25 Tips for Spending Time with God

We’ve All Been There…

We mean to do it. And we try to do it! But when it comes to actually spending time with God? Sitting down, reading our Bible, and praying?  That’s a challenge for many believers.

I find myself in this position more often than I like to admit. If I don’t make spending time with God a priority first thing in the morning, I struggle to make it happen at all. Once my day has started, my mind is focused on other things – getting the dishes washed, moving clothes from washer to dryer, keeping Little Buddy occupied while I prepare lunch… It is a challenge to set everything aside to read God’s Word and pray.

I don’t want that to be the story of my life!

I want to be like Enoch, the man who “walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24, ESV). In Hebrews 11:4, we are told that he did this by faith. “By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.”

What an awesome thing to be remembered for! He walked with God, spending time with God on a daily basis. And he pleased God because he walked with Him by faith.

Spending time with God demonstrates our faith…

Have you ever thought of it in that way before? When we spend time with God and walk with Him every day, it is an expression of our faith. We can’t see the One we’re spending time with. And we can’t see the immediate fruit of our time with Him. We do it because we are certain that He is there and we desire to know Him better.

Spending time with God is a discipline, a practice that is developed over lots of time through lots of repetition. Creating the daily habit is not easy or convenient. Rather, it takes time, commitment, and a lot of determination. And it takes faith.

I want to be a woman of faith.

This post is devoted to the practical. To keeping it real and making it happen. The strategies that I’ve compiled are not mind-blowing, revolutionary, or magical. The strategies won’t do the work for you, but they can give you a place to start!

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25 Strategies to Spending Time with God

1. Think through your priorities.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Take a peek at your heart – does God come at the top of your priority list? Is He worth investing your time, energy, and treasure in? I’ll admit, that’s a hard question to answer sometimes, but an honest answer here will make or break our likelihood of consistently spending time with Him.

2. Ask God for help.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). God is both willing and able to help you be consistent in Bible study, prayer, and memorization. He wants to answer this prayer!

3. Start with thirty days.

In seventh grade, the pastor gave our Sunday school class a piece of wisdom and a challenge. The wisdom? If you do something consistently for thirty days, you will have established a habit. The challenge? Spend time in the Bible every day for thirty days…and if you miss a day, start over!

4. I recommend mornings…

This one is different for everyone. Some people are early birds, and some people are night owls. I recommend spending time with God in the mornings either way – we’re less likely to be busy or distracted at that time, and I like to think that it starts my day off on the right foot.

That being said, find a time that works for you.

5. Beware of the snooze button!

I know it’s tempting – I’ve fought it too. But don’t use the snooze button if you’re going to do devos in the morning! Hit it one time too many, and what’s the first thing to skip when you’re running late? Don’t let it be your time with God!

I’ve had a lot of friends suggest setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier than I need to get up, just so I can snooze it three times and feel like I’m sleeping in. Be careful of that one! We’re training our brains to disregard the alarm when we snooze it too often, and soon we won’t be able to hear it at all!

6. Consider having an accountability partner.

Ask a friend or a mentor to hold you accountable! Commit to texting one another thoughts from that morning’s Bible reading every day. Knowing that someone is waiting to hear from you about your time with God can put some friendly pressure on your to keep priorities straight.

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Ideas for Bible Study…

7. Start small.

Don’t set out to read entire books of the Bible each day if you’re just starting! Pick a favorite book of the Bible, or a book of the Bible with a favorite story in it, and just start reading a few verses a day. You can always take on more later. 🙂

8. Read through the Bible in a year.

Every time I read through the Bible, I understand more of it and I remember more of it. Lots of Bible in a Year plans are available online, or you can just read through the Bible 3-4 chapters per day, and you’ll come out about right!

9. Try a word study!

I love this strategy! Choose a topic in the Bible that you want to learn more about, or an area where you know you need to grow, and use a concordance to find where God talks about it in His Word.

Strong’s Concordance

My favorite tool for this is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It indexes every word that appears in the Bible, and it includes a dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words! My only difficulty is the copy I have is based on the King James Version, which I no longer use for personal Bible study. I would absolutely recommend investing in a concordance that corresponds to your favorite Bible version!

I’ve studied wisdom, Christ’s blood, finances, agape love, and joy using this strategy, and they have been some of the best studies of my life!

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10. Be consistent.

Bible study is a discipline, so pick a strategy and stick with it. That doesn’t mean we’re stuck doing word studies for the rest of our lives, but it does mean we’re not being haphazard in how we approach God’s Word. There is a beautiful cohesiveness in the Bible, and we do it an injustice when we’re always cherry-picking verses we like and never reading for the bigger picture.

11. Use a Journaling Bible.

My Journaling Bible cost about $40, and it has been an investment that I treasure. Each margin has extra space where I can write down thoughts, prayers, cross references, and sermon notes.

Journaling Bible

I love rereading a passage and seeing what I’ve learned before in the margin. It’s tracking my growth as a Christian and reminding me daily of lessons that God has already taught me.  If I were to ever recommend a Bible, this would be it!

12. Write something down!

The teacher in me can’t help slipping this one in. 🙂 In school, we learn more about a lesson when we respond to it, take notes, or summarize a thought. These notes also become a resource when you need to look back and remember what you learned.

Bible Study Journal

I prefer more space than my Journaling Bible gives me for this kind of daily study, so I tend to keep a Bible study journal on hand when I read. This pic shows a couple of pages out of my word study on joy – rereading those verses brings back lots of memories of what I was learning at that time!

13. Read out loud.

This one is another teacher tip. 🙂 Our mental engagement with a text and our memory of what we learn from it is directly related to the number of senses we use when we read it. Reading out loud involves our eyes, our mouths, and our ears. The more senses we use, the better we remember! Not to mention it helps us fight distraction. 🙂

14. Ask God to teach you something new every time you read the Bible.

“For the Word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12a). God’s Word is alive, and verses that we’ve known all of our lives may still have hidden gems in them that we haven’t discovered yet. Asking God to teach you more will make you more aware of His teaching when it comes!


Ideas for Prayer…

15. Keep a prayer journal.

This strategy has revolutionized my approach to prayer! Use a small journal to record prayer requests that come up on a day-to-day basis, and pray through that list regularly!I love using this as a tool for prayer in my daily time with God.

Prayer Journal

I’d recommend using another journal for prayer, separate from the Bible study journal. I like mine to be pocket sized, something I can take to church with me easily. This one is actually designed specifically for prayer,  with space for dates and answered prayers included!

