a passage of scripture and not just jumping around to whatever I fancy to read in my Bible. Today I am committing to begin in Psalms for 15 minutes at 8:30 am.

  346. Just last night I prayed before opening my Bible fornGod to speak to me! He did. I read with excitement and intention to get the message , HIS message. And I did. I got it. I slept like a baby and I’m ready for today.

  347. Francesca says:

    I really enjoyed today’s post. I’m really trying to make my year about being intentional, and this was real and authentic to read. I have found I do much better with carving out time for my Bible and study when I wake up early and do it before work. Participating in the P31 OBS has really helped with this because if I feel like I have no idea where to start, I know that I have a great lesson waiting for me on the screen 🙂 I sometimes get overwhelmed with reading the Bible or knowing “how” to do it. The quote about the correlation between time spent with the Lord and how I use my words is SO true. As a teacher and just in my life, I notice that the days when I spent time digging into God’s messages in the morning I tend to offer more grace, be a better listener, offer wiser counsel, and just have a more positive way about me during the day. Thank you for continuing this amazing opportunity for connecting with other women over such an important topic!

  348. Diane Sharp says:

    What touched me this morning was being intentional with my time with God. Recently a very dear friend passed away and he was intentional on touching other people’s lives. I am working on being like him when I “grow up” but I need to also to that with my time time with God.

  349. randi menke says:

    As my New Years “Restoration” (instead of resolution) I committed to reading through the Bible in a year with the schedule that is in the front of my study Bible. i have read the Bible through from front to back but this is a specific schedule for the year. I pray before I read and each day there is a specific word that speaks to me that day. I am fortunate in my job at the university where I run a learning lab and it needs to be quiet so I can read anything I want in between serving students. I choose my Bible and it has served as an excellent witness to the students.

  350. Janey Letter says:

    My friend and I are also sharing this study on another page on FB , A private chat page. I don’t have the time to read all the comments but enjoy each day’s posts. I have forwarded each lesson to my two sisters also. Thank you for the flexibility !
    Our church is in the middle a 21 day fast. Talk about “Intentional!” This so relivent to my walk right now! It is a life changer! An exercise! Thank you!

  351. Good Morning All,

    Hope everything is doing well today 🙂 I would first like to thank you for this study and I am looking forward to the following weeks as this is definitely something I need!!

    Yes! I do struggle with being intentional with my studies. Last year I did well and read thru the bible in one year and I had high hopes of continuing on with doing a memory verse a week but am discouraged in the fact that I’ve only done one week so far this year 🙁

    My greatest obstacle honestly is myself. I have plenty of time in the evenings where its just me at home (my hubby and I are on opposite shifts and only see each other Saturday and Sunday). One would think this would be ideal for me to be intentional and study each evening, but I don’t. I am easily distracted with dinner preparation / clean-up and then getting myself ready for the following day at work – granted I do all this with Christian music playing in the background but that alone does not take the place of actual quiet time in His word.

    Currently I don’t have a scheduled time to read my bible. Before work, I spend some time with a daily devotional I receive in my e-mail and in prayer. I would love to come home from work each night, get my cup of tea, and open the word but I don’t do this for fear failing. As ashamed as I am to admit this, I don’t truly know how to study the word on my own 🙁 I’ve read countless Christian books others have written on various topics but have not ever been successful in opening the word to study it on my own. I have the desire to learn how to study and pray I can learn how to do it someday!

    I hope you all have a beautiful day & God Bless!

  352. Heather Frierson says:

    It is funny how easy it is to find other things to fill all my time. I heard just recently someone ask, “Why is it so easy for the natural to take the priority in our lives, even when we know the supernatural is of utmost importance?” And, how accurate that is. I know my day, attitude and relationships are always better when I spend time with the Lord first. I can then be a blessing to others. But, alas, I too often let the snooze button or the chaos of weekday mornings take the priority. Being intentional is a goal I know have set for every day. I want to be intentional with each moment of my time!

  353. Oops, my other post must have been too lengthy because it cut off my 2nd & 3rd questions & answers.. Lol So, I’ll try to finish them up here short & sweet.
    • Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
    Yes & No. I try to read during our baby girl’s nap times but if I can’t do so then… Then, often I read at night before going to bed.
    • Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    Most of the time I pray afterwards but not always. I think it helps but I don’t always do so.

  354. This morning I had the thought that so often I wait for or wonder about the “right” bible study instead of just getting in the word. Recently I have gotten back to reading through the Bible. I’m only in Deuteronomy, but it excites me to know God’s Word is for me. I can read it ALL!

  355. Yes, I definitely struggle with being intentional with my Bible study and even prayer time! Finding the time (without interruption) is the greatest obstacle. I can relate Melissa! When I get still and quiet enough, after a long day at work, all I want to do is sleep, too. But, it’s funny, as much time as I think I don’t have each day, everything else that I do get done is VERY intentional. I’ve even set a goal to FIND THE TIME to incorporate prayer and Bible Study into my life more this year – I had planned on it being my Lent goal! And hoping it would extend indefinitely, of course! I purchased the One-Year Chronological NIV Bible at the end of last year and have diligently been doing my readings each night — it’s the prayer and reflection part that I can sometimes do and sometimes not do. Prayer is HUGE in getting my mind and body focused on receiving God’s word; it makes me slow down and clears my head so I can really zero in on what I am reading. That, in turn, usually always is followed by reflection and makes my time with God so much better and more intentional! My entire outlook of life is regularly changed (for the better) when ALL of these things are incorporated into my time with the Lord; they are all a necessity in really forming a relationship with God.

  356. Marsha Davis says:

    I read my bible app every day..working on reading the bible in 365 days. Also have devotionals on my bible app.. The devotionals are very uplifting. I don’t really have a certain schedule..read when I get the time.. This is why I decided to do this. I want to do my best for the lord and others. Many blessings!

