Have you ever started a devotion routine and failed miserably at keeping up with it? I know I have. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, when I finally understood the components of a solid routine and their importance. I’ve been following a similar routine for around three years now, so I compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you create one that works for you. Here is How to Establish a Manageable Devotion Routine…
Why am I doing this?
Routines are great, but if you are that person who hates themself for missing a day, address that right away. First, don’t be ashamed, but do act against that thinking. I do that by pinpointing my WHY.
*Ask yourself this. Why do I want to start a routine?
When should I do this?
-DON’T make a long list of things you can’t do before, during, or after devo time. I use to have a “don’t check your phone before devos” rule when I did them in the morning. I quickly abandoned that lol. I like to be on my phone for ten minutes after I wake up. I noticed when I wouldn’t allow myself to check it first, I would be more antsy and less focused on the material I was reading. I believe this okay because my devotions usually run an hour long and checking my calls/texts beforehand is important in case something is time sensitive.
-DO throw your phone on do not disturb if you like to play music in the background or will be navigating the bible app. I have my text notifications off, so being on my phone during devos isn’t distracting.
-DON’T pick a time to do them, unless you die without structure. In my opinion, picking times make things messy. What if I stay out late? Wake up early? Oversleep? I do it right when I wake up, no matter the time. Although, if I am detasseling (working from 5am to noonish for The Outfield Inc. ), I take a two-hour nap, and then hit devos right after.
-DO think of it like homework. When I started college, I struggled with digging into scripture every day. I was unorganized and far from disciplined. Then, the homework idea hit me, and I began penciling it into my planner. I would make it my top priority assignment and soon learned devos were vital for my day’s turnout.
-DON’T make yourself write if you’re exhausted. I don’t know how many times I journaled two words, closed it, took a 25-minute nap, and got back at it.
-DO avoid checking the clock. If I’m in a crunch, I set my timer for an hour and wrap up with prayer if it rings before I finish.
-DON’T have an hour before work? I try to do a quick devo, listen to Jesus music while I get ready, and then pray in my car on the way. I did this a lot before my morning waitressing shifts. I always had a much better attitude and outlook on what I could fill my day with.
-I asked my sister for a tip she'd like to share about doing devotionals. “DO pair it with your favorite thing.” A tobacco and vanilla candle. A cup of hazelnut coffee. A toasted everything bagel with cream cheese.
-DO sit in a new spot every morning. The kitchen counter. The glass table by the fireplace. The desk in my dad’s office. Then every now and again I’ll write in bed. My absolute fav is to do them in a hotel room. Everything around me is NEW and DIFFERENT, I get so hyped.
-DO go out of your way to find a pen or marker you love to write with. I use a sharpie pen and it makes devos 10x more fun. Plus, daily handwriting practice ain't a bad thing.
*Note: My favorite candles are from TJ Maxx. (You can find $22 candles for $5-7!)
-DO mix it up. A few books I love are Jesus Calling and Love That Lasts.
This summer, I’m in total bible plan mode. Today, you can catch me doing two at a time lol. I love using the Bible App and it’s FREE. They have countless plans that kick your butt. I wrote a blog post about them here. Ask your friends or boyfriend to download it too and invite them, so you can do one together!
A few plans I haven’t mentioned yet, are great for preparing for a relationship or being in one. I really liked Dateable and Honey, We Need to Talk. These plans are bomb for girls and guys!
-DON’T tackle too much material in one day. I did the one-year bible plan and it took me two years lol. HOWEVER, I didn’t enjoy it until I stopped trying to do three readings in one sitting, to catch up on days missed. PACE YOURSELF. Enjoy the scripture. I don’t HAVE to tell people it took me two years. I did it and that’s the truth isn’t it? DON’T let a timeline define your faith.
-DO pay attention to how you feel afterwards. This is when I narrow down what I need more of. Am I listening to God or doing most of the talking?
-DO decide what you’re craving. Memorizing powerful scripture? Reading through a kick butt bible plan? Time to sit in silence? A better prayer life? If that’s the case, I would recommend creating a war room. If you haven’t seen that movie, YOU NEED TO. My roommates and I made one in our hallway closet. The walls were filled with verses or quotes that we loved and then we each had a section of sticky notes with our prayers on them. It was great practice for kneeling during prayer and such fun removing the sticky notes when a prayer was answered! For a better description of war room, click here.
Well, that’s it! I hope this post motivated you to create a new routine or establish discipline to revive an old one! At the end of the day, God loves you regardless. So, reach out and tend to the most important relationship of all.
*Thanks for reading! Do you have any great tips for establishing a devo routine?
*Is there a bible plan or book that changed your life? Drop those babies below!
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