Getting in the Word

If we genuinely believe God’s Word is real and active, why are we not reading it?

I’ve heard the many excuses:

  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t understand it.
  • It’s boring.
  • It’s too long.
  • Where are the pictures?

I’m sure there are other reasons and in all fairness, I have said many of these things myself. I found the Bible so hard to read and extremely confusing. Reading was never my strong-suit. It seemed that the only way the Bible made sense to me was when someone explained it back to me. Yet, here we are years later and I’m a reading teacher and a lover of God’s word.

So how in the world did this actually happen? I realized I didn’t need any special skill to read God’s Word, I just needed to read it! God’s Word is |THE| Word of God. When we read it, we aren’t reading in old story, we are reading THE WORD of GOD!

That’s incredible.

When we are engaged in the reading of God’s Word, we will meet Jesus who died for us, and through the power of the resurrection, has defeated death and our sin. Jesus has made a way for us to experience life and to give our lives purpose. It’s because of this, I desire to get to know this Jesus more and more. Some things may be easier than others to understand, but the only way I will ever learn is if I open God’s Word and read it.

Yet, many of us keep our “excuse list” from reading the Word of God.

It’s time to stop! 

Let’s put aside our excuses and get into God’s Word.


If  you don’t know where to start, let me encourage you to check out your local Christian bookstore or send me a message and I will be happy to share some resources in addition to the ones I’m sharing with you today. But I’ve also created some Bible Study Tips that you can check out as well.

img_2517-2But today, I want to share with you two amazing resources you can use together. The first one is Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word. I finished this book a little while ago, and she breaks down how to study the Bible. She gives you practical questions to think through that allow you to learn the context of the Word, but also to apply it to your lives. The way she has it set up gives you an opportunity to really hear from the Holy Spirit.

Jen Wilkin suggests printing off a copy of the book you want to study so you can write in it and take notes. I’m a huge fan of writing in my Bible, but sometimes there isn’t enough room so having another copy of it is great! This whole concept leads me to the other resource I want to share with you.

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img_9135Alabaster has created illustrated, individual books of the Bible. You can purchase them one book at a time and each book is complete with creative, beautiful pictures along with  the New Living Translation of the Bible. If the language of the Bible usually trips you up while reading, this translation is great for you! The margins in the book are even wide enough you can write any notes you may take while studying through the Word and you could even note the way the Holy Spirit is moving in you as you read. This would be perfect to use alongside of Jen Wilkin’s method of studying Scripture.

 

You can actually enter to win four books here Click Here to Enter the Giveaway, to start studying through God’s Word.


Y’all, I’m telling you, we need to stop with the excuses and actually dive into God’s Word, not to just be something on a checklist, but because when we dive into God’s word, we experience the peace we need to make it through each crazy, planned or unplanned events of our lives.

(in)courage

I’ve been meeting with a few ladies lately and there seems to be a consistent need–REST. We are worried people who need to find rest in the Lord. God desires us to come to Him and find rest. It’s just a matter of creating space. God wants you to be with Him. But what I see across the board, and even in my own life, is life getting busy and full and that leaves little space for us to find rest. Sometimes it’s just a lack of unwillingness to be still before God. However, the times we do find rest in Him, we actually get to see God be God over our lives and we leave feelings encouraged.

The question–are you willing?

Can I please just beg you to be willing? I promise the freedom you will experience in Christ is well worth it all. He provides you with rest when everything else seems to be bogging your down. Coming to the feet of Jesus and recognizing just how weak I really am is the only place I find peace and strength.


There are plenty of great resources out there for you to get invested into God’s Word. I want you to feel equipped so I try to share different resources with you. If you aren’t quite sure where to start with the whole Bible reading, click on this link and it will give you some insight.

I want to share with you another resource that I’ve come across. Quite honestly, this one is different than several other Bibles I’ve come in contact with. In fact, I would say if you’re looking for a Bible that includes devotions that help you rest in God, this is the PERFECT Bible resource for you.

The (in)courage Devotional Bible is more or less an aid in helping you create that space to find rest and as the title suggests–encouragement.img_6023

img_6025The Bible begins with a place for you to commit yourself to studying God’s Word and finding people to study with. Community is a key part of finding rest in God. We do it independently, but there’s something that happens in our hearts when we get to share what God is teaching us with others. I love that the Bible even gives you an opportunity to write out those people.

Not only does this Bible offer the Word, but it has built in devotions. There are ten different devotional themes to guide you through your reading. What is unique about these devotions is that they are color coordinated (if you’re anything like me, you will love that), and the devotions give you questions you can journal through.img_6030

Speaking of journalling, I think one of my favorite parts of the Bible other than that it’s super colorful, there is space for you to journal. I write in my Bible so much, so the fact there’s space to actual write out what God is teaching me as I rest in Him is a great feature. It combines the Journal Bible to this Devotional Bible.

