When we do a physical workout, we do reps to build muscle and gradually become stronger. The same principle applies to our spiritual workout. The more reps we do, the stronger we become in our faith..
Repetition is a way we learn many life skills…riding a bike, driving a car, sewing, or playing an instrument. The same is true for memorizing prayers or scripture.
As we enter each new month, we have the opportunity to make a fresh start or to renew those dusty New Year’s resolutions. It takes some daily discipline to create some consistent Quiet Time habits.
Do you have a monthly devotional that you’ve been intending to do?
Maybe you have a trusted one that you’ve read over and over?
We’ve created a special 2-page template to consolidate key verses from any devotional or topic you’re diving into a little deeper.
I’ll be walking you through a personal search on Quiet that I did a couple years ago as an example. This is another rep technique: do a previous workout series again and rekindle those muscle memories!
You can follow along with us on #31daysofquiet or select your own topic.
Kickoff is October 1st!
Download template pages from our shop and print on card stock. Cut to fit your 7 x 10 #biblequiltjournal page. Use adhesive to attach it to the page and reinforce the edges with washi tape if you’d like.
If you don’t have a Bible Quilt journal yet, you can still do the loose pages.
Choose your topic and embellish the title as you’d like. I use this time to slow down and focus on this singleconcept, praying that the Lord will show me a way to adopt this into my daily rhythm.
You have the option of numbering the spaces on the template as you go or prep in advance.
Basic Format of #31daysof_____
Read your devotional for the day. Allow it to soak in. If you get to the end and realize you were too distracted, read it again.
Bible Quilt your selected verse: Choose any block where you’d like to start. Keep in mind that some of your longer verses might not fit completely. Pare them down to key phrases and include the reference so you can go back to the whole verse and read it in a fuller context later.Pray. I try to pray that the Lord guide me this day, using this verse in some way..
If you’d like to make a flip-card set to carry in your purse or keep in your car, write today’s verse on an index card and add another one to your set each day. This rep of writing it again will help it settle into your spirit.
Enjoy this journey, friend. Allow yourself grace if your designated Quiet Time gets sidetracked. Team up with a friend to keep up the momentum!
This picnic table is one of my favorite places to do my devotions and create in my Bible Quilt journal.
I like to settle in with my colorful supplies, enjoying nature and an occasional wave with neighbors, while I have my Quiet Time.
My current reality, however, is reflected in this 2nd picture: NOT much is going on in this little spot these days!
Summer heat has marched back in with a vengeance, the ants have developed some impressive infrastructure all around the base of #theturquoisetable, and my schedule has been squeezed from a lot of different directions lately.
As I walked past this spot yesterday, I was reminded that we need to hold our routines loosely. Although this is still my favored space in the yard, I’m just not able to visit it as frequently as I’d like during this season of family life. I have to release my expectations of all the time I could be spending here to be more fully present in other areas right now. I’m somewhat grudgingly relinquishing it to the charmed squirrels who picnic here in my absence.
We all know about self-care during stressful times, but the gritty truth is that it’s one of the first things to slip through the cracks.
– – – Stewarding our emotional resources is vital in seasons of stress.
I’ve been experimenting with some ways to squish my rhythms of self-care in the chinks between tangible agenda items. Maybe one of these will resonate with you…
Pay attention to what really FILLS you up. Cling to that even if it’s in smaller doses than you usually would have.
I shorten my walks, but still try to get out there. To optimize the experience, I’ll go on a new path …or take a familiar path in reverse.
I shave a few minutes off of my morning devotions in order to have time to throw ingredients in the crockpot for dinner.
Consolidate when you can.
I’ll return a friend’s phone call while I’m taking my dog for a walk rather than listening to a podcast like I normally would.
I add forgotten items to my grocery order while I’m in the school pick-up line. I treat myself to a social media break when I’m waiting on my order or in the pharmacy line. I tiptoe into these waters rather than wade.
Share your own household chores or give yourself a “pass.”
I’ll ask one of my boys to water plants I typically water. I skip making the bed…or let my hubby beat me to it.
We’re putting out the paper plates and using up what’s already in the freezer rather than come up with something new.
I’m embracing more days of ponytails & hats instead of battling humidity and frizz with my hair dryer.
