Read Mark: a Chapter a Day for Easter

Easter

This Easter will look different.

Let’s flip the script and make the most of this opportunity while we are home with our families. Let’s dive deeper into Jesus’ life, heart, and word together. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be hosting Mark: A chapter a day for Easter. 

If you read one chapter a day, starting Saturday, March 28th, you will read daily for 16 days the entire gospel of Mark. You’ll experience the life and love of Jesus and feel more connected to Him, though socially distanced from everyone else. I’m praying and asking Him to meet us all right where he always does: in His Word. He is so faithful and I’m certain He will show us a new revelation of who He is as we read His life story once again or for the very first time. 

For some of us, this pandemic has us overwhelmed. We are juggling jobs, schooling our kids, and the stress of uncertain times. Some of us are at home, alone, or with little to do. That’s why I have different options to join in studying Mark in this space together. Please pick which plan works for you, commit, and let us know!

Option 1) Full Study: Read, Journal and Memorize Weekly Verses

Hello, fellow journaling friend! I love to journal too. I find power in recording what I hear the Holy Spirit speak to me. I also focus better if I am writing my prayers down on paper. Finally, if I write down one verse a day from my time with the Lord, it sticks better. I meditate (think on it, pray God will help me apply it) the rest of the day, and my time with God continues on after I close my bible.

Having a structure to your quiet time or bible reading time can be very helpful. I like to use acronyms to help me pattern my time with Jesus. Below is an option for this reading plan. As I am reading through the chapter, I pick a verse that really speaks to me. (Don’t get too caught up in this, just pick a verse!) I write that verse down.  Then, I study that verse, and write how I can apply that verse to my life right now. For this study, next we will “review” – write out the context ( the setting, what was happening, who said the verse, and maybe a little about the entire chapter). Last, I write out a prayer to close my time with God. If you so choose, you could  also pray out loud or stop writing at this point and pray quietly to the Lord. You could also write down a few prayer requests and then go to the Lord in prayer. The important thing is to PRAY TO END YOUR QUIET TIME! ❤

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL STUDY

Option 2) Just Read it

Go for it, girlfriend! I have some ideas to help you succeed in this very important endeavor over the next sixteen days. First of all, decide what time of day you will read the chapter. Next, decide how this will be a priority. What will you refuse to do until you have read the chapter for the day? This REALLY helps me make time one on one with God a priority. For example, you may decide you will not get on social media, watch Netflix, (basically any mindless time-sucker) until you have read your chapter. This really helps me! Let me know if it helps you, too! Sometimes quiet time isn’t so quiet, and you have to “just do it, ” (think Nike). DECIDE to  drop perfectionism and read the chapter on the bible app on your phone while you rock your baby. Decide to listen to the chapter on the app through your earbuds in the car rider line or while you are working out. Just do it! 🙂 Even though you are not writing it down, pick one verse to take with you throughout the rest of the day until your next reading session so you can think on it and let God continue to speak to you through it. (Yes, He still speaks to his people)!

 

Option 3)INCLUDE YOUR KIDS!!

This options has extra options!

a) Print your kids their own Mark journal here and have them read and journal in all the spaces or at least some. You can add in the other fun options below if you want!

b) Just Read a chapter a day to your kids, discuss and pray.

c) THE JESUS BASKET: You will cut out the verse of the day from Mark and put it in an Easter egg. It’s a countdown to Easter with number eggs and you can add Candy each day or a fun activity!! DOWNLOAD THE JESUS BASKET PACKET HERE!

My family will be doing all the above together, and trying to video a fun snippet each day.  You can follow our journey on my Instagram or Facebook Stories.

Accountability

Let’s link arms, ladies, and encourage one another on this short journey the next sixteen days. I want you to share your “My verse” with me. How can you do this? 

Here on the blog, in the comments. Yes, I will try to send an email everyday between now and then, so make sure you follow this blog.

The Facebook GroupClick here to be added.