16. Pray for some people every day.

My husband and sons fall into this category, and they are listed at the beginning of my prayer journal. I pray that these men in my life will walk with God, resist temptation, and stand for Christ every day. Being a man of God in today’s world is challenging enough as it is, and if anyone is going to plead with God on behalf of my men every single day, it’s going to be me…

17. Have a system for prayer requests.

I struggle to remember the prayer requests that people give me if I don’t write them down, so I keep a running list of prayer requests in my prayer journal. Often my list gets too long to pray for all of these requests every day, so I try cycle through the list on a weekly basis. The list also becomes a great reminder to ask others if they have seen any answers to their prayer!

18. Track the dates!

Since we’ve got the running list of prayer requests already, write the date you start praying for requests in your journal too. And when God answers that prayer? Write that date down! Tracking these dates teaches us to be more aware of God’s work in answering our prayers, and it is encouraging!

19. Pray Scripture.

God wants us to pray according to His will, and what better way to start than in His Word? Do a study sometime on the prayers recorded in the Bible, and use these to help you pray for the people around you effectively.

20. Pray out loud.

I treasure getting to pray every morning, but my brain doesn’t always think straight through the early morning fog. Praying through my journal out loud might sound silly, but it helps me stay focused every time. Definitely something to try if you struggle with a sleepy brain too!

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3 Strategies for Spending Time with God

Ideas for a Daily Walk…

21. Talk to God instead of talking to yourself.

Telling God about what you’re thinking is far more productive than telling yourself! Thank Him for the beautiful day, tell Him you’re running low on patience, ask Him for grace in the busy traffic… He wants to hear from you, and telling Him the details of your day will help you keep your gaze on Him.

22. Keep a thankful journal.

This tip is another favorite! Every night, think back through your day and pick five things that you are thankful for – blessings, surprises, challenges, and lessons. Write these down and thank God for them in a small journal set aside for that purpose.

Thankful Journal

I used this strategy consistently for about three years, and I treasure the memories that those journals hold. This little strategy taught me to be intentional in giving “thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I love ending every day on a thankful note!

23. Make a habit of praising God to others.

Those blessings and challenges that you write down in the thankful journal? Tell people about them, and give God the glory! It’s such a natural reply to the basic greeting, “How are you today?” “Well, there’s this challenge in my life right now, but God is teaching me through it, and let me tell you how!”

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What If I Don’t Feel Like It?

24. I Don’t Want to be a Hypocrite…

What if I don’t feel like spending time with God? Should I skip Bible reading and prayer until I do feel like it? No! God uses the time that we spend with Him to make us hungry for more. The best thing to do when you don’t feel like it is to do it anyway, and ask Him to give you a desire for time with Him. He would love to answer that prayer for you!

25. Read Psalm 119.

Are there days when I don’t feel as enthused about reading my Bible as others? Absolutely. And are there seasons in my life when I struggle to be faithful in walking with God? Yes, there are. That’s when I pull out Psalm 119. I can’t read through this Psalm and not be challenged to love God’s Word more. The psalmist’s love for God and His Word is catching, and God always uses it to help me love Him more.

Want so more ideas on motivation? Here are two more posts to read!

Finding Motivation to Spend Time with God

25 More Reasons to Read the Bible!


It Starts with a Choice.

The key to changing our lives is not in the past; it’s in the present! All of us have areas in our lives where we wish we’d made different choices, and we could spend our time focused on regret. But change happens in the present, the here and now, and it starts with a choice.

What’s your choice?

These strategies don’t do the work for you. Buying lots of journals and Bible study tools only helps if you actually use them! Spending time with God takes discipline. It’s something that is practiced over lots of time, with lots of repetition. It takes commitment, determination, and faith.

But you know what? You can do it!

Start small. Pick one or two areas to grow. Ask God for help. And go for it! And as always, feel free to contact me (or better yet, subscribe for weekly encouragement emails!). I would love to help you develop the discipline of spending time with God!

     With Love, Erin

P.S. This post includes a few affiliate links – feel free to check out my disclosure page for more information! 🙂

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Five Ways to Build Time with God into Your Day

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine…”

Consistency has always felt like a breath of fresh air to me. It adds an element of predictability to life, and I love that. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate spontaneity – after all, variety is the spice of life. Consistency just comes more naturally to me. Routines make life more predictable. Comfortable. Safe.  And I like it that way. 🙂

That does not, however, mean that consistency is easy. We don’t live on a silent planet with no one but ourselves to worry about; we’re surrounded by other people, individuals with individual needs, schedules, expectations, and agendas.  (As mamas, we all know what that does to our own agendas!)

And now that I think of it, I wonder if that’s exactly why God puts other people in our lives. Aside from the fact that life would be very boring if it were just me, it’s also true that God uses Inconsistency as my teacher more often than He uses my Nice Little Plan for the day. Just like God’s call to Abram to leave Ur for an unknown country, it’s the unpredictable things in life that challenge me to trust God, to love others, and to choose joy in the midst of inconvenient circumstances.

So the inconsistency in my life is a good thing after all. God is using it to make me more like Christ!


But what about the times when the “unpredictable” takes over and crowds out our time with God? (Because believe me, it happens, and I’ve been there!)

What do we do when we forget to set the alarm and sleep late? What happens when the Little Person wakes up an hour before he should have? What happens when your husband calls from work and asks you to add a favor to your to-do list?

What do we do when the inconsistency of our lives steals our time for devos? Especially when that’s fast becoming the “new normal” in our lives?

I can’t claim to have all the answers on this one; on the contrary, it’s something that I wrestle with too. But I’ve learned a few tips and hacks that I would love to share with you. (And I hope you’ll leave the tips and hacks that you’ve learned in the comment section below!!)

Here goes!

Five Ways to Build Time with God into Your Day

Especially as a mom who has no consistency in her day!

  1. The thing you do first in the morning always gets done.

A wise older mom shared this piece of advice with me recently, and it has truly changed my perspective on morning routines. We all have routines that we like to keep in the morning, and we all have mornings when that routine goes right out the window. But this woman makes a keen observation – the first thing that we do is the thing that is least likely to be interrupted, isn’t it?

Actually, this piece of advice is why I’m not wearing make-up today… (Time for true confessions!) Yes, we forgot to set the alarm last night and slept an hour later than we meant to this morning. And while my husband has some flexibility in his work schedule, he does need to get to work sooner rather than later… 🙂

So something needed to get cut out of my schedule this morning, but I knew (based on previous experience!) that I’d need time with God for the day to go well. I chose to throw the routine out the window and read a couple chapters of the Bible before spending time in prayer while showering and getting dressed.

We got the necessary things done this morning, and my husband walked out the door only twenty minutes later than usual. But enjoying a long, hot shower? Spending time to put on make-up and check blog stats? Making the bed and putting a few dishes away?

Those normal routines went right out the window, and my day went better because of the time I got to spend with God. I’m still not wearing make-up, and I don’t regret a bit of it! 

  1. “But I’m already so busy in the mornings!”

