For many years when my kids were young, I was a member of every Bible study class for ladies that my church offered. I went from one Beth Moore study to another for several years, then threw in some Kay Arthur and a few other brilliant authors along the way. Throughout those years, I digested more Scripture and more holy thoughts from intelligent, inspiring and witty men and women than I could shake a stick at. During those early years of parenting, those classes were some of my best escapes when I felt like the world was on full-blown overload. It gave me a chance to think about something deeper than diaper brands and allowed me the opportunity to power up my brain for a few hours each week. In a season when it feels like mommy-mode may melt your few remaining brain cells, those studies were lifesavers—and they certainly filled my soul to the brim.
The middle years of parenting included a lot of events and activities for the children. Band practice, dance class, football practice, scouts, after school tutoring and the list goes on; I was exhausted. I stayed so busy playing chauffeur and carpool mom that my days of classes for me with the ladies at church took a back seat. I didn’t necessarily mind spending time focused on my children’s activities, but I sorely missed the time spent focused on Scripture and studying the homework. Of course, if I had tried to focus on it, I would’ve likely dozed off because sitting still meant succumbing to sleep in those days.
For several years while my kids were early teens, I chose to work in childcare at the church so that all those young moms could go to the Bible studies that saved my sanity in the early years. I wanted to pay back the blessing that had been given to me all those years while others watched my kids, but I also needed the money so caring for the little ones killed two birds with one stone. It was such a treat for me to spend those evenings playing with Legos and coloring pictures and taking preschoolers to the playground.
I’ve recently been given the chance to return to a class with ladies at church. It’s my first one in almost a decade and I’m super happy about it. Since this is my first class at this church, I am getting to know a few ladies I haven’t met before, but I’m also sharing a table with a good friend and two coworkers. I had forgotten how much I enjoy sitting through the author’s video, discussing what everyone learned or got from the week’s reading and homework. I am not always vocal during the class because I am much more of a one on one talker, but It is always so beneficial to me to hear what everyone else picked up on in the reading or video that I perhaps I missed. It leaves me more focused on what’s important and helps me live better every day. It goes far beyond that one night a week when we get together to do the class. I spend many days during the week thinking over and pondering what I’ve read. I find myself applying little tidbits of the study to my life and I am pressed closer to God through it all. So it’s a win-win!
While Bible and book study classes may not be everyone’s niche, I love mine! What do you do as both an escape and a positive influence in your life?