  357. Jamie O'Reilly-Goad says:

    I do struggle with being intentional with my bible study. I always intend to stay focused and not fall behind but then when I allow other things to become more important I make excuses then feel overwhelmed with trying to catch up and eventually just stop. It has been my goal with this study to stay caught up, dedicate the time and to participate as much as I can. My pastor was just talking about how direction not intention determines destination. So in order to be where I want to be with my relationship with God I need to be sure I am putting the time and effort and listening in on my end.
    My goal has been to wake up early before the craziness of my day begins and to read my bible and start my bible study for the day. Also to spend more time reading my bible and books during the day in my free time then wasting it, on like social media. I also would like to start praying before I read my bible. I usually don’t think about it so I don’t but when I have I do find that it helps clear my mind and be able to focus and soak up more than I normally would.

  358. I struggle with being intentional in my Bible study. I’m finding, since I have now made the intention to get back into the Word, this year that favor is finding me. There are times that frustration will try to stop me from getting into my Bible. I try to read my Bible in the morning when I wake up so that I can start my day with a positive attitude. My goal is to be able to read my Bible for at least a hour each day. I am finding that even a few minutes with God is better than none at all. I usually pray after I read my Bible because I can pray that my steps and words are of God and to allow my studies to be incorporated throughout the day.

  359. I couldn’t wait for this study to start because I think we all have a problem with our tongues at one time or another! I too want to become more intentional with my bible study and was excited to see a few ladies mention that they are doing Read through the Word by Wendy Pope but I went to Amazon and there isn’t a book by that title!

  360. I love the reminder to be “intentional” about sharing time with God. Some days my intentions are to do one thing and something else happens that changes what I intended to do that day. But, I know God has plans for me and most of the time, the change in happenings for the day is better for me. 🙂 God is so good.

  361. Kayce Kirkpatrick says:

    I carve outtime for kids, excersize, and tv. However, God and my husband get whats left. And even then God gets the leftover of the leftovers (which often is nothing). I really want to take time each day to dive into His word and even if thats not possible just reading a little to set my day up for success.

  362. Jennifer Ziegenfuss says:

    I am ashamed to admit that I don’t study the Bible regularly. I wasn’t raised in a religious home so it’s never been a habit or routine in my life or my family’s lives. I have tried to get started but either I get overwhelmed and quit or it quickly falls by the wayside. It feels like another duty to accomplish in an already long day. I know I need to change my attitude about it. I know it would be good for my soul and my well being.

  363. I anxiously anticipate my time with the Lord every morning! In fact, it is what gets me out of bed most mornings. My struggle is actually “spending time with the Lord” – I can write in my journal and read my Bible all day long, but if there is no real communication with God, it serves no purpose. There are so many distractions that can pull us away from the intimacy that we so desperately need with our Heavenly Father.

  364. Monica Reid- Gross says:

    My obstacle is making the time a priority!

  365. My New Years resolution this year was to actually spend more time in God’s word….yet, I struggle with intentionally picking up my Bible, opening it, and reading it. As with any other moms out there, the daily distraction of life pulls me in every other direction and yet, when I finally make a little time to myself, that’s when i don’t make time with God, but instead seek to waste my time on something else.
    When I do find time to open my Bible and read it, i do pray before diving into the Word and reading it, for the Holy Spirit to speak to me and ask God what He wants me to hear or learn or even share with others, but more often than not, I find myself at a loss of His true message to me due to distractions. So I pray that I can start to intentionally pick up and open my Bible, every day, and read and learn His word and His way, and to Intentionally start listening to what God wants to tell me.

  366. Ang Leigh says:

    In the past I have struggled a lot with Bible study. What has happened is, things would be going not so good in my life so I would be very intentional about it. Then things would change and I’d feel good and happy and I’d make less and less time being intentional! I’ve learned that even when things are good, I still need time with my Bible and studying the word. I am continually growing and even when, in my mind, all is well, I still have stretching and growing to do. I still need to be shaped and molded to be just like Jesus. So – as I have become intentional, I start my day out with coffee in bed! It’s such a nice quiet relaxing time. I used to dread hearing the alarm go off at 5AM (about 45 minutes earlier than usual) but now I just love it! It gives me a great sense of peace that carries over into my day. I still try to fit in reading and studying before I go to bed, but after a long day of work, exercise, social activities and household obligations, I’m dead tired when I crawl into bed at night! Never do I have to go to bed feeling guilty or limited or like I’ve slacked on my God time. It works great!

  367. I set aside 30 minutes each morning for devotion/study time in the word. I do it at 8:00am every day. It helps me start the day with a positive attitude. I stop many times during the day to say a quick prayer either for me (work is challenging) or for someone in need. I do my OBS during my lunch break normally. I have been doing this for almost a year and my outlook and my relationship with God has changed as a result.

  368. Valerie Jividen says:

    Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study? If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
    I do struggle with being intentional with my Bible study. If I’m honest with myself, I have the time. I just choose to allow distractions to get in the way. My biggest problem is watching too much television. What a waste time!
    Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible? If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
    I’ve set my goal to read every evening after dinner instead of watching television.
    Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?
    Yes! It helps me to center myself and focus on God’s word.

  369. I have gotten into the habit/routine of not praying before I begin to read God’s word. I often pray before that time, but not intentionally directly before I begin. I was reminded (once again) to pray – to ready my mind, to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and to allow God to open my heart to His message. Thank you for the reminder.
    Yes, I am really working on being in God’s word daily – and for me, I’m trying to set aside 3 times a day – the morning, the middle of the day or afternoon and then before bed. I’m still woking on getting into that routine.

  370. It is so amazing how when we plan to sit down to read or study the Bible, my kids start to argue. I really need this study so that the words I use will be a blessing to them.

  371. Lori Wright says:

    My New’s Years resolution for 2014 was to follow a bible reading plan from a local church. I knew that I would accomplish it only if I woke up earlier and started my day in the Word. With the help of God, I was intentional in my quest and never missed a day. I read 47 of the 66 books in the bible last year (which was the plan) and am now in the process of reading the remaining 19. It was an adjustment to my schedule, but I won’t go back. There is nothing better than starting the day in God’s Word!