In light of morning routines, the above tip might mean you need to get up a little earlier to spend time with God. If you don’t have the ability to cut anything out of your normal routine, adding a new routine will require more time in your morning.

I know that’s not a popular tip to give. Especially for those of us who function best later in the day. If you have a later time that works for you, a time when you can really focus on God and His Word, that’s wonderful, and you should keep it up!

But honestly? I’ve found that starting my day 15 minutes earlier than usual isn’t a hard habit to get into. It means setting an alarm. It means asking God to help you have joy as you pursue Him at an earlier time in the morning. It means remembering the why of your decision the next morning when you’d really rather stay in bed.

And it means getting out of bed right away. Staying in bed an extra five minutes prolongs the inevitable, and you’re more likely to dread getting up than if you do it fast.

That being said, I’m more of an early bird than a night owl. If you have any tips to share as a night owl to other night owls, please feel free to share!!

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  1. “But we just don’t have a consistent schedule as a family…”

I totally understand this frustration. Baby #1 brought some crazy, wonderful inconsistency into our lives when he arrived, and I’m fully expecting the same to happen when Baby #2 makes his appearance.

That being said, inconsistent schedules don’t have to remain the norm. My mornings with Little Person #1 used to be very unscheduled. We’d play, do a bit of housework, play some more, switch rooms, play some more… But lately? We’ve been creating a little routine all our own, and Little Person loves it! It’s just a matter of doing the same thing, the same way, over a few days.

And really, we all do have some form of routine as we get ready for the day – there’s a time to brush our teeth and a way we apply our make-up… And spending time with God works the same way! Build a new routine, and put some Bible time in it!

  1. It’s okay for your walk with God to look different now…

All the routines in the world won’t guarantee that you as a mom will get to spend the same amount of time with God as you did before the kids came along. But here’s thing – that’s okay!

Just because an uninterrupted 30 minutes is hard to come by doesn’t mean that you have to give up time with God. I’ve heard of moms who stream an audio Bible on their phones while they get ready for the day. Others write memory  verses on 3×5 cards and tape them to mirrors and kitchen windows. Nursing mommies keep a devotional book next to their chair and use nighttime feedings to spend time with God and Baby.

It’s just fine for your walk with God to change from season to season. Just be creative, and find new ways to spend time with Him!


  1. Get the kids involved!

I know it’s hard to find a time to sit and read the Bible for 15 minutes once the kids are up. I’ve tried that, and my concentration is always scattered, even before I start! But that doesn’t mean that Bible time is gone once the kids are awake…

Little Person and I are starting a new routine this week. (Well, Mommy is starting a new routine; we’ll see if Little Buddy catches on!) The idea is to finish breakfast and move into the living room for a little playtime, just like always. But while Little Buddy plays, Mommy is going to read from a Children’s Bible out loud. And then Mommy is going to pray out loud, thanking God for the story, and asking Him to be with Mommy and Daddy and Little Buddy today.

Whether he listens well or not isn’t an issue right now; I just want these Bible stories to be a regular part of his life, right from the start. And really, I’ve found that reading these simple Bible stories and asking for God’s blessing on our day has been a great reminder for me too!

We’ll see how this goes! I’ll definitely keep you posted on how this little routine works out. You should try it too, and let me know how it works for your family! 🙂 (Need a really good Children’s Bible? Here’s the one we have – I love the simple stories and illustrations and the little summary statements and applications they’ve written for each!!)

That’s it!

That’s five ways to build some time with God into your day, and I don’t think they were too hard, were they? Sometimes all we need is a fresh idea or a new perspective to take the next right step, and I hope these ideas do that for you!

If you’d like a little more encouragement for spending time with God, check out the other posts in our Pursuing God as Busy Moms series below. (Just keep scrolling!) And make sure you sign up for encouragement emails from Little Yellow House Adventures to claim your free copy of our Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge!

I’m praying for you!

     With Love, Erin

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25 More Reasons to Read the Bible!

Did you know? I’ve struggled with wanting to read the Bible too. I’ve had seasons in my life when I’ve really wanted to desire that time with God… but that desire just hasn’t been there.

That’s the Motivation Block. And, trust me, that is not a fun place to be.

There are lots of strategies to overcome this Motivation Block that we run into (Check out this post if you’re interested in a few! 🙂 ). But honestly? The best thing to do is to bite the bullet and read God’s Word. Pick a favorite book of the Bible, a favorite chapter, or a favorite verse. Choose a topic and do a word study. (Here’s a concordance that I love to use for those!) The point it, start somewhere, and ask God to give you a desire to spend time with Him. That’s a prayer that He would love to answer!


Below is a sample study that I’ve done recently with the Motivation Block specifically in mind. It’s a list of a few effects that the Bible has in our lives, things that God wants to do for us through His Word.

I hope the read-through is as encouraging to you as the study-through was for me, and I hope it will inspire you to do a study of your own! These verses are absolutely precious!

25 Reasons to Read the Bible

  1. God’s Word teaches us about who God is!

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.’”

Exodus 34:6

  1. God’s Word is able to make us wise.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

Psalm 19:7

  1. God’s Word is sweet!

 “More to be desired are they [His commands] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”

Psalm 19:10

  1. God blesses us when we seek His Word and keep His commandments.

“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.”

Psalm 119:2

  1. God’s Word keeps us from sin.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.”

Psalm 119:9

“I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11

  1. God’s Word counsels us.

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Psalm 119:24 

“Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

Psalm 19:11

  1. God’s Word brings us delight!

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Psalm 119:24

  1. God’s Word strengthens us when we’re overwhelmed with sadness.

“My heart melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word!”

Psalm 119:28

  1. God’s Word gives us promises that make us hope.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life.”

Psalm 119:50

 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.”

Psalm 119:114

  1. God’s Word teaches us good judgment and knowledge.

“Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments.”

Psalm 119:66

“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts knowledge to the simple.”

Psalm 119:130 

  1. God’s Word is more precious than great wealth.

“The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

Psalm 119:72

  1. God’s Word is reliable.

 “All Your commandments are sure…”

Psalm 119:86 

“Forever, O Lord, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”

Psalm 119:89

  1. God’s Word isn’t going to go away!

“The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

Psalm 119:160 

“For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Matthew 5:18

  1. God’s Word guides us.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105

  1. God’s Word teaches us to fear Him.

“My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.”

Psalm 119:120 

“If you seek it [wisdom, God’s Word] like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2:4-5

  1. Reading God’s Word gives us a greater love for reading it!

“Your promise is well-tried, and Your servant loves it.”

Psalm 119:140

  1. God’s Word prompts us to praise Him!

“Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules.”

Psalm 119:164

“My lips will pour forth praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My tongue will sing of Your word, for all Your commandments are right.”

Psalm 119:171-172

  1. God’s Word gives us peace, because it keeps us from stumbling.

“Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

Psalm 119:165 

  1. God’s Word sanctifies us.

“Sanctify them in Your truth; Your word is truth.”