The other neat feature in this Bible that sticks out before the others is the highlights of the different females throughout the Bible. As you come across different women in the Bible, there’s this little extra devotional to help further your study. It’s a great feature to really help you see God’s faithfulness in every season whether it be in blessing or a time of repentance. img_6029

Regardless of where you are in your walk with the Lord, it is my encouragement to you to get in the Word. It really is the food for our hearts and the air we need to survive. It is the only thing that keeps me going. It’s not by accident that the publishers of this Bible title it (in)courage because the only way I ever feel encouraged is by getting IN the Word.

If you’re looking for those people to help you commit to reading, let me know! There’s nothing I love doing more than reading through Scripture!

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Check Out More Information on this Bible

Looking for a chance to get a free one? Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

Brutally Honest

I don’t want you to ever think my life is perfect. I especially don’t want you to be deceived by my posts on social media that I have everything figured out. If we are being completely real, brutally honest, I do not live a perfect life and I definitely do not have everything figured out.

Over the last month or so, God has been showing me just how weak I am. For whatever reason, the idea that I am strong enough and can do it all started to creep into my life. I have no clue when the “I can do it all” mindset set in, but I am very much aware NOW that I cannot do it all.

This whole shift started one night at the coffee shop. I was talking with one of my best friends and just encouraging her through a tough time. During the midst of the conversation, I could see she had bought into the lie that she was supposed to handle everything perfectly, and be strong enough to do it all. I could see her fighting back the tears the whole time, afraid to show some sort of weakness to me. I looked at her and said, “It’s okay to admit that you’re not strong enough.” I reminded her that even though we are weak individuals, God is the Almighty. He has the ultimate strength.

I went home that night thinking about our conversation and praying for my friend, but then I felt God pressing on my heart the same words I had just spoken to her. God was telling me: Rachel, it’s okay to admit that you’re not strong enough. But instead of admitting to God I was weak and I needed Him to carry me, I continued to carry life with my own strength.

This is a constant battle for me, just so you know. I have seasons of life where I recognized my weaknesses and my need for God’s strength, but overtime somewhere along the journey I start to believe that I can handle it.

A few nights later, God pressed that same statement onto my heart again. And this time, I was angry. I remember that night well, and it was for sure not posted on Instagram or Facebook. It was one of those nights where I was just so angry and sad and hurt–BROKEN–so there was LOTS of ugly crying. In my anger, I asked the question WHY a whole bunch. I demanded (not a joke) answers from the Lord. If you’re at all familiar with Job when He is asking God for his day in court wanting answers from God, that was me.

But then, I was able to admit that I can’t. I was broken–still am broken. Because I can’t do it. I can’t be who everyone wants me to be because it’s too much pressure. I can’t be patient on my own because I want things now. I can’t control outcomes because that’s not my power. I can’t do it.

Through lots of tears, I finally admitted to God, “I need you. I am not strong enough to keep going on my own.”

So with that statement, I opened up my Bible to the book of Esther to hear from God. I was still angry. I was more broken now than I was when I started praying. I was hurting. And I still wanted answers.

Immediately, I started reading through that portion of Esther, and God started to speak, but it was not what I wanted to hear. It wasn’t providing the answers I was looking for. So as I read through God’s Word, I continued praying the same way–demanding answers, admitting my lack of ability to do anything on my own, begging God to speak something else. I was working through Beth Moore’s study on Esther at the time, and it got to this point where she referenced Philippians 4:13. I’m really familiar with this verse, so I kind of quickly reread it, but she had another verse to reference–Romans 8:37. I wasn’t as familiar with this one, so I went into it with fresh eyes.

“in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

The Holy Spirit used this verse to speak directly into my heart:

Did you see that part about in all these things? Everything you just prayed for is included in the word ALL.

You’re right. You can’t do it all. But did you notice what it says next? You are a conqueror through Him–that’s Me. You are a conqueror in all these things because of Me. Because of My love for You.

You will never be able to do anything on your own. But My love carries you. 

In that moment, a wave of peace flooded my heart to where I can’t even explain it. Through my absolute surrender that I can’t do it, God provided me with peace because He reminded me that it’s THROUGH HIM not through Rachel.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without the strength of God.

When you see these pictures below, on Instagram, or on Facebook, do not be deceived. I am not strong. I am weak. And I will gladly proclaim that brutally honest truth until the day I die because it’s not through me. It’s through Him.