  372. I think setting time is tricky for me too. Oh, I stay up too late, usually getting mommy stuff down or finishing up work or watching TV (quality time w husband) so I am so tired in the morning. I use to have amazing quiet times when I was single and people would share enjoy your quiet time, because when you marry and have kids it will be hard. Oh, they were right! I do think when I spend time w God my heart is connected to my mouth! Last fall I was involved in too many things from work to volunteering for too much. I was so burn out but had commitments to fulfill. I told my husband from Jan to June I would say no to anything I could day No too. Even though we are not through Jan yet, I can tell I am much happier in my spirit and my mind. Finding my BEST YES! I have mental time to spend w God! I don’t feel short w my husband because I have time to breathe and think. I am working on not yelling at my son, and I hope this book will help me learn even more. I recently had surgery and staying home in my PJ’s has helped me rest too. God is speaking to me that yes I did too much, I was not healthy, I did not leave room for HIM or my family or even me. I focused too much on others. I was crazy super volunteer. I pray I can continue to breathe, rest, enjoy quiet, peace and carve time to hear HIS words. I so long to be healthy! Not just physically but spiritually. Thank you OBS for giving us tools and encouragement to walk w God. You truely are a blessing!

  373. Marlo Mackie says:

    My biggest obstacle would be having 3 small chdren all under 5 and being tired. I have a new goal this year to read my bible and spend time with God before getting out of bed in the morning every day! I receive 2 devotions through my email everyday and that helps I read the devotion and look up the verses on my bible app every morning! But My new goal though is to get up and use my real bible I do think that prayer definitely helps before reading the bible and I pray for the Holy Spirit to help me understand and apply Gods word.

  374. Good Morning, my husband and I are retired. I definitely don’t put my husband before God and he knows this, but I do try to work my reading and prayer time into times when I am free to give my undivided attention and time to God. I have a lot of time now to devote to study time and I love it. I am able to attend two bible studies at our church and work on our website. I am so thankful and content. Growing old with God is a beautiful time. He has revealed we are never too old to learn. 🙂
    Blessings

  375. I tried 5 years ago abd and began starting my day reading God’s word before doing anything else. For the most part that works, but more than I would like to admit, I find a million things to distract me! I find I don’t make enough time to pray first. I need to be more intentional about that! My words this year are gratitude/compassion. I find myself letting my frustrations with my husband and others lead me to grumbling and unkind actions and words. I am trying to be more thankful for God and all He has given me and focus on gratitude for my husband instead of my frustrations. This bible study is just-in-time for me as I am struggling with words I use when frustrated. Mostly I know I need to “keep it shut” a whole lot more than I do. My non-verbal words are another area struggle with!!!

  376. Ericka Taylor says:

    I dread the alarm in the morning as well so it is hard to be a morning devotional person. I have tried to be intentional about reading periodically through the day (I have the email devos to read in the morning, “a Confident Heart” in the bathroom, and then this study on my nightstand to read before bed. Hearing from God is amazing and I desire it more and more- once you experience it, you want more!!! And it is so cool when it’s in HIS timing- bc it is is EXACTLY when it is needed most!

  377. Well I’m some what structured when it comes to the Bible and my daily devotion. It’s about 5 or 6 years now that I wake up, post my “Good Morning Everyone and Be Blessed” along with a scripture picture of some sort, next my daily Bible verse with commentary or prayer and picture also, and finally my Pastor’s daily devotion. All of this on Facebook then Twitter. It’s like clockwork. If I don’t accomplish this first thing after waking up, I struggle with personal guilt until it’s done!! I made the commitment to do this everyday because of how constant God is with each of us. This is me trying to be more like God, constant!
    By the way my Bible is always with me and I use it too…Be Blessed Ladies!

  378. For a number of years now I have made time for God. My time with God usually every morning has been precious. Through a very difficult work experience which I extricated from in December last year spending time with God has been my saving Grace. Allowing God to use me to expose Satan in a “Christian” school standing up for Christ, praying, spending time with God is awesome and rewarding. Other Christians praying in support of my family now Thanking God for a new door to open. We serve a marvelous Savior.

  379. Setting time is hard for me too and I feel like its lways interrupted. I’ve recently enjoyed opening my bible in the kitchen. Reading a chapter and leaving it open for the day. Then as a I pass by and time allows in between the 5 kids demands etc … I can re read and focus on some verses. Keeps in fresh through the day and remind me of what I have read.

  380. becky commer says:

    For many years now I have been reading the Change Your Life Daily Bible. It is set up with some OT and NT, Psalm and Proverbs each day. Even if I miss a day or two, I pick up at the current day. Always a plan and always in God’s Word. I may be im a Bible study or also reading a devotional book like Jesus Calling, but I like to make sure I have read from God’s Word. I do think praying before helps us be focused and listening. Thanks for this omline option b/c I am back working full time and cannot fit in a group Bible study during the week.

  381. This is a great lesson. Life seems to always have a way of getting in the way. Being intentional with my Bible reading & prayer really hits home. Making Him #1 intentionally should always be my priority.

  382. I don’t struggle with having a daily study time. I have quiet time every morning first thing, whenever God wakes me up, which lately has been 5am. It seems the earlier He wakes me the more exciting my Bible time is so I’m learning to enjoy waking up early with excitement even though I am a night owl and most definitely not a morning person! But while I don’t struggle to have my time, I can struggle to use it effectively. Praying before hand makes a HUGE difference for me! Way more revelation when I am intentional about that!! But sometimes I forget and just charge in and then find myself struggling to focus or understand. Or social media distracts me or my dogs or feeling tired, hungry, thirsty, thinking about tasks for the day etc. So that’s my be intentional goal: to pray first and be more focused.

  383. Good morning… Intentional, yes that is my new go to WORD for the month! I have had good intentions, but never would follow through. A Plan…. a list…. yes, I am a list kind of girl, that will help me follow through.
    Early before anyone is up and around. My time… an appointment, me and the Lord. Thank-you for this study it is a blessing already.

  384. I know a lot of people talk about doing their reading in the morning but for me I do a small devotion in the morning and my main reading at night. I am currently doing a “Read through the Bible in 6 months” plan. I do notice a big difference in my attitude when I read my Bible and I feel the filter in my brain works better on my words before I say them. 🙂

  385. Anna Phillips says:

    I make time for God in the morning right after my children leave for school. I have about one hour for prayer, bible reading and devotion before I need to get ready for work. This time sets me up for the day.

