I’ve been working on this little pep talk workbook for the last few weeks.
It is for you if:
You aren’t sure what God wants you to do next
You feel Lost
You recently lost dreams and vision for your life
You are disappointed in your season of life
You want more clarity
If this is you, you are in good company. I get it! I’ve felt lost recently especially after moving back to America from Ukraine but in this 7 day workbook I’ve included truths that God’s been wrecking my life with.
In this episode I’ve read one of the days of the workbook and a few notes. Give it a listen here ?? or keep reading to grab the free workbook now!
HEY! If you are in this season of discovery send me an email and tell me what you thought of the workbook! I want to hear from others in the same season of discovery. I want to hear and learn from you too!
Sometimes God gives us options and we can choose which direction to take. He doesn’t always clearly ‘call’ us into something, sometimes He just equips us to make wise decisions and wants us to listen for His leading.
In this episode, I share how I moved to Ukraine as a 21 year old girl by myself to serve God. I moved there confidently and I didn’t have a clear calling I just knew it was something I had a passion for and wanted to explore.
Give it a listen to be encouraged and go make that difficult decision!
If you are asking “Where do I start reading the Bible?” this post was written for you. There are so many ways we get to this question like maybe we are seeking direction from God, or we want to grow closer to Him, or we have questions about who He is. Well I love sharing my passion for Scripture with others and this is a simple guide to get you started reading the Bible.
Reading the Bible is the number one way I recommend people start seeking to hear God speak. If you’ve met God and are ready to go deeper, hear Him speak & interact with Him on a daily level then Scripture is the best place to start.
Sometimes we want God to speak to us individually and verbally. We want Him to be very clear in the way He approaches us with truth.
I’ve found He doesn’t often do that. He often wants us to seek to spend time with Him MORE than to seek Him simply to hear something or get something from Him.
God’s already spoken. A lot. He has said many things, He has performed many miracles, He has loved in many ways and His people wrote those down for us.
The Bible is a book full of letters written by imperfect humans inspired by God and used by the Spirit to share truth.
These humans were in different time periods and in different situations yet our God remains the same through it all.
These stories and instructions are extremely important for us!
They teach us things like
who God is
who God created us to be
what He needs us to do
how He loves us
how we are called to love Him & others
how to find wisdom
the truth of heaven
how God used (and uses!) imperfect people to impact the world
how God desires us to live an abundant life
When you read the Bible you will grow in your relationship with God.
Whether you know and understand the Bible well OR you are absolutely clueless and new, keep reading because YES you can begin to understand the Bible and go deeper with God today!
If you want to understand the Bible it’s simple,you have to read the Bible.
The Best Order to Read the Bible for the First Time
Now I am not going to make a blanket statement and say you HAVE to read this book first and then give you an order.
I am going to give you a few different book ideas since it’s your first time reading the Bible.
If you don’t want options and are just ready to be told where to start reading the Bible, I’ve made a seven day video course just for you. Join right here!
Go check your email now!
Before that let’s dive into a few facts about the Bible so you can understand the book a little better.
Facts about the Bible
The Bible is split into two sections: the Old Testament & the New Testament.
There are 66 books total. 39 in the Old. 27 in the New.
The original language of the Old Testament was Hebrew (with two books in Aramaic) and the New Testament Greek!
The Bible was written by about 40 different people of different times & backgrounds.
These people were used by the Holy Spirit to write all these words to use to lead us to God and through this life!
Okay I want to share a little more about the first fact because that was the biggest mind altering subject I dove into when I started reading the Bible.
God is the same throughout the entire Bible. You may be thinking “Then why was He so violent in the Old Testament?”
That is a deep question I am not going to answer today BUT we can still get more understanding of the differences.
In general, the Old Testament is more stories & the New Testament is more direct teachings.
The Old Testament can be more difficult to apply to your everyday life because it isn’t as direct and when looking at context we realize many of those Old Testament laws don’t apply to us after the cross.
