If you’ve read Chapter 2 of Made Like Martha, then you’ve read a quote from today’s guest, Betsy de Cruz. It’s a joy to celebrate the release of Betsy’s book as we learn how to connect with God in the midst of our busy lives.
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Interview with Betsy de Cruz
1. Tell us about why you wanted to write this book:
I wrote More of God because I struggle with distraction and overwhelm, and it affects my spiritual life. Even on good days, I can’t pray for more than about two minutes without going off on a tangent, and when I try to read the Bible, sometimes my brain goes on a trip to Hawaii. (I suspect I’m not alone.)
I want women to know they are not “less spiritual” if they lose focus when they try to read Scripture or remember the Lord’s presence during the day. Our busy schedules, anxious thoughts, and even our phones distract us, yet we can all learn to open small windows to let more of God into our day and experience more of His presence and power in our lives.
2. What is one of the obstacles you’ve faced with having a consistent quiet time with the Lord?
At different life stages, I’ve faced different obstacles. (It’s always something, right?!) When my kids were little, they’d wake up and be all in my face when I was trying to spend time with God. When they were high schoolers, I felt tired in the mornings since they kept me up late.
Now I’m a new empty nester, but I have an online tutoring job very early two mornings a week, so it’s harder for me to have quality time with God those mornings.Our busy schedules, anxious thoughts, and even our phones distract us, yet we can learn to open small windows to let more of God into our day and experience more of His presence and power in our lives. @BetsydeCruz #MoreofGod Click To Tweet
3. What is one way our quiet times can become more of a delight than a duty?
The way to make quiet time more delightful depends on what you personally enjoy. For me, “same old, same old” routines grow boring, so I like to change my quiet time to keep it fresh. I listen to a worship song one day, try a simple new study technique a week later, light a candle, pray out loud, or take it outside.
One delightful thing we forget about during our quiet time is creativity. We often think about how to “study” the Scriptures, but not so much about how to enjoy them! The Lord’s Spirit can renew our hearts as we draw or paint a small picture in response to Scripture or create a beautiful image from a Bible verse.
4. What is one of your favorite ways to study Scripture?
Hands down, my favorite way is to write the words. Something about writing out a verse or passage helps me to think about what it means. Now you might be thinking, “Wait, that’s not really Bible study,” and you may be right. But I think we make Bible study way too hard. We think we have to lug out the heavy reference books, and who has time for that? So, we never get around to it.
Yet the point of study is to think deeply about a passage, hear God’s voice through His Word, and obey Him. Writing out a passage helps me do those things. Just the other day, I wrote out 8 verses of a passage I’m speaking on for a women’s retreat, and right before my very eyes, the outline of my message popped out at me, from the very words of Scripture.
5. Can you tell us about a time when God’s Word helped give you hope during a hard time? Was there a specific verse that was particularly meaningful?
Several years ago, the iron levels in my blood sank to a dangerously low level, and for 6 weeks I underwent testing for every kind of cancer I could imagine. Later, I realized I did not have cancer, but it was a scary time. These words I wrote on an index card became my lifeline to the Lord:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:3).
I needed to carry that card around with me everywhere each day, and it stayed on my nightstand while I slept, so I could see it first thing every morning.
6. Could you offer a prayer for the woman who longs to connect with God more, but feels discouraged in the process?
Since I sometimes feel that way myself, I’m going to offer a prayer we can pray together:
Lord, you know my heart. I long to know you better, but sometimes I feel discouraged and distracted. Lord, show me your paths. Teach me how to hear your whispers and sense your hand at work in my daily life. Help me to hear your voice when I read your Word. Father, I ask you to renew in my heart the joy of knowing you. Help me take small steps towards you each day and walk in your presence and power. I open my heart to You, Holy Spirit. Come with more of yourself. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Quiet time is a topic that makes many of us feel guilty. If we can’t spend an hour a day, fill out our Bible study page, or make it through our prayer list without getting sidetracked, we think God isn’t pleased. We’ve tried plenty of times and failed.
Yet God loves even our smallest offerings. Remember the widow who offered the two copper coins? Jesus valued her offering because she put in all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44).Jesus rejoices when the mother spends five minutes reading His Word or lifts up a desperate prayer as she straps her kids into the mini-van. He sees our hearts, not our schedules. @BetsydeCruz #MoreofGod Click To Tweet
I hope More of God will bring new freedom and renewal to women’s hearts.
Betsy de Cruz writes and speaks to encourage women to get more of God’s Word in, so they can live their faith out, especially when life gets crazy. Find Betsy online at Faithspillingover.com, where she shares Bible study and prayer tips for distracted women, as well as encouragement for everyday faith and family. Betsy and her husband José are new empty nesters in Austin, Texas. When Betsy is not writing, she is drinking chai with Middle Eastern women.
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