  386. Constance Close says:

    This is first part is from the video and the first part of the book, but it ties into today’s lesson.
    “Pause before you Pounce”
    I am thinking I will post this in my home, my car and at work! I am praying that God will burden my heart with a deep desire to pause before reacting to anything or anyone. So happy that He is already fanning this flame.
    My answer to ‘what do I struggle with more…?” Speaking too much. During my devotion and prayer time each day I am making it my goal to be very intentional in praying that I pause before I pounce so that my struggle with speaking too much will become a victory the Holy Spirit has in my desire to die to myself and to live for Christ.

  387. I am like others and struggle with finding time to spend time reading/studying. I am not a morning person, even answering e-mails early don’t often make sense, so I prefer later. It seems Satan truly wants to attack in so many areas as no matter when I sit down someone calls (and I don’t answer unless I know it could be critical) or something happens that I have to go take care of. I am working on getting a best time and really trying to make it a priority.

  388. This sounds a lot like me. i have the desire to know God, i am full of excuses. I am challenged to purpose on having quality time reading the word.

  389. Oh my Melissa you took the words right outofmy mouth!! I feel like I have so much more power from the Spirit to Keep It Shut after I have had that time in the Word every morning!!! I mean yes there are certainly days I fail but his presence feels stronger within me thus causing me to react differently!!! I love this study and we ate only beginning!! #KeepItShut#OBSProverbs31

  390. It’s extremely difficult to focus on the Bible when the kids are up, so when they were still really little I started getting up at 5-5:30 and making them stay in bed until 7:00. I never like to hear the alarm, either, but it’s definitely worth it. I need to be intentional about praying, though. And I have to make sure I’m actually paying attention to the Bible and not simply going through the motions.

  391. Heather W says:

    I do struggle with being intentional on my own. If I have a study I am working through though, I hold myself accountable to the point that I get mad if I miss a day and have to make it up. My days go so much better when I can pray, read His Word, and study in the morning.

  392. Good morning my loving sisters! I woke up this morning at 5:30am to have my quiet time with God. When suddenly I started to sneeze, than coughing and stated to get sick. So I finally was able settle in to start praying I started to get sleepy. I got frustrated! I picked up my phone to check my email! I can relate with all your struggles. I always schedule my quiet time in morning but if something happens and it get interrupt. I continue to make sure I have my time with God. We will always struggle but if we continue no matter our intention will because bold in seeking our Lord ♡♡♡♡Rosemary

  393. I am ashamed to admit it, but it took me a lot of years to get a routine of reading my Bible each morning, and I work hard to keep it from becoming just a routine. I was doing a weekly Bible Study and the leader suggested we pray that the Lord wake us up to spend time with Him in His Word. I started doing that and I began waking before my alarm went off. I have never been a morning person, or I wasn’t until my prayers changed me. And yes, I believe praying before I get into the Word makes a big difference. I know we , as mothers, wives,business owners, we are all crunched for time….that is another thing I have found through prayer. It is amazing how my time can be stretched and I can accomplish everything I need to. I pray that the Lord stretches my time, let’s me accomplish what is needed and lay aside what Isn’t. I have been able to do things that are impossible. An example: I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago, at the time I was beginning to make Christmas ornaments for an elementary school that had no funding for art, and the teachers wanted something for the kids to give their parents. I was doing a few when I got the call. I originally was going to get help from the local college, I made over 2500 clay ornaments in less than 3 days. Not only were the kids provided for, I was given something to occupy my time until I could get myself together emotionally. A task , impossible for one person in that amount of time, but not impossible for God. I tell my grandchildren to commit to one verse a day, if they can do more that is a bonus. Also, to talk to the Lord throughout the day, He wants to be included in everything we do.

  394. Jill Horn says:

    Thanks Melissa for the encouragement today! I too struggle many times with the busyness of life and find that If I don’t intentionally have my devotions first thing in the morning before I turn on all the electronics that take my attention away, I will get busy and not get back to them. So thanks for sharing that. Blessings!! Jill

  395. Intentional. #KeepItShut

  396. I dont want to be always distracted,and not spending enough time with God. He is me All!!! I plan on being more intentional in what time I give Him each day. Thanks for the ideas!

  397. I just need to say that I need a radical change in my life. I will try the suggestions, along with fasting. I want to be intentional about respecting with words. I’ve tried reading about it, praying about it, and when the trial comes, I forget sometimes or many times. I’m weary of trying to change… yesterday I read some changes will come with the help of the power of God – the Holy Spirit. I pray that as I spend more time seeking God, being constant, and doing every good suggestion, I can finally be able of having restraint of my tongue. I am tired of feeling as if I’m loosing the battle over my goal to change. I am a warrior from now on, God’s warrior, and I will not let discouragement take over me. I will put on God’s armor, to become the woman he wants me to be – according to God’s word.

  398. Tiffany R says:

    My problem is not in finding the time but in knowing what to read or study. I am hoping this bible study helps me in that way – to figure out where God wants me in the bible. And yes, praying does help me with my quiet time so that I prepare my heart for whatever the Lord does lead me to. Thank you!

  399. Kcaroline says:

    I have consistently struggled with making God’s Word a priority in my everyday life! I often fight feeling like a failure in this area! Of all people I should have this down!!! I was raised in a Christain home (my dad was and still is a pastor), and now I am married to a pastor. We have five children, so I NEED alone time with the Lord! Instead of using these as instruments to push me towards that time alone, I often allow them to become my “reasons” why I don’t have time.
    I am super excited to begin this P31 OBS on the tongue! Thank you!

  400. Tiffany Hobbs says:

    My biggest obstacle to reading my bible at home everyday is definitely my 3 kiddos. I am only home after work for a few house before it is bed time so I have to use my limited time there to be with them as much as possible. My goal this year has been to read my bible at work. I have an hour for lunch everyday and I have been determined to bring my lunch to work, so I don’t have to leave, and read while I eat. Most days that has worked out great!

  401. Hello everyone. I have struggled with making time for god myself for a few weeks now. I do pray everyday and night thank him for the blessings of a new day and helping me through hard times. Since my back went other the 1st is December and I couldn’t move or go to church or do anything but cry I have struggled with getting back to church my two babies don’t sleep much at night so I end up over sleeping in the mornings and miss church. And I know it’s my fault because I do set an alarm. I need to get my heart right again.

