The Best Thing I Did All Year

Perhaps the title of my post caught your attention. You might be thinking, “We’re only 111 days into 2023. How can Bridget know the best thing she did this year?”

Today I want to tell you about something that I have been doing daily since January 1, as part of my quiet time with God. On January first I started reading Psalm 1:1. I continued reading until I reached a verse that really spoke to me. Then I wrote down that verse in my journal. And following the verse, I wrote a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, based on that verse.

Each day I have followed the same pattern, except that I pick up in the Psalms where I left off the day prior. Some days my prayer might be longer than other days. And some days I might focus on several verses, instead of just one, if the verses are tied together.

Here is an example:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” – Psalm 8:3-4

Dear Heavenly Father, I am in awe of You! You made the heavens and the earth, the moon and the stars. You made the universe, the oceans, and the mountains. All with a Word, You set everything in place. My mind cannot fathom how magnificent You are. Yet You see each human being and You care for them. You see me and You care for me. You don’t miss one detail of my life. You love me so. How can I ever feel down or defeated when Your goodness continually follows me? Thank You, Lord! I can never thank You, praise You, worship You, love You enough. Yet I have all of eternity to try!

(Side note – You cannot tell me the spiritual world isn’t real. You cannot tell me God isn’t real. And you cannot tell me there isn’t a real enemy who wants to stop us from spreading the light and love of Jesus. I had to type the prayer above several times before it stuck. Somehow, the words kept vanishing. It seems absurd that the words would just disappear, yet they did.)

Why do I love this new part of my daily routine so much?

For one thing, I love the Psalms. The book of Psalms is the most uplifting book in the Bible, in my opinion. When I am feeling down or worried, the Psalms lift me up. They help me to remember God’s goodness.

My second reason is that I have learned the power of praise. I have seen how praising God turns things around. I can be anxious about a certain situation. But then when I stop and praise God, it takes my mind off of my worries, and it turns my focus to the Most High God.

I also love that this incorporates prayer. Prayer is so powerful and something we can never get too much of. Many people might think of prayer as asking God for things. But it is more than that. Talking to God on a daily basis not only draws us closer to Him, but it changes us as well.

I also love this routine because it gives me a gratitude boost. I have learned that gratitude plays an important role in our lives. Gratitude helps us to see the blessings around us, even in the midst of difficulties.

And, finally, I love the idea of writing it all out. There is something about putting pen to paper that makes the words more concrete. It deepens the meaning and helps us to embed truth into our hearts.

Perhaps you have done something similar already. Bible journaling is very popular these days. I have done this as well with different books of the Bible. We take verses that speak to us, meditate on them, and write out our thoughts or a prayer based on them. This helps bring new application and light to something we have read before.

Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I believe we can be transformed by the renewal of our minds when we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, meditate on the meaning, and apply it to our lives. And that is what this new routine has done for me. I can see how the Lord is using this to mold me each day.

If this is new to you, give it a try and let me know how it goes. Or if you already do something similar in your quiet time with the Lord, please share your insights in the comments.

Many of you have likely heard about the passing of Dr. Charles F. Stanley earlier this week. I am sure many would agree with me when I say that Dr. Stanley and his ministry made a significant impact on my Christian walk. His sermons and books were always packed with insight and wisdom. When I commuted to work an hour each way, I would listen to his sermons in the morning on my drive. And I am honored that I had a chance to meet him once when visiting his church in Atlanta. He will be dearly missed by many. But think of the glorious homecoming he had!

I would like to end by sharing a few quotes by Dr. Stanley that are applicable to this post. About the importance of reading the Bible, Dr. Stanley said, “Over the years, I have come to realize that God’s Word offers the wisdom and insight I need at every turn. I cannot and never will encounter anything that is beyond Him and the principles He has written in Scripture.”

About our habits when reading the Bible, Charles Stanley said, “As you read God’s holy Word, I encourage you to keep a notebook and pen nearby so you can record the dates and times of your interactions with the Lord. As He shows you fresh truths, write them down. If He convicts you of a certain sin or attitude, make a note of it and write your prayer confessing that particular sin. If He gives you a moment of joy, praise Him in writing. If you have questions, write those down as well, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you God’s truth for every situation.”

And since I touched on Romans 12:2, here are Dr. Charles Stanley’s thoughts on that verse: “Transformation begins with our thinking and with consciences that are committed to listening to and obeying God. Our minds are renewed as we study His Word, and our hearts are changed as we submit to Him. We do not merely try hard to sin less. We learn to depend upon Him, observe His commands and trust Him to mold us into people who please Him. It is then we discover how awesome it is to live in the center of His will because it is life at its very best – and there is nothing in this world that compares to it.”

