I *love* the Word of God.
It’s true. When I was a very young girl, I discovered that God had put His own words down in a book for me to read, and ever since then I don’t remember many days which haven’t included a time of searching those words to hear what He’s saying to me. That Book is always at hand, always the same, always begging to unfold the Mystery which is grace and love and the Father who reaches for me. I remember being a young teen, standing in the kitchen, Bible held tightly across my chest and my earthly dad, mocking . . . “Why do you spend so much time with that? Why do you think it’s true?” I grasped at mental straws wildly, not having answers, never having been told why I could trust this Book I only knew I heard His voice through . . . “Because it’s so . . . long! Who would write a book this long for nothing?!?!” Laughter followed, but not my own. It was years before I learned about Bible apologetics, the inner witness of the Bible, the fact that there are more accurate copies of this book than any other book of antiquity, the fulfilled prophecies, and the many other defenses. All I knew was that I needed God, and I found Him there.
Choosing one book out of the many, I’d read it through, marking my favorite passages. One year I read it from cover to cover. After the babies started arriving, I found nursing time on the couch to be a great time to read. Eventually I learned of Precept Bible Studies, Kay Arthur’s study series which teach you how to study the Bible word by word, concordance in hand, and discern the themes and teachings for yourself–oh happy day! At the end of one church study, I even attended a Teacher Training with Precepts so I could lead classes myself. One of my children used to say, whenever finding me with a book of *any* type out on my lap, “Dat’s Bible tuddy, mom?”
One thing I knew I wanted was for my children to love studying the Bible as much as their mama does. When we found Sonlight homeschooling curriculum, I was thrilled that they incorporated Bible into their scheduling plans. The best part about it was that they assigned the children large sections of scripture to memorize–sometimes entire chapters! We would read sections over and over at the breakfast table every day as the curriculum suggested, and surprise, surprise–they really learned them! Eventually I discovered what we found to be the greatest help to us in Bible memory: writing it down and placing the words out where we all could see them. I bought poster board sheets and copied our verses, posting the papers on the wall in the dining room. We’d read them over and over, probably three times each morning, and within a month or two even the littlest could rattle off Psalm 23, or John 1, or whatever it was we were trying to “get.” Mounting a giant chalkboard on the dining room wall was an obvious next step, and currently you can find Ephesians 6 written in dry-erase marker on the large mirror that’s replaced the chalkboard (love the mirror, but I’m missing the chalkboard, to be honest!) next to our gathering place.
Once in awhile, though, I’d hear stories of mythical figures who had memorized entire books of the Bible. Surely they were giants in the faith, these lovers of the Word who had obviously devoted so much time to ingesting it, writing it on their hearts so they could bring it back in any situation. How wonderful it would be to have giant chunks of the Bible living in me! This week I happened upon a post by Ann Voskamp detailing her own Bible book memory commitment, and it seemed the right time to join the ranks. After all, memorizing a book is only memorizing a chapter . . . followed by another . . . followed by another, right? Her blog post includes a host of information about how to do it.
And so, since we’re in Ephesians for our Classical Conversations class anyway, I find myself on day 4 of my memorization journey today. Basically my plan goes like this (a simplified version of one from Ann’s site): The first day, read the first verse aloud 10 times. Really look at the words on the page, paying attention to where they are. Look away, trying to recite it again and again. The next day, recite the previous days’ verse a few times, and add the next one–reading it ten times. Throughout the day I mumble them over whenever it comes to mind. And so on, and so on, and so on, each day adding another verse to the ones already tucked away in mind and heart. Of course, reviewing the previous verses is incredibly important so you won’t “lose” them.
So it begins.
What would the Lord have you do to hide His Word in your heart today?