Instagram. Comment on the daily post. Click here to follow me. 

I just know we are going to see Jesus more beautiful than ever through this journey. These may feel like uncertain and scary times, but Jesus is here with us everyday. I pray we all experience His love and worship Him with fresh awe on Easter.  ❤

That is my prayer for all of us, that we would fall more in love with Jesus and his Word as we journey with him this Easter season. 

Let me know you are joining us! I want to hear from you!

Invite your friends!!!

Here are some helpful links to a series I wrote on Back to the Basics of Bible Study if you want more inspiration and direction: 

Bible Study & Prayer 101: How To Read The Bible 

Bible Study & Prayer 101: Back to the Basics

Bible Study & Prayer 101: Meet the Teacher

Share this post and invite others to join us! ❤

Amy

Comment below and tell me which plan option you chose!

 

How Would Jesus Spring Clean?

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WEEK 1 PRAYER PODCAST: Spring Cleaning Week 1 Prayer Podcast

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

In the breath before this one, Jesus had just been explaining to the disciples how exactly to live this free life- in intimacy with the Father.  He is telling the disciples to watch him, and promising that he will teach them how to live life in this free and light way.

So we can’t literally see Jesus at the moment,  but as I have encouraged us in the book, we have invited him with us on the journey to a clean home and a clean heart.  If we haven’t done this, then we might as well forget this bible study and just grab our trash bags and our cleaning supplies and get the work done.

So, I sat down to write some quick tips to motivate us to get started.  And as he often does, Jesus rushed in as I called on him and he told me to encourage you with this:

Spring Clean the way Jesus would.  

Can’t you just see him now?  Like he did when he washed the disciples’ feet… wrapping a towel around his waist, eager to serve, a heart full of love; perfect love for the recipient of this work.

And sisters, this is EXACTLY what I encourage us to do in our homes in the month of March.  I am not a cleaning expert.  I am a girl wildly and madly in love with Jesus who has been given a home to make into his masterpiece.

I want you talking with Jesus the entire time you are on this journey,

thanking him for your clutter and excess,

asking him who to pass clothes on to,  

inviting your children to join in the work, and

praying for the people you are cleaning for.  

>>>Now a FREEBIE!  For those of you who are not going to buy the book, here is a passage reading/cleaning schedule so you can join in too!  >>>Click below!

Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home Reading_Cleaning Schedule

Want the full Spring Cleaning Bible Study Experience?  Buy the book at Amazon below:

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459774780&sr=8-1&keywords=Spring+Cleaning+bible+study

Less Stuff More Life: an honest move to minimalism

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I’m so happy to host a guest blogger, Tabbie, from BohoMinimism.com! She is sharing her journey to minimalism beautifully on her blog and I asked her to share her “why” and “how” with us. There is power in “why.” Our motivation always needs to be deeply rooted in something strong. For me, a move to minimalism is sparked by the desire for “less stuff, more Jesus.” Less stuff to work for + manage = More time + Mind energy at Jesus’ feet undistracted. I’m working on my “how!”

I think doing the spring cleaning bible study again will truly help me keep my “why” in sight through His Word in the study, (see below) while I use the cleaning schedule that also weaves through the book to declutter and organize.

Don’t forget, our journey together starts Monday!

Whether you just want to do a bible study online, spring clean, or minimize; we want you to join us!

Here’s a FREE Verse Writing Plan/Cleaning Schedule Or

there’s still time to use Prime 2 day shipping! Get the book on Amazon: Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home

Here’s Tabbie’s story of a movement towards minimalism.

