Monday, 2 September 2013

Organising your life: spiritual life

Welcome to this five day series arranged by Caroline at the Joyful Keeper around organising life. I'm a learner at this and am looking forward to learning from the other ladies who are posting. Some of these posts will be ideas that have worked well for me and others are more about where I would like to be! I will try to be clear about what has definitely worked and what is just aspirational.

The topics are

  • spiritual life
  • laundry
  • chores
  • meals
  • home-schooling
Today's theme is organising your spiritual life.

The most important thing to say about this is that the spiritual life is a relationship with a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we don't know and love Him, then all the organising in the world is useless. How do we know and love Him? His Word, the Bible tells us about Him and if we have trusted in Him, to forgive our wrong doings/thoughts and words then we will love Him.  The services marked "Evening evangelistic" on this site, explain this in much more depth and clarity.

For those who do know and love the Lord Jesus, that spiritual life can take some organisation. Without taking time and care, we will find that we have no time to talk to Him in prayer or read the Bible. This isn't a made up idea. The Bible tells us that God is a God of order and the Psalms talk about praying at set times of day.

Our best attempts at organising can be especially thrown by babies and young children so these thoughts are particularly around this time of life.

I have found it really useful to have a couple of set times, at the beginning and end of the day for time with the Lord.
Yes, children do interrupt but they can learn, from an early age, that this is time when Mum needs some quiet. They can have quiet books to look at during this time. When all else has failed, I have occasionally changed my Bible reading to a portion of one of the Gospels about a miracle and read that aloud to the child and myself.
Yes, rarely a child can be ill,at this time, and need sorting out. Yes, this can and does happen but realistically, over almost 20 years of motherhood, this is the exception.
Yes, I can be tired and find concentration difficult. This has been, for me, a more major factor particularly, when the children have been little and I have had to get up to them in the night. This is difficult. Things that have helped me are

  • a regular Bible reading scheme. I use the version of Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Bible reading scheme. This is available on line or as an app. This has two chapters a day for personal reading and two for family reading. Reading two whole chapters a day at family worship with toddlers may be difficult-M'Cheyne was unmarried when he died aged 27. Other than this, the scheme is excellent.

  • writing things down. I found Journibles after the time when my children were babies but they are helpful.
  • a short exposition to go with the Bible reading. Ryle's Expositions of the Gospels are especially useful. Do try to buy the older hardback versions rather than the paperbacks as they last so much longer although they are now available free on line either as a print download or as an audiobook. I haven't listened to the audiobook so can't vouch for the quality of the reading.
  • learning some Scripture to meditate on. More on this later.
  • reading aloud. My husband usually works very late which means that we generally read the Bible and pray together at around 1am. I am not good at this time of day and frequently/usually fell asleep until we realised that it might be better if I read the reading rather than listened. 
Through the day
Life can be challenging for us all! We need the Lord's help through the day but it is so easy to forget to ask or to rely on our own strength. 
I'm not as good at this as I ought to be but things that have helped me are
  • learning Scripture.
  • putting up cards with Scripture in the house.
  • having a set Bible time with the children. This isn't just for the children but is a time when we can talk to the Lord and His Word can speak to us. Often a children's devotional book can speak to the parent too. I've found Leading Little Ones to God useful in this respect.
Memorising Scripture
I am profoundly grateful that my parents taught us portions of Scripture. This is something that I think is useful for my children too but there can be benefit for mothers. I try to learn alongside my children. Often, I may know the first part of the portion that we are learning but try to learn the next part. My children love to test me!
Having a verse memorised is particularly helpful during childbirth and afterwards. I struggle emotionally for the year after my children are born. One thing that has really been a comfort has been having Scripture to think about and chew on rather than depressed and anxious thoughts. After my youngest,  1 Peter 2 verse 7 was something that was a real comfort:
Unto you therefore which believe He is precious

and after one of the older children 
Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help. 
Psalm 146v5

I've found that I find it easier to remember and think about something short at these times.

Do pop over to the other ladies who are writing on this theme. Click on the blog buttons to go to the sites.
This blog hop has been arranged by Caroline of the Joyful Keeper.

The other people taking part areHeidi St John of the Busy Mom.


Lisa at the newly relaunched Tales of a Homeschool Family.

Amy of Raising Arrows

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Please join us. There is a linky at Caroline's site, if you want to add your own posts on Organising your Spiritual Life.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! You covered some really important things, that I was just thinking about AFTER publishing my post this morning! This is what I love about blog hops - between us we can cover so many varied things. x

  2. This is really great Sarah! Thanks for sharing your ideas and experience

  3. Can you get Journibles in the UK? They look amazing, I've never heard of them before.

    1. I have managed to buy them from a Christian bookshop before but couldn't find them there today. There are several listed on The one on Psalms is a rather silly price but many of the others are sold for quite reasonable prices.

  4. Thanks Sarah, I bought the Romans one from Amazon. It arrived today (although I have just spelt apostle wrong in the first verse! - my spelling is atrocious :( ). Never mind, keeps me humble! Thanks again for posting about them.

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who can't spell! Hope you find the Journible useful.