  402. I have to set aside time first thing in the morning to spend time with God or I won’t do it at all. I let the things of the day distract me and by the end of the day I realize that my day went the way it did because I didn’t start it with God!! I know how important it is and want to be better at being intentional with my time with Him!!!

  403. Thanks so much for this ministry. I am trying to be more intentional about time with Jesus. It makes such a difference in my day when I spend time alone with God. He is good!! Praise be to him!!

  404. I do struggle with being intentional to make time to be with God, there is always something that is more demanding of my time. I have begun setting some time aside right after my husband and daughter are out of the house for the day. I’ve also started writing down the verses that I’ve read that day and try to go over them throughout the day. Writing them down seems to help me make that extra time and now I look forward to my time with my Heavenly Father instead of it being a chore.

  405. I see the difference I myself when I am intentional. My struggle is keeping up with it. I’ll have a set time every day and then somehow allow myself to fall off of it. I almost instantly can see the change in my attitude. This study came at perfect timing. I don’t have the book yet but have been blessed by the discussion.

  406. I think I will put the word INTENTIONAL everywhere – it applies to so many things for me! My time in the Word, my prayer time and just putting aside the busyness of everyday to be intentional about even making time for friends! I love my job and often I lose track of time and have missed opportunities to be with others! SO I have started putting it on my calendar and set with reminders! Now its an auditory reminder – and now I can #beintentional about Bible Study, reading the Word and my prayer time!

  407. Petra Earhart says:

    Good Morning OBS ladies, seems like i try so hard and then just when I start the interruptions come flying at me. I try to stay focused but sometimes it seem very weak. Trying harder harder to get mp priorities right. Thank you Jesus for loving me!!!!

  408. I struggle in finding time to read the bible and take some quiet time to talk to Jesus. This is something I am trying to change this year. My goal is to set aside time every day and to mediate in his word.

  409. Jenny Mullen says:

    I love to do my Bible study, and I am totally intentional about doing it. But there are obstacles that keep me from being able to follow through with my intention. I typically like to do my Bible study in the evenings. It helps me wind down and leads me into a calm before I go to sleep. I really love doing my Bible study. I also really love my five year old and my 10 month old, but they are usually my biggest obstacles to Bible study. I absolutely hate thinking of them in that way because I do love them very much…more than anything…and they bring such joy to my life. But they go constantly, they talk constantly. If everything falls into place the way it is supposed to around 7:30 p.m., with my oldest watching her bedtime show and my youngest sitting with his dad in the front room, I can sit in my bed and pray, read my Bible and my Bible study book. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. This week, one of my children is in the middle of an asthma flare-up, so expecting everything to “fall into place” in the evenings isn’t going to happen. This week, as soon as my body hits my bed, I’m done for the night. My brain is done, and exhausted. But I’m genuinely trying to do my best. I definitely understand the need to be intentional about Bible study, and how obstacles can make it difficult. We just all have to hang in there! God is with us and He totally gets it! He loves us because of our imperfections, not in spite of them. God bless!

  410. Diana Martin says:

    Good morning ladies
    I wake up early and make coffee to have my Jesus and coffee time. My struggle is looking at my emails and Facebook post before I have my bible study. I have done that again this morning. I am enjoying this bible study and desire to renew my mind with studying and memorizing scriptures to have my thoughts and words line up with the Word of God. Yes I do believe it helps to pray first so The Holy Spirit guides and directs us to hear His voice and after I read to listen and hear His voice. Thank you so much. Diana

  411. I find that I have to be intentional with my time with God. The best time is before I start my day because I found that often the things I need to get through the day He provides if I make the time with Him meaningful. My schedule and other issues threw me off some days and I loose sight of my priorities.
    The daily devotions the great, but I have begun to no go use on at least a word of the day and prayer is a must. I don’t want to just read God’ word or devotional I want hear what He has for me.

  412. Dale Smarr says:

    I work full time as a school nurse. It really does seem like I can’t find the time to read my Bible and really study. I hang Bible verses on the wall beside my desk and try to look at them throughout my day. Thank you for providing these daily devotionals and studies. This week I am going to try and be more “intentional” Thanks

  413. Joella Brooks says:

    I am homebound, so I have plenty of time to read my Bible. I just have problems with staying focused. I have so much on my mind. I worry about having enough money at the end of the month, enough food, am I getting enough sleep, am I getting too much sleep? I get tired easily, especially during the day because I don’t sleep very well at night. When I do settle in to read my Bible, I get distracted easily, by my cockatiel wanting attention, my mind wandering to other things, back pain, etc. I need to pray more often, before reading God’s word. Maybe that will help.

  414. I feel the best time for me to be intentional in God’s word and really listen to Him is first thing in the morning. I love getting up while the house is quiet and just having that time in the Word! But, some mornings, I’m not so intentional and its easier to sleep in, or there are just too many things going on to spend the time that I would like to spend in my Bible. On those days, I definitely miss that time. I am trying to be more intentional every day! Thank you so much for this study and your encouragement!

  415. Nicci Ramirez says:

    I get up every morning at 3am to read my Bible and pray before starting my day at work at 5am. Sometimes it is a struggle. I am tired. I am distracted. I am discouraged. But I know my soul needs to be in His Word and my days are so much better when my mind is planted in Truth.

  416. Love reading everyone’s comments…gives me more energy…thanks to all. For me…it is early morning. I love having my coffee with the Lord. Some morning times are longer than others…and I have learned that is ok…even 5 minutes exclusively with the Father sets my heart and mind for the rest of my day. I love to be tuned into Him each day…talk with Him a lot these days. Important to also note…my child is grown…I am retired…and can find more time. I must be very honest with all of you younger ones…when I worked…much different scenario. It took a long time for me to discover I could find time for God and me…once I discovered the moments each day…I told myself that was my reward…to have Me time with the Lord!

  417. I also find it hard to make time for my quiet time. I am not a morning person and already have to get up early for daily life. I am trying to focus on my relationship with God and improving my health (which means finding time for exercise) this year. I am finding that I have to schedule both of these things like any other appointment in my calendar or the day slips away.