BUT it is still important to study!
You know why?
Because you learn more about WHO God is throughout the entire Bible. You can’t pick and choose what to focus on.
I don’t recommend ONLY spending time studying the New Testament.
I am not saying to ONLY study the Old Testament either.
I believe you need to find a balance because God will use both sections to teach and lead you.
I realize many people favor the New Testament because it’s easier to read and to find takeaways but those people are missing out on so much!
God split the Red Sea
God used a Donkey to verbally speak
God stopped the sun from setting during a battle
Many people do dumb things ?
There is so much to be gained from reading the whole Bible and now I will rest my case.
Another difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is God’s relationship with us.
The Old Testament people were separated from God because of their sin. After Jesus died all sins past, present & future were forgiven. With His resurrection came a new connection we can have with God untainted by sin.
That’s just something to keep in mind when reading about the laws in Leviticus.
There are two options you have for getting started reading the Bible (I mean technically you have 66 but I am going to make this more simple)
I have created a course that is a 7 day video course to guide you into reading the Bible. In this course we use Philippians as our jumping off point. Join here!
Go check your email now!
If you would rather do it on your own here are a few ideas!
It’s a relatively short but joyful book written by Paul to the Philippi people.
Start with a Gospel The first four books of the New Testament are called the Gospels. These are four different accounts of the time Jesus walked the Earth. These include amazing stories, truths about God’s character, and instructions directly from Jesus!
Read a Letter from Paul Man! If you are ready for some strong encouragement and teaching Paul’s letters don’t disappoint. He is always on an adventure to share the truth about Jesus to the world no matter the cost. He has written many letters but a few you could start with are: Romans, Galatians, Ephesians & Philippians (this we dive into in the course!)
Read the book of Genesis Always a fun place to start, Genesis includes our origin story, some dumb human behavior and a loving God who still shows up.
Read Ruth It’s only a four chapter book and it’s an easy to follow story to get started with!
BONUS: Want a little poetry thrown in? Real a Psalm a day with your other book reading or read through Proverbs!
If you are ready to commit and dive into the whole Bible then you need a Bible reading plan. Then you don’t have to think of where to start reading the Bible, you read it all!
When reading the Bible all the way through there are two main ways to do it.
One way is just from cover to cover. This is often the easiest place to start.
*Sometimes Bible reading plans include the books in a different order to break up some of the longer story sections and make it easier to read!
You can also follow a chronological order of reading. The way the Bible is currently published is not necessarily the order the books were written in.
When looking at context we realize a few books actually repeat stories of others.
This kind of Bible reading plan is often as a way to go deeper after reading it through at least once cover to cover.
It’s good to mix things up and read the Bible both ways!
This year I’ve read the entire Bible all the way through for the first time. It taught me so much about the bigger picture of the Bible and how God’s plan was happening throughout.
I even took on a challenge that is only for those who are really ready for a big commitment – I read it through in 60 days. Check it out here!
If you are looking for a Bible Reading Plan for the entire Bible here it is! This one will go back and forth on the Old Testament and New Testament everyday!
How to Read the Bible Effectively
Don’t let intimidation hold you back from reading the Bible. The more you read and study the more you’ll understand.
You’ll learn and grow throughout your time in the Word so don’t focus on reading effectively but here are a few tips to help get you digging in!
Set Up Camp
If you really want to start understanding the Bible you can’t skip around. You’ll never grow in your knowledge by just reading a verse here and there.
You’ve got to commit. You have to choose a book and set up camp.
Setting up camp means you are choosing to read and reread until you understand it. It means you are truly dedicated to understanding that little part of the Bible which will build the foundational blocks of your Biblical understanding.
Choose a book. Set up camp.
Know what type of Writing it is
Different people use different categories for the types of Biblical writings but I am just going to share the broader types to help you get started.
The broad writing styles of the Bible are these:
Are you going to read poetry differently then you would American laws? Would you read a person’s memoir differently than a letter from a friend?
