When I think over my walk with the Lord, that journey is marked by little altars; places where I spent time worshiping Him, laying my requests at His feet. Those places couldn’t be more different. As I moved from living at home with my family to attending to college, from college to career, from single to married and from marriage to motherhood, my times with God changed with me. In every season I had a “bible study corner”; a place I met with the Lord. But it looked different each time.
When I was a teen, I used my walk-in closet as a hiding place with the Lord. In college, I used my crowded desk or an overlook surrounded by flowering trees. During my career at Liberty University I used two different prayer chapels on my lunch break, depending on which office I worked in. At home, I use a comfy armchair in my living room.
Even as life has changed, there has always been a time and place for Bible study and prayer. Whether it was in the tiny prayer chapel in the church next to my office or a 3 AM nursing session with a newborn, my Bible study corner has always been important. You too can make time with God happen in any life stage! Here are some tips to get you started.
Pick a Location
I think it’s wise to have a location at home for your bible study time, but don’t limit yourself to that location. If work and school cause you to skip your time with God, pick a different location – one that fits with your schedule. If that means you do your quiet time in the car, so be it! But usually, you can find a place that is more comfortable and quiet on your lunch break or between classes.
As I’ve shared, my bible study “corner” has changed over the years. Sometimes it was at home. For many years, its location was dictated by my career. I’d do my reading and prayer (usually writing out my prayers) in the campus prayer chapel or at a quiet table near my office. But I always made sure to leave my desk, indicating I was no longer available for work tasks. You’ll probably have to do the same if you’re working or in college.
Make a Basket of Basic Materials
If you’re not at home, you probably wont’ be carrying a basket of commentaries around with you – so there are two ways to do this. For your at-home study corner, DO get a basket or box to put your bible, highlighters, journal, commentaries, and devotionals into for easy access. This is how my own armchair corner is set up.
If you’re working, or otherwise doing your bible study out of the house, use a smaller bible (like a thinline ESV) and keep your commentaries on your phone – free ones through sites like Biblestudytools.com or Logos. You can still bring a journal in which to record prayer requests and write out your thoughts and reflections. This is an important part of processing your bible study material and retaining what you read. A small bible, journal, and phone commentary can all fit easily in a purse or bag.
Have Access to Further Study Materials
I’ve already mentioned commentaries but I’ll do so again. It’s very important that you have help understanding the texts you study. While we do have the Holy Spirit to enlighten our eyes to God’s Word, western culture causes us to read many texts without an understanding of the culture in which they were written. Commentaries and Bible encyclopedias help us understand more about the people, places, and historical context of Scriptural passages. My favorite commentary series is the NIV Application Commentary series, which most Bible colleges will have in their library. If you’re not at a Christian college, you may be able to access these online in ebook form (through Amazon) or by using Logos. You can also buy the hard cover versions, but they are expensive! Free commentaries, like Matthew Henry’s, can be found online as well.
Sometimes I would do a light study away from home on my lunch break and then use my hard cover commentaries and resources – such as Strong’s Concordance for word studies, my Bible encyclopedia, and hard copy commentaries – when I got home. You could also do this to encourage reflection throughout the day.
**A devotional is not a commentary. Devotionals and Christian living books can serve a purpose, but I usually read this AFTER my initial study of the Word. They are helpful to understand some topics, but should not be the primary focus of your quiet time with God.
Create a Cozy Environment
This isn’t always possible, as previously noted. But if you have a bible study corner at home, you can make it as comfy as possible! My armchair sits between two lamps. I usually make coffee, have my stack of materials on hand plus a stack of books I’m currently reading, and candles on the coffee table in front of me. Now that I’m a work from home mom I have the luxury of doing my bible study at home most of the time – usually before babies get up, around 5:30 AM. I look forward to this time when everyone else is asleep and I can focus on the Word alone!
No matter how your corner looks – cozy or in your car – you can worship God and draw near to Him by being intentional in your season!
To learn how to make time for bible study as a busy mom, read this post.