  418. Good Morning! I do spend time reading the bible every day early in the morning before my day starts. Some mornings my alarm is set at 3:20 am and some at 4:40 depending on my work schedule. As a matter of fact, sometimes I don’t want to leave my “quiet room” and get ready for work or the day – I wish I had more time to sit still and listen to God. I love that when I get into work I have an encouragement for the day from P31 Ministries – and the P31 OBS to read. I had a calendar for last year that had a bible verse on each month. I memorized the bible verses for the 12 months and I like to say them each morning before I get out of bed along with a short prayer that I open my heart to God and commit my life to Him. I love to read the psalms every day. Some days are hard to focus though and thoughts of everything to do crowd my mind. I’m working on “talking” with God throughout each day. I struggle sometimes with stopping before I say something to make sure it is said kindly – I love the zipper on keep it shut! Thank you ladies for sharing – this is a blessing to me.

  419. Maria t candelaria says:

    Really needed this study thank you

  420. I am intentional with this bible study. I need to learn all that I can from it.
    I normally TRY to read my bible at night before bed but end up not getting around to it because I’m too tired. This is something I need to work on. I think I’m going to make it in the morning either when I can’t fall back asleep after my husband goes to work or after I drop off the two kids that go to school at school. It seems to be quiet enough then to get it done.
    I don’t think I have ever prayed before reading my bible so this is something new I’m going to try and pray it changes my bible reading life.

  421. Love the word Intentional! Intent !

  422. I get up around 6 am as I eating my breakfast I start ,my morning prayers and that includes reading the bible. Maybe just 20 verses out of 2 different book. I Have an hour commute each way to work. Most of the time if not listening to a book I will listen to bible. I also fall asleep to listening to the Bible. My biggest obstacle is sitting still & listening to God after I read.I usually wake up inviting God into my day and surrendering my will, my emotions and my day to him.

  423. I am intentional with this bible study. I need to learn all that I can from it.
    I normally TRY to read my bible at night before bed but end up not getting around to it because I’m too tired. This is something I need to work on. I think I’m going to make it in the morning either when I can’t fall back asleep after my husband goes to work or after I drop off the two kids that go to school at school. It seems to be quiet enough then to get it done.
    I don’t think I have ever prayed before reading my bible so this is something new I’m going to try and pray it changes my bible reading life. – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/2015/01/28/i-did-it-on-purpose/#comment-289334

  424. Adrienne Hurd says:

    I am currently reading The Daily Bible and loving it!!! I am ashamed to say that I have never really prayed before reading my Bible…on that note…I am going to start that NOW! 🙂

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Don’t be ashamed Adrienne. I found it very helpful in my studies. I’m so glad you’re here with us.

  425. rose Tolentino says:

    thanks you so much for this study, it is an enlightenment and encouragement to many like me. I sometimes struggle to have a commitment studying Gods word. To be honest, I felt what you are saying here and feeling guilty. I really appreciated this study. 🙂 It’s not to late to start all over again. Pray for me .God Bless Everyone

  426. Natalie Braun says:

    Holy Spirt, please let me hear you! This month I’ve been praying for Wisdom! It says. If we ask we will get it! (James 1.5)
    So here am I knowing I need to speak to a friend that’s doing this I know break Gods (and yes my heart!) yet she’s avoiding me! She cancelling our ‘dates’ Abe clearly doesn’t want to talk to me! I feel she’s knows-well I know she knew, I’ve told her in the past. But anyways, what do you do, if you feel you have to talk but the other person avoids you?

  427. Bolaji Adeyemi says:

    I have been struggling with being intentional on reading through the word of God this year, and I started with Genesis, but now I am able to find out why I have not being consistent. The major reason among others, is drifting away. In the middle of reading the bible and I see a write up or a book that fascinates me I usually leave the reading to another reading, precisely not one target before acquiring another target. Jack of all trades kind of.

  428. Diana Behnke says:

    Great message to us and many wonderful challenges that I am going to do! I seem to find time for everything else in my life and using the excuse I don’t have time to get Into God’s word just isn’t true. I get up early and try to get my quiet time in before everyone else gets up so I’m not interrupted. Many times I hit the alarm because I’m so tired. Maybe if I go to bed earlier, that wouldn’t be the case?? I also a don’t go on social media until I have spent time alone with God! So thankful for these gentle reminders to be intentional!!

  429. I have found that the most amazing thing happens when I pray, I mean really pray…get deep into it, truly seeking God’s face and His word, giving myself up to Him and surrendering my heart, soul, and mind…He speaks to me through His word. I can be dealing with any number of life’s little stresses, and I will always be guided to scripture to help put things in perspective, to remind me that I am not alone in this battle. God is with me. Great things happen when we listen to God’s voice and not our own.

  430. I really try to be intentional with my time with the Lord and His Word. I usually read His word first thing in the morning. I have various devotionals come to my emails and also use those along with reading the word. Throughout the day, as I am driving I try to use praise and worship music to minister to me as well. Often times my mind wanders and I must refocus in prayer, but I ask for forgiveness and try to continue. And often during my hard and difficult days (as is the case now) I try despartely to stay in God’s word but can become a little saddened when my situation does not change; but I still read His word, pray, and enlist my sisters and brothers in the Lord to lift me up

  431. I often sit down to spend time with God but struggle for the following reasons:
    – lack of direction: I pray or write to Him what I am experiencing and feeling but often feel lost as to where to start with Scripture- I went to seminary and was often so focused in my study and now when I am not studying a specific book I can often feel directionless
    – distraction: my phone, undone tasks, thoughts, etc
    – distance from God that I feel

    I do not have a scheduled time because my work schedule is different everyday, so that may add to the feeling of lack of direction

    Thanks for this study

    • The beauty Casey is that there is not really a structured pattern when it comes to your time with Christ. You say you pray. Start there, so pray for His guidance and just open His word and start reading. That still small voice will speak in some manner. God bless you.