Yes, you would! You would be reading it differently expecting different messages and ways of translating. The same is true for Scripture.
For example, Leviticus is a book of law while Psalm and Proverbs are poetry. They are written differently, for different purposes and we must approach Scripture according to those differences.
After choosing a book to set up camp in, determine what kind of writing it is!
Dig into Context before Diving into Details
You may have heard the phrase context is key and it is!
I am going to dive deeper into this topic in the seven day Where to Start Reading the Bible Course but for now context is simply understanding facts around the book of the Bible.
It’s asking these questions so you can understand each book and unique verses.
Who wrote this book?
Why did he write it?
What was his main points?
What was going on in history?
These questions give us context so when we read the verses we understand the author which leads to us better grasping their truth.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
The only way you’ll understand God’s Word is if you ask questions.
You probably wouldn’t be reading this if you are a theology expert so I am going to assume you aren’t really sure about the Bible.
It’s complicated, weird and difficult to understand. It seems archaic and irrelevant. It’s intimidating.
Don’t fear not knowing and understanding. It’s the best place to start.
You’ve got to ask questions. If you really want to understand the Bible you do what you do in class and ask questions.
Then look for answers.
God’s Word has a lot to offer and it requires you to dig in and dig deep.
Promise me you’ll ask questions!
Dwell in Lessons throughout the Day
This is often the problem I see.
Someone will add “read the Bible” to their daily to do list and then they’ll do it just to check it off.
Don’t do that.
There are two problems.
1- it becomes something you have to do.
2- It limits your time to just those spare 5 minutes.
When you truly dive into God’s Word and He chooses to speak to you, you’ve got to chose to dwell in the message.
God speaks when He wants you to hear AND do something about it.
Every day is a new chance to become more like Jesus. It’s a daily act of choosing the Godly over the worldly.
That requires putting in some work and seeking God’s truth throughout the day not just in the morning.
This is my challenge.
Spend time in God’s Word then try to remember and reflect throughout the day.
Write a phrase on your wrist. Pray every time you are in the car. Talk to a friend about what God is teaching you.
Don’t stop spending time with God when you close His Word.
You’ve already gotten so far!
You found your next book to set up camp in, you’ve learned more about how to read it to understand it and you’ve grown in your relationship with God.
Don’t quit now!
The only way to truly know and understand the Bible is to keep reading and studying it. You’ve got to keep opening it up and diving in.
The more you read, the more you’ll grow to love it. The brighter your passion will burn and the deeper you’ll go with God.
Trust me, you’ve just got to keep studying and it is so worth it!
Now I hope you’ve found the answer to the question of where to start reading the Bible and are equipped to reading it effectively!
Before you leave I just want to mention The Basic Bible Course that I created for people like you who don’t have access to theology class but want to know more about the Bible.
This course is full of guides, facts, and teachings to equip you to study God’s Word well and grow deeper with God.
If you aren’t sure what God is asking you to do today, this episode is for you. You aren’t alone and today we are going to talk about different ways God has been telling me to be faithful and to encourage you to be faithful too. Let’s get started!
This past week I shared a challenge on my instagram page. I want to personally be looking for ways God is leading me in the day to day and I wanted to challenge others to do the same.
So I titled it Take a Step Tuesday. When I shared this the first question I was asked made me stop and think. I want to share what I’ve learned about this topic!
How do you take a step when you may not be clear on what God is asking you to do?
That hit home.
I am in the same boat.
I’ve been looking for the perfect job, the perfect clear path, and the ideal situation. I’ve been searching for that clear step I realized what I was missing.
In this episode, I share several mind shift changes so you can stop sitting in fear and frustration. You can be confident in the unknown.
I don’t have all the answers but I can share a few things God has been reminding me of.
It’s not about knowing the right thing to do.
It’s about trusting God is who He says He is It’s about trusting You are who He says you are. It’s about accepting the fact that you aren’t what you do.
