Saturday, June 21, 2014

Studying the Bible

A little less than a year ago I wrote about reading my way through the bible after putting "Read the Bible" on my 22 by 23 list (We'll talk more about that next week). You can get the full reading list here or use the YouVersion Bible App (free!). Admittedly I did very poorly and with my birthday 2 weeks away and a few goals left to meet, I got to work. As I was reading, though, it felt pointless to be reading just to say I had done it. I began searching for Bible study tips:
Thanks Pinterest!
Thanks Pinterest!
Of course, the next step was creating a journal for such a quest. Pinterest also has a lot of suggestions in this area but before I even got started, I knew that assembling a journal would end up taking longer than actually reading the Bible. Why do I really want to read through the Bible? If my focus was to be on understanding the writings in their time and place and simply learning, the journal would need to be simple.

Following the Bible in a year plan, I kept notes on each chapter, asking:
  • What (a summary of the chapter)
  • Who (key people/ attributes of God)
  • When (if it talks about a time that the events occured)
  • Where (to put it into perspective on a map)
  • Anything else (aka notes; for anything additional I might want to remember: verses, personal insights, etc.)
I also left the first page blank so that as I filled up the pages, I could keep a table of contents, for when I want to go back over my notes.
Some chapters fill up an entire page, while others only take up a few lines with the summary.
Asking these questions has begun to really put the Bible into context for me. I also printed out a few resources as they came up in my study: Twitter's Chapter a day, Geneology (which I have occasionally to added throughout my study), Tribes of Israel mapConquests of Joshua, Ancient Israel map, and various other maps and timelines. It is amazing just how much more a bible story makes sense when you understand the context.

Its nothing fancy - insightful notes surrounded with beautiful drawings and doodles - but it fits my needs perfectly. I do color code a smidge, just to keep things in order:
Orange = things I learned from looking them up (research)
Red = Questions I have
Blue = personal insights
Purple = Verses to remember

Some miscellaneous other tips:
  • Play some relaxing music to keep you focused
  • Find a comfortable seat but not one you usually sit in for another activity (ex. I sat in at the dining table in a different chair than usual)
  • Be realistic in your goal setting (something I'm still learning)
  • Do what works for you
  • Do it for you and no one else

Comparing the reading I did when I started this goal and when I picked it back up again a few weeks ago, I feel like I have learned so much more using this system of studying. As I read through each chapter, I know that I will be able to go back later and do more in depth topic and character studies, using the information that I am writing down now. Check out these awesome blogs for in depth scripture study journal printouts: The Red Headed Hostess , One of a Kind, and Stone Soup for Five. Taking notes has made the reading that much more meaningful to me and, though it takes a lot longer to get through each chapter, I enjoy the time spent reading.

With only 2 weeks left before my birthday/ dead line I am only 34% through the bible (I started the month at 5% and took a 1wk break to volunteer at a camp with my brother). I'm confident I'll eventually make it all the way through but with July 5th (my birthday!) right around the corner, I'm not so sure I'll meet my deadline.

As always, you can follow me on Pinterest to see my inspiration, Twitter to see whats new, and Instagram to catch my photo-a-day. Thanks for reading and join me next week, same time (roughly), same place. Live long and prosper!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Back again and cleaning up

Okay, I'm back again. I left for the school year for two reasons: 1. I really wanted to focus in on finishing off my college experience strong and without regrets (success!) and 2. I was really struggling financially and no amount of cutting back or diys made it any better. With that said, I'm in a much better place than I have been in I don't even know how long. As I wrestled with if I should continue keeping a blog I had to ask myself what about blogging drew me in. I have concluded that the reason is similar to the career field I'm working my way into: I want to help people. I spend way too much time searching the internet for inspiration in simplifying my life and making it that much more enjoyable. Sometimes I can't find exactly what I'm looking for and am forced to be my own sort of creative so why not share that with others that can't find exactly what they're looking for.

Lets start off easy: 

A simple cleaning checklist for a stress free life

Though I only have pets and a boyfriend, I like my apartment to be as clean as possible at all times but going to school and work can sometimes get in the way. Whether you're living on your own or have a full house of rambunctious kids, finding time to keep your own space clean can be a challenge. First I started with a day of cleaning and what I usually did.  Next, I divided those tasks into days and made a cleaning list that worked for me with items to do daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Finally, I slid it into a page protector and hung it on the fridge. This allows me to use my nifty dry erase markers to check things off and wipe clean at the end of each day.

 Occasionally, I'll go back and move items around or add new to-dos but for the most part, my list has stayed the same. Some weeks, I'm only able to do whats listed for the day but other weeks I go through and do the entire list in one clean-all day.

As you can see, I don't have anything besides the dailies on Friday-Sunday. That's because I know that even if I had something down, I probably wouldn't do it. It also frees up those days to do the monthly and quarterly cleaning when those come around.
I also have a section for groceries and other notes. That way, as I head out the door to go grocery shopping, I can either copy down the list or snap a picture of it on my phone.

And there you have it. My own cleaning task list - nothing fancy or high tec. Click here if you want this cleaning list (don't worry, its free!). Feel free to copy, change, or take inspiration from this as you see fit to your own cleaning needs.

You can also follow me on Pinterest to see my inspiration, Twitter to see whats new, and Instagram to catch my photo-a-day.

Thanks for reading and join me next week. Live long and prosper in the sun!