John 17:17

  1. God’s Word helps us discern truth.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

Acts 17:11

  1. God’s Word was given for our encouragement and hope.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

  1. God’s Word teaches us about our great salvation!

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.”

Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5

  1. God’s Word gives us purpose in life.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

  1. God’s Word equips us for every good work.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.”

2 Peter 1:3

  1. God’s Word gives us confidence in our salvation.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

1 John 5:13



So what about you?

Is the Motivation Block something that you’ve struggled with too? Here’s my challenge to you – don’t stay there! Choose one positive action step that you can take to be consistent in spending time with God, and apply it today.

(Need a resource to help you get started? Try my Seven-Day Fresh Start Challenge! I love the visual accountability that this printable provides!)

In the meantime, Sister in Christ, know that I’m praying for you. Please, let me know if there is any way I can encourage, help, or pray for you. Biblical womanhood is a sisterhood thing, and that’s why I’m here! 🙂

     With Love, Erin

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Finding Motivation for Spending Time with God

I was approximately six years old. “Mom! I finished reading the whole Bible!”

Granted, it was a picture Bible. With lots of pictures. And “reading” meant looking at the pictures and turning the pages.

But I had turned every page and looked at every picture. And that was something to be proud of! (And I’ll bet my mom didn’t mind the hour or two of peace and quiet either… 🙂 )


Why is it so important to read God’s Word?

As a six-year-old, I knew the Bible was a special book. I knew it was important, and that we needed to read it every day. But I had a long way to go in understanding why this book was so special.

So why do we spend time in God’s Word?

Well, to start us off, we need to note that it’s not about gaining favor with God. It’s not about becoming “the Bible expert.” It’s not about looking good to other people or being known as a good Christian girl.

Reading the Bible is about a relationship.

Take a minute to think about that. As Christians, we have a relationship with the Creator of everything, the God of the universe, and the Savior of our souls.

He wants us to know Him!

And He has given us this book so we might have everything we need to know Him and love Him and please Him.

That is what reading the Bible is all about.

Then why are there times when we just can’t seem to find the motivation…?

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been there. And I’m sure you have too. Sometimes it is hard to make time for God’s Word. It’s hard to want to. We want to want to, and we know we should… but really? Our hearts aren’t in it.

What do we do when we’re in that rut?

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A couple of practical thoughts for when your motivation is gone…

#1. Ask God to give you the desire to read the Bible. Trust me – He wants to answer that prayer for you!

#2. Pick a consistent time to read the Bible, pick a favorite book of the Bible to read… and just do it. Read a few verses or a chapter every single day. As you spend time in God’s Word, delighting in it, He will give you a desire for more!

#3. Thank God for His Word, before and after you spend time reading it. I don’t know why it works, but this little practice helps me wake up excited to get into God’s Word! And I love that feeling! 🙂

#4. Read through Psalm 119! (Yes, the longest chapter in the whole Bible!) This is the psalm I turn to when I hit a motivation block, and God never fails to use it to remind me of the precious privilege we have to read His words. Read a section or two every day, and ask God to give you a heart like the Psalmist’s, a heart that yearns to read and obey His Words.

#5. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, turn your reading in Psalm 119 into a deeper Bible study. Explore the characteristics of God’s Word. What does God’s Word teach us about Him? What does God’s Word do in our lives? Pick a question and spend a couple days dwelling in the Psalm. It won’t be long before it starts to dwell in you!

#6. Bonus Resource! I would highly recommend purchasing a journal to record your thoughts and prayers as you read God’s Word, especially if you’re struggling with the motivation to spend time reading the Bible. There are lots of journals available on Amazon – here’s my personal favorite!


Is this where you are?

Friend, if this is the place you find yourself in your spiritual walk, you are not the only one. Any one of us can struggle with this, and many of us do. The point is, you don’t have to stay here! Check out my Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge, ask a friend to hold you accountable, revamp your morning routine to fit some time with God in… Do whatever you need to do to make God a priority. Because, trust me, He is worth it all!

Please feel free to contact me about this – I would love to be praying for you specifically and help you in any way I can! And know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers as you seek pursue a deeper walk with God!

     With Love, Erin

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Prioritize Time with God!

What is it that you struggle with most on a bad day?

Take a moment to really think about that. Is it patience with the little people? A feeling of overwhelm that comes when there’s too much to do and not enough time? Is it a lack of love for your husband, or a lack of joy in the midst of daily life?

I want you to know two things. First of all, you’re normal. I’ve been there too.

Oh yes, I’ve been there. There have been days when I’ve drudged through the housework. I’ve snapped at our little person, and I’ve felt overwhelmed by all the things to do. I’ve felt “down,” irritable, and resentful, sometimes for no reason at all.

There are days in our house when life feels frustrating and overwhelming and just plain no fun. We all run into days like that.

So, we’re normal. But here’s the other half of the deal: That’s not how God wants our lives to be.

It might be normal for us as human beings, but it’s not His plan for us as Christian women


God wants us to have the Fruit of the Spirit.

You remember the list? “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23). God wants us to have these characteristics. After all, they are the evidence of His Spirit working in us!

He wants to give us a love for our husband and children, and He wants to give us the patience of Job on days when the kids run wild. He wants us to have peace in the midst of the craziness of life and joy in the midst of the monotony of dishes.

Can you imagine the difference that the fruit of the Spirit would make in today’s culture? How many marriages would be saved if we showed God’s kind of love and faithfulness? How many children would raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord if we showed God’s kind of patience and gentleness?

The fact is, we need the fruit of the Spirit in our lives for marriages and families to work. And there’s no way around that fact.


So how do I get more Fruit of the Spirit?

Well, it’s not by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and deciding to be more loving! As logical as that might seem in our minds, it never really works in the moment, does it?

God’s answer is much simpler than that. He just wants us to be spending time in His Word, listening to what He wants to tell us. He wants us to be applying His Word to our lives, our marriages, our parenting, our jobs… God wants us to be looking for ways to obey Him.

The fruit of the Spirit is just a fancy way of describing the characteristics that will be evident in our lives when we let the Holy Spirit guide our day-to-day responses. God wants us to walk by the Holy Spirit like we navigate our cars by our GPS. When we follow His lead, He’ll guide us away from the responses that characterize our sin nature, and He’ll lead us straight toward the fruit of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit uses our time in God’s Word to produce that fruit in us.

Let me make this SUPER practical for us…

When we read the Bible and allow it to change our lives, we are giving the Holy Spirit an opportunity. The more we dwell in God’s Word and allow it to dwell in us, the more the Holy Spirit will guide our responses to life… and the more the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives, our marriages, and our parenting.

That’s how important your daily time with God is to your daily life. We need it to survive!


