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I just joined my first Bible study ever this fall, and I’m hooked.
I’ve got a go-to group of friends! Which is super exciting, because I’m finally getting settled in our new town and it’s time to be building that connection.
We aren’t all in the same place, and that’s a good thing. I love meeting the established moms who have so much wisdom and encouragement. And the moms on the same page as me who can fist bump to my unkempt hair and slightly frazzled entrances into a room.
But we all have something in common: we love Jesus. We want to learn about him and know him better. We want to follow him more closely with our lives.
So we get together once a week, crack open our Bibles, and read and chat.
Sometimes we’re deep into theological discussions. Other times, we veer into the practical applications of the faith in our life. It’s always fruitful. Often fun. Sometimes rather serious, but in a good way.
I can’t get enough!
So when I found out my friend Allison Gingras from Reconciled to You had an exciting series of Scripture Studies coming out, I was all over it.
Scripture Journals for Women
Allison is an amazing author, speaker, evangelist, and friend. I’ve known her for a few years now on social media, and finally met her on retreat this past Spring.
She has this amazing gift of being able to see God in what I might say are the ordinary situations in daily life.
The Stay Connected journals are a fun and simple series of Bible studies. Not simple as in baby-theology, but simple as in easy to follow.
Each journal guides you through 7 weeks of Scripture study. Each week is laid out perfectly beginning with a moving opening prayer. Then there’s a real-life section with a reflection on the topic, and an introspective question to ponder.
Following that, we dive into related Scripture passages and an accompanying Scripture reflection. I love this part – it’s so cool to see how all these different verses come together to renew my understanding of how to live the faith in my daily life.
Finish up with some deep reflection questions challenging us to dig in, and opening the door to some amazing discussion topics. And a closing prayer tying everything together and putting the icing on the cake.
The journals are simply gorgeous, with a classic-modern feel. I love the organization: it leads you seamlessly between prayer, reading, and reflecting.
There’s space for journaling, doodling, and coloring. (If you’re into that – which I am, big time!)
All the journals follow the same set-up, so once you get hooked on the first one, you can seamlessly move on to the next, and the next…
And the really cool thing is, Allison is inviting other amazing writers to join her in making these journals happen! So there’s a variety of beautiful voices writing on different faith topics, to offer something for everyone.
The Gift of Invitation
The first book in the series is written by Allison, herself; it’s called The Gift of Invitation: 7 Ways Jesus Invites You to a Life of Grace.
I say it’s the first, but you don’t have to do the journals in any particular order. You can start with whichever topic is most appealing to you!
But I lovvve what Allison did with The Gift of Invitation. She has this gift for helping you see God working in your life.
Reading this study was like chatting with a friend. Allison’s storytelling is so relatable, it makes me feel like I was right there with her. She opened my eyes to the world of “Godcidences” which helped me get back in touch with God’s providence in my own life.
Allison shares her highs and lows, making me smile and cry. Reading this Scripture study drew my heart into the life of grace. It made me desire to be more intentional about seeing God working so clearly in every moment.
And the Scripture passages worked seamlessly to encourage me to live the Gospel. It’s not just a historical story that happened so long ago – it’s a living Truth that’s just as relevant to my every day, as it was in its own time in history.
My favorite chapter in The Gift of Invitation was Ch. 6: Invitation to Believe in Him. Allison’s story about her journey to Eucharistic Adoration took my breath away.
Adoration is my thing. Jesus is sitting there, waiting for us, calling to us to come hang out with him. The way he drew Allison to him made me smirk – knowing Jesus’s persistent and beautiful ways.
The best thing is having met Allison, I could “hear” Allison speaking to me – in her own voice – as I was reading.
Allison is great at telling a story, and making you feel God’s presence in it. If you haven’t heard her speak, you need to check out her podcast: A Seeking Heart. Her sense of humor makes a great book that much better!
More and More Journals for Catholic Women!
The other two journals available right now are calling my name.
Tiffany Walsh is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics: How Spiritual Reading Can Help You Grow In Wisdom. Tiffany’s blog is Life of a Catholic Librarian. She writes at CatholicMom.com and contributed to The Catholic Hipster Handbook.
I can’t wait to dig into this Scripture Study. It’s going to pull together some of the writings of the top dogs in Catholicism – St. Therese, Pope St. JPII, Francis de Sales (a personal fave) and more!
I know I’ll love seeing how these works tie into Scripture and relate to my own life. You can bet I’ll have my pen ready to take furious notes in this journal.
Deanna G. Bartalini wrote Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. She’s the author of her blog Every Day Catholic. Deanna also contributes to CatholicMom.com, AmazingCatechists.com, and NewEvangelizers.com and contributed to A Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion.
The Fruits of the Spirit are huge in the Bible, and I’m definitely looking forward to putting these into practice better in my life. from the first glance, I can tell that Deanna has so much wisdom. Her reflection questions really hit home, and I know they’ll guide me to grow more in my faith and my relationship to the Holy Spirit.
Free Stay Connected Leader’s Guide
These journals are so perfect, I don’t want to do the studies by myself – I’d love to start a small group so I can discuss, share, and learn from other Catholic women.
And I found that Gracewatch Media offers a free leaders guide!
Totally downloaded it.
If you have it on your heart to lead a group, definitely get the download – it’s empowering and makes leading an attainable goal! My hope is to pull together a Scripture Study group for this upcoming Lent. That would be perfect, amiright?
I would do it for Advent, since that’s coming right up, but…
Guess Who’s Writing a Stay Connected Journal? This gal!
Yep, I’ve got a Scripture Study in the works!
You might have noticed that I slowed way down in my blogging and posting lately. I mean, I do have a crawling 7 month old, I’m homeschooling 2 of my big kids, and I’m teaching 2nd grade Religious Ed.
But I’m also researching, reflecting, and writing furiously to bring you a Stay Connected journal of my own!
The theme for this journal will be on virtue. If you follow the Virtue Challenge, you know I’m always looking for ways to practice virtue better in my life.
With the journal, my goal is to help you understand what the theological and cardinal virtues are through an exploration of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and their appearance in the Scriptures.
And then, lead you through a reflection of what it means to practice those virtues on the reg. Virtue is a daily thing – and you might be surprised at how simple things make a big difference in a life of virtue.
Don’t Miss a Thing!
I want to keep you posted on the progress and release of my own Stay Connected Journal. Sign up for email updates to stay updated!