God doesn’t care so much what you do for Him, He cares who you are. He cares about the state of your heart.
If you can’t find joy in the midst of the unknown, you probably won’t be able to find joy in the known.
God cares more about you seeking Him than you seeking a perfect job.
If He hasn’t made something clear yet, there is a reason.
Take a step Tuesday isn’t about finding that big perfect step towards your dreams. It can be simple and small. It can be loving that one co-worker well. It can be not overspending on Amazon this month. It can be choosing to spend more time trusting God and His process than dwelling on it.
Today I want to share how YOU can find purpose as a single girl. Because let’s be honest, sometimes it feels like your life won’t start until you get married, am I right? But like I talk about on my blog, life totally doesn’t start when you get married. It starts right now!
Before I start, I just want to make a little disclaimer. These may be tips you’ve heard before. But I wholeheartedly believe that they work, and they are life-changing because they’ve changed my life. If you are still searching for purpose as a single girl and you’ve heard these tips before, can I gently ask why you haven’t implemented them? Because if you truly did, it would make a difference in your life. Am I promising you a perfect life if you follow these steps? Definitely not. But I think I can promise you a meaningful life if you take these steps to find your purpose as a single girl.
6 Steps to Find Purpose in Your Single Season
1. Remember what this life is all about.
I’ve talked about this multiple times on my blog, but marriage is not what this life is all about. It’s about knowing God and making Him known!
Marriage is a gift from God, no doubt. But its too little a thing to live for. God created us for intimacy with Him, and if we don’t remember that and we place all our hope in a future husband, we will be disappointed, and we won’t be able to find our purpose.
So don’t wait around for a guy. Follow those plans that God has placed on your heart!
2. Truly become best friends with God.
Oh y’all, I think this is the step that has changed my life the most. I can truly say right now that God is my best friend. He’s the One I go to with everything. It’s the most precious relationship!
And you can definitely have that kind of relationship, too. Start going to God first when something good or bad happens. Make time with Him a priority (don’t know where to start? Ashley’s Bible study course is an amazing place to begin!). Trust Him with everything. He’s so worthy to be trusted.
3. Find meaningful relationships and friendships.
It can be so hard to find good friends. Trust me, I know. However, it is so worth the effort! Good Christian friends can keep you accountable, they can be someone to talk things through with, and they’re fun!
Don’t give up on finding these friends if you haven’t found them! Keep being intentional and don’t be afraid to initiate conversations or “make the first move.” So many people struggle with friendships, so chances are, the person you talk to would love a good friend! Try joining a Bible study, a Christian college club, or invite somebody you kind of know to get coffee with you.
4. Serve, serve, serve!
It’s true, even though if you’re anything like me, you don’t like to hear it very much. We do have more time as singles to serve. I’m not saying that you’re not busy, and I’m also not saying that you should do everything that is asked of you. But we don’t have to take care of a family, generally speaking, and we do have some extra time.
Also, God made us for serving, and it brings so much purpose and joy to life, + it helps get the focus off you and your problems!
5. Stop believing those lies about your season.
I know that there are lies that you believe about your single season, because I have too. I challenge you to sit down and think about some lies that you are believing. Write them out and then find Scripture that proclaims truth.
>>> Also, I wrote a blog post debunking 15 lies that single girls believe. It may help you if you don’t know where to start! Read it Here!
6. Have fun!
Enjoy this season! You’ll never get this time back, and I know you’ll look back and wish you had just trusted God because His plans were far better than yours.
So take that trip you’ve always wanted to take, go on spontaneous ice cream dates with friends (or even by yourself, ice cream is always a good idea ?), or maybe even switch to a job that brings you life if that is where God is leading you!
My point: live this season to the fullest because God is working, and life is something to celebrate.
I truly hope these tips help you find purpose in your single years! They can be some of the best years of your life if you trust God and have an attitude full of hope and joy.