Hello new friends! First, I’d like to thank Amy, who is so graciously allowing me to share my personal perspective of the minimalist lifestyle. I’ve never had it all together, although I’m sometimes too good at pretending to. With the realization that my 30th birthday was quickly approaching, I started to take a hard look at myself and who I really am. You know what I realized? I had NO clue. I started to dig around, hoping to find something…anything to help me figure out how to get to know myself. With that, I stumbled upon “minimalism”. The official definition of minimalism is “a style or technique that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) For me, I already thought of myself as somewhat of a minimalist. I am not very sentimental. I do find joy in items, but usually have no problem purging or selling if I need the money or to make space for new, trendy stuff. However, I pictured true minimalists as people who sell just about everything they own, build a tiny house, and live off the land. I also assumed that true minimalists were already millionaires and could afford this drastic lifestyle change. As a mama of 4, I knew that my initial idea of true minimalism wasn’t going to be achievable. While I’m sure it can and is being done, I knew it wouldn’t work for me and my family. It wasn’t until I came across the documentary Minimalism – A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix that my idea of minimalism started to change. I made notes of some of the people featured in the film and started to further my research thinking “maybe I can make this work for me.” I listened to audio-books like Minimalism for Living, Family & Budgeting by K. L. Hammond and Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver. I learned that there were many levels of minimalism and that I didn’t have to sell everything I own and live in a tiny house to live minimally. (Although that is a very respected level of minimalism!) Both books inspired me to create my own version of minimalism that works for my unique life. And with that, my new, personal definition of minimalism was born. It is “Making room for joy, love and experiences by getting rid of everything that doesn’t help us achieve these.” There is so much more to minimalism than just getting rid of clutter, but a laid-out purging plan is a great way to start the process.

Decluttering is also a great time to pray, meditate and practice gratefulness.

As I work through this journey, I’m discovering new things about myself every day. I’m starting to truly enjoy my family and my life again. I can give back to my community and am gaining a new appreciation for everything I have been blessed with. And you know the BEST part? This way of simple living can totally be tailor-made to YOU. That is what I love about minimalism! I’m learning how to make the minimalist life work for me and you can too!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9, I will be blogging through this journey to a clean heart and home!  

I wrote a 4 week bible study available on amazon, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here:>>>>>>>>

<<<<(Click pic to go to amazon and check it out!)>>>>

Click here:>>> Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home The study is based on the this amazing passage:

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Jesus Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

We will be walking with Jesus through our homes, cleansing our spirits and our houses. We will be praying powerful faith-filled prayers for our families as we clean their spaces. We are going to feel so free and light and our houses will look so wonderful we are done! I’ll be posting prayer podcasts every week to listen to as we work. I can’t wait to walk through our houses with Freedom Himself together on this journey!

Your First Step to Spring Cleaning Success

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Ok sister friend, I’m going to pass some wisdom on to you.  I do it with the upmost love & concern for your sanity, your marriage, and your family. If your house is in a perpetual mess and you can’t ever get around to cleaning, it may be because

you are too BUSY.

Yes, I said the “B” word. I used to be the queen of busy. Always on the go, doing good, beneficial, fun things for my kids and myself. But last December, I finally decided I couldn’t have  it ALL.

Through a lot of prayer and studying God’s word, Jesus confirmed:

There are not enough hours in each week to run around to all these activities AND make my home the haven I want it to be.

He especially used this passage to gently convict and encourage me to cut BUSY out of my life:

“Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:5 NIV

How fitting is it that  the NIV translation reads to be “BUSY at home.” It’s the only place I used to not be busy at, because I was so busy running around everywhere else. To dig deeper, let’s check the concordance to see what the author, Paul, was really trying to convey to this group of believers.

Strong’s definition of the original Greek word used by Paul for “to be busy at home” is:  a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”):—keeper at home.

Ouch.  All spelled out for us, now in plain English; a  stayer at home.  Now, I want to be clear, I do not not think this means women should not work.  If working outside the home is what the Lord has planned for you, you are contributing to your home by doing so.  I think it is safe to say what Paul was trying to get across here is for women to make their homes one of their top priorities.

The world has twisted this high calling and made it seem more like a restrictive burden.

The enemy has tried to take beauty out of homemaking and leave an ugly, quick to-do list  where a masterpiece was supposed to hang.