Acknowledge you’re in a marathon season, so don’t go for a full-out sprint at this point. Conserve your emotional energy.
Endurance and perseverance are critical when you’re in a long-term circumstance. Interval training makes you stronger. You may have short bursts in which you have to sprint, but allow for some recovery time. Have a friend be a “pacer” for you. Keep your eyes on that long-distance goal.
It’s important for us to have enough self-awareness to recognize when unexpected people step in as our encouragers that they are meant to be in step with us for this season. The Lord will provide who we need at that particular mile for a given stretch of our race.
Celebrate each mile marker – – – even if you’re tired and have more miles to go.
When we’re supporting loved ones during challenging times, it can seem a little jarring to step into life events still going on around us.
It’s okay to take a breather from the heavy emotions and soak in some lighter ones.
Celebrate the joys of other family members. Eat the birthday cheesecake. Take the silly pictures.
Look for ways to tweak your perspective.
Recently I’ve found myself marveling at the wonders of the sky.
Feeling small by comparison helps the issues circling me not feel so big.
Release the weight of Today to be open for Tomorrow…
– – – “HIS mercies are new every morning.” – – –Lamentations 3:21
Summer has its own rhythm and we just sail along with it the best we can . . . enjoying family vacations, “dutifully” following packing checklists for kids’ various camps, having lazy dinners out on the patio…letting each day unfold in its unique way.
Our Quiet Times might slip into a different timeslot as we try to get outside chores down in the early morning hours before the heat of the day.
We might snatch some devotional time during the afternoon lull when everyone has soaked up enough sun or we may experiment with late devotions when everyone is settled in for the night.
Dinner time may be a little different also. We eat later and “planning” is looser, typically more laidback. We might have more snack suppers or concoct some simple meals from what we find in the fridge. Breakfast dinners are always a win-win around here!
Occasionally, we’ll be motivated to do some batch cooking and stockpile some family favorites (i.e. chicken packets) that we can pull out at the end of a long summer day.
I don’t know about you, but it takes me a little while to ease in to a summer rhythm, letting go of the patterns that have nudged us along during the school year. Each week has a different flavor, depending on who might be visiting us or which one of the kids might be away at a camp. “Adaptability” is key. (at least that’s what I keep reminding myself when things are feeling a bit off-kilter)
So, we might be a little more sporadic sharing posts or offering workshops during this season. We’re allowing ourselves to “go with the flow” and give ourselves some margin for some spontaneous get-togethers along the way.
Small steps of obedience can lead to paths that unfold broadly before you, encompassing more than seems possible when you’re in the midst of day-to-day details, diligently pushing through the immediate tasks at hand.
Our Bible Quilt® journey has been a series of small steps of faith that has yielded a wide variety of experiences that neither of us expected.
We just keep adapting to new opportunities as the Lord places them before us…one small step at a time.
Retreats.Road trips.Bible Study groups.Girls’ birthday parties. Youth groups.Senior centers…
We love how Bible Quilting connects people, drawing them closer together through the Word of God.
Sometimes it feels like sacred ground.
—///— We’re weaving Bible Quilting into the patchwork of our lives. —///—
My Bible Study group is using a 1-page version to summarize all of our verses for the year. It’s been fun to watch it grow throughout the year.
As we’ve shared the Bible Quilt® with a variety of women’s groups, these circles are beginning to overlap. The Lord’s design emerges beautifully in these moments.
We are humbled to see how God is tugging at hearts through His scripture and thrilled to see women getting revitalized in His word.
Our Kids Club version arose to meet the desire of young kiddos that wanted to be doing what their moms were enjoying so much in their devotional time.
When our craft tables are filled with girls navigating through the awkward days of middle school or the pressures of high school, we’re grateful to be offering them a creative tool to ground them in their walk with the Lord. Laughter and scripture are a great combo!
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A year ago we formed our business and dove head-first into the trademark process. We waded into the world of accounting and became fierce prayer warriors for all sorts of new logistics and number-crunching. We cherished the moments of creativity and collaboration that offset the business-y side of things.
I’ve become familiar with nervous bravery…you know that tingly feeling that can be excitement or near-the-line panic? I keep reframing it as energy to push forward and cling to my verse:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” Isaiah 41:10
During the ongoing commotion of life, we often craved solitude and slipped away to Bible Quilt.