I’m in this with you girl,
Hi! I am Allison Marie, and I blog mainly about being single over on All Things Allison Marie. I am currently a college student, and in my spare time I love eating brunch, hanging out with friends or family, and reading historical fiction. You can follow along with me on Instagram @justallisonmarie!
I know a lot of people actually deal with this and it’s a lot more common than we talk about, especially as believers, since we’re supposed to be relying on God and the Bible says to not be anxious for anything.
It doesn’t change the fact that I feel like society right now has been a lot more anxious and a lot more fearful about things, at least in general. We’ve had a lot more mental issues, mental health conversation, self care conversations, it’s just where we’re at right now.
And so I wanted to talk about anxiety because I have experienced a little bit of this in the past year, a lot more than I ever did in high school or college. And so I wanted to share my story and some tips of how to fight anxiety with it in a healthy way and to move through it.
When I was living as a missionary in Ukraine last year, I was there for seven months. About a month into my trip I ended up getting sick. I use the word sick loosely. It was extreme fatigue and just a lot of issues with that. It’s kind of hard to explain to people who don’t have autoimmune problems or those kinds of things, but it’s like my body just didn’t have enough energy to make it through the day.
So that made everything a lot harder than it should have been. Learning Russian was harder walking to the grocery store, learning the culture with me being exhausted all the time, it kind of made it a little bit more difficult.
But through that I ended up getting depressed and anxious due to like chemical imbalances. So as a clinical anxiety and depression I feel like everybody can understand basic level, what it feels to be a little depressed and a little anxious. I was there for seven months, handled anxiety.
It made it really hard to get out of bed. It was like I was always anxious about the next thing I had to do, the next ministry I had to go to those kinds of things. And it was really, really hard to handle because it was stacked on top. I had a lot of different things that I was dealing with at the same time. And even now, fast forward, I’ve been in for like what, nine months approximately?
I’ve been to a lot of doctors and they still can’t figure out exactly what’s wrong with me other than they think I’m developing an autoimmune disease. I still sometimes get really anxious or start like dwelling in things that I can’t control.
And it’s like this internal just dread and just nervousness and I understand I can’t control it, which it’s not, I don’t think it’s a desire to control it completely, but just a desire to know what’s happening or what’s going to happen.
And so it’s been something I’ve been dealing with a little bit more recently and I’ve been on a specific diet too. And so that’s kind of given me a roller coaster of emotions and moods. I wanted to share a little bit about three ways that I’ve learned to fight anxiety in the moment and handle it so that we can move through those emotions into a healthy emotional place.
Is Anxiety a sin?
That’s also another question a lot of people ask, is anxiety a sin?
I want to blanket this and say anxiety can be a sin, but it depends on where it’s coming from.
There are different kinds of anxiety, like fears coming out as anxiety or anxiety due to health issues or anxiety and worry, which is considered like more of a lack of trusting God.
Those are just like three different examples of anxiety.
You have to find the root
So really figuring out what the root of your anxious feelings is the best place to start in dealing with it.
And I want you to not dwell in the question of is it sinful or not, but I want you to think about how can I be a healthier human and handled this anxiety issue?
How can I fight anxiety in a healthy way so that I can move forward and love other people and be who God’s called me to be and allow God to fulfill His promises because God promises abundant life and freedom.
3 Tricks to Fighting Anxiety
Anxiety to me is a form of bondage.
It’s a form of just stuckness. You’re stuck in the fears and in that like anxious feeling of you don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t believe that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross so that we can sit in anxiety.
1. Talk about it with God
Number one is simple. You give it over to God.
Speaking to God is crazy, crazy important in your relationship because you can’t have a relationship unless you speak with the other person. So if you’re not speaking with God, you’re lacking relationship. So take the time.
If you’re feeling anxious just sit and tell God how you feel, and yes He already knows, but he wants you to tell him anyway. And it will help you process verbally exactly you feel and maybe find the root of why you feel the way you feel.