Remember the 6 Common Hurdles to Spending Time with God?

(You can read it here if you missed it!)

Understanding the importance of spending time with God is the first step to overcoming those hurdles. There is a lot going on in our lives. It is hard to stay awake, hard to concentrate, hard to be consistent. It is hard to find the time.

But all the busyness of this season in life only means that we need God’s Word more than ever!

Think back to that one thing (or if you’re like me, the several things) that you struggle with most on the really hard days. God doesn’t ever promise to remove that difficult circumstance from your life. He doesn’t promise to give you an easy marriage, angelic children, or a stress-free day.

But He has given you everything you need to respond the way He wants you to. The love, joy, peace, and patience that we want in our lives is right there for the asking.

The question is, are you going to take the time to get it?


I want to help you make this a priority!!

Is finding time for God something that you wrestle with? Trust me, you’re not the only one, and there is hope!

A great resource to start with is my Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge – and I’d love to give it to you! The challenge comes with a free subscription to my weekly encouragement emails, which will also update you as I post more articles on this topic.

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Let me encourage you – your relationship with God is worth it! Don’t let “hard” stop you. Make spending time in God’s Word a priority, and ask Him to change your life. You won’t regret it!

I’m praying for you, friends!

     With Love, Erin

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Six Common Hurdles to Spending Time with God

“There’s so much going on in life as a wife, a mommy, and a homemaker. It’s hard to spend quality time with God with everything else going on…”

Time with God was hard to come by when our first little person was born.

I expected adjustment, unpredictable days, and sleepless nights, and don’t get me wrong, I was right about those! But I did not expect my walk with God to be affected. Even as someone who is normally a morning person, I struggled to give up that extra half hour of sleep to spend time in the Bible. Once our Little Buddy was awake, he needed my attention, and when he did fall asleep again, I needed a nap too. And then there was the laundry, the dishes, supper to put on the table…

All of a sudden, it was really hard to find time for God.

Is that something that you can relate with? How about these statements?

“Honestly, my spiritual life tends to be the first to go when my day gets chaotic. I wish it weren’t that way, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

“I just haven’t felt a motivation to spend time in God’s Word and prayer lately. I really want to have that motivation… but I don’t.”

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine.”

“I get so distracted when I do get the opportunity to sit and read the Bible. My mind wanders, or my eyes get heavy… I want to give God my full attention, but it’s so hard!”

“I’m so tired! Even if I was a morning person before the kids came along, the extra sleep is just too tempting now… And then my chance to spend time with God is gone.”

“I miss the days when I could sit down and spend uninterrupted, quality time with God…”

Do these sound like something you could say? Me too! Many of us want to be consistent in reading the Bible, praying, and memorizing Scripture, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. And that leaves most of us feeling even guiltier than ever.

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Six Hurdles to Spending Time with God

These statements represent six hurdles that many women face in spending time with God, and they’re pretty easy to recognize in our own lives once we give them a name…

  1. Priorities

“Honestly, my spiritual life tends to be the first to go when my day gets chaotic. I wish it weren’t that way, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

We’re juggling a lot with this season of life. There are so many roles and responsibilities pulling at us, and all of it is urgent. When the little ones wake up early and your husband needs a lunch packed before he leaves for work and a million things need to get done before the end of the day, well, we don’t have a choice but to let our time with God slide. Right?

  1. Motivation

“I just haven’t felt a motivation to spend time in God’s Word and prayer lately. I want to have that motivation… but I don’t.”

I’ve been here too. Many times. There are some times when our time with God feels like one more thing that we have to do. We sit down because we have to, not because we want to. And then we feel guilty for not wanting to. We know that attitude isn’t what God wants. Our heart just isn’t in it, so we’re justified in letting God slide… right?

  1. Consistency

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine.”

I’m a creature of habit, and while I know others put a higher value on spontaneity :), we all have some need for routine. Routines give us predictability in life, and they help us get things done on time.

But there is something about little people in the home that mess with our routines. They wake up early. And the next day they wake up late. They take extra naps when they’re not supposed to, and they don’t nap when you do want them to… Little things throw our routines off kilter, and that’s just sleeping habits!! How can we be consistent in our time with God when nothing else in our lives stays consistent?

  1. Sleep Deprivation

“I’m so tired! Even if I was a morning person before the kids came along, the extra sleep is just too tempting now… And then my chance to spend time with God is gone.”

It’s pretty normal for mommies to be sleep deprived. Not that we mind – we love those little people to pieces, and we’d do anything for them – but sleep is priceless when we can get it. They tell us to “sleep when the baby sleeps” (i.e. naptime), but when does the housework get done if during naptime?

Lack of sleep takes a natural toll – when I do sit down, I get sleepy. I want to spend time with God, but is the time worth it if my eyes won’t stay open?

  1. Distraction

“I get so distracted when I do get the opportunity to sit and read the Bible. My mind wanders, or my eyes get heavy… I want to give God my full attention, but it’s so hard!”

As women, we’ve been designed to multi-task. We can keep an eye on the kids while we make supper, chat on the phone while we check the mail, brainstorm a grocery list while we shower… I don’t think I’m the only one who would say that it’s rare to be thinking about just one thing for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately, that takes a toll on my time with God. I’ll do my best, but it’s hard to give God my full, unwavering attention. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Right?

  1. Time

“I miss the days when I could sit down and spend uninterrupted, quality time with God…”

This is the big one. It’s the statement that’s come up over and over again with ladies that I’ve interacted with. I want to spend time with God. I really do! I want to spend time in His Word, share my requests with Him, and hide His Word in my heart. But I just don’t have the time, and it feels like I’m never going to get it back.


So what do we do if we’re struggling with the hurdles?

First of all, know that you’re not the only one.

These statements aren’t here because I made them up – they’re here because I’ve heard something similar from other women just like us, and because I’ve struggled with these things too. Whether you’re working through one of these hurdles or all six of them, you’re not the first one to encounter them, and you won’t be the last.

Second, know that there is hope!

God never asks something of us without giving us the strength to accomplish it. He wants us to be spending time in His Word and in prayer, and He is willing to give us exactly what we need so we can do His will!

Third, know that conquering these hurdles is probably going to take a fight…

A godly mentor of mine has pointed out that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s Word or in prayer, and he will do anything to keep us from doing God’s will. Choosing to spend time with God will be hard, and following through will be harder still.

But you need to know… Your relationship with God is worth it!

Don’t let “hard” stop you! Identify what needs to change in your life. Ask God to help you change it. And then go and do it!

Let me know how I can encourage you in this!

You can leave a comment below, sign up for weekly encouragement notes sent straight to your inbox, or drop me an email at to get in touch with me. I would love to help in any way I can!!

