I’m not much of a new years resolution type person… I need short term, measurable goals. In December, God convicted my heart about (my lack of) memorizing Scripture. In the past, I’ve memorized a few verses here and there, but nothing that required much of an effort or commitment. I really wanted to try and and to do it well, so I made ta goal to memorize Psalm 19 during the month of January.
At that time, I was in a harder season with the darling little’s at lunchtime. It seems silly, I know, but it was just a more chaotic time in the day for us. It was two hungry almost toddlers still learning patience, and one rather frazzled nanny. (Plus two dogs who were happy to eat what the messy little hands were throwing on the floor). I couldn’t prepare food fast enough for the one who was going through that screaming phase. And for the other, trying to come up with options that she’d eat was frustrating. No matter how much i tried to plan ahead and have everything prepped and ready, it still felt chaotic. Plus, I hate a messy kitchen, and for some reason, it always looked like a tornado had blown through after we were finished.
Enter my Psalm 19 memorization journey. I started practicing out loud during lunch, as I prepared the food and as they ate. And can I tell you, after a few days, the atmosphere at lunch time was transformed. They would eat and watch me curiously, and though they may not have grasped exactly what I was saying, it calmed us all.
Letting the scripture wash over my heart in a particularly stressful situation fixed my eyes on the one who brings chaos back to order
…And I began to respond with calm and kindness, and those little set backs didn’t ruin the rest of the day. By the end of the month they would nod their little heads as they ate, as if agreeing with the Scripture I was speaking over us. They’d sweetly smile at me like they were encouraging me through the tricky parts.
What did I learn? A child is never too young to be impacted by the powerful, transforming Word of God.
And the act of disciplining my mind and repeatedly focusing on Scripture day after day changed how I did relationships. It gave me more of a desire to serve and love my husband with humility and gentleness, more patience for the little’s, and more grace for myself.
No, it obviously wasn’t a complete transformation, but the roots of Scripture in my heart was evident in my thoughts and attitude and softened my actions.
and suddenly, without much fanfare, shalom had quietly crept into my life as I hid Word of God deep down in my soul.
But also, can I be honest? Just as quickly and quietly, the cares of the world can drown out God’s voice when you cease to focus on His word. I haven’t diligently worked on memorizing or reviewing for a month or two now… and I can see the evidence of it. Time to get back on track. Care to join me? Any favorite passages that you recommend ?
when my heart is overwhelmed, whispering the only words that matter- Words of life– brings peace, fullness, and restoration.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous. Psalm 19:7-9
If you’re curious on how to get started, I broke up the passage into 4 sections for each week. Then, I broke it down further with daily goals of memorizing/reviewing. The key is to keep constantly reviewing what you’ve already memorized and add the new verses in. I began first by reading Psalm 19 several times, and then wrote it out (by hand–that helps with the memorizing). Finally, I just practiced out loud. I practiced in the shower, while I washed dishes, in the car (I hardly listened to the radio at all that month), even in the tanning bed (don’t judge… I’ve since given that bad habit up) . At first it felt uncomfortable speaking out load, but I forced myself to keep with it.
Also, I typically use the English Standard Version of Scripture in my daily devotions and for studying, but after doing looking over this particular passage, I decided to go with the NIV because it seemed to flow a bit more poetically which I felt would be easier for me to memorize.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
P.S. It still looks like a tornado has gone through the kitchen every lunchtime…