Our Newton friends can be assured, we were furiously “Chasing Quiet” as we faced the challenges of a newbie business!
God’s timing is so gracious. During the week of the 1st-year anniversary of our business, we received the first batch of our printed Bible Quilt® journal. Take a closer peek in our shop!We’re carrying it around like a newborn, showing it off to our treasured supporters and dear mentors in faith.
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During that same anniversary week, we were blessed to receive a real quilt from some lovely women who beautifully handcrafted our Bible Quilt® logo into it.
How sweet is that!
Our hearts are full on this journey, walking out in faith one tentative step at a time.
We invite you in to join us…wherever you are on your spiritual journey.
Have you picked your “word” for the year yet? Or are you wondering what all the buzz is about to adopt a word for the year?
My social media feed is full of people sharing #onelittleword for 2018. For some reason this makes me a little squirmy. It’s like committing to walk 10 miles in brand new shoes that haven’t been worn and truly lived in yet. I need a little more time to make sure it fits.
I like to gel with my word for a while, often carrying it around with me during the busy months of November & December, test driving it a while. Then when January roars in and I’m still recovering from the holiday surge, I’m able to embrace my word more fully because it feels more like a friend than a forced acquaintance.
All that to say – I’ve got my word for 2018, but I’m savoring it a bit before I’m ready to share it.
I’m also still reminiscing a bit with my word palfrom 2017, gleaning some truths I learned about myself as I focused on it throughout this past year. I’m not quite ready to relinquish it’s friendly presence in my daily thoughts.
“How do you choose your word?” – – – “What do you do with it?”
I’ve only done a “word of the year” the past few years, playing around with this concept in different ways. I think each of us has to figure out what meaning a “word of the year” has for us… or else it feels a little hollow and something else we have to keep up with.
Words are powerful. We can use them in ways that hurt or help. We can inflict them upon others or nurture with them in encouraging tones. Choosing ONE from all the words is a little daunting, isn’t it?
This idea initially intrigued me as a means to be more intentional in a particular area of my life or to use it as an overall attitude focus. I found myself utilizing my #onelittleword throughout the year as a lense to tweak my perspective when I felt stressed or was going through unfamiliar transitions.
Last year my word was RHYTHM. I claimed it to seek out ways to develop a flexible flow to all the ongoing events in my life, but not something that would impose a structured routine that would go awry at the first kink thrown at me. I gave myself permission to consider the rhythms of different seasons in our family life, allowing some things to slide away when other things needed to be more of a focal point.
I started by taking a nerdy stroll through an actual dictionary and cutting out the definition to place on my journal page.
Then I sought out some synonyms to incorporate in the page title, focusing on the strength of this word’s multiple meanings. I began to think about the “strong, regular repeated PATTERNs” in my own life and this gave me direction for a variety of ways to savor the rhythms I’ve established in my home. Rather than see some of our daily chores as monotonous, through this rhythm perspective, I could see them as a way of maintaining a consistent tempo in our daily lives.
We all know that antsy feeling of things being out of balance in our lives, right? Most likely it’s when we’re out of our natural rhythms…maybe a drastic life event has shifted us or we’re at odds in a relationship. The more I sought out ways to nurture a healthy Rhythm in my own personal life, the more capable I was of identifying ways to restore a more steady cadence for the rest of my family.
When stress or time pressures quickened the family pace too fast, each of us felt a heightened pulse of being off-kilter. During these times I tried to hunker down in theWORD and regain my own equilibrium, often by awakening in the wee morning hours before the thrum of the household beat even started. As I Bible Quilted® verses on this theme of Rhythm, I was reminded that even Jesus got up early in the morning and went to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35). I clung to the promise of learning “unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:28-30 Message version) to navigate turbulent times.
The New Year is a chance to begin anew. It provides fertile ground for change in some area of our lives. Resolutions may fall by the wayside, but to have a topic/theme to focus on for the year seems do-able. As I learned from my word pal, Rhythm, the more we’re able to establish a firm foundation, the more capable we are of navigating the ebb and flow of life a little more graciously. We have a tether to ground us. As we build upon our #onelittlewords year after year, our tethers become stronger. I’m beginning to see the connections of my words strengthen together over time, centering me to face the unknowns of the coming year.