Also, we delve into how to fix some of these hurdles in our series, Pursuing God as Busy Moms. I’d love to share those resources with you! The links are below – just keep scrolling! 🙂

     With Love, Erin

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Christmas Buttons

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Christmas Buttons

Hi Everybody! I get to share one of my all-time favorite Christmas treats with you today – Christmas buttons!!

Christmas treats! Kid-friendly process; crunchy, salty & sweet!!

These chocolate treats are ideal for busy moms, because they’re super easy to make! You only need three ingredients to make them, and the hardest part of the process is staying out of the goodies once they’re done. 🙂

This is a great kid-friendly project too, especially if your little people are a little older. Our mom always called us in to help with unwrapping the Hershey’s kisses and squishing the M&M’s onto the melted chocolate. As far as I know, the only trouble she ever had was keeping us from snitching the chocolate…

Have I convinced you yet? You need to make these! The recipe for the easiest (and yummiest!) Christmas treat ever is below!!!

Feeling overwhelmed with the Christmas busyness this year? Me too! The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way – just click here to download a free worksheet with 5 easy questions that really can simplify life!


~ Christmas Buttons Recipe ~

What You’ll Need

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oF.
  2. While the oven preheats, place a piece of parchment paper on your cookie sheet and lay one layer of pretzels on it. Then unwrap the Hershey’s kisses and place one in the center of each pretzel.

NOTE: If you’re doing this project solo, I’d recommend only doing a half-cookie sheet at a time. Otherwise the melted chocolate can firm up before you’ve gotten all your M&Ms on.

  1. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes. The chocolate kisses should appear shiny when they’re soft enough.
  2. Once the chocolates are ready, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and gently press one M&M in the center of each kiss. Use the M&M to gently spread the chocolate around inside the pretzel round; you don’t want space between your chocolate and your pretzel!

NOTE: If the kisses aren’t squishing well, the chocolate probably needs more time in the oven. Popping the pan back in the oven for another minute should do the trick!

  1. Place entire pan in the freezer for 2-3 hours; the chocolates should be frozen through when you take them out.
  2. Move the buttons from the cookie sheet to an air-tight container, and freeze or refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve them!


Christmas treats! Kid-friendly process; crunchy, salty, and sweet!!

Other Helpful Thoughts:

  1. You might notice I used a few pretzel waffles in my pictures. That was a first for me, but they work just as well as the pretzel rounds. In fact, you don’t need parchment paper if you use the waffle variety!
  2. Try making the buttons with specialty Hershey’s kisses for a fun twist! I tried peppermint kisses this year, and they’re almost as irresistible as the originals, and I’d love to try the caramel kisses sometime too…
  3. These treats would be adorable with pretzel trees; I haven’t tried that, but it should work the same. Come back and let us know if they work for you!!
  4. It doesn’t really matter, but I like to keep the “m’s” on my M&Ms facing down. I think they look a little classier that way. 🙂
  5. I did run into one difficulty in making these this year – my local stores were either bought out of the ingredients when I got to them, or they were charging an arm and a leg if they did still have the supplies in stock. I’m definitely going to stock up in October or November next year, before the Christmas prices hit. 🙂
  6. Watch out when you test taste these! The crunchy, salty chocolate mix is really addicting. Snacking on two or three buttons can turn into eating five or six or half a batch if you’re not careful!
  7. Click here to pin this recipe for later!! 🙂

Christmas treats! Kid-friendly project; crunchy, salty, and sweet!!

Leave a Comment!

That’s all there is to it! Are there any other variations on these out there? How about other easy Christmas treat ideas? I’d love to hear about them! Take a minute to comment and let me know what you think!! 🙂

Sending Christmas Blessings!



Looking for more Christmas resources? Try these!

Best Budget-Friendly Gift List for Sisters in Christ

Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christian Guys

Most of the items in these lists is $15 or less and are easily shipped from Amazon!!!


Don’t forget your Christmas freebie!!


Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christian Guys

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Shopping for him is hard!

Do you ever draw a blank when it comes to Christmas presents? You feel like Christmas Day is coming on like a freight train, and you can’t think of anything to buy?

Yep. I’ve been there too. Especially when I’m shopping for the guys in my life.

It shouldn’t be so hard, right? These are some of the people that I know best! But when it comes to shopping for them, I’m lost.

And it doesn’t help that they get a deer-in-the-headlights look when I ask what’s on their wish list.

Budget-friendly gift ideas for Christian men

Well, I’m not buying my husband socks for Christmas this year.

There really are some awesome gift ideas out there, and many of them are reasonably priced. You just have to know where to look! Here are a few ideas that I’ve come across and loved, all of them less than $15. I hope they’ll get your creative juices flowing too! 🙂

Don’t lose this resource – Click here to Pin It to your Holidays board!

Budget-friendly gift ideas for Christian men

$15 or Less!

1. Homemade Coffee Gift Box

Every gift list for my husband starts with coffee. He loves it! But he already has his coffee grinder and his French press… So my brainstorm landed on Caribou coffee beans this year! We don’t splurge on fancy coffee often, so I’ll have a winner if I can find a fun flavor of beans that he can grind himself!

These beans are cheap, so add a new coffee mug to his collection to make the gift box complete!

2. Coffee gift alternatives…

So maybe you’re already a frequenter of Caribou, or your husband isn’t a fan of coffee. There are still fun options up this alley! Here’s a premade gourmet coffee gift box that he’ll love to get, and here are some fun (albeit, slightly more expensive) hot chocolate gift sets for him to try!

3. Travel Mug

Just one more coffee item that I can’t bear to leave out… I bought my husband this travel mug for Christmas last year, and it’s probably the best gift I’ve ever gotten him. He’s used it every day for a year now, and while it does show a little wear and tear, it’s absolutely been worth the investment!

(Note: Your guy’s hobby might not be coffee, but he probably does have a hobby! A great trick is to brainstorm gifts around that. Hope that helps!)

4. Home Improvement #1

We don’t have to change light bulbs in the dark anymore! My husband received a flashlight similar to this one for Christmas last year, and it’s turned into a very well-used gift. It has a magnetic base and a swivel hook, so you can have light almost anywhere you want it and still have both hands free. My husband likes his for changing lightbulbs, doing car repair work, and checking around the backyard for that weird noise his wife heard… 🙂

5. Home Improvement #2

Guys usually have the basics when it comes to home improvement tools, so buying a hammer or a screw driver isn’t going to be really helpful. But there are still some tools out there that are super useful for those little projects around the house. These aren’t necessary… but they are still really handy if you have one!

This stud finder is a great example! It’s magnetic, so he can keep his hands free if he needs to, and it also has a built-in level. Definitely going to come in handy for those home improvement projects that we have brainstormed for next year… 🙂

Feeling overwhelmed with the Christmas busyness this year? Me too! The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way – just click here to download a free worksheet with 5 easy questions that really can simplify life!