Instead of focusing on the never-ending ugly to do list, I started focusing on the beautiful masterpiece I knew God meant for me to create at home. My thoughts shifted from all that HAD to get done to all the goodness waiting to be cultivated.  I decided it was time to carve out time for my home first, and see if there was room left for the rest later.

Here are the activities I ended up cutting out:

~Spontaneous weekly playdates became more like monthly playdates. (Except for my sister who keeps her weekly spot 🙂

~My Wednesday morning zumba/bible study at the YMCA had to stop.  I miss it but I am so happy with the peace being at home has created!

~Trips to Target had to be cut back to about once a month.  (I do live 3o minutes from the nearest Target, keep in mind).

Do I miss these fun social activities? Yes, at times, but the peace in my home has far out-weighed the benefits these outings used to bring.

When I look back on my life, I want the most abundant, beautiful fruit to be the fruit that grew at home.  It takes time to till, sow good seed, pull weeds, fertilize, and prune.  But in the end, I know I will look back and see it was worth all the eternal beauty that will be harvested.

Spring cleaning challenge:  Look at your schedule for the month of March.  Consider what you could take off for the sake of working on a masterpiece–your home.  I will be here to cheer you on, leading you to the feet of Jesus at the turn of every corner in your house.

I had my sister join in on the fun and make this funny video for us. Dead bugs on your windows? Toy boxes that won’t close all the way?  Dust on your ceiling fan?  Join the club ladies.  Don’t keep throwing your hands up in defeat.  Just stay home and join us in spring cleaning.  PLUS- Pray over your entire family and submerse yourself in God’s cleansing word.  It’s going to be a very refreshing journey!!!

I have still not “arrived” in keeping house!  That is why I am dedicating the month of April to SPRING CLEANING!  I hope you will consider joining us here at Refocused Bible Study.  The link to the bible study is below.  I start blogging through it Monday, March 2nd!

Click Here>>> http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459376468&sr=8-1&keywords=spring+cleaning+bible+study >>>

Spring Cleaning to Minimize and Refocus

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This year, I’ll be blogging through my Spring Cleaning Bible Study with a focus on MINIMALISM! If you are interested in finding more freedom from STUFF and more LIFE in JESUS, we would love for you to join us!

God is so good, in His sovereignty He led me to this verse this morning:

“Less is more, and more is less.” Psalm 37:16 MSG

I’m thrilled to encourage us through some amazing bloggers who will bring the practical and biblical goodness of minimalism to our spring Cleaning journey this year!

I hope you’re in!!!!!!!!

Spring has sprung, and not only are there bunnies hopping around in the green grass, there are dust bunnies on my furniture. The animals are popping their heads back up from their underground burrows and living life again, but the piles of stuff under the beds in my house haven’t seen the light of day since long before winter started. My heart sinks when I think about all that needs to get done in my house. It’s time for a

~~Spring Cleaning!~~

But why spend so many hours mindlessly going through our houses when we can pray scripture that will bring a powerful cleansing of our Spirit and our family’s spirits as we bag up, scrub, and shine our way to a clean house and clean hearts!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting March 2nd, I will be blogging bi-weekly through this journey to a clean heart and home!  I wrote a 4 week bible study available on amazon, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here:>>>>>>>>

<<<<(Click pic to go to amazon and check it out!)>>>>

Click here:>>> http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458414920&sr=8-1&keywords=spring+cleaning+your+heart+and+home<<&lt;

The study is based on the this amazing passage:

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Jesus Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

We will be walking with Jesus through our homes, cleansing our spirits and our houses.  We will be praying powerful faith-filled prayers for our families as we clean their spaces.  We are going to feel so free and light and our houses will look so wonderful we are done!

I’ll be posting prayer podcasts every week to listen to as we work.

I’ll also post a free passage reading plan/cleaning schedule for anyone who does not buy the study.

I can’t wait to walk through our houses with Freedom Himself together on this journey!