The Busy Woman’s Guide to Memorizing Life-Giving Scripture
(Inside: Simple ways for busy people to memorize scripture and permanently write God’s encouragement in their hearts.)
My heart sunk just a little bit deeper into my chest. My body was warm, tucked under the covers of my bed, but my heart felt sad as I thought about my 9th-grade school day. I missed my friends in Iceland: Brandi, and Elizabeth – they completely understood me. And they made life fun.
But here I was at age 15 in a new school. (Again.) My dad (Air Force helicopter pilot) was transferred back to the States to a small town outside of St. Louis. Normally, we’d moved military base to military base – and I was surrounded by fellow military brats who knew and FELT the routine. Like in my dad’s previous assignment, when we moved to the small NATO base in Iceland, the girls at school had rushed to the office on my first day at that new school to find out who the new girl was.
I instantly had people also looking for a bestie.
But in my new St. Louis suburb community, people had deeper roots. Their best friends they’d shared tables with at their kindergarten classes and played jump rope with on the playground. Yes, my new classmates were kind, but I longed for deeper friendships and the ease of people I knew. Finding my place in this crowd was work I didn’t feel up to. I was lonely. And homesick for that small island located in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. (Unexpected since we were finally stationed back “home” in America.)
As I lay in bed, sleep eluding me, a verse I loved and memorized years ago floated to the top of my brain.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
I let the words trickle in and wrap themselves around my sullen heart.
“And do not lean on your own understanding.”
I meditated on those words repeating them again and again. Even though I missed my friends, God has people for me here too. I haven’t found them yet – but God has…
“In all your ways acknowledge Him…”
If I could just keep getting up, going to school, trusting Him…really, isn’t that all I need to do to “acknowledge Him?” I can do that. I know I can do that.
“…and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I turned the words repeatedly in my head until I came to this conclusion: God is going to make this turn out okay. (I breathed out, unclenched my hands, relaxed my shoulders and let sleep begin to gently coax me near.)
I’ve said that verse a million times since I was a little girl. It’s refocused me, calmed my heart and reminded me of the beautiful view of the forest when I’m knee deep in muck, lost among the trees.
What a gift.
My mom, 9 months pregnant with me with the scary next step – GIVING BIRTH – seemingly not wanting to happen, eased her anxiousness by meditated on these words:
“Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)
How many people have verses comforted and sustained? Is there a verse that calms you and reminds you of God’s promises?
I know we’re busy and we think we’ll memorize scripture later. (Always later. )Then we choose to stay in our over-committed, too busy, very often stressed-out state. (Nailed it, people. *Me included.* Way to let God work in our lives to sustain us. We’re choosing to live like the impoverished billionaire, Hetty Green. First place for us.)
Memorizing Scripture is a self-care tool God gives us. Empower yourself with knowing God's Word. Click To Tweet
I know memorizing scripture seems like work, but it’s one self-care tool God provides us. And look how not taking care of ourselves affects our bodies:
It makes me sit up straight and pay attention to the resource God gives us to refocus our perspective, strengthen us, calm our heart and reduce our anxiety – memorizing and then meditating on scripture. If that’s not convincing enough, the revered Mayo Clinic supports memorizing God’s words by stating “Meditation helps you reduce your stress and feel better overall.”
So, let’s do it.
Let’s memorize scripture that will bubble up to the front of our minds when we need to hear God’s voice in our lives. Then let’s meditate on those life-sustaining-etched-in-our-hearts words and let God work on our minds and bodies through His generous promises.
Look. We don’t have to know the WHOLE Bible. But, sweet friend – what a gift it is to know a few life-sustaining verses.
When I’m teaching my high school students a new concept, I want them to absorb the idea in many as ways as possible. I want them to see it, hear it, write it, ponder it, talk about it, analyze it, explain ideas to each other, problem solve using the concept, study it, connect the new concept to something they already know, physically get up and do something with the idea, sing it, create a mnemonic…or whatever else I can think of. Repetition through different avenues is key. So here are some ideas to transfer those life-giving verses from short-term to long-term memory.
Ideas for memorizing scripture (affiliate links):
1. Memory Cards
Put these verses in your car, purse, kitchen, bathroom, desk, nightstand…all your everyday places to read, re-read and ponder. Here are my 5 favorite verses I meditate on to help me reduce worry and 9 additional scripture verse memorization cards.
Grab your free printables with some of my favorite life-sustaining verses here:
Or here are some other lovely options:
If I asked you which two properties are the best to attain in Monopoly, we’d all reply – Broadway & Park Place, because games unknowingly help us remember stuff. Here are a few ideas for both kids and adults):
3. Free Apps
My favorite is Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 App. Here are some other free ones:
I’ve wanted to put a cross or word like, “faith” or “grace” on my wrist – but then there are needles, which I don’t do. And then the anxiety of figuring out what to make permanent on my skin!?! (Oh the stress, how does anyone go through with a tattoo!?!) So, this might be a better option for me. What about you?
5. Adult Coloring Books
Meditate and memorize as you color God’s word:
6. Use FREE Memes
There are about a billion free memes out there you can make your phone or computer’s background image or print out. Or use the ones I made:
7. Wall Art
I love beautiful words on my walls to encourage my family every day. Download these free printables below:
Grab your free scripture verse printables here:
Or here are some more inspirational finds:
8. Keychain Verses
We grab our keys at least twice a day – why not have words of hope on them? Nice memorization technique.
9. The Good Old Fashioned FREE Way
Writing out verses is an excellent way to memorize them. Write them on notecards, scraps of paper – nothing fancy – and throw them in your pocket to read, re-read and meditate on.
10. Verses to listen to.
Listen with your kids or by yourself while driving, cooking or cleaning.
I bought a bracelet that said, “Cultivate What Matters,” because I wanted to look down at my wrist a billion times a day and remember to focus on what’s important in the chaos. There’s also beautiful jewelry that helps us remember God’s words.
12. Bible Journaling
I haven’t gotten into this, but I follow Inspire Me Mama and the journals entries she creates while she memorizes and meditates on scripture are lovely.
Photo: Cindy from Inspire Me Mama
The jest of Bible Journaling is to write scripture as your artistic expression of worshiping God. Mediate on God’s words and commit them to memory while you shape your words and images beautifully. Here are more inspirational images of Bible journaling. And if you want to get started Rachel Wojo can help. Here are some Bibles designed for bible journaling.
Proverbs calmed me when I was a 15-year-old trying to break into a new school and new community. (And yes, I ended up making beautiful, life-long friends.) Proverbs still both calms me and reduces anxiety for me all these years later. The words remind me God is to be trusted because He is for me and will use me – even when I don’t get it – for His glory on this earth. (And you too!) I have to remind myself of the impact memorized Bible verses have in my life so I take time to learn more life-giving words that will show up in my mind for me to meditate on, just when I need them.
What about you? Has memorizing scripture made an impact in your life? And do you have any other ways I didn’t talk about that helps you write God’s words in your heart?
Is your life crazy and you don’t always have time to LOOK FOR HOPE?
Let us email that nourishment to you. You get 10+ freebies that will help you grow in faith. Also, we send encouragement, links to our recent blog posts and our month’s freebies right to your inbox. Then we invite you to email us back and let us know what you want to read about, how we can pray for you – we want to stay connected.