Christmas season stress has a solution!!

6. Deluxe Breakfast

I’ve told you before – I don’t make a big breakfast for my husband every day. We alternate cereal and bagels, and I try to throw in some pancakes once a week or so.

But you should see his face when I go all out with French toast and bacon and eggs! It’s a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it every time! Try going all out on Christmas Day this year – break out the cinnamon rolls and the bacon and all the yummy, not-so-healthy foods that we think about but rarely make.

Easy Kitchen Tip: Serve breakfast on Christmas-themed paper plates to eliminate the need to wash as many dishes!!

7. Office Gift #1

Find a gift for him to take to the office! I love flip calendars for this idea – they’re a great balance of encouragement and usefulness. And if you write a few personal encouragement notes through the pages, it will make this gift even more meaningful!

8. Office Gift #2

I know we tend to be sentimental as girls. We love having lots of pictures around the house! But while it might seem to be to a lesser degree, guys like these too! Snap a few pictures, slide them into photo frames, and have the kids add a couple stickers or decals. It will be a day-brightener for his long office afternoons!

9. Movie Night!

This is hands-down the best movie I’ve seen for husbands and fathers. Released in 2012, Courageous is an Christian action movie that encourages our family every time we see it. I hope you’ll preview it before giving it away; I don’t want you to be disappointed. But we love this movie, and I hope your family will too!!

10. It’s not a movie night without…

POPCORN!!! I couldn’t resist adding this one to finish us off. There’s something about specialty foods that make us all feel spoiled! This popcorn pack contains four varieties of pre-popped popcorn, and if your husband is like mine, just having the variety will be a fun treat!

Feeling a little more adventurous? He’ll love figuring out how to make his own gourmet popcorn with these eight flavorings!

Budget-friendly gift ideas for Christian men

I hope these ideas are helpful! Share your own awesome ideas in the comments below – we’d love to hear them!


Don’t lose this resource! Click here to pin it to your Holidays board!

Budget-friendly gift ideas for Christian men

Looking for more Christmas resources? Try these!

Budget-Friendly Gift List for Sisters in Christ!

Christmas Buttons – The Ultimate Easy Christmas Treat!

Don’t forget your Christmas freebie!

Christmas season stress has a solution!!

The Best Budget-Friendly Gift List for Sisters in Christ!

This post contains affiliate links. Visit my disclosure page for more information!

Christmas Ideas…

Do you ever draw a blank when it comes to Christmas presents? You feel like Christmas Day is coming on like a freight train, and you can’t think of anything to buy?

Yep. I’ve been there too.

I know a few people who are really good at Christmas shopping. They’re stocking up at blow-outs and garage sales all year round, and they’re got all their presents wrapped the week after Thanksgiving.

I’m not one of them. I’ll work on it, but honestly, I don’t know how they do it!

So now it’s that time of year again…  What in the world am I going to get for them this year? And how do I buy gifts without spending a fortune?!?

Budget-friendly gift ideas

It doesn’t have to be hard!

There are some awesome gift ideas out there, and many of them are reasonably priced. You just have to know where to look! Here are a few ideas that I’ve come across and loved, all of them less than $15. Maybe they’ll get your creative juices flowing too! 🙂

Don’t lose this resource – Click here to Pin It to your Holidays board!

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$15 or Less!

1. Wall Art

I’ll be honest with this one – it might just end up on my Christmas list too! We have an empty space next to our kitchen door, and I still haven’t found the perfect piece to hang there. But then I saw this adorable, shabby-chic wall hanging that quotes Matthew 19:26 – “With God All Things are Possible.” Honestly, it caught my eye because the pretty floral design matches the colors in my kitchen, and I love the idea of seeing this reminder every time we step out into the world!

2. Journals

I couldn’t not include this one, because I really use journals for everything. Bible study journals, thankful journals, prayer journals… I just love using them! And this particular journal is so pretty! There’s lots of pages, lined space for writing, and Bible verses scripted at the bottom of each page. I love it!

Worried that journals are an overused gift? Write a note at the beginning of the journal and recommend the specific use of your gift. Is someone you know starting a new phase in life? Walking through a trial and in need of a journal to record “thankfuls?” Or maybe looking for ways to be more consistent in Bible study or prayer? These are opportunities to bless your sister in Christ this Christmas and encourage her walk with God at the same time!

3. Encouragement Mugs

I’m not a coffee person, much to my husband’s dismay. (He hasn’t sanctified me yet!) But hot drinks are a comfort food, something to sip and pamper myself with until I feel like I can face the world again.

That’s why these feminine, watercolor collection mugs caught my eye – I’m usually in need of encouragement from God’s Word when I grab a cup of hot chocolate. And the scripted Bible verses are such a sweet reminder of God’s heart for us!

4. Travel Mugs

Okay, I know I already did the hot drink number, but I’ve got to include this one too. I bought one of these Christian travel mugs for my husband last Christmas (albeit a less feminine version), and he loves it! He showed it to a fellow coffee-lover later, and this friend totally loved the idea and called it a “solid Christmas present!”

So take it from the coffee lovers – travel mugs, coffee mugs, all things coffee are welcome! 🙂

5. Flip Calendars

This is my favorite brainstormer for women who work outside the home. It’s just so perfect for keeping at a desk! There are lots of flip calendars out there, lots of great humor and lots of inspirational thoughts. This one is my favorite because it’s pure Bible verses!


Feeling overwhelmed by the Christmas bustle? You’re not the only one! The good news is, this easy worksheet has five questions that really can simplify the holidays… and it’s absolutely FREE!! Click here to claim yours!

Christmas season stress has a solution!!

6. Refrigerator Magnets

True confessions here: I’m kind of stuffy about my magnets. We have plenty of magnets, all of them work great, but all of them came from local stores and dentist offices as promotional freebies. And they’re not really pretty.

But check out these cute little magnets! They’ve got Bible verses, lots of pretty colors, and they’re the perfect size for holding pictures, to-do lists, and appointment notices!

7. Blankets

They say there’s a warm person and a cold person in every house. I’m the cold person in ours! So let’s just say I’m a sucker for these fleece blankets. I love the warm fuzzies that come from curling up with a good book while the snow flies, and a good blanket just makes the picture complete.

Oh, and if you bought me a mug and some hot chocolate too? That’s some great competition for the best Christmas present ever! 🙂

8. Movie Night

There’s not many movies that I’m comfortable recommending outright; seems like even G-rated movies need to be previewed these days. But Sherwood Pictures movies created by the Kendrick brothers are worth the investment. They have great content, they are fun to watch, and each one has an encouraging, Christ-honoring message. I’d absolutely encourage you to preview before gifting, just to make sure you’d recommend it though. 🙂 Package it up with a couple microwavable popcorn packets, and it’ll make a great gift for couples!