Thank you for stopping by and reading. I know there are a million other things you can be doing with your time. Your presence means a lot to me. Have a blessed weekend!

Image by Sixteen Miles Out on

© 2018-2023 Bridget A. Thomas

24 Comments on “The Best Thing I Did All Year

  1. Bridget, love the habit that you have incorporated this year. The psalms truly is a wonderful book to do that. This year I am drawn to praying scripture and having been trying it out with the Psalms. Not on a daily basis but definitely have been doing it. I find it to be very powerful. There is something about praying scripture.
    It must have been lovely to meet Dr Stanley, I respected him and enjoyed and valued his sermons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It makes me happy to hear you have been doing this as well. I agree that it is very powerful. It changes our hearts when we cling to Scripture and add it to our prayers.
      Yes, it was so nice to meet Charles Stanley. I agree, His sermons were always inspiring.
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope you have a lovely weekend. 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea, love this!! A lot of times I will highlight in my Bible something that speaks to me but I love the depth of your idea! Seems like it would make the verse and meaning more deep rooted in my heart and soul. Thank you for sharing with us!!
    And also for sharing some of Dr. Stanley’s words of wisdom and passion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You said that so well – “Seems like it would make the verse and meaning more deep rooted in my heart and soul.” I love that and you’re exactly right!
      You’re welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and Charles Stanley’s quotes. His words were always insightful.
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope you have a blessed weekend! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I journal my prayers after time in the word. It seems when I let the Lord speak to me first, my heart knows better who to praise him, to know his heart so as to know how to pray and what to ask for-and as you said it all works together to fill our hearts with thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So beautifully said! I love hearing that you do this in your daily routine. It’s amazing how God’s Word can help steer our prayers, thoughts, and hearts. Thank you so much for sharing your insight! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Psalms is my absolute favorite book in the Bible. It always speaks to me whenever I need comfort, joy, peace or a “whatever”moment. When I journaled more frequently, I would write down the verses that spoke to my heart during Bible reading. This morning as I was driving to work, 3 particular passages of scripture came to mind, and I prayed them aloud from memory. One of those was Psalms 23. I have found when our heart is troubled, if we will pray the Word aloud, there is power in it. Why a a wonderful idea you have started doing! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading about your Bible year! It is similar to my process; I am using a three year Bible reading schedule recently having done one year reading schedules for the last few years. My notes each day are simply what speaks to my mind and spirit; it is these that often become my devotional posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your routine too. I have found that when I am intentional to look for a takeaway from my daily reading, that it helps what I read to sink in. And 3 years sounds perfect to me. When I have tried to read the Bible in one year, I felt too rushed and I didn’t savor my time. Thank you for sharing your process!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps your journaling through the psalms will become another book? I did something similar, during my Lenten fast, but used small note cards to write down scriptures that spoke to me. I have over 50, and have memorized about a dozen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow that’s amazing. I know you mentioned the notecards to me previously. But memorizing about a dozen is really outstanding. And it is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. When we have The Truth inside of us, it alters our lives, our attitudes, and our outlook. Thanks for sharing that. Have a blessed weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Bridget for sharing about your routine. This is an excellent way to meditate on scripture and pray the scriptures. You always bless us with valuable nuggets that help to draw us closer to the Lord. I will miss Dr Stanley too. I love his teachings. That’s really nice you got to meet him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your kind words. You made my day. 🤗 yes I am so glad I had a chance to meet Charles Stanley once. But I am thankful we can still read his books and listen to his sermons. His legacy and impact live on! It’s awesome to think how much he has done for the Kingdom, and how much he continues to do even now. ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I too have been journaling in response to scripture, working my way through those listed at the end of each chapter in Sara Hagerty’s book, Unseen (which I’d highly recommend, btw). I’m praying them back to God as praise or petition (or both), depending on how my heart responds. It’s taking me a long time–there are numerous scriptures. But every morning I look forward to what God will show me though the reading of the day. ‘Love that we are on similar tracks in our quiet time, Bridget!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy, thank you for sharing what you have been doing. I always love hearing about other people’s practices when it comes to Bible reading, prayer, etc. It sounds like it has been a heart-filling routine. And thank you for the book recommendation. I love books, so you don’t have to tell me twice. I will certainly check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Finding the Blessings – Bridget A. Thomas

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