  432. Michelle Ward says:

    I’m really enjoying this study. I just started making my husband lunch before work and it forces me to get up an hour earlier than I would normally wake up for the day. The first day I thought I could work out with the extra time, second day I decided to just sit on the couch and watch TV ( which I never do) and today God laid it on my heart its a perfect time for Bible study. Wow! What a great idea. House is quiet, no distractions. No better way to start my day! Thank you Jesus

  433. Amanda Hodge says:

    I find it hard and is because if i don’t get it done by 7am the. Am getting my daughter to school and then seems like a million people need me. This has become even more of a problem since my small chrch has given me more and more responsibility. I need to just set a time that i am unavailable. Only problem there is if i don’t answer the phone they come to the house ringing bell and yelling i kniw you are there. They don’t stop til i answer. Yiu would think being leaders in the church they would understand when you tell them is your time with God byt no their problems are more important even if been going on for weeks.

  434. Finding time to schedule in bible and prayer time I used to think was such a hard task for me. With having 6 kids and a husband and messy house every day I just felt overwhelmed by my “to do” list. Then I went to a retreat last year the message was concerning Martha and Mary and how Martha who loved God with all her heart but also had her “to do” list, was stressed before Jesus came. Now Mary was the opposite and was just still and in His presence. All that to say God used this story to help me see that being more of a Mary pleases God. All the chores and kids and hubby are important but our God is way more important. Ever since then I have been more intentional with my study and am happy to say my Husband has been following along and is now being more intentional himself. Now we keep each other accountable and get into the word together with our children.
    I have begun praying everyday the moment my feet hit the floor, I say a little praise and pray for my morning with the children and that I am able to show His love to them before they head out to a day in the world. He gives me strength!

    God Bless

  435. I am a morning girl so do my reading then before I start my day. But still make it intentional. there are times I can start my day way too quickly. Then it is easy to miss one day, then two and so one. I like it to start with God and get quiet. Your day just flows so much better. So much better. Thank you for the reminder to be intentional.

  436. I find time and the interruptions of life to be my biggest obstacle as well. I try to spend my time with God first thing in the morning as I notice it drives my day down a much more positive path. I will sometimes spend more time with him right before bed as My husband spends his time with God right before bed. While obviously the main value In this is our time with Him, I love that my daughter sees her daddy laying in bed reading the Bible and her mama starting the day with the Lord. She has now started reading her Bible in bed each night; solely on her own decision.

  437. Miranda Simpson says:

    Being intentional with my walk with God is one of my resolutions. I do struggle with time and even when the time is put in, I don’t do quiet and still well. I pray all through the day. But the time I actually listen is limited. I’m working on that with intent. I’m using my youversion app to read the Bible in a year plan. I usually do this at night before bed. I read a daily verse in the morning. So the reading and praying I get in. It’s the listening I must get better about!

  438. I am loving this study! It is truly an answer to my prayers. I need help in this area and I know from experience this tongue can’t be tamed! Not by me anyway:). This post grabbed my attention because my word for 2015 is Intentional. I need to be intentional to spend time in prayer and in the Word. It is so true that our words reflect our time spent with God or convey we haven’t spent time with Him. Boy, do I know this truth! Would you be praying for me friends that I am INTENTIONAL about getting before God, depending on Him to bridle my tongue and give me words that edify and are a blessing rather than tear down? I so want to please Him in all I do, but specifically I want my words to please Him and bless others. So excited to study and grow with y’all!

  439. This Bible Study is so timely. But then, the Lord is in control! Thank you for starting the study by reminding us of our priorities. God should always come first. I am a school teacher and get home from school between 3:30 and 4:30. I am committing to exercising for 30 minutes as soon as I get home and my “cool down” will be spent intentionally in God’s Word. Our family is presently undergoing a trial that we pray will end up glorifying the Lord. My responsibility is to listen to what God is asking me to do. I am excited about this study and a committed time to be with my First Love on a daily basis.

  440. INTENTIONAL !!! A word that is so easily used, but yet hard to do! I love this post as it hit so many great points and the comments left have been so helpful. I have set so many goals for myself to be intentional in my time with God and my readings, but I think I set to many goals and then feel like a failure when I don’t meet them. I am going to be “intentional” about not setting myself up for failure and start with a smaller goals and move up from there. I do make it a point to surround myself with verses that I have posted on my desk at work. I pray on my way into work and as I am driving I look around to see all the wonderful and amazing things God has blessed us with. I am looking forward to this study and hearing more from everyone.
    Blessings to all of you struggling with the same things I am. Love all the encouraging comments!!!

  441. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I have a scheduled time each and every day that I get up and read my Bible. That time is at 5:30 in the morning. As soon as I get the cats fed and taken care of I sit down and get my devotional and prayer book out and read and pray. Then I tackle the Bible in one year. It has been so good to really get to God this way. I am finding that things are so much better and I am becoming stronger in my walk with God. He is sustaining me through all that we have going on. Granted life is not perfect, but it is keeping my eyes on the one who sustains me. I am fortunate that I have begin reading the King James Version and really getting the meat of the matter. It so helps to pray before I tackle the Bible. God speaks through his pages to me each and every day.

  442. Wow!! What a beautiful segment!! I love your heart and your honesty! Thank you for sharing!!
    My greatest struggle in being intentional is the obstacle of social media. I try to set a time frame to look through my friends posts and such to see if any of them have mentioned prayer requests. Being a procrastinator, I tend to brush off my “time limit” and get lost in the numerous posts and links. I have a scheduled time frame to have my quiet time every day. I set my alarm to get up at 3:30 every morning. I get up, work out and then spend the remainder of the time prior to getting ready for work with God. The snooze button is a curse though!! When I hit the snooze, then I feel guilty if I don’t get my “scheduled” routine accomplished. When I do, though…God is amazing! I always feel so incredibly blessed and more like He wants me to be. It seems He always has a very pertinent message for me in that time and it is so amazing to see Him work through those messages in my heart throughout the day!
    I do find that it helps to pray before I get into my quiet time. I feel that it opens my heart, mind, and soul to what God has for me that day. I try to praise Him for all He has done and lead me through. I always try to ask Him to direct me in His message for the day. I feel that praying before I enter my time in the Bible prepares my heart to better hear Him.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Mandy,

      I’m guilty of getting lost on social media too. It is such a distraction in my time with God. I need to leave my phone somewhere else when I’m studying!