For example the other day I was feeling a little anxious. I’ve been looking for a roommate and somebody sent me a message and I do not know why, but I have felt very anxious about her coming and looking at the house and just the changes that comes with that. The fact that somebody else will be living in my home with me, which I’m not used to because I’ve been here for like six months by myself.
It just came with these overwhelming feelings of anxiety and I did not want them. So I started talking to God and telling him exactly how I felt and then I pinpointed a few different roots of my anxiety.
So after speaking to God about it and just sharing why you feel the way you feel and then try to give it over to him.
I realize that sounds simple and it’s not, it can be very difficult to do and often times we take it back. That’s what I often do, I’ll give God something that I want him to take over, but then I will feel like I can handle it better. I’ll take it back. So intentionally give whatever you are anxious about over to God and say I trust you.
Here it is. You know better than I know your will be done. You’re good father and sit in trust of who God is and that he will take care of whatever it is, whatever situation you’re in because he will do it.
The second way to fight anxiety is a little trick I learned from Hannah Brencher who is my absolute favorite writer ever. You should go followers. She’s done a Ted talk if you’re interested.
That was the first time I ever heard her speak and she has written two amazing books. I highly, highly recommend.
But somewhere along the line she heard a pastor share about breath prayers. He shared how to fight anxiety and depression by recentering yourself in God’s presence and pray with your being. I have taken that and now use that and it’s been so calming.
A breath prayer is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a prayer that you say with your breath. So you breathe in and you say something, you breathe out and you say something. So you’re focusing on the words that you’re saying.
For example, you could breathe in and breathe while you’re breathing in. Say,
“Lord I love you.”
And while you breathe out, say
“Help me, trust you.”
That’s one example. Or another one.
You can breathe in God’s peace and you can breathe out your fear.
So I really recommend you do this specific to how you’re feeling and what you’re dealing with. Pinpoint why you are anxious, what it is you’re anxious about, and you give it to God.
It’s a repetitive thing. So you sit down and you do it for a few minutes at a time and you literally concentrate on breathing in and breathing out, breathing in God’s truth and breathing out your fears and bringing in God’s presence and putting out everything that’s holding you back from freedom.
I’ve been using that for so many different things in so many situations, I’ll just sit there and think about what I need to dwell in and how I can settle my body and my spirit with my breath as well as sit in God’s presence.
That is what breath prayers are.
3. Use the Abide app to meditate
The third way to fight anxiety is similar to number 2 but it’s actually an app. It is similar to a breath prayer because it is also meditation which is what you’re doing when you’re dwelling on your breath and your prayers as you’re meditating, you’re meditating on truth.
This one’s a little bit more guided. So there is an app called abide and I absolutely love it and I paid for it when I was living in Ukraine and I use it almost every single day.
Abide is an app and it’s a Christian meditation app and so everything is based on scripture and truth and it is a slower pace thing.
It can be just a few minutes to 20 minutes. You can choose which time and you can choose what specific topic you want to dwell on, what you want to meditate on. And they have so many and it’s very calming.
And you can set background music too. So I have rainfall cause it’s my favorite thing. It’s very calming to me.
So I’ll turn that on and I’ll just dwell and listen to what they say. Listen to scripture, let God just bring peace over me and just meditate on his truth and his presence. And a slightly different way than praying. So that is my other tip. And I love abide too because they have sleep ones and so they’re 15 to an hour-long so it’ll turn off automatically when it’s over and they’ll tell stories from scripture and they’ll just guide you through different things.
They have specific ones on peace and on joyfulness, those kinds of things as well as stories of Noah and Moses.
I highly recommend Abife if you are an anxious person or if there’s a lot of things going on in life. If you need a moment of peace, then you can just turn that on, sit down and focus on calming yourself and it can be so, so helpful in keeping peace amidst the chaos.
I pray this post helps you fight anxiety and helps you handle it in a healthy way so that you can move forward and be free. God’s got you!