9. Soaps and Lotions

I tend to be super budget-conscious when I’m shopping for myself; if I need more soap or lotion, I buy dollar store brand, the cheapest I can find. I’m not going to spend extra on specialty for myself. I’m going to pay what I need to for something that works.

That makes Bath and Body Works soaps and lotions a luxury! I love these products – they’re better for my hands, which get really dry during the winter, and the scents are always something exotic. It might not seem like an extraordinary gift, but I can promise it would be well used and appreciated at my house! 🙂

10. Make-Up Kits

While I’m on that train of thought… 🙂 Make-up is another luxury item on my list. I’m not going to go out and spend extra money on make-up. But I’m never going to refuse it either! I was given a gift like this ages ago, and I’m still enjoying it!

Oh, and extra brownie points for throwing in this toiletries travel bag too! 🙂

11. For Women Only

This book is one of my all-time favorite resources for married women now! I loved reading For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, and we’re having a blast as my husband now reads the corresponding book For Men Only. Check out my thoughts on For Women Only here; it’s absolutely worth the buy! Shaunti has also written For Young Women Only; this is a resource that I haven’t read yet, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!

12. Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money

My husband and I started our marriage with a basic understanding of how money works – debt is bad, income is good, surplus is best! But when it came to budgeting, I had a lot to learn, and I knew trial and error wasn’t going to be an efficient way to tackle that lesson!

That’s where Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (fondly known as FPU!) came in and changed our lives. It taught us how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, manage a budget, and so much more!

Now, I’d absolutely 100% recommend Financial Peace University… but it’s out of my price range for “budget-friendly” Christmas gifts. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money is a great choice. It contains the same information in book form, though without the FPU benefits of audio CDs, workbook, and extra tips from Dave. (If you have the money to spend, I’d recommend Financial Peace University every time!)

Able to spend a little more?

Bonus: $20 or less!

I love homemaking! Finding little things like wall decor and knick-knacks for my home makes my heart so happy. That’s what makes gifts like the Willow Tree angels so special. These angels add beauty to a home, and you can choose angels that share a special message too. Buy a prayer angel to remind someone you’re praying for them, or a thinking-of-you angel for a friend who lives far away. The possibilities are endless!

Extra Bonus: This Collage Frame!

I couldn’t leave this one out. 🙂

I’ve got a soft spot for tangible keepsakes… “We can’t throw that away, it’s a memory!” The trouble is, I don’t always have a place for my memories! They’re stored away in the Save Forever box and put up on a top shelf in the closet.

But look at this beautiful collage frame! There’s lots of space for all my pictures, and the framing is extended so as to provide shelving for knick-knacks. Who came up with this amazing idea?!?


Christian Gift Guide for Her - Easy and Cheap!


There! That wasn’t so hard! I trust these gift ideas a help to you – the holidays are busy enough, so eliminate stress wherever you can! 🙂

Happy Shopping!

     ~ Erin

Don’t lose this resource! Pin it to your Holiday’s board, and share it with friends! 🙂

Christian Gift Guide for Her - Cheap and Easy!

Looking for more Christmas resources?  Try these!!

Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christian Guys!

Christmas Buttons – The Ultimate Easy Christmas Treat!

Don’t forget to claim your Christmas freebie!!

Christmas season stress has a solution!!

Homemade Tomato Soup

This Homemade Tomato Soup really is the best!

There’s just something wonderful about coming in from the cold, dark world to find warm, comfort food simmering in the crock pot… It fills me with warm, fuzzy thoughts every time!

But there’s another perk to soup season – it cuts down the grocery bill! Most homemade soups are really cheap and easy to make. And that’s definitely  true of this Homemade Tomato Soup. I spend $1.36 when I make it! But more on that later… 🙂

I found “Garden Fresh Tomato Soup” on, and eating canned tomato soup will never be the same. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little – added an extra tablespoon of butter and flour (each) for a little more thickening, a bit more sugar for sweetening, and a dash of Roasted Herb and Garlic seasoning for a little extra zest. But on the whole, this recipe was pure deliciousness right from the start!


Here’s why Homemade Tomato Soup is one of my favorites…

  1. I get to eat grilled cheese sandwiches with it! And I love grilled cheese sandwiches!
  2. We got showered with garden-fresh tomatoes this year (Thanks, Mom!), and I’m having a blast using them up. I juiced most of them, and stored them in the freezer, 4 cups per freezer bag. That makes meal prep for this recipe incredibly easy!
  3. Once the tomato juice is thawed, I can have this meal ready in 30 minutes, with only 5 minutes of prep time, assuming Little Buddy is cooperative… This soup also works great in the crockpot if you need to get supper on the table fast!
  4. This meal serves six bowls for $4.16 if I buy the tomatoes canned, and only $1.36 if I have frozen tomatoes from Mom on hand!

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Here’s the Recipe!

     Note: You can find the original recipe here!


  • 8 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (OR 4 cans diced tomatoes, $0.70 ea. @ Dollar General)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cloves
  • 2 cans chicken broth ($0.49 ea. @ Dollar General)
  • 6 Tablespoon butter (Stock up when it’s on sale for $1.99/lb!)
  • 6 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons white sugar
  • Roasted Herb and Garlic Seasoning – I know we all have our favorite seasonings… This is one of mine! I love the flavor that Roasted Herb and Garlic adds to tomato soup!! Click here to see what it’ll look like in the store… 🙂

Total Cost:  $4.16


(These instructions assume that you’re working with unfrozen, garden fresh tomatoes; if not, you can skip to step 3. 🙂 )

  1. Rinse your garden fresh tomatoes, remove the stems, and blend  the tomatoes in a food processor until lightly chunky or smooth. I find it works well to cut the tomatoes into quarters before I process them.
  2. If freezing, pour 4 cups of tomato juice into gallon sized freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer. Make sure you allow your tomatoes time to thaw before making your soup though – how is it I always forget to do that?!? 
  3. To make your soup, combine the tomatoes, broth, minced onion, and cloves in a stock pot, and gently boil for 20 minutes; then reduce heat to Medium or Medium Low.
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and mix in flour with a whisk to make a roux. Stir constantly until the mixture appears medium brown. (Don’t worry, that’s just a fancy word for the thickening agent in sauces and soups! 🙂 )
  5. Gradually whisk small amounts of the tomato mixture into the roux to prevent lumps from forming in the soup; then mix the roux in with the rest of the tomato mixture.
  6. Season the soup with salt, sugar, and the Roasted Herb and Garlic blend, to taste.
  7. Let your soup simmer for about 10 minutes. That’s just enough time to make your grilled cheese sandwiches and set the table! 🙂


I hope you love this soup as much as I do! Give it a try this weekend, and let me know what you think of it!


P.S. This post contains affiliate links! Visit my disclosure page for more details!

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Looking for more budget-friendly meals? Try These!