  443. Becki Woodsmall says:

    I probably have an advantage here because my five children are adults now and after making the difficult decision to retire from my teaching position, I have more time than most. I love my quiet time with the Lord first thing in the morning!
    Ladies, I encourage you to do what you can with the time you can. It all counts!! God knows your schedule!

  444. Jill Howard says:

    I usually intend to have some time in the morning to start my day off well. Unfortunately, it is often interrupted by waking children and the craziness of starting a new day. It’s hard cause I try to be flexible on those days, so sometimes it fits in other places sometimes not. I also don’t want to be legalistic. Been there, done that. No fun! I know that God meets me anytime and that is what I trust in as my days are filled with my husband, four boys, and homeschooling.

  445. I find that I spend more time reading my devotions and FB Christian blogs than I do reading my Bible. I should start with the Bible first, then go to other sources. The Lord is telling me to give up a half hour program I watch every night to read my blogs so I can start each morning with The Word!

  446. Rosemsarie Flores says:

    Due to my crazy schedule, raising two kids under 8 years old, my husband working in sales and my being a counselor, having a consistent time with God has become more and more crucial to my survival. Before starting a new job in October, I had an extremely difficult time with consistency in my life. I worked as a Crisis Counselor and I felt myself drained due to the crazy schedule and the lack of consistent time with God. Knowing that this job was not sustainable for my health, or that of my family, God opened the doors to a more consistent place of work, which now allows for a more consistent time in God’s presence.
    I am grateful for my time in his presence, every morning from 8:30-9:30, while I sit at my desk with worship music in my ears and my Proverbs 31 Woman devotionals.
    Due to this I am a better counselor, mother and wife, because I am tapping into the source of strength for the type of work I do and I am no longer reliant on myself or my coworkers for daily source of strength.

  447. Yes, I struggle with making time for Bible study. There are many obstacles, or choices….Work, Family, Making Dinner, House Cleaning, Laundry, Driving Kids Around, TV, Social Media, Sleep…..You get the idea, things we have to do, and the things we choose to do. Its a good thing that God, doesn’t get side tracked! I have not been consistent with reading my bible, but I would like to start with 15 minutes a day. Just perfect for those times that I am waiting to pick up my daughter. Do I really need to check FB, one more time? Not!

  448. I love spending time in the word . This has within recent months become the desire of my heart . Will soon be 72 in May , so my children have moved on and have there own families . My days are relatively free to do what I want . Although I have some health issue that set my boundaries I praise God and trust in him for my supply . I have a deep hunger for the things of God , I only regret ( and yet there are no regrets for those who know him as their Savoir and Lord ) that I waited this long to realize how much he loves ME, and is the life inside me and his well of living waters replenish me and give life each day. Loving him more each day and living in the presence of God.

  449. Brenda Alberts says:

    I make time every day to do my Bible studies and read my Bible. It is not always the same time, but I do it when the house is quiet and I can focus. My goal is to spend as much time with the Word as I do with my training (training for an ironman). My worry is I am starting a new job soon and I am worried I will not have as much time as I have been, to devoting to my reading. I am going to take my Bible with me to work to read over my lunch hour, but I have to be intentional to read it and not get drawn in by social groups at lunch. I do not pray before I study but I am going to. I believe it will help me hear what God is trying to tell me or teach me.

    • Donna Fink says:

      Wow! Congratulations on your training for an Ironman event. I am a runner and that is a huge commitment. I struggle with the time I spend running and time spent with God. If I am totally honest, I would skip reading my Bible or prayer time much faster than I would skip a run. I know that is not honoring to God. I will definitely pray that God would redeem both of our times during the day and help us to find time that we didn’t even know we had.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Brenda, this is so wonderful! I love these ideas. Ironman….You. Go. Girl!!!!!!

  450. Diana Martin says:

    I also love the word intentional. I want to put God first and read His Word before I do anything else. I intentionally got rid of cable yesterday and uped my speed on my internet so I can watch Christian TV and Christian music. I also love Dr. Caroline Leaf, neuroscientist, studies on the mind and how science is backing how our brains work to renew our minds. It is really exciting. She has a program on TBN on Tuesday mornings At 10:00 am. I just ordered. Her bible study book and 3 DVDS to teach at my ladies bible study. A friend found her on Kenneth Copelands show and we watched the first of 10 videos on Monday. So last nights with no TV, I watched several of her programs, praise the Lord, and I intentionally on purpose setting my mind to grow and change my mind from wrong thinking. God is so good. Diana

  451. Hi there! Quickly letting you be aware that to email to a friend will not enable. Thank’s!

  452. I do struggle with being intentional in my Bible/God time. I have so much in my life, the biggest is homeschooling my kids, that I do not feel like I get enough “me” time. Just to do what “I” want. My precious time with God for the last few years has felt like it is just another check mark on my list of to do things. I do not invite Him to be with me or take the time to be with Him. I do have morning times set apart. I get up earlier than the rest of the family, but a lot of times a book or even FB becomes my go to. My goal is to “intentionally” spend time with God. Not as a check mark, but because I long to deepen my relationship with Him. It is a gift and a privlige to be able to have God here with me, inside my soul. I do not want to take that for granted.

  453. Melva Taylor says:

    My word is intentional. Setting time to engage in his word,praying.

  454. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    I always have difficulty with following through. I set myself up with opportunities to read the Word–I get devotionals in my email; I get verses on my phone. But, too many days, I do not use the tools I have ready. I need to go back to using a break time at work to read the Word and just be still. It does go better when I do so.

    Thanks for this. It really speaks to me.

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  455. Donna Fink says:

    If I am totally honest, I am not intentional about much when it comes to my relationship with God. I definitely invest more time in friends and activities than I do with God. My struggle is with a desire to do anything about it. That is one of the main reasons I have joined this Bible study. I need to be more intentional about a lot of things in my life and especially my relationship with the Lord!

    • Thank you for your honesty. I too struggle with being intentional and also with the desire to do something about it. I want the results of change without actually DOING something about it.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Donna, I’m praying for you sweet one! Thank you SO much for sharing!

  456. Courtney