Our mother-in-law, Kitty, was a go-getter. When she saw something that needed done, she marched out boldly and did it… sometimes with an unexpected ending. In remembrance of her birthday today, we’ll share one of her acts of boldness with you:
Kitty once saw a dog running loose in a busy neighborhood in Houston, so she picked it up and took it home with her. She gave him some food and water, soothing him with comforting words. Then she called the number on the dog’s collar. The grateful owner gave Kitty their address. Kitty loaded up the now very content dog back into her car. As she approached the address, houses on the street began to look familiar. She arrived at the destination and suddenly realized it was the EXACT address where she had originally picked up this “stray.” Yep, she had “rescued” this dog from its own yard! She handled this somewhat awkward moment gracefully and told this story to us several times over the years, embellishing it and laughing at herself as much as we did!
After the laughter subsided, what struck me was the boldness that Kitty displayed. She boldly stopped what she was doing to take care of a need that she saw in her community. She called a complete stranger to return a dog to its owner. And, once she realized she had snatched this “lost” dog from its very own home, she still boldly marched up to that house and ADMITTED what she had done.
As we celebrate our two-year blogiversary (is this really a thing, we wonder?), we have been praying some BOLD PRAYERS over this little business/ministry that the Lord has unfolded for us. We’re learning a lot about accounting, graphic design, logos, links, trademarks, inventory and event planning. Our backgrounds in psychology and education didn’t necessarily prepare us for this new territory, yet the Lord has provided the foundation of skills we need, the strength to lean on Him, and the openness to seek from others what is needed to fill in the gaps.
We’ve been stretched out of our comfort zones in many ways, over and over again, since starting our blog 2 years ago. Last weekend I had the opportunity to be the speaker at a women’s retreat – to share not once, but three times. I leaned heavily on prayers of strength from my support team to get me through my public-speaking jitters. (Those retreat ladies were beyond gracious to me!)
One of the illustrations I shared with the group was about how I incorporate the Bible QuiltTMinto my Bible study and devotions. I wanted to give them a visual about how I’ve rediscovered my strength and closeness with the Lord using this devotional technique, so I stood in the center of a hula hoop.
I shared that when I’m in this familiar sphere of comfort with the Lord, I get grounded in the Word and feel more secure. After I’ve refueled in my “circle” of Quiet Time, then I feel more confident to pick up my “hula hoop” of faith and share with others.
I wiggled my way through a little demonstration of hula hooping, which brought smiles and laughter to the group. Then I let the hula hoop fall to the ground and stepped out of it.
The hula hoop, although still colorful and sparkly, did not have the same impact when it just laid on the floor. It wasn’t being used to its full potential of joy. I encouraged the ladies to think about our Quiet Time with the Lord in the same way.
If we get ourselves all filled up on God’s promises and strength but do not share our faith with others, we are not engaging the full potential of joy we have in Him. I challenged them to consider ways they could step out of their comfort zones — to pick up their hula hoops — and invite others to share their joy in Christ.
A couple days after the retreat, I received a text from one of the women. She said, “I’m working on my ‘hula hoop space’ to hear God and how to work more on my Bible Quilt.” I dearly appreciated her response and thought I might share this idea with our readers, too.
In the past 10 days of actually owning a hula hoop again and inviting others to play with it, I’ve noticed that it brings a smile to each face: the one trying to hula hoop AND everyone watching. Hula hooping involves some vulnerability — throwing your hands up and surrendering to what happens, reminding ourselves it’s okay to feel a little awkward sometimes. When we let our guard down, we connect a little more…we let others see us being a little silly and perhaps more approachable in a playful posture. To stretch this analogy a little fuller, maybe we need a reminder that we are children of God. He delights in us.
“For the Lord delights in His people…” Psalm 149:4
As we offer up “hula hoop prayers” to be bold and step out of our comfort zones to share our faith or to make a closer connection with someone, we’re more able to join together in community, capitalizing on our full potential the Lord has designed for each of us uniquely.
How can YOU be bold today?
Who might YOU invite to share in the joy of your hula hoop?