One of my biggest helps to having a really good quality time with God every day is my little devotional basket. I only started this a few months ago and highly recommend it - I wish I'd done it years ago! When I was single I had all my stuff in one place which I would go to, but now that I'm married with children it isn't that easy and I have to be flexible. The great thing about a basket is that I can just pick it up and take it wherever I need to - usually the same place, but not always! Before I did this I missed out on a lot of things that I wanted to do in my quiet time because I didn't know where everything was, or didn't have the time to gather it all up, or just hadn't got around to putting it altogether again. Now it's all there, and it helps me SO much, as well as making my time with the Lord more beautiful by having a pretty basket at my side!
Here is what is in my basket:
My sheep :)
My dear husband gave this to me since I collect sheep and it is a sheep pencil case!! I love it because it(she??) keeps all my pens inside and also makes my basket very personal and funny. I have one black ballpoint pen for writing in my journal, four Bible highlighter crayon type pens, and four Bible marking pens which are supposed to not go through the page.
This is what I use them for at the moment:
Yellow highlighter: Promises from God (my favourite!)
Red highlighter: Commands from God
Green highlighter: Timeless principles (I got this idea from reading Tim La Haye's How to Study the Bible For Yourself - a really good book)
Blue highlighter: Verses about God
Pink Marker pen: Verses about Christ
Orange Marker pen: Examples to follow
Black marker pen: Verses or words I love and just want to underline!
Green marker pen: Verses about the Holy Spirit
Currently I am reading through Chuck Smith's Word For Today Bible which is very interesting as I love his insights. I also keep my Bible in a year program in there for reference every day. My sweet mother gave me a wonderful bookmark you can stick in the spine and has mutiple strands so I no longer have to spend so much time looking up the different chapters each day!
For quite a few years I didn't keep this up, but I find now that I am keeping a journal again I am benefiting so much more from my reading. In Luke's version of the Parable of the Sower I was struck by the fact that those people who received the seed and bore fruit were the ones who heard the word and kept it, or retained it. Obviously when we write things down we retain them a lot better - which is why we take notes in university lectures! And the things which I learn really stay with me if I write them down, plus I can look back over it and get inspired all over again!
My Prayer Diary
This prayer diary is so essential to my praying for other people, and praying consistently for things that I and my family need.
My Scripture Memory Box
There must be a better word than box but I haven't thought of it yet! I love memorising scripture, and after many years of memorising and forgetting scripture this little box is my key to not forgetting it! I hope to write a separate post about this soon as it has helped me so much.
Other Little Helps
Some other things I keep in there that help me:
- A little notebook to write down a verse, tear out and take with me during the day
- My favourite hymn book - even though I love modern worship some of the old hymns are so rich and I sometimes like to read the words or sing them!
- A daily devotional - I tend to use this when I'm feeling really lethargic or dull as it helps prepare my mind. I change it around too, I sometimes have Daily Light, sometimes My Utmost for His Highest, or Edges of His Ways, or others.
- Bible helps - because I read through the Bible it is very easy to not understand or not see the relevance when I come to subjects like the Tabernacle, sacrifices, feasts and prophecy. So I keep these two little charts on the feasts and tabernacle in there which have nice pictures, explanations and symbolism. At the moment I also have my commentary on Leviticus by Andrew Bonar in there since I am in Leviticus and that can easily be very hard to read otherwise. I don't read the whole commentary as I don't have time, but just look up specific parts that I wonder about.