interview #11 in the Dwelling Richly series
Today’s Dwelling Richly guest may be a familiar name to many of you. Amy Herbster and her husband Mike spent 13 years traveling in full time evangelism before relocating to a full time camp ministry. In fact, I think I first met Amy when I was a teenager and attended a revival meeting in which her husband preached!
A couple years ago our families reconnected when Amy and her family were in Charlotte for a meeting. One of the biggest things that stood out to Jonathan and I was the intentional way Mike and Amy work to parent their kids. We had them over to our house for the express purpose of picking their brains on parenting. What a blessing to hear from a couple who is humbly seeking God as they work to love and instruct their children in His ways!
Since I was so encouraged by Amy and her family’s testimony, I asked her to participate in the Dwelling Richly series by sharing about her personal time in God’s Word. I trust this interview will be a blessing to you!
18 months ago I started at Exodus 1, hoping to intricately study the children of Israel, chronicling all the stories in my journal. Two days ago, I hit Psalm 1. I am addicted to studying God’s Word – no hurry, no plan to follow – just enjoying studying it everyday, writing frantically all the things that God is teaching me. It is the most wonderful Bible study plan I have ever chosen!
My goal is to write my journals in a way that, when I am with the Lord, my children can pick them up and see a small glimpse of who their mommy’s God was to her.
Discipline. I hate that word. But that’s the only way. Someone once told me: “Bad habits are hard to break. So are good ones.” 🙂
You really want to know?
During my child-bearing, diaper-changing, breast-feeding, starving-for-sleep years. It was so incredibly difficult. I would sob because I could not find a good routine that I could make work every day. Sometimes reading a few verses in the bathroom was all I could get. But I clung to those truths all day long.
My wise, sweet mother-in-law said, “Amy, life is made of different seasons. God knows your heart. Do all you can. It will get better.”
I’m so thankful she allowed me to give myself a little grace during those years. Four kids, four years and under for 10 months. I was holding on for dear life with God’s amazing grace!
I guzzle water. And then more water. My Bible, my journal, and a pen. And more water. 🙂
Hands down: journaling.
It has revolutionized my walk with God. A year ago, someone unknowingly crushed my spirit with their words. I immediately grabbed my journal, went to a quiet place, and started reading frantically all the promises that God has given to me. How thankful I was that day that I had taken the time to write the verses out. They ministered to my spirit perfectly!
I have recently started using Precept Austin. My husband uses it for sermon prep. So I either grab my phone or laptop to scroll down through explanations/commentaries of the passages I am studying.
My husband and I have an incredibly huge unsaid accountability of spending time in God’s Word.
But my greatest accountability: my children. When mommy hasn’t had time in the Word, it can get rough. My thinking is off. My spirit is off. My understanding and patience is off. Thank you, Lord, for 4 huge accountability partners. 🙂
No, but I have always wanted to! I have heard of friends just taking a couple of days to either drive somewhere to stay at a hotel to have extra time in God’s Word, or to fly to a favorite destination to nothing but zero in on their walk with God. Someday, hopefully!
I used to put Scripture up in many places in my home. As my feeble mind is aging, I have a harder time disciplining myself to memorize, to my shame. I will say that in my journaling, writing out the entire verse helps to put those words indelibly in my mind though.
The same journal I use for Bible study goes with me to church. Notetaking is paramount for me. I learn so much more the more senses I use.
We have personally tried many different methods and they have changed throughout the seasons of our childrens’ lives. When they were younger, we used very simple methods (Little Visits with God, devotionals by Matt and Julie Herbster, etc) when they could read for themselves, always focusing on God’s Word rather than just a devotional story or thought. We loved the applications the devotional writer would bring to life, but having a chunk of Scripture was a must.
Honestly: as they have gotten older, we tried different Bible reading plans, but I have to be honest with you, my only concern with using them in the older elementary/junior high/high school years is this – with school (we homeschool) and all the other requirements in their lives, the Bible reading plan started feeling like just that: a plan. They worked so hard to keep up but when/if they fell behind, it was very discouraging.
That may not be the case for every child. But for ours, we have started teaching them the importance of journaling as well, with the same goal in mind. No plan to follow, allowing them to choose a section of the Bible they’ve always wanted to read (all 4 read different things. This keeps them feeling that sense of individuality rather than all 6 of us doing the same thing). Our goal is to instill in them a love and longing for reading and journaling so that the first day they miss doing it, they will miss it!
Amy, thank you so much for sharing your time and heart with us! What a blessing to read how God has guided you in your journey of reading and learning the Scripture!
Amy Herbster and her husband, Mike traveled in full time evangelism for 13 years before God moved them to serve as camp staff at Southland Christian Ministries. Amy has a degree in music education and has used her musical talents to produce a Christmas piano recording (that I listen to and enjoy every year!). Mike and Amy have 4 children who serve with them at Southland.
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