Leaning into Jesus

 

One of the deepest desires of my heart, is to spend my entire life, testifying about all the ways God has brought me from death to life. Recently, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to lean into Jesus and dig deeper into the Lord through prayer, scripture, and other spiritual disciplines. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been spending time reading my Bible and in prayer. However, I want to take our relationship deeper.

As a result, I’ve been praying through all of the tools I use to foster spiritual growth in my life. Trying to decide if I should replace these items with something else or continue to use what I have in a different way. I also made a list of the disciplines I want to cultivate such as, intentional goal planning, in depth Bible study, prayer, personal journaling, gratitude, and sermon notes.

Do you long to learn more about the Lord?

If so, please look below to check out, “7 Tools to Help  You Grow in Christ”, which have helped me to get back into the groove of spending time with Jesus. These tools are helpful to get you started and guaranteed to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. These items are not “required”, so please add them to your religious to do list. Like I said, this is what works for me, so take time to pray and ask the Lord was He wants to cultivate in your life right now.

7 Tools to Help You Grow in Christ



1. ESV Bible 

(for Bible reading)


I think it’s hard to learn about Jesus without reading His word. As a result, I have several tools to help me read my Bible throughout the year. My traditional, paper copy is a pink ESV Bible. I got this Bible many years ago. At different points in time, it’s even been written on by my girls. While I study the Bible and take sermon notes, I underline Bible verses which stand out to me. I also write insights in the margins and date it, so I can remember what God taught me through my own study or from a teacher. Slowly but surely, my Bible is being filled up with incredible truths about God. If I ever get another Bible, I’lol probably get a journaling Bible, which will give me even more room to take notes!!



2. The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble Bible Reading Plan 

(for Bible reading)


A new tool I’ve been using this year is, “The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble Bible Reading Plan” on the YouVersion Bible App on my phone. The Bible Recap follows The Chronological Bible, which has been nice to listen to throughout this year. For further enrichment, I listen to The Bible Recap podcast for more insight and encouragement into the assigned daily Bible reading. I highly recommend this tool, if you’ve always wanted to read through the Bible in one year.



3. Cultivate What Matters: PowerSheets 

(for intentional goal planning)


For years, I’ve been using the Cultivate What Matters: Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner and I get so excited to dive into the prep work to see  what God has in store for me for the upcoming year. The first 50 pages of the book is the prep work where you work through what’s important to you. They help you nail down goals and brainstorm ways to work on them little by little each year. The rest of the book is broken up into months, so each month you can work through your individual to-do lists and action steps you want to take to get you closer to achieving your goal. This year, I’m thankful the Lord helped me to simplify my goals, because the goal pandemic has wrecked all sense of “normal” right now.



4. “Write the Word Journal” 

(to cultivate gratitude, prayer, in depth Bible study)


Back in 2018, when we moved to Hong Kong I wanted to get something which would help me get back into my daily Bible reading after our big move, having twins, and being a new Mom of 5 girls!! Honestly, I just needed something to help to keep me accountable. Thankfully, I already used the PowerSheets, because I follow Lara Casey (founder of Cultivate What Matters) on social media and she introduced me to their “Write the Word Journals”. During this season of life, these journals were the perfect solution for me. They weren’t daunting Bible studies, but a guided journal which would give me space to write out God’s word, spending time in prayer, writing what I was thankful for each day, and a word for the day to summarize what I had learned. To this day, I still use my Write the Word journal and I’ve even incorporated the kids version into our homeschool curriculum.



5. Give Me Jesus Journal 

(to cultivate gratitude, prayer, in depth Bible study)


Based on a friend’s recommendation, I started following Phylicia Masonheimer on Instagram. Phylicia’s love for God and His word is contagious. She offering Bible hacks, book recommendations, Biblical teaching on lots of topics, and so much more!! She also talks about the tools she uses while she studies the Bible and one of her favorites is the “Give Me Jesus Journal” from Well Watered Women Co. It’s a journal with a variety of prompts to help you dive deeper into your specific passage. Honestly, I haven’t used this journal myself, but I plan to buy one when they restock. Even though I don’t have this journal, I’m excited to apply these principles in my personal study of God’s word. 



6. My Personal Journal 

(for journaling and sermon notes)


Ever since I was little, I’ve also had a diary or journal which I would take time to write in each day. To this day, I still use a journal for writing and pouring out my heart to the Lord in written prayers. Also, I use my journal for sermon notes. I used to have a separate journal, but I’ve found it’s easier to just keep everything in the same place. Inevitably, I’m going to wondering what the pastor talked about and it’s easier to have everything all together instead of trying to keep track of even more notebooks. 



7. Val Marie Paper Rhythms (Yearly) Prayer Journal 

(for fostering prayer, written prayers, journaling, and gratitude)


I have used the Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal, recent renamed the “Rhythms” Prayer Journal, for several years. In 2018, the first year I used the prayer journal, I was inconsistent, because I would skip a month here and there. It felt wasteful!! As a result, in 2019, I didn’t order a prayer journal and just tried to use the months which were still blank in my 2018 prayer journal. Honestly, it was hard to navigate 2019 without a yearly prayer journal. I missed having this tool to help me nourish a healthy prayer life. When it came time to pre-order the 2020 yearly prayer journals, I made it a priority to invest in one again and have some extra encouragement. You all know how crazy 2020 has been and I’m so thankful I had this prayer journal to help me to continue to pray even when as chaos raged around us. All that to say, I’ve already pre-ordered my 2021 Rhythms (yearly) Prayer Journal, because I know things are harder without it.



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Now it’s your turn… 

Please leave me a comment and let me know what are your favorite tools, 

which help you grow in Christ?



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