Guest Post written by Dorina Lazo Gilmore
During my husband’s cancer journey, we spent a lot of time driving to appointments, sitting in doctors’ offices and hospital rooms. We often found ourselves waiting. In the waiting, fear creeps in if you leave the door to your heart ajar. I decided early on that I needed a battle plan to fight fear in those moments. I needed courage, and so did my husband.
I remembered a practice one of my mentors taught me years earlier. Michelle would buy me these spiral-bound 3×5 index cards. She encouraged me to use the notebook to write out verses that spoke to my heart. If I happened upon a meaningful verse in our Bible study or at church in a sermon, I would write it down.
The practice of writing out the scriptures helped root them deep in my heart. A recent study affirms that students who hand write their notes tend to remember them better. There’s something that happens in the brain when we are writing by hand that is different from typing. It’s a slower process, and it sticks. I believe the same applies to scripture. I know I am more likely to remember a scripture if I take time to write it out.
Michelle taught me to carry around those notebooks in my purse or diaper bag so they were easily accessible. I would pull them out when I was waiting in line or nursing the baby or when a friend needed a word of encouragement. I would use these little snatches of time to meditate on the words and sometimes even to memorize them.
The day we met with the surgeon who told us the large tumor near my husband’s hip was inoperable I pulled out my scripture notebook. With trembling hands and heart, I read the words to Romans 5:3-5 and John 16:33 and Isaiah 41:10 aloud to my husband. Our future was uncertain, but our spirits were somehow fortified.
That winter, after my husband soared to Heaven, I started a new notebook. I filled the cards with verse upon verse about my God who comforts, who is strong when I am weak, who is my Maker and my Husband. Through the years, that simple practice stuck with me. I still make scripture notebooks for each new season of life. I dig through the Bible for just the right verses. It’s kind of a treasure hunt.
I ask myself these questions:
What verses will be my gold for this present season? Which passages do I want to work on and memorize? How will some of my old favorites be made new today?
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (NIV).
The prophecy in Isaiah compares God’s Word to the rain and snow that falls on the earth. The rain and snow do the hidden work of watering the soil. The result is budding plants and flourishing gardens. However, the work is not complete in blooms and buds. The Word of God multiplies for His purpose. It is like the seed mentioned in verse 10, which the sower can spread and grow exponential crops. And from those crops, the wheat is gathered and eventually made into flour that is kneaded into dough to nourish the one who is hungry. God’s Word strengthens, grows and sustains us.
Are you a tired mama? Are you a grandma trying to set aside your worries and abide in Christ? Are you a wife at your wit’s end? Let me encourage you to find yourself a notebook of spiral-bound index cards. Start writing out scriptures and see what happens in your heart and your life. I have a collection of notebooks now. I flip through them once in a while as a reminder of all the different seasons God has walked with me. His Word has multiplied in me like the spring rains that nourished the soil that grew the seeds and produced abundant harvest.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore is a published writer, blogger, teacher and speaker. Her first Bible study, Glory Chasers: Discovering God’s Glory in Unexpected Places, was published in 2017. She has also published 3 children’s books. She blogs at www.DorinaGilmore.com and you can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest as @DorinaGilmore. Dorina is married to Shawn and a mama of three girls.
This article was inspired by the “Nourish” chapter in Dorina’s recently-published Bible study. Flourishing Together: Cultivating a Fruitful Life in Christ is a 6-week journey through the Bible, studying the process of flourishing. These words help believers who feel parched and disconnected from the Vine to root themselves in Biblical truth and find rest.
(The FCC requires that I tell you I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you purchase via my link, I receive a small commission. No worries, there is no added cost for you.)