Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yes, I was an Elem. Ed Major

It's Works - for - me - Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer. I love reading all of these posts and getting such great ideas. Head over and visit Shannon and glean from the wisdom of the internets. And, share an idea of your own.

I'm clumsy. Yes, you heard it here first. I have not one iota of grace in me. I fall, stub my toe, drop things, or bump my thigh into the corners of my furniture pretty much on a daily basis. I try to confine my clumsiness to the privacy of my own home, but I usually end up making a fool of myself in public anyways.

One of the things I am prone to do out in public is drop my Bible. Juggling stuff to entertain 3 kids during worship, a purse, and a Bible often proves too much for my graceless body.

I am also an avid note taker. If I'm going to remember it, I must write it down. So, you can imagine the scene that occurs when the Bible of an avid note taker gets dropped, or kicked off the pew by a 4 year old, or merely slips off of her lap. Sermon notes, church bulletins, Sunday school papers, recipes for the potato chip casserole I tried at the last potluck . . . go EVERYWHERE! It's not a pretty sight, and the embarrassment that takes over my whole entire being when the person sitting 6 people down has to pick up the reminder to make 2 dozen cookies for the college retreat last November is just too much to bear.

So, out of pure necessity, I avoid slipping notes between the pages of my Bible. I just stick them in my purse. It has a zipper to hold everything inside, so when I drop it, nothing falls out.

But that's not my Works-for-me-Wednesday tip. I'm getting to that. Several years ago, I adopted a new note taking habit. I hardly ever take notes about the sermon or Bible class on a separate piece of paper. I just don't. I realized that I was never going back and reading the notes that I did take. And really, a Bible can only hold so much extra stuff, so where do you store them when your Bible is filled to the brim?

To solve my note taking woes, I started taking notes in the margins of my Bible. I underline, write, and circle to my heart's content. Because space is limited, I only write the truths that really speak to me. The pieces that I truly want to store in my heart and live every day. And they are right there beside the verse used by the speaker. And I don't have to spend 4 days sifting through folded crumpled church bulletins to find the ONE that I needed.

Yeah, OK, that wasn't my WFMW tip either. Here it is: After a few years of this "notes in the margin" thing, I found that all of my pages were beginning to look the same. Special verses that I underlined for emphasis were beginning to run together. They were all underlined. I was also wrestling with knowing that God loves me completely and lavishly and I was spending much time reading this truth in the scriptures. I wanted a quick way for these verses to stand out to me. I wanted to pick up my Bible, flip through the pages, see a verse that reminded me how much my Father loves me, and read it . I wanted a quick reminder and pick me up from the Lord himself.

So, I began marking these scriptures with small stickers. Every time I read a scripture that reminded me that God loves me, I put a small heart sticker in the margin beside it. The next time I needed a hug from my Father, I flipped the pages of my Bible until I found a heart sticker.

Soon, I realized that I had many issues that were keeping me in spiritual bondage, so I started marking scriptures that helped me with specific issues with different stickers.

In the back of my Bible on one of the "Notes" pages, I made a little legend to help me remember what all the little stickers mean. Some of my subjects include: Promises God Makes/Keeps about My Deliverance, Absolute Truth, God Loves Me, and Remembering that I live my life using God's power and bringing glory to His name.

I find these small, (1/2 inch), stickers at teacher supply stores or Christian book stores. They aren't all religious in meaning, but they mean a great deal to me. I love being able to have the verses at my fingertips whenever I need a pick-me-up or a gentle reminder.

What Bible study techniques work for you?


Misty said...

I am an avid note taker, (and list maker, but thats a story for another day...) and yet, this idea never occured to me. (it's debatable whethere there is more ink in my Bible from the publisher or my pens...) this is such a FANTASTIC idea!

Cindy said...

FABULOUS IDEA! This, I believe, is the BEST WFMW idea I've ever seen. Perhaps the best idea I've ever seen in all of blogland. I LOVE it! Thank you!! I want to teach it to my kids now, too!

Jenni said...

I love that idea! I write all over my bibles too....and the sticker idea is just a great tool!

jen at Conversations said...

Why, thank you Cindy Lou.

The Binkley Family said...

That is really clever! I may have to try that. I have the same problem with things falling out of my Bible all the time!

SAHMmy Says said...

Great tip! Sometimes I forget WHY I felt compelled to underline a verse--your system would help :)

Mrs. Brownstone said...

What a wonderful idea!

ALL of your tips were great - even the ones you said weren't your tips for this WFMW! :)

Your Bible will be such a legacy for your children someday. How special to have a record of what touched their mom in her Bible study!

Do you give out your potato chip casserole recipe? It sounds different, and I'm a sucker for trying new ones!

Thanks for the tips!

SJ said...

Love it! You've always been great with the bible tips and ideas...I've learned a lot of great stuff from you in years past whether you know it or not. And the sticker thing is great! Once upon a time I started using colored pencils (well, they're actually the crayons that you twist up) to highlight for different things like that...but then I forgot to make a key for what all the colors stood for. Just a tiny flaw in the system! Doh!