Saturday, January 30, 2016

Word of the year + How I study the bible

Choosing a word, one little word for 2016, is a huge task for anyone.  However, I like to choose a word that is really going to help me focus, and make some big changes in my life.  Usually though, it is also something very close to my heart, but also very hard to share.  My word for 2016 is Courage.

Since the loss of my daughter, many have said and continue to say the strength I have, and the courage I have to continue on.  The positivity I have, and the happiness I portray, all there front and center.  Let's be honest though, things are never as they seem on the surface.  Strength and courage are the last two words to come to mind when I think of the last 11 years of my life.  Pain, grief, suffering, sensitive, emotional, are what comes to mind, but first and foremost, LOVE is always right there first.  Front and center.  

I can only assume looking in from the outside many see this bubbly outgoing person, which honestly as time goes on I am finding again.  Someone who loves bright colors, and happy things, and lets please not forget unicorns.  Sadly, I would not be who I am today without all of the hurt, all of the tears, and sacrifices made, and surely not without God and Madi.

Courage seems to fit for this year.  It is the first year, I really want to take some big leaps and bounds. With friendships, with traveling, with creating, and with my bible studies.  I want to open all the windows I have kept close for so long, due to fear of the unknown.

Bible Studies can be confusing, especially for a newbie.  Sometimes you truly need to catch them when they start, and others it is hard to be so in depth when you are not in a physical group to ask questions, work through study guides, etc.  Anyone else feel that way?  I could be alone in this. but I wanted to show you how I deal with this on a very personal level.

Truth be told, PTSD has greatly affected my ability to be able to grasp knowledge, especially new.  That does not stop me for two seconds though, there is just a process I need to go through so it can dissolve.  I think this can help you or anyone really, but especially those who are like me.  Reading was always a nemesis of mine, simply put, I would need to re-read what I had just read 3 to 4 times just to understand what all those letters formed together were trying to say.  Many times I would re-read books twice, or write it down, highlight, and then try to memorize it so my brain could finally understand what in the world was happening.  As I got older, the process simplified, and reading has gotten somewhat easier, and I really enjoy it as an adult.  With bible study, or anything I am attempting to learn, I grab the cutest notebook I can find and go to town.  For my bible, I pick a book of the bible.  Currently that the book of Isaiah.  Spending hours copying word for word into my journal, adding little bits and bobs here and there, adding wash tape to the edges, because this is what helps me to dissolve all of this information I am taking in.  Once I get through a chapter, I go into my bible and use bible marking to highlight each different word that holds meaning, and once that is done I re-read it.  Does it take me more time than so-and-so to get through it?  Absolutely!  Is it worth it?  YOU BET!

Yes I know, I can go over board with ephemera, but um its cute, so we will just have to leave that alone mmmkay?

Find a system that works for you, and use it intentionally every single day.  Repetition in itself makes any process easier, especially when studying the bible.  Read. Write. Grow.  Oh and hot chocolate with marshmallows and a peppermint stick, because hot chocolate.

There are many, MANY great resources to help you get into a groove, I think personally it is taking the time and being diligent about your studies that is really the first step to anything.  Let's be honest! I am no pro, but I am a learner just like the next person.  If you have any specific questions, please do let me know, but I think you've got a grasp!  What is your system?